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Kent State Dedicates New Math Emporium on Sept. 13

Posted Sep. 7, 2011

New state-of-the art learning center equips college students with math skills needed for academic success

Members of the Kent State University community will gather Sept. 13 at 4 p.m. to celebrate the opening of the new Kent State University Math Emporium, a state-of-the-art computerized learning center designed to help students learn math. Located on the second floor of the Kent State University Library, the Math Emporium launched this fall with the start of classes on Aug. 29.

Photo of Math EmporiumThe introduction of the Math Emporium is an example of how Kent State is dedicated to the success of its students. Basic math skills are an essential foundation for many courses of study and necessary for students’ overall academic success in college.

“The university has developed a specialized learning experience to equip students with the mathematical knowledge they will need on their path to graduation,” said Robert G. Frank, Kent State provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “The students will learn math by interacting with a team of instructors and the web-based math software called ALEKS. The Math Emporium promises to make a significant impact on our first-year retention. For some students, it will give them confidence in their math skills to pursue careers that require math, such as nursing and finance.”

At the Math Emporium, students will learn through an innovative, engaging and easy-to-use program designed to help them become comfortable and proficient in basic mathematics. The Math Emporium serves as the classroom for four classes: Basic Algebra 1, 2, 3 and 4. Prior to the beginning of school, students take a placement assessment to determine which math courses they need. Students who need additional math preparation to succeed in college will be matched with the appropriate course of study in the Math Emporium.

“Students will focus on learning exactly what they need to know at their own pace while their instructional team provides individualized coaching,” said Andrew Tonge, chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Kent State. “The Math Emporium uses an adaptive software program, ALEKS, to determine what students already know. It then offers each student an individualized choice of paths forward. This enables them to complete the curriculum efficiently by always studying only material they are ready to learn. All students can then manage their study time to focus on actively learning precisely the information they need, with the aid of online help tools and an interactive e-book, together with one-on-one assistance from an instructional team.”

The lead professor and the instructional team at the Math Emporium function as coaches, providing in-depth personalized teaching and support. Periodically, each student takes a progress assessment to check that they have fully understood the information they recently studied. Any material that has not been properly mastered is reassigned as part of the future study plan. At the end of the course, a comprehensive assessment determines the grade. This ensures students have a sufficiently rigorous grounding to have good prospects for success in subsequent courses.

“The Math Emporium’s potential effect on student success is very exciting,” Frank said. “In addition to this Math Emporium on our Kent Campus, we will have similar facilities on our Regional Campuses.”

The Math Emporium features state-of-the-art technology with 247 computer stations in an 11,154-square-foot space. The facility also features bright, vibrant colors and comfortable furniture, making it an attractive and appealing environment.

The Math Emporium is staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday; and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Students also can access the program from any web browser.

For more information on the Math Emporium, visit www.kent.edu/mathemporium.

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Media Note:
Members of the media are welcome to attend and cover the dedication of the Kent State University Math Emporium on Sept. 13 at 4 p.m. The Math Emporium is located on the second floor of the Kent State University Library. Parking is available in the Kent Student Center Visitor Lot.

Photo Caption:
The Kent State University Math Emporium is a new state-of-the-art learning center that equips students with the mathematical knowledge they will need on their path to graduation.

Media Contact:
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595