President backs math redesign, asks for support

MCCC President Kojo Quartey has attempted to put an end to complaints about the math redesign.

Quartey sent an e-mail to all employees advising them that there will not be a change to the math program, and that it is necessary to accept it and encourage students to excel at it.

“As an institution, MCCC has made the decision to continue with the current format,” Quartey wrote in the email. “Everyone needs to support this, while encouraging and motivating our students to be more successful.”

He also said that despite the many complaints, there are just as many reasons for the use of computers in the math courses.
Quartey said he believes it is a minority of students who dislike the program.

“I was recently in a class,” he said, “and I asked them if they like this type of class. They said yes.”

One of the major complaints about use of the computers has been the cost. Students are required to pay a $300 fee the first time they take a math course, and the same fee each time thereafter, but they only receive one laptop.

 According to Vincent Maltese, dean of the Math and Science Division, the reason behind this is that all the fees are needed to cover the cost of the program. In effect, the first fee doesn’t cover the cost of the hardware and software; the second and third fees help to make up the difference.  

President Quartey noted that the courses that use the laptops are below college level math.
“If a student is worthy of graduating from high school, they can certainly, they should be able to do this math. So we’re not asking for higher level math here,” he said.

Another complaint has been that some students prefer a standard lecture-type course to the online courses. According to both Maltese and Quartey, the current format appears to be far better in terms of student success.

“There are a lot of students who have math phobia,” Quartey said. “Regardless of the way its taught, they are still afraid of math, and they are not as math-savvy, if you will. They’re not as math ready as they would be in some other areas.”

He said that because of this fear of math, the teaching methodology used with these students isn’t the issue, they will still have their fears of math.
“This (program) allows them time to work at their own pace, and to be able to get to the point of mastering the subject matter,” Quartey explained.