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WTAMU Receives THECB Star Award

Oct. 10, 2012

COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WTAMU Receives THECB Star Award

CANYON, Texas—The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) recognized West Texas A&M University’s commitment to the success and retention of its first-year mathematic students by presenting the University with a prestigious Star Award during a special ceremony Oct. 4 in Austin.

Star Awards are given annually in recognition of exceptional contributions to the THECB’s Closing the Gaps by 2015 initiative, which has four established goals: to close the gaps in participation, success, excellence and research.

West Texas A&M received a Star Award for its Gateway Project, a collaboration between developmental math, college algebra, the Math Lab and the Virtual Math Lab. The project involves faculty, graduate assistants, teaching assistants and Math Lab student workers working together to improve the student experience in gateway first-year mathematics courses and increase the number of students successfully completing developmental mathematics and college algebra at WTAMU.

“The Star Award is an important recognition of the hard work that our faculty have put into helping students in our mathematics courses succeed,” Dr. Nick Flynn, head of the Department of Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics, said. “We are all very proud of this recognition by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.”

The Gateway Project began in 2008 and since then, it has increased the pass rate in beginning algebra by 16 percent, intermediate algebra by six percent and college algebra by 12 percent. Its success can be attributed to expanding the capabilities and usage of the Virtual Math Lab, redesigning courses to provide more faculty-student interaction, aligning and utilizing a uniform curriculum for consistency across all sections and increasing tutoring services for students in the Math Lab.

West Texas A&M was one of eight finalists chosen from more than 50 Star-Award nominees statewide. In all, four of the eight finalists were selected to receive the award. The University has been named a finalist several times over the years and last won a Star Award in 2003 with a project titled “Increasing the Success of the Most Economically Disadvantaged Students.”



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