Making Math Anxiety Disappear

In the past, navigating through the maze of steps to meet math requirements was often seen as a daunting challenge. For many, these steps seemed more like stumbling blocks rather than steps forward. So this academic year, the Math Department rolled out a new approach that not only helps students learn what they need to know in math, but also lead to better results.

Carrie Nash, a 27-year-old psychology major, said her fear of algebra has “stood in the way of finishing my prerequisites before.” But now enrolled in Math 119 (math for non-science majors) she says she’s able to see how math applies to everyday life. “Inventory tracking using Excel is key at my job (as the manager at both Santa Fe Brewing Company locations) and my Math 119 is helping me master this extremely useful program.”

John Pantano, Mathematics Department chair said, “The redesign of our math curriculum is still a work in progress, but we are getting good feedback from students and faculty.” The college decided to revamp the math program after realizing that too many students taking remedial mathematics courses were losing interest or – worse – dropping out. “We’ve made it easier and faster for students to become ready to tackle college level courses so they can feel confident about moving forward toward earning a degree,” Pantano said. The new pathways reduce the time a student needs to take mathematics by one or two semesters.