Whether you’re preparing to take or re-take the Math AccuPlacer test, preparing for your next math class, or simply reviewing math concepts you may have forgotten for your own purposes, EMCC’s Math Prep Camp is here to help!
The free, two-week camp is offered four times a year. The next camp is set for Sept. 23 to Oct. 3. The camp is tailored to each individual student’s competency level.
“The first night of class, students take a diagnostic that tells them where they're at and it creates modules for them to work on,” said Yvette Morales-Moller, Student Services Specialist Sr. - Title V.
Students can take the camp anywhere because it’s online, but if they come to the camp on campus, they have access to a tutor while working on their modules. They also have access to each other.
“Having tutors in the camp gives us the ability to ask questions like, ‘When do I use that formula?’ ‘How would I know what order of operations to use?’ Those are things you’re not going to know when you’re doing it online on your own,” said Jeanette Castillo who attended the last camp in July. “But we also help each other. We all resolve problems differently, and as someone who’s learning, you tend to remember the method that’s easiest, and sometimes, the one you know isn’t the easiest.”
Morales-Moller, who helps facilitate the camps, was thrilled that the students in the July camp were so willing to help each other out.
“That’s what I loved about that class in particular,” she said. “They really did help each other. They also weren’t ashamed or afraid to say out loud what their answer was, how they came to that conclusion, and to figure out what the answer should be. It was great, it was how it was meant to be.”
A fairly new component of the prep camps is workshops. Twice a week, 15-minute workshops on topics such as growth mindset and stress management are conducted at the beginning of the camp.
“It gives you a different perspective on things,” said Mayra Reyes, another student in the July camp.
Mayra took the camp because she’d always struggled with math.
“I always thought of math as my weak point, but those workshops helped us understand that it’s not a weak point, we just learn differently,” she said. “I feel like growing up, we always think, ‘I’m not good at this subject,’ or, ‘I’m not good at that subject, I can’t learn it,’ but that’s not true.”
Mayra first attended EMCC immediately after graduating from high school in 2011, but dropped out because “I was very immature,” she said. Eight years later, the mother of three was ready to go back and enrolled in Math 146 with her sights set on the Nursing Program. The Math Prep Camp gave her a huge confidence boost.
“I came in thinking, ‘Math is not my subject,’ but you start learning different techniques and you realize, ‘OK, I get it.’ I just didn’t learn this way before,” she said.
Graciela Galicia also benefited from the stress management workshops during the July camp. After graduating from high school in 2004, she completed a medical assisting program and has worked in that field ever since, but she’s always dreamed of becoming a nurse.
“My only obstacle was math,” she said. “Ever since I was little, I never understood it. It gives me anxiety, it gives me stress. But, with this camp, I’ve learned how to deal with the stress and anxiety and I know there are people out there like me, so I feel like I’m not alone now.”
Like Mayra, Graciela is enrolled and taking her prerequisites for the Nursing Program.
“Everything got refreshed and now that I’m older, for some reason, math is sticking more,” she said. “I know I can do this.”
The camp runs from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Sept. 23 to Oct. 3.