Special Populations Collaborative

Effective Practices for Nontraditional Students


Math Jam: Student Support

Math Jam helped Engineering student Diana Lis Valderrama to skip two math classes – trigonometry and precalculus – and begin studying calculus during her first semester at Cañada College thanks to participating in a summer Math Jam. The Math Jam was one of several projects initiated at Cañada, aimed at improving the interest, persistence and performance of underrepresented students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The program was funded by a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. “When I first took my placement test, I tested into trigonometry,” Diana said. “When I attended the summer engineering institute, I was asked if I would be interested in participating in the Math Jam. I’m glad I did because it made a big difference.” Participating in the Math Jam gave Diana access to personal tutors who helped her with a study plan. “I learned more in four days at the Math Jam than I did in three semesters at high school.”