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CSU’s New Mathematics Emporium Adds Up to a Winner for Students

State-of-the-Art Facility Delivers Individualized Approach to Mathematical Mastery

CLEVELAND – The new Mathematics Emporium at Cleveland State University is the ultimate one-stop shop for students who need help mastering a range of mathematical concepts, from remedial to calculus.

It features 120 stations where essential mathematical skills are honed with the aid of interactive software as well as teachers and tutors. Built at a cost of $700,000, the state-of-the-art facility opened in August 2013 on the second floor of CSU’s Michael Schwartz Library.

“The new Mathematics Emporium embodies CSU’s commitment to student success through engaged learning,” said Dr. John Holcomb, chair of the Department of Mathematics at CSU. “We expect it will result in improved performance of CSU students in mathematics courses, which will increase the overall University retention rate. Specifically, we’re hoping to increase student success in 100-level and remedial mathematics courses and significantly decrease the percentage of first-year students who need to repeat a mathematics course taken in their first year.”

The Mathematics Emporium focuses largely on remedial mathematics. Students progress through a computer-based course at an individualized pace, utilizing interactive software with instructional videos, exercises, quizzes and exams. The software identifies a student’s strengths and weaknesses, so progression through the exercises can be sped up or slowed down, depending on the student’s level of mastery. Faculty, graduate assistants and undergraduate tutors are on hand to provide additional assistance as needed. Faculty closely monitor student progress to support timely completion of all materials by the end of the semester.

The Mathematics Emporium will also serve students in 100-level math courses, including college algebra, pre-calculus, calculus and introductory statistics, as well as math courses for business majors, and liberal-arts majors. For these students, the Mathematics Emporium provides an ideal setting for doing online homework and receiving immediate assistance.

“A key indicator of success in mathematics courses is the correct and timely completion of exercises,” Dr. Holcomb said. “Cramming to get homework done on deadline isn’t nearly as effective as the approach we’re taking in CSU’s Mathematics Emporium, where students master the material by working regularly on exercises. By engaging students in this way, we’re ultimately enhancing student performance in mathematics.”