But Tennessee Tech University's commitment to STEM education means many students can choose to get a head start on science, technology, engineering and math classes and conquer their natural fears before they interfere with classroom performance. Just before fall semester, TTU will offer two programs — STEM Success Camp and Calculus Tune-up Workshop — focusing on preparation and transition skills.
"These programs help students increase their comfort level with the university environment, and a lot of the experience is about understanding expectations and developing relationships with other students that last beyond the workshops," said Allan Mills, TTU math professor and director of the Calculus Tune-up.
"Everybody is going to have trouble sometime in math class, and those who come to the workshop are already comfortable with asking each other questions and working with each other, so they tend to stay together in study groups after school starts," he explained.
All new freshmen majoring in science, technology, engineering and/or math with ACT math scores in the 22-26 range are invited to attend the STEM Success Camp Aug. 6-18, but registration is limited to 30. The non-credit, two-week residential program is designed to provide a stimulating transitional experience between high school and college, enhance students' math skills, and introduce new freshmen to the college classroom and laboratory environments.
The Calculus Tune-up Workshop is a weeklong non-credit learning experience designed to help students review mathematical skills and study habits crucial to success in Calculus I. Students will spend over six hours a day reviewing algebra and trigonometry topics with experienced TTU instructors. Students enrolled in a Fall 2006 section of Math 1910-Calculus I are eligible for the Calculus Tune-up workshop. Students will be housed in dorm rooms or may choose to commute each day from home.
The STEM Success Camp cost is $415, which includes meals, lodging, activities and supplies, including a field trip to Fall Creek Falls. The cost for commuter students to the Calculus Tune-up is $299, which includes instruction, class materials, shirt, and lunch. There is an additional $110 cost for residential students
The deadline for both programs is July 24, and registration forms can be found online at www.tntech.edu/stem.