The NCC Partnership Program in Mathematics

The mission of the Nassau
Community College (NCC) Partnership Program in Mathematics is to
provide a rich mathematical experience for high school students. The
program strives to foster the understanding of mathematics and its role
in a technological society.
A large percentage of Nassau County high
school seniors begin their college experience at Nassau Community
College. We believe that high school students who are involved in such
a program will take their high school mathematics course more seriously
and will ease their transition from high school to college.
Furthermore, local mathematics faculty and students will have immediate
and direct knowledge of what to expect in a college level mathematics
course. We also believe that teaching such a course revitalizes all
faculty and fosters a collegial relationship between the high school
and College community.

In designing the Partnership Program, we have been
guided by the following principles:

- The most important component for student
success
in this program is a highly motivated, well trained high school
mathematics teacher.
- The components of a precalculus curriculum
should
be tied together by clearly defined themes. The core syllabus of
precalculus should include only those topics that are essential to the
study of calculus. Algebra should be developed as needed, but should
not serve as a central theme. Functions as models of change is our
central theme. This theme should be continued in a calculus course.
- Fewer topics should be introduced than in the
past, but each topic should be treated in greater depth.
- Precalculus and calculus should be taught using
The Rule of Four: Each function is represented symbolically,
numerically, graphically, and verbally.
- Students learn best using The Way of
Archimedes:
Formal definitions and procedures evolve from the investigation of
practical problems.
- The responsibility for learning should be
gently shifted from teacher centered to student centered.
- Technology has a place in modern mathematics.
Materials for statistics, finite mathematics, precalculus and calculus should take
full advantage of technology when appropriate. Students should know how
and when to use technology, as well as its limitations. However, no
specific technology should be emphasized.
- Faculty should construct quizzes and tests that
reflect the change in the curriculum.
- Faculty must continually encourage students to
adapt to ever changing challenges in their academic lives, and their
techniques for learning to meet these various challenges may have to
change.
- Materials for statistics, finite mathematics, precalculus
and
calculus should allow for a broad range of teaching styles. They should
be flexible enough to use in large lecture halls, small classes, or in
group or lab settings.
- The finite mathematics, precalculus and
calculus
syllabus and materials should reflect the spirit of the standards
established by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
and the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges
(AMATYC), and meet the recommendations of the Mathematical Association
of America (MAA).
- Courese quality and standards should meet the
recommendations published by The National Alliance of Concurrent
Enrollment Partnerships, and endorsed by the Chancellor of SUNY.

- Administrations at local high schools approve, in
writing, such a cooperative effort.
- Students and parents are advised, in writing by
the
local Principal or other appropriate administrator, of the parameters
of the program, its cost , benefits (transferability, minimal cost),
refund policies, and especially, its rigor.
- The Director of the Partnership Program at Nassau
Community College (NCC), the local mathematics chair and the
participating local instructor(s) meet jointly with parents and
students prior to the distribution of NCC applications for admission.
- Each participating high school should have a
minimum of thirty (30) students in at most two periods. If only one
period can be attained, the Partnership Program may be able to
administratively combine two districts into one Partnership class.
- All students who wish to be enrolled in statistics or finite
mathematics are required to pass the NCC mathematics placement test.
- All students who wish to be enrolled in
precalculus
are required to have passed the NYS Math B Regent's Examination with a
grade of 80 or higher.
- All students who wish to be enrolled in calculus
are required to have passed a precalculus course with a grade of 80 or
higher.
- All participating local teachers are required to
attend a one week workshop at NCC during the summer prior to the
commencement of the program at their school. (See http://www.matcmp.sunynassau.edu/~cheifp/announce.htm).
- During the first two years of participation, all participating
local teachers are required to attend a users group that meets
approximately four times per year at NCC.
- For a four credit course, if there are two classes (of a least 15
students each, reasonably scheduled) at a high school, the NCC
mathematics faculty member will meet thirty-six mutually agreed upon
classes per year. Four of these class visits will be as a proctor for
the final examination at NCC. For a three-credit course, the NCC
mathematics faculty member will meet twenty-four mutually agreed upon
classes per year. In no case shall a single NCC faculty member be
responsible for more than sixty students.
- NCC and local mathematics faculty who are involved in the project
meet and outline the topics to be covered in partnership courses.
- The NCC mathematics faculty member in part (8) above will
construct
and grade three quarterly examinations, and a final examination. The
weight for each quarterly examination shall be 10% of the final grade,
the final examination shall be 35% of the final grade and 35% of the
final grade shall be based on class work, quizzes, homework, projects
etc. The NCC mathematics faculty member who taught the classes and
constructed and graded the quarterly and final examinations at the
local school shall assign the course grade for credit at NCC. The NCC
professor shall have no input in the computation of the high school
grade. The local teacher only shall assign a grade for the local high
school.

Welcome to the Partnership Program
in Mathematics at Nassau Community College. We hope this will be an
exciting year of growth and will provide the realization that
mathematics is pervasive in our society.

Please take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with the
information below. This will help you have a better understanding of
some of the parameters of this college course that is given at your
local high school.

The Partnership Program in Statistics (MAT 102), Finite Mathematics (MAT 118),
Precalculus (MAT 111, Elementary Functions) and Calculus (MAT 122) is
administered by Prof. Ellen Schmierer of the mathematics department,
not the admissions office, nor the registrar. All questions pertaining
to any facet of the Program should always be directed to her by
telephone at 516 572 7949 or by email at ellen.schmierer@ncc.edu.

If you have a documented special need (extra time, separate
testing location, visual impairment, etc.), please make this fact known
to Prof. Schmierer early in the academic year, and certainly before
October 15, 2007.

Although students take Partnership
courses in their
local high school, the course is a college level course. Mathematics
courses in the Partnership Program at NCC are not easier (nor harder)
than similar courses at other institutions of higher learning, but may
be more demanding than expected, for a variety of reasons. Rather than
being high school classes for which college credit is given,
Partnership classes are college classes that are co-taught in the high
school.
High school courses are different from college courses in many ways.
The differences include:
- teacher centered vs. student centered
responsibility âˆ¼ a single way to think of an idea vs.
multiple representations
- superficial coverage vs. deeper understanding
âˆ¼ drill vs. interpretation and multiple step reasoning
- weeks of review for standardized exams vs. little
review
- computational questions on exams vs. computational
and conceptual questions on exams âˆ¼ one step exam
questions vs.
multi-step exam questions
- significant partial credit on examinations vs. a
stricter rubric for grading
- The college culture is different from the high
school culture.
- There is no parental or administrative involvement
in the college classroom with respect to College curriculum and NCC
grades.
- In college, it is not assumed that all students
are
created equal with respect to the effort they expend, nor that all
students do the necessary work to do well in a course. Students can
earn As and Bs as well as Cs, Ds and Fs.
- Digressions and additions to the syllabus are
common in college.
- Classroom etiquette is usually different from that
of a high school classroom.
- In Partnership mathematics courses, it is expected
that for every hour spent in class, two hours are to be spent at home
in preparation for the next class.
- You will receive a high school grade for the
course,
assigned by only your high school teacher, as well as a separate
college grade, assigned by the NCC professor. These grades may be
different. The College professor has no input into your high school
grade.
- It is your responsibility to request a transcript
from the NCC Registrar when transfer credit is desired.
- If you have paid for a Partnership course but
decide
to withdraw from the course, the College refund policy applies. If
withdrawal occurs before the beginning of the semester, the refund is
100%. During the first two weeks, it becomes 75%, during the second two
weeks, it becomes 50%, and during the third two weeks, it becomes 25%.
No refund is given after the sixth week. You may still withdraw after
the sixth week as described in your professor's policy statement that
you will receive on your professor's first visit. Please note that
withdrawing or transferring out of the high school class does not
withdraw you from the College course. Such withdrawal must be done
officially on a College withdrawal slip that can be obtained from the
College professor.

The NCC Partnership in Mathematics
attempts to develop
lifelong learners rather than trained or learned individuals. Trained
individuals develop a specific knowledge base with specific skills for
a specific context.

Such learners
must have new things explained to them,
need to be told what to do,
must have explicitly defined rules, procedures and policies,
need constant supervision and monitoring of performance.

Learned Individuals have acquired a broad base knowledge and can apply
it to related contexts. They
feel comfortable learning within their base of experience,
can perform low level problem solving within their base of
experience,
are willing to accept challenges within their area of expertise,
can teach others.

Lifelong learners continually grow, self-facilitate their learning and
apply it to a variety of contexts. Lifelong learners
are able to generalize,
seek out new challenges in related areas,
take responsibility for their own learning,
can adapt to ever changing environments,
serve as mentor to others.