The NCC Partnership Program in Mathematics
NCC Partnership Mission

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:

  1. The most important component for student success in this program is a highly motivated, well trained high school mathematics teacher.
  2. 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.
  3. Fewer topics should be introduced than in the past, but each topic should be treated in greater depth.
  4. Precalculus and calculus should be taught using The Rule of Four: Each function is represented symbolically, numerically, graphically, and verbally.
  5. Students learn best using The Way of Archimedes: Formal definitions and procedures evolve from the investigation of practical problems.
  6. The responsibility for learning should be gently shifted from teacher centered to student centered.
  7. 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.
  8. Faculty should construct quizzes and tests that reflect the change in the curriculum.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. Courese quality and standards should meet the recommendations published by The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, and endorsed by the Chancellor of SUNY.
Guidelines for Admission to the NCC Partnership
  1. Administrations at local high schools approve, in writing, such a cooperative effort.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. All students who wish to be enrolled in statistics or finite mathematics are required to pass the NCC mathematics placement test.
  6. 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.
  7. All students who wish to be enrolled in calculus are required to have passed a precalculus course with a grade of 80 or higher.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. NCC and local mathematics faculty who are involved in the project meet and outline the topics to be covered in partnership courses.
  12. 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.
A High School Faculty Partner Checklist
Alerts for Students in the Partnership Program
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
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.

Some Axioms of the NCC Partnership Program in Mathematics
High School Students: Be Prepared

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:
Performance Levels for Learners

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.
  • Helpful Links

    Frequently Asked Questions
    Partial list of colleges that give credit for partnership courses
    For more information contact Prof. Ellen Schmierer
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