BETHANY, W.Va. – Dr. Alice Brown, President of the Appalachian College Association, announced that the Teagle Foundation had funded the ACA’s request for a $300,000 grant in support of a collaborative two-year project involving Bethany College, Berea (Ky.) College and Emory and Henry (Va.) College. The schools were asked to design and submit proposals addressing the question of how to improve the quantitative literacy of their student bodies.

The group in charge of assembling Bethany College’s proposal was led by Dr. Mary Ellen Komorowski, Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science; Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Richard Rushton; Assistant Professor of Mathematics Adam Fletcher and Academic Services Specialist Gerald Schultze.

“This grant will help the Mathematics and Computer Science Department add needed technologies, enhance curriculum and provide a state-of-the-art Center where Mathematics comes alive for our students through their interactions with each other and with faculty,” said Dr. Komorowski.

Highlights of the Bethany proposal include course changes and additions designed to provide all students with multiple pathways toward the acquisition of math skills necessary for success in all disciplines. Other features include enhanced testing for skills assessment; mathematics placement and program assessment; changes in the College’s core mathematics requirements, along with expanded choices to help students meet those requirements; new directions for the Mathematics and Computer Science programs; and progressive alternatives to traditional college level courses in Algebra or Statistics.

Another key component of the project is the transformation of the Science Library on the second floor of Richardson Hall into the Mathematics and Science Community Center (MSCC). Bethany’s interdepartmental team approach emphasized the necessity of making broad-based support readily available in order for students and faculty to fully assimilate the changes. Support services based in the MSCC include peer tutoring, workshops, faculty/student mentoring and advanced technologies.

The ACA is a consortium of 37 private two- and four-year liberal arts colleges and universities located in West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. It will provide administrative oversight for the grant; continually assess the development of each college’s program; work with American College Testing staff to assimilate data from all tests administered and distribute results from the three participating colleges to the ACA’s 34 other member institutions.