Math Launch – UCF STEM (2024)

UCF is proud to offer select students the opportunity to participate in Math Launch, an admissions pathway designed to help incoming first-year students prepare for Calculus 1 and set them up for success in their chosen STEM major. With a focus on expanding students’ knowledge and capabilities in algebra, trigonometry and pre-calculus, Math Launch helps students become calculus ready in a single semester through an accelerated boot camp style, math course. Students selected to participate in the Math Launch pathway will begin their first term (fall or spring) as part-time students (9-11 credit hours) and will be provided with a dedicated support team to assist them throughout their first semester math course.

Program Benefits

  • Through Math Launch, students are better positioned to finish their degrees sooner, leading to reduced debt and quicker commencement of their careers.
  • Calculus 1 is an essential course in any STEM major and being Calculus 1 ready sooner better positions students for success in their future semesters.
  • Reducing tuition, as students can complete multiple subjects for the tuition of one math launch course.
  • Taking a reduced course load in their first term at UCF allows students to concentrate on studying for the multiple subjects covered in their designated math course and preparing them to be Calculus 1 ready in one semester.
  • Students will be working with and be supported by high-quality instructors and learning assistants, who will invest time in their math learning needs.
  • Students selected for the Math Launch program will be partnered with a dedicated peer coach, who will be available to help answer questions they may have as they navigate their first term at UCF.
  • Math Launch’s designated math class provides students with exposure to a deeper level of learning as they build their confidence and sharpen their algebra, trigonometry and pre-calculus math skills and knowledge.
  • Over 600 academic year 2023-2024 engineering and sciences freshman at UCF joined the UCF Math Launch program, allowing students to benefit from being part of a supported and connected cohort.

Program Overview

About the Program

Math Launch gives students the opportunity to prepare for Calculus 1 through a structured, accelerated program while providing additional services to support them in their designated math course. Students register for a 3-credit hour math course and have the opportunity to master three subject areas (courses) and potentially become Calculus 1 ready by the beginning of their second semester. Students meet for in-person assistance during the scheduled class time in the Math Assistance and Learning Lab (MALL) which is staffed by graduate teaching and undergraduate learning assistants. Using the online adaptive ALEKS platform, students will begin their journey in the math subject (course) determined by their UCF math placement. During the first few days of class, students will complete a concept test to determine their knowledge and if they can move up their starting point in the class. Guided by instructors, undergraduate learning assistants and peer coaches, students will then begin working through the different concept modules. Students will receive additional in person assistance during their required Open Lab hours in the MALL.

Program Eligibility

Any student pursuing a participating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Information Technology) major that is not Calculus 1 ready at the start of their first fall or spring semester may be selected to participate in Math Launch. Participating majors include all engineering disciplines, computer science, information technology, actuarial science, chemistry, data sciences, forensic science, mathematics, physics, and statistics. Prior to orientation, newly admitted students who are planning to start their first term at UCF will be identified for participation based on the academic records on file with UCF at that time. The process of determining eligibility is fluid as students can provide proof of being Calculus 1 ready at any time prior to the beginning their first semester. However, knowing earlier gives students the best opportunity of having a fixed schedule before classes begin. More details about how eligibility is determined can be found in the Math Launch FAQ guide.

Program Goal

Everyone has the opportunity to be calculus ready by the end of their first major (fall or spring) semester. The Math Launch team will be working with students throughout their first major term to help them be successful in completing as many subject areas as possible, with the minimum expectation of completion of at least one or two of the necessary calculus prerequisites to help move them forward in their STEM major.

Program Length & Commitment

How far a student can go with Math Launch is determined by the time and effort the student is willing to put into their designated math course. If a student follows the designed structure of the course(s) or even decides to spend extra time on modules, they may be able to move through an entire subject in this course in just a few weeks. Others may choose a more standard approach, but this also means they will not move through the material quickly and may not be calculus ready by their second semester. Each subject area is designed to be completed in 4-6 weeks. It is our recommendation that students commit to spending at minimum 10-12 hours a week working on their math modules. This is the equivalent amount of time a student would spend on any 3-4 credit hour math class. The peer success coaches and instructors will be monitoring student progress and reaching out with helpful strategies.

Check-Points Throughout the Program

The director, peer coaches and instructors work together to monitor student progress, sending timely reminders to keep students on track. Within the course, students participate in weekly assignments to ensure they are staying on track in their math studies. When a student feels ready and has completed the necessary prep material, they can register to take the exam for moving to the next subject. Once passed, students move immediately into the concepts for the subsequent subjects (Intermediate to College Algebra to Precalculus Algebra to Trigonometry). Each student has different levels of knowledge in each of the three subject areas (Algebra, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus) and this could determine their pathway through this designated math course. If a student is unsuccessful in ‘testing into’ the next subject area, the instructors will work with them to determine where and how they should focus their attention to be successful the next time.

Meet the Program Director

Math Launch – UCF STEM (1)

Dr. Melissa Dagley is the Executive Director of iSTEM, a collaborative effort between the Colleges of Engineering and Computer Science and Sciences established to promote and enhance UCF efforts in STEM education and educational research. She serves as the Director of several core STEM ready programs here at UCF, including the Math Launch program. Her research interests lie in the areas of student access to education, retention and persistence to graduation for students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs.

FAQs

Our Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) guide includes a number of common questions from both parents and students about the Math Launch program:

DOWNLOAD FULL FAQ GUIDE

Contact

If you have additional questions about the program, please complete our contact form.

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Math Launch – UCF STEM (2024)
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