Math lab can offer solutions


Dorthy Enomoto checks her answers in the Math Lab. The lab is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. M-Th and 8:30 a.m to 3 p.m. on Friday

Steven Luke

When should students procrastinate on taking math courses? Never. Math may be the most frustrating class some for students, but holding off on taking your math courses could extend your stay by as many as four semesters for your associates degrees, or five to transfer.

New students enroll in LMC straight out of high school if shown that they passed Algebra 2 in high school with a C or better and move straight into Math 34 for their AA. Students who did not pass Algebra 2 in high school, or those who come to LMC later on, must take an assessment test to see what math they assess into.

Counselor Jeff Dale said LMC encourages all incoming high school students to pass Algebra 2 to avoid this issue. Dale said that students who bring in a transcript showing they have already passed Algebra 2 can go straight into Math 34: Introduction to Statistics, which meets the Math requirement for transfer colleges.

Darcy Anielski came back to school after six years and had to take an assessment test to enroll in math. Darcy tested into Math 30 and is working through her first class during her first semester. But not all students test straight into Math 30 and those who test into the lower levels such as Math 004, 007 or 009 could take four semesters to catch up.

There are tools to help you if you are afraid of taking math. The LMC Math Department runs a Math Lab with plenty of teachers and tutors available in it to assist you.

“Most conceptual understanding needs to be built in one-on-one instructional opportunities where the student does most of the talking and writing,” said Mathematics Instructor Jim Cohen, one of the many teachers in the Math Lab who assist students in need.

Dale said the Math Lab is important to students enrolled in math courses. He encourages everyone to do their math homework in the lab, so they can ask for help if they encounter a problem completing an assignment.

Anielski said she spends at least two hours a week in the Math Lab, adding that she has never felt intimidated and every tutor and teacher she has encountered has been helpful.

“I needed help with how to use a graphing calculator properly, and the tutors are great with explaining how to solve all kinds of problems,” she said.

Although she believes she can pass Math 30 without the Math Lab, Anielski admits it will come in handy for future math classes.

Even with the Math Lab and all of the tutors and teachers who are available, there are still students who just do not understand math. Dale understands that this will always be an issue.

“Math is the area that probably causes the most problems for students and the most stress,” Dale said, noting that he has seen many students who put off math until the end of their college careers and it tends to add semesters onto their academic career.

Although math can sometimes seem like a foreign language to students, there are many tutors and teachers ready and willing to help.

If you are still unsure about taking math, then stop by the Math Lab on the main campus on the first floor of the Math Building from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday or 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. If you’re at the Brentwood campus, go to Room 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday or 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.