WSC Student Receives Achievement Certificate from ALEKS
Posted: Jan 30 2018
WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston State College freshman Michael Sandoval of Plentywood, Montana, was recently awarded a Certificate of Achievement from Assessment and Learning In Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS). Used in WSC's math courses, ALEKS is an alternative learning technology tool that allows students to complete an initial assessment, and then individualizes course content and learning paths for the student to learn more effectively. Funded through the Title III Grant established in 2012, the program was listed as a way of improving retention rate from developmental mathematics courses through college algebra. ALEKS helps tailor course material for students to better understand the content. A Plentywood High School graduate, Sandoval is a huge proponent of the ALEKS program. Though Sandoval is great at math now, he hasn't always excelled in the subject. He recounts his first two years in high school when he struggled with understanding concepts. In his junior year, though, things turned around, and he began enjoying it much more. He gives credit to his teachers, Crystal and Todd Johnson. Now at WSC, ALEKS is helping continue his success in the subject. He admires its direct way of introducing modules, and then allowing room for students to practice application. He values being able to work on the content more independently. If the student has trouble, he says, ALEKS offers different ways of tackling the same topic. "Recognized internationally, ALEKS is becoming one of the requirements for students to be accepted into some colleges and universities, especially in math or science-based programs," states Wanda Meyer, Associate Professor for Mathematics at WSC. Meyer also has good things to say about Sandoval. "The College Algebra course designed by ALEKS contained 530 topics. WSC selected 80% of those that met campus outcomes. [Sandoval} challenged himself to surpass that goal. He's gone above and beyond to reach all goals and objectives for international standards." "I knew from my first day in class that I was going to go for one-hundred percent," says Sandoval. He also credits "amazing" tools available to WSC students, like Blackboard, for improving his student experience. He is currently taking Trigonometry through ALEKS, and adds that given the opportunity, he would definitely opt for more math classes that implement the program. Sandoval follows in the footsteps of many other WSC students who have received such certificates. On track for an Associate's of Science degree, he plans to transfer to Minot State University after graduation to major in Aerospace Engineering or Math. Sandoval has always dreamed of working for NASA, but never thought it was possible. However, his proclivity for math has led him onto a path to achieve his goal. Note: As of Spring 2018, the College Algebra standards at WSC have increased from including 530 topics to 538. An equivalent of 80%, or 450 topics, is needed for a passing grade. For more information on WSC please visit www.willistonstate.edu
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