SCC Press Release

New Program at SCC Helps Students Achieve Math Proficiency

SCC Learning Specialist Donna Logan helps Respiratory Care student Maria Welch learn SCC's new online PLATO softwareWhen it comes to making the commitment to go to college, people young and old have a certain amount of anxiety. One of the most common fears cited by students is taking math classes. While most advanced math concepts are not used in everyday life, math plays a vital role in developing quantitative thinking and problem solving skills. What's more, math skills of some sort are required in every career field. This puts successful completion of math courses high on the list of importance for obtaining a college degree. In an effort to help students overcome their anxieties and meet their math requirements, Southeastern Community College recently launched the Open Door Project.

The Open Door Project is specifically designed to help students with math and other learning skills. Funded by a grant from the United States Department of Education, the Open Door Project uses a variety of supportive learning tools to help students succeed in their math courses. The primary tool used by project learning specialists is a piece of computer software called PLATO.

SCC's Open Door Project Learning Lab Specialist Michael Corey explains that PLATO is an online program that teaches students math concepts using three easy steps. First, students go through a tutorial that explains a particular lesson in detail. Step two allows them to work practice problems. If they have difficulty with something in the module, they can go back and retake the tutorial before proceeding. The final step consists of a mastery test. Once the module is completed, the results are scored and recorded within the PLATO system.

Studies show that the more successful students are at college, the more likely they are to stay in school. By using educational tools like PLATO to help students build math skills, the Open Door Project aims to ensure more students graduate with college transfer and career program degrees.

"A lot of people dread the thought of having to take a math class. Some may have had a bad experience in high school or just think it's too hard or abstract. Others just aren't prepared. PLATO makes it easier for us to help them learn what they need to know," says Corey.

SCC Math Instructor Rob Dengler says that the College has always provided tutors and resources to students for help with math. However most were only accessible on campus during regular school hours. Since PLATO modules are delivered online, students have the flexibility to take them wherever and whenever it is convenient for them.

"It's a great way to accommodate students who need this kind of instruction. The easier we can make it for them to take the modules, the better chance they have of learning the concepts and ultimately passing the class."

For more information about SCC's Open Door Project, contact Donna Logan at 208-5294,, or Michael Corey at 208-5295,



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