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It is now generally accepted that many students enter college severely underprepared for their mathematics college courses in terms of basic skills and study habits, and that intervention is expected to overcome these deficiencies. As a result, many mathematics departments nationwide have over the last two decades redesigned their algebra and calculus courses to incorporate technology and active learning in various combinations, some of which have utilized extensive learning space designs. This article is a preliminary report of one Historically Black College or University’s (HBCU) experience with its redesign of the first semester of Calculus for STEM Majors that resulted in a course-wide partial implementation of the Student-Centered Active Learning Environments with Upside-down Pedagogies (SCALE-UP) method. Preliminary results show that the redesign, enabled by institutional and external resource coordination, has led to moderate improvements in course pass rates, from a normal of 40% and below to a new normal of above 50%. The pass/fail student profile suggests that weakness in pre-requisite skills is a major cause of failure.
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