Does your college have a math concierge?

The Math Emporium, located on the campus of Rio Salado College in Phoenix, Arizona, is an informal, cafe-style study and practice space to help students navigate basic math. But that’s not all. The emporium is staffed by a math “concierge” who acts as tutor, small-group presenter, and coach.

As with many community colleges, some Rio Salado students tend to be older than the average college student and/or some left high school early, so they have little memory or knowledge of math concepts. “Less than 20 percent of students can get into and pass a college-level math class,” says John Jensen, faculty chair of mathematics. “A lot of them need practice with lower-level and developmental math; they simply lost [the knowledge] due to lack of use.”

Rather than letting those students get stuck in remedial classes that might block them from reaching higher academic goals, the college decided to try something new.…Read More