Centralia College recently unveiled its new Math Emporium, a one-stop classroom and interactive work space for students in pre-college math classes. The emporium, which is located in the recently remodeled Transitional Services Building (formerly the Student Center), has three levels of learners working together in one-hour blocks, watching online lectures and completing assignments in a friendly, supportive, and self-paced atmosphere.
“It’s a great environment for students to get instant help,” said Lisa Spitzer, one of two instructors who teach in the Math Emporium. “Students can slow down and go their own pace, or they can work ahead. It’s possible for a student to complete two or more classes and only pay for one by working ahead.”
The Math Emporium opened for a single class in January. Two more sessions were offered in March. Starting July 2, summer classes will be a bit longer (80 minutes) and will be offered at 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 4:30 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays. In September, 60-minute classes will be offered at 7, 8, and 11 a.m. and 1 and 4:30 p.m. daily. The sessions are for students who test into MATH 96, 98, and 99, which are the general equivalents to pre-algebra through algebra 2.
“It’s really important for students who need developmental math to see progress quickly,” added Spitzer. “Progressing quickly helps them stay in school. A lot of students have already seen this material before, they just need a refresher.”
In addition to circular desks of computers and whiteboard tables for those with laptops, the new space also has side rooms for more personalized instruction.
“I may notice several students struggling with the same thing,” she said. “I can now pull them all together in a smaller room for mini-lectures or walk them through it with a couple of the tutors. That’s been really helpful. This is a structured, but independent environment. If you need structure, I’m here. If you need independence, you can have it. The Math Emporium really allows for all kinds of leaners to succeed.”
For more information on the Math Emporium or other pre-college classes, including ESL and GED programs, call 360-623-8957 or visit the Odegaard Phoenix Center downstairs in the Transitional Services Building (corner of Centralia College Boulevard and Rock Street).