Revitalizing & Expanding the Preparing for University Mathematics Program

Revitalizing & Expanding the Preparing for University Mathematics Program 

  • Professor Sarah Mayes-Tang, Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Arts & Science

Abstract

To better prepare students at U of T to engage in math courses, with the support of the Department of Mathematics and the Faculty of Arts & Science, we propose to revitalize the Preparing for University Mathematics Program (PUMP) with two components: an updated on-campus course, and a series of online modules that any incoming or current student can access online. The purpose of the programs are as follows:  

  • Ensure that students are well-prepared for first-year calculus by building their understanding of pre-university math
  • Develop confidence in students that they are prepared for first-year calculus courses 
  • Make our pre-university and first-year math courses more accessible 
  • Attract more diverse and non-traditional students to math, such as academic bridging students and Indigenous students. 

First-year math courses are key to the success of students pursuing STEM and quantitative social science programs of study. Many students, however, have a difficult time completing these courses and they stand in the way of them pursuing the degree they intended. Recently, the Department of Mathematics has focused on the redesign of first-year courses, implementing student-centred teaching methods, responding to the changing needs of science and other related programs. Focus has also been placed on incorporating technology in new ways and introducing training for TAs and instructors. The current PUMP is no longer aligned with the redesigned courses. The number of students the Department teaches has more than doubled in the past decade, but the PUMP program has a relatively small capacity of around 100 students per year. Furthermore, we recognize the need to provide an alternative for students who do not live in Toronto, do not require a full course of preparation, or cannot afford to move to Toronto before the Fall term and/or pay for a non-credit course.