It takes a community to educate a diverse student population. Community college students bring many different life experiences to our classrooms, some of which can certainly hinder student success. With mature returning students, there also appears to be a level of fear motivated by the thought of sitting in a classroom with a much younger student population. But yet, once a returning student overcomes this fear and succeeds in a developmental math course, it is not uncommon for them to realize that they have been applying basic mathematics in everyday tasks throughout their entire life. They become more aware of its value and begin to see math, not only as a subject to be learned, but as a necessary part of a learning culture where one improves the quality of their lives.
The following is an interview of a returning student talking about his experience coming to back to school after many years. This student was never enrolled in any of my courses but it does appear that the website was able to support the student both academically and emotionally. This could be an example of how technology can be integrated into a learning community that supports student success.
Student Interview (wma)
Student Interview (mp3)