Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus hosted their annual STEM-UP Academy June 11-23. The academy, also known as College Success Camp, gave incoming 2017-18 freshmen a firsthand look at college life, including living on campus, social engagement and academic success development.
“We feel that it’s important that we give students a glimpse of college life before they actually enroll in the fall semester,” said Jonathan Townes, STEM program coordinator. “It is important for students to engage with other students with similar interest as their own. This camp allows them to build positive relationship with fellow students who are going down the same path as they are, but also giving them the mindset that they need to succeed going into the fall semester.”
Participating students enjoyed activities that focused on Building Math Skills, Building Learning Communities and Teamwork. Daily sessions began at 8:30 a.m. and would last until 8 p.m., giving students long, full days to work on Pre-tests, Modules and completing work in the open labs.
STEM-UP/ College Success Camp is a condensed mixture of five 16-week mathematical courses into 10 days. The accelerated camp housed 19 participants, all required to live and learn on the Utica Campus.The program demanded full focus and consistency of the students who were engulfed in none stop lessons and testing in Mathematics.
The main focal point is algebra, which is a subject that most students struggle with in college.
“This program sharpened me,” said incoming freshman Hezekiah Williams of Edwards. “I took advanced math classes in high school. My curriculum was Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry and then trigonometry. All of the algebra became buried under the extras. This program sharpened me to the point where all of the algebra is back in the front of my mind.”
STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is important because it pervades every part of life. Science and technology endeavors grow daily while engineering and math skills persist in our constant way of life. Being able to calculate daily tasks using algebra and calculus matters when you are building highways and balancing checkbooks.
“The STEM-UP College Success Camp helps students to be strong mathematicians,” said Dr. Mitchell Shears, Director of Title III and Sponsored Grants. “This support system is coupled with math coaches and mentors to students to ensure that they are confident in their mathematical responses and can validate their answers.
“We encourage our STEM majors to take math courses beyond college algebra. We offer Statistics, Pre-Calculus and Calculus to our students in the STEM program and the College Success Camp helps them to overcome any barriers and challenges,” Shears said. “Additionally, this camp helps students to build relationships with other incoming freshmen by becoming members of a cohort who all have the same goal, which is to continue their STEM studies at a four-year institution after graduating with their associate’s degree.”
Hinds Community College is celebrating its 100th year of Community Inspired Service in 2017. Hinds opened in September 1917 first as an agricultural high school and admitted college students for the first time in 1922, with the first class graduating in 1927. In 1982 Hinds Junior College and Utica Junior College merged, creating the Hinds Community College District. Today, as Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution with six locations. Hinds offers quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.
Hinds CC Utica Campus STEM-UP brings in incoming freshmen.