For over 20 years, the Math Learning Center has served as a launching pad of dreams.
“I want to work for NASA or Space X one day,” said Jessica Lybarger, who’s been coming to the center for over two years. “They’re super helpful and they’re always right there to help. The instructors are great at breaking down a problem and giving me different methods for figuring out a solution. I even get ahead of my class curriculum, which is pretty cool.”
The center comes fully equipped with iPads, Surface Pro tablets, graphing calculators, instructional smart boards and more.
The facility has been in operation since spring 1996. David Longnecker, the center’s supervisor, said he wants to give his students the tools of the trade to promote independent learning.
“I want my students to become students for life,” Longnecker said. “Take it one day at a time. One step at a time. Don’t make a problem more complicated than it should be. There’s always a solution.”
With lifelong scholars like Longnecker on hand, the lessons taught in the center transcend just mathematics. They improve students in general.
This seems to be the norm for the center. The tutors come from diverse educational backgrounds with their common denominator being a passion for mathematics.
“We have a staff of great people from different realms. Some are instructors, some are students, and we even have professionals from the field,” said assistant instructor Moriah Hovey.
“It’s always good to have someone who can tell you what the practical field and entails. We have a tutor who works at the Naval Air Station. One of our former actually went on to work contractually for NASA. So with the right work and dedication you can literally go into space from here,” Hovey said.
Robert Moreno, a tutor at the center, is pursuing a degree in engineering from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, offers some advice to students.
“I know it sounds cliché but just chase your dreams,” Moreno said. “A childhood dream of mine has always been to work for NASA and fly into space. I love aeronautics and that’s still the plan. And honestly, with the right dedication and focus I don’t see why you shouldn’t get there.”
Lybarger said she loves how comfortable and relaxed the atmosphere is.
“Everyone in here is real cool and so it’s not awkward or anything. The instructors actually want me to learn. They make it simple. It’s real state of the art so there’s always some sort of resource for aide.”
The Math Learning Center is located in Room 117 of the Coles Building on East Campus. Call 361-698-1579 for more information. On West Campus, math help is available in Room 203 of Health Sciences Building 1. Call 361-698-1860 for more information.