Two Del Mar professors are helping pave the way for a better approach to passing the math TSI test.
Andrea Johnson and Elsa Brown, both instructors of mathematics, released their second book in January. “TSI Math Made Easy” is a self-help study book that was about five years in the making.
“We started noticing a big need, especially around us here at Del Mar,” Brown said. “Eighty percent of incoming freshmen were scoring at the lowest level for remedial math and only 1.7 percent of them were graduating. To put that in perspective: If there’s 3,000 incoming freshman, only 51 of them were graduating. It’s a horrible statistic, but it was reality.”
They started making their own curriculum and opened up their first “Summer Boot Camp” in 2014 to almost immediate success.
“Many students were coming to us who had either failed the TSI multiple times in the past or just couldn’t seem to score high enough for the major they wanted to be in. We worked with them for barely four days and they started passing. We even had one young man come in and study for only three of them! He only came the fourth day to gloat about how good his scores were,” Johnson said with a laugh.
Having success locally, however, only brought a new problem to light. If the TSI is statewide, how do they help students too far away to come to their sessions?
In 2016 they developed an online version to their curriculum that can be found on their website cmathiseasy.com. Now that they have a solid, proven method and the resources to back it up both Brown and Johnson are broadcasting their curriculum statewide with the hopes that they can change the way teaching college-level math is approached.
“The point is that students should be able to easily follow along,” Johnson said. “Just because they’ve made it this far doesn’t mean they understood it all. That’s why we always start them with chapters 1 and 2, our ‘Root Concepts,’ no matter what level they are.”
The pair have both been approached by numerous school districts in the San Antonio, Houston and Dallas areas and are getting “TSI Math Made Easy” in bookstores across the state along with their previous book, “Multiplication Made Easy,” a multiplication self-help book, and “Nursing Math Made Easy,” a math book for nursing students that’s set to be published this August.