FIU opens gateways with new Mastery Math Lab

FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg, College of Arts & Sciences Dean Kenneth G. Furton, Student Government Association President Laura Farinas and members of the university community dedicated FIU’s new state-of-the-art Mastery Math Lab earlier this month.

Located in room 263 of the Green Library, the lab is a key component of FIU’s five-year Title V project “Opening the Gateways,” a high-tech, high-touch approach to improving student performance.

Students in intermediate and college algebra courses are required to attend sessions in the lab weekly.

“We structured both courses in such a way that students must complete a set of problems every week and take a quiz to check how well they mastered the concepts and skills,” said instructor Anna Wlodarczyk-Meziani. “The Math Lab provides a quiet place, free of distractions, where students can focus on doing mathematics and receive immediate help from trained tutors – called learning assistants – and instructors.”

Approximately 1,600 students currently attend sessions throughout the week in the new lab, which was funded by the university’s technology fee. It is equipped with more than 200 computers and staffed full-time with learning assistants.

“The main goal of the redesign is to increase success rate in these two courses. We hope to achieve this by increasing students’ time on task and by providing the resources that are needed,” Wlodarczyk-Meziani said. “I hope that the students will also realize that success in college courses, especially math courses, requires systematic work and time commitment.”

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