The REACH program at the University of Louisville was recently selected for the National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA) 2022 President’s Outstanding Learning Center Award for Specialized Populations. Led by Associate Director Carrye Wilkins, the math center at UofL’s Learning Center has accomplished a truly meaningful mission: to close the opportunity/performance gap in undergraduate math students for four consecutive years, proven by no association between GEN 103/104 pass rates and ethnicity.
Additionally, data shows that both minority and non-minority students enrolled in GEN 103/104 are passing at not only similar rates but also higher rates than before the implementation of Hawkes. Using the Certify Learning Path of Hawkes, students are given the flexibility and greater opportunity to succeed. With this flexibility, UofL saw overall pass rates for fall/spring semesters of ’20-21 increase by 38.7% in comparison to the previous academic year.
This concerted effort to level the playing field in undergraduate math is possible through a culmination of dedication and fine-tuned efforts between instructors, tutors, and a mastery-based methodology bolstered by Hawkes Learning’s unique, adaptive platform. Carrye and her right-hand, Assistant Director Kelly Coultas, currently oversee over 1,900 students annually (including 1,000 students in FA2022) in the University’s GEN 103/104 foundational math course, which has utilized Hawkes Learning’s Introductory and Intermediate Algebra textbook, software and Guided Notebook with customized content for since 2016.
While the team at the University of Louisville’s REACH program is honored to have received this award and proud of the success they’ve seen with their own students, they want other learning centers to know that they can see similar successes!
“This is the fourth consecutive year we have demonstrated that our classes help close the opportunity/performance gap.”– 2021-2022 REACH Annual Report, University of Louisville
Here are a few ways that UofL uses Hawkes in its award-winning Learning Center:
- Learn, Practice, Certify Learning Path
The software is self-paced in nature and allows students to move through course content at their own speed, creating a more individualized experience versus a traditional “one size fits all” lecture.
Additionally, Hawkes Learning’s mastery-based homework is inherently equitable for students regardless of their prerequisite knowledge. Unlimited, penalty-free attempts on homework assignments paired with remediation and tutoring built into Practice mode, allows students as much time and help to learn content as they need without being penalized.
- Advanced Learning Aids
Rather than simply telling students when their answer is wrong, Hawkes’ error-specific feedback pinpoints where students went wrong and walk them through the steps to get the right solution. Similarly, REACH students find the “try similar” option helpful in Practice mode to ensure understanding of the problem-solving process.
- Attendance Features
Students in GEN 103/104 are allowed 10 absences over the course of the semester. The built-in attendance features in Hawkes helps holds students accountable and lets instructors identify at-risk students who may be struggling with outside factors. Course coordinators utilize this information to schedule Plan of Action meetings with students who are “off-track” with their course progress.
- Diagnostic Testing
As an intervention course, GEN 103/104 students enter the course at all points on the spectrum. Hawkes’ diagnostic testing with automatic grading allows students to demonstrate proficiency in prerequisite material. For the learning center, this feature saved them from grading over 1,000 pen and paper assessments each term, saving valuable time for instruction.
“The diagnostic abilities of Hawkes are a game changer.”
- Proctoring Solutions
Carrye Wilkins has online students take Hawkes Exams in conjunction with her school’s proctoring service. She credits this with aiding the transition to virtual learning during the pandemic and keeping students honest.
- Easy-to-Use Interface
Both the student and instructor interface make organization simple with clearly-defined requirements, “copy and paste” grade books for each learning center instructor, and the self-accelerated nature of the 3-mode learning path.
It’s no coincidence that over 75% of students who passed University of Louisville’s GEN 103/104 in the summer or fall term of 2021 went on to earn a passing grade in their next credit-level math course!
With the Hawkes mastery mindset, students can access the resources they need to achieve the same level of success as their peers who may have entered the course with stronger foundational knowledge, thus leveling the playing field and supporting equal-opportunity education.