Pilot program preps high school students for college math

Rocco Cornacchia and Julie DelMedico of Herkimer College met with Herkimer juniors earlier this month as part of a pilot program that aims to ensure graduating seniors are ready for college-level study in mathematics.

“We came here to torture you with some math problems,” Cornacchia joked as he began writing equations on an interactive whiteboard in the Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School STEM Lab.

Cornacchia and DelMedico visited Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School on April 14 to help juniors prepare for a mathematics placement test at Herkimer College on April 26.

According to Cornacchia, more than half the students who arrive at Herkimer College and take the 40-question placement test will wind up having to take a non-credit, developmental math class before they can begin earning college math credits.

And that, Cornacchia explained, can cost students valuable time — and money.

But by taking the placement test as juniors, Herkimer High School students will have the opportunity to get ahead of the curve.

Beginning in the fall, the high school will offer a developmental math class similar to the one offered at Herkimer College.

“Students going to Herkimer College upon graduation will then have that requirement fulfilled and be able to register for credit-bearing math class and be on track with college course work,” guidance counselors Carolyn LaSalle and Suzanne Rodio explained in a letter to junior parents.

The ultimate goal, Cornacchi and DelMedico explained, is to help students be as fully prepared as possible for what lies ahead after graduation.

For more information about the math placement tests, contact the school counselors at  at 315-866-2230, ext. 1318, or email clasalle@herkimercsd.org or srodio@herkimercsd.org.