In The Signpost’s Jan. 12 article “Developmental math changes” Weber State University’s program was described as “leading the way” in developmental math.

With the utmost humility, I must respectfully disagree. The Developmental Math Program here at Weber State University is the most feared animal in the state.

The reputation is so bleak that students are guided to get their math done before coming to Weber by current and former students, as well as mentors away from the university.

I personally know students who have repeated math classes more than four times and were contemplating leaving school as failures.

This is wrong.  Who is the benefactor? I did not appreciate the comment that deadlines “… were implemented to help improve the TERM program by eliminating procrastination.”

For one, I am a 57-year-old nontraditional student who returned to school after a 27-year stint in service to my country. I had not had formal math in over 35 years and tested into Math 990. I then became a fixture in the Davis Campus Mathematics Hub. I noted that I had logged 230 hours in the Hub during my Math 1010 experience. So, was I a procrastinator or a student in need of a program that wanted to ensure my success?

If it wasn’t for the caring dedication of two very special professors, my math experience would have been disastrous.

Professors Pam Schilling and John Thaeler gave more than the Hub time or office hour support. Both identified my limitations and guided me towards successful completion of my math experience. Yes, I did ask for help, because I knew how. What about the young freshman or returning nontrad who doesn’t? Honestly, I believe a deeper look should be taken to improve the math success rate of our 125-year-old institution.

Maybe consideration should be made to put the professors and students back in the classroom, without the gimmick of being an alternative to the progressive, developmental, computer-based and flipped classes we are currently experiencing.

For those students who want a computer-based, work in your jammies class… offer it! For the rest of us who appreciate the years of investment our professors made to hone their craft; give us our classrooms back. Please don’t look for ways to hold our feet to the fire because we are lazy. Look for ways to make our institution the preferred education destination for the hungry students of our great state.

Please don’t take the humanity and compassion away from our professors, and please don’t make a very difficult program an impossible one.


Richard P. Evans, Jr.

Non-Traditional Senior


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