Math Jam - Cañada College

Canada College
Academic Level
Issue Area
Academic Program
Program Focus
Developmental Coursework,


Math Jam’s primary goal is to reduce the completion time for an associate's degree and/or transfer to a 4-year institution. They aim to achieve their goal by improving students' readiness for college-level math courses, providing students with skills and tools to be successful STEM students, and develop a community of learners among Math Jam participants.

Program Description

In 2009, Cañada College created the Math Jam to address the low level of math preparation of underrepresented students studying STEM, allowing students to “test out” of math courses. Initially, the program was designed as an intensive math-placement preparation and has since evolved into a campus-wide math-success program, serving students in Pre-Algebra through Advanced Calculus. Participants become connected with faculty, tutors, peers, and the STEM Center, further strengthening student engagement and course success rates in subsequent college coursework. Math Jam is offered three times per year (January, June, and August) with daytime and evening sessions to accommodate student work schedules and family obligations. 


Math Jam has served over 1000 students since its inception in 2009, growing from 50 students in 2009 to 482 in 2012.

They use three primary indicators to measure effectiveness:

  1. Jump Rates: an average of 62% of Math Jam participants who retook the math placement test “jumped” to the next level math course or higher.
  2. Retention & Success: Analysis of students’ performance in next semester math courses shows significantly higher retention (93% vs. 77%) and success (77% vs. 53%) rates among Math Jam participants compared to non-participants and among Hispanic participants versus Hispanic non-participants (Retention: 94% vs. 75% and Success: 74% vs. 47%). Seventy-eight percent of the 2009 Math Jam cohort remain enrolled after four semesters vs. 32% of all first-time students.
  3. STEM enrollment: The total number of students enrolled in STEM courses went from 2,074 in 2008 to 2,974 in 2012, a 43% increase. Enrollment in STEM transfer-level courses has increased: math +189%, chemistry +148%, engineering +126%, physics +69.3%, and biology +24.5%. The percentage increase in minority student enrollment in these courses is significantly higher for both engineering  233.3% for minority vs. 87.8% for non-minority and mathematics 224.4% for minority vs. 173.3% for non-minority.

2024 Call for Nominations: Nominations are open from February1 to March 15