Mathematics, Department of


Date of this Version



Smith, W. M., Lawler, B. R., Bowers, J., & Augustyn, L. (Eds.). (2017).


Success in first-year mathematics courses is essential for students to pursue STEM careers, including teaching careers. We investigate a mastery activity given during the first two weeks of a first-year calculus course at the research site. Previous work showed a model using this activity in College Algebra, together with ACT and high school rank, was predictive of student success in precalculus. Here we do a similar analysis for such an activity in calculus, including an intervention for students who do not complete the activity. We also investigate the intervention’s effectiveness. These results show that the early mastery activity, especially when combined with other indicators of mathematics readiness, is useful in identifying students at risk of failing calculus. Moreover, descriptive statistics suggest that students who participate in the intervention are more successful than expected, based on their academic backgrounds and other college grades.