Publication Date

Fall 11-15-2017


At The University of New Mexico (UNM), Intermediate Algebra (MATH 120 and MATH 101-102-103) has historically been a so-called “killer course”, with very low pass rates: approximately 40% in Fall 2009 to Spring 2011 and about 50% from Fall 2011 to Spring 2013. Furthermore, many students failed the class multiple times. Since 2013, a computer system called ALEKS has been used to teach the course and, along with some additional interventions, on Albuquerque/Main campus success rates for MATH 101 have increased to roughly 80% and MATH 102 to about 70%. This thesis provides a strategy to identify those 20-30% as-risk students most likely to need additional support to succeed. By combining data from the UNM Registrar (Grades, ACT scores, and demographics), NM county-level poverty data, and response-level ALEKS assessment and practice metrics, we developed a statistical model that uses data from the first week of class and predicts with almost certainty (1% overall error) whether a student will pass in that semester. This represents another potentially important incremental improvement to a series of successes in redesigning Intermediate Algebra at UNM.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Mathematics & Statistics

First Committee Member (Chair)

Erik Barry Erhardt

Second Committee Member

Terry A. Loring

Third Committee Member

Maria Cristina Pereyra



Document Type