Expectation Agreement

Fundamentals of Conceptual Understanding & Success (FOCUS) is a program designed to help struggling students succeed in college level mathematics. The FOCUS program is intensive and requires students to adhere to high standards. The expectations and requirements for the program can be broken down into 4 areas: Programmatic, Academic, Materials, and Assessment.

Programmatic:

Application

  • Complete and submit an online application to the FOCUS program
  • Agree to the Data Consent
  • Agree to the Terms and Conditions
  • Certify that all information in your application is factual, to the best of your knowledge

Admittance

  • One attempt at the FOCUS program will be permitted per student
  • Students who drop, withdraw, or quit may not reapply for future attempts

 Expectation Agreement

  • Initial each page of the Expectation Agreement (download this document here)
  • Sign the final page of the Expectation Agreement 
  • Turn in the Expectation Agreement to the FOCUS program at the FOCUS Orientation.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is extremely important to the successful completion of this course.  Because of this, the FOCUS program has very strict attendance requirements and significant penalties.

Attendance Requirements

  • Attendance is taken in your Core Math Course, Developmental Math Course, Learning Support, and Workshop Seminars
  • You are allowed a cumulative total of 3 unexcused absences over the term
    • 3 absences total between your Core Math Course, Developmental Math Course, Learning Support, and Workshop Seminars
    • NOT 3 absences in each
  • Absences are counted by class, not by day, e.g., if you miss two classes on a Friday, that is 2 absences, not 1
  • Three tardies will count as 1 absence
  • Absences may be excused and not count towards your total under the following circumstances:
    • Injury or illness requiring treatment at home or in a hospital
    • Death of a family member
    • Required participation in a University-sponsored activity
    • A field trip or off-campus activity required for a non-elective course essential to the student's degree program
    • Required participation in active military service
    • Required court dates
    • Official religious Holy Days
  • To have an absence excused, students must provide appropriate documentation to the instructor for the 1000-level course. If you are absent for 3 or more days in a row fill out a Absence Notification Request Form and send it to the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will then email the excused absence information to the student’s instructor. Ask The Dean of Students Office to copy the focus@shsu.edu email.
  • Excessive excused absences may result in a failing grade (F) in both courses.

Attendance Penalties

  • After the third unexcused absence, a student will receive a failing grade in both FOCUS courses. 
  • Before the 12th class day, a student may drop both FOCUS courses and enroll in a traditional Math 0332 class.
  • After the 12th class day a student may drop their core math course but, per university policy, CANNOT drop Math 0332. If a FOCUS student drops their core math course after the 12th class day, passing Math 0332 WILL NOT be possible because of the structure of the FOCUS program. If a student is considering dropping their core math course, they should speak to their instructors before doing so to make sure that this is in their best interest. 

Academic:

The program consists of 4 components: the Core Mathematics Course is supported by Learning Support, Developmental Mathematics, and Academic Support.

Core Mathematics Course Expectations

  • Participation in classroom instruction
  • Adherence to the FOCUS Syllabus (provided by your instructor)
  • Adherence FOCUS Attendance Policy

Developmental Mathematics Expectations

  • Participation in classroom instruction
  • Adherence to the FOCUS Syllabus (provided by your instructor)
  • Adherence FOCUS Attendance Policy

Learning Support Expectations

  • Participation in classroom instruction
  • Adherence to the FOCUS Syllabus (provided by your instructor)
  • Adherence FOCUS Attendance Policy
  • PROGRESS CHECK: Present an up-to-date Learning Support log for a progress check at the Workshop Seminar

Academic Support Expectations

Tutoring

  • 2 hours a week with an approved tutoring source while working on FOCUS course material
    • Approved tutoring sources are listed in the materials you received with your syllabus.
  • PROGRESS CHECK: Present an up-to-date tutoring log for a progress check at the Workshop Seminar

Mentoring

  • 1 monthly meeting with an approved mentoring source
    • Approved mentoring sources are listed in the materials you received with your syllabus.
  • PROGRESS CHECK: Present an up-to-date mentoring log for a progress check at the Workshop Seminar

Advising

  • One meeting with your Academic Advisor during the term
    • A list Academic Advisors can be found in the materials you received with your syllabus.

Counseling

  • Receive a list of counseling events
    • A list counseling events can be found in the materials you received with your syllabus
  • While the FOCUS program cannot require you to attend counseling events, we highly encourage you to take advantage of all of the resources that Sam Houston State University offers
  • Sign the Counseling Materials Acknowledgement

Workshop Seminars

  • Attend the FOCUS Orientation and FOCUS workshops. These dates will be provided at a later date.

Communication with Program Staff

  • Send 1 email per month to focus@shsu.edu about how you are doing as a FOCUS student. Also include how you are doing in general as a student at Sam Houston State University.

Outreach Activities

  • Provide the FOCUS program with up-to-date contact information when you finish the program so that we may contact you about future outreach activities

Evaluations:

The Center for Mathematics Readiness collects data about the FOCUS program and the students in the program so the curriculum can be tailored to address the needs of the students. These assessments do not affect GPA or course grades. 

  • Complete the THEA, the LASSI, Student Success Survey, and the MARS-S during the allotted timeframe
  • Pay a $100.00 assessment fee before taking any assessments. This fee will automatically be added to your SHSU tution bill when you enroll in the FOCUS courses.

Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA)

  • You will need to sign up for a time slot and come to take the assessment
  • Pre-test required
    • Dates and times to be announced after registration
  • Post-test required
    • Dates and times to be announced during the 3rd week of the session
  • Calculators will be provided for this assessment

Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI)

  • You will take this assessment online
  • Pre-test required
    • Deadlines and instructions to be announced after registration
  • Post-test required
    • Deadlines and instructions to be announced during the 3rd week of the session

Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale - Short (MARS-S)

  • You will take this assessment online
  • Pre-test required
    • Deadlines and instructions to be announced after registration
  • Post-test required
    • Deadlines and instructions to be announced during the 3rd week of the session

Student Success Survey

  • You will take this assessment online
  • Deadlines and instructions to be announced after registration

Materials:

The FOCUS program materials can be purchased through the university bookstore or another retailer. 

  • Purchase of the materials below is required
  • The materials required include:
    • Developmental Mathematics Textbook (ebook available)
    • Credit-bearing textbook (ebook available)
    • TI-83 Calculator (if a student is unable to afford a graphing calculator there are a limited number available for check out from the math department office)
    • Student Workbook
  • Students may keep all non-loaner items
  • Loaned calculators must be returned at the end of the program
    •  If loaned materials are lost or damaged, students will be charged full retail price, a penalty fee, and a hold may be placed on student records until payment is confirmed

Signed Agreement:

I understand that:

  • Failure to comply with these requests will affect my status in the program.
  • Additional data may be requested.
  • I am responsible for purchasing the required materials.
    •  I must return any calculators loaned to me in the condition I received them upon leaving the program or immediately following my final exam.
    •  A hold may be placed on my records for failure to return items owned by the Math department. 
    • I am responsible for reimbursement of the full retail price and subject to a penalty fee for damaged or missing items.
  • I am responsible for paying the assessment fee prior to any testing.
  • Failure to complete the required assessments will result in a penalty fee.
  • A hold will be placed on my records until any and all fees are paid.
  • Failure to follow the attendance policy will result in failing both courses. This includes excessive tardiness.
  • I will be on my best behavior and have a positive attitude in the program.
  • The FOCUS program will not pay tuition and fees for the course.
  • The FOCUS program has no jurisdiction or influence over the Financial Aid Office and its policies.

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