Triton Freshman Scholars Program

Triton Freshman Scholars is a transition program that begins with an 8-week residential component July through August and continues throughout the academic year.

During 8-week program, you will live on campus, earn 8 units of college credit, and develop a higher level of academic skills and abilities, all at no monetary cost to you.

We offer students The Triton Freshman Scholars program, which is an 8-week program in which students take the course, Language and Learning in the American Academy and one of five UCSD courses in mathematics (described below).  

The Triton Freshman Scholars program is designed in collaboration with the Mathematics Department and the Divisions of Arts & Humanities , Analytical Writing Program, and the Teaching + Learning Commons to provide students whose college majors and/or colleges require calculus and analytical writing a chance to take their first math class and to hone their quantitative and critical reading and writing, and learning skills, at UC San Diego in small class environments.  Students will have some of the best teachers in the Mathematics and Arts & Humanities Department for professors, but also have considerable additional content help from Supplemental Instruction Leaders and Tutors inside and outside the classroom.

The Triton Freshman Scholars program will challenge you, give you more confidence, provide you with knowledge about the campus, and help you feel at home at UC San Diego.

Duration: Sunday, July 1st - Saturday, August 25th

 Students are required to enroll in 2 credit-bearing courses: 

  1. Math Course - see below for course description and prerequisites
    • Math 2: Introduction to College Mathematics (4 units)
    • Math 3C: Precalculus (4 units)
    • Math 4C: Precalculus for Science and Engineering (4 units)
    • Math 10A: Calculus I (4 units)
    • Math 20A: Calculus I for Science and Engineering (4 units)
  2. Literacy and Communication Course - see below for course description
    • AWP 10: Language and Learning in the American Academy (4 units) (required for all students)

Coursework is supported through Supplemental Instruction and Math and Writing tutoring. 

Applications open March 16th and closes May 15th. See below for more information!

The 2017-18 academic year support includes the following through the efforts of the Triton Achievement Partners:

  • Encourage Students’ Engagement
    • Triton Achievement Partners, in collaboration with academic departments, residence life staff, student government associations, campus organizations, etc., will conduct small group meetings and deliver programs such as metacognition-based learning strategy and exam preparation workshops, and will co-sponsor programs and activities conducted by other campus units (e.g., a health and wellness discussions presented by CAPs).
  • Engage students in purposeful intervention strategies
    • Triton Achievement Partners will utilize the knowledge of the phases of student development during the first year of college to understand and meet students where they are and help them to develop more fully as a college students and as individuals.
  • Facilitate connections between first-year students and the university community
    • Triton Achievement Partners, through the existing First Generation Faculty Initiative, will organize informal meetings between first-generation faculty and Triton Freshman Scholars Program students.
  • Introduce life skills integral to college success
    • Triton Achievement Partners will – in partnership with CAPS, community centers, and other campus partners – co-sponsor activities to teach life skills, such as stress-reduction and time management strategies, as well as to increase a sense of belonging.
  • Enable students to develop their social and cultural capital
    • Triton Achievement Partners will introduce students to academic resources and contacts and will engage students in how to take advantage of those resources.
    • Triton Achievement Partners will assist first-year students in understanding and making sense of the university’s cultures, including confronting, integrating, or adopting its values.

Description of Program

Triton Freshman Scholars Program

The Triton Freshman Scholars students enroll in 2 credit-bearing courses over the course of this 8-week program. The 8 units of credit earned include required units that fulfill a portion of the mathematics requirement for your college and/or major and elective units applied to your total credits for graduation.

The Triton Freshman Scholars offers students in majors that require calculus such as science, engineering, and mathematics and some majors in the social sciences such as economics and cognitive science the opportunity to enroll in their first college-level math class.  Triton Freshman Scholars offers this first mathematics course in a small class environment (30-40 students) as opposed to the large lecture environment that is common in math classes during fall, winter, and spring quarters.  These classes emphasize conceptual understanding which prepare students to be successful in subsequent courses in the calculus sequence and will be taught by some of the best instructors in the Math Department. In addition, academic support for the math courses is provided by Supplemental Instruction and Tutoring.

Students may enroll in one of five courses: Math 2, Math 3C, Math 4C, Math 10A and Math 20A based on their determined math placement.  Math 2 (Introduction to College Mathematics) prepares students for success in precalculus. Math 3C (Precalculus) and Math 10A (Calculus) are generally taken by students in Biology and the Social Sciences. Math 4C (Precalculus) and Math 20A (Calculus) are generally taken by students in Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Students receive support outside the lecture with highly trained undergraduate Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leaders and Math Tutors. SI Leaders in the required attendance SI sessions, engage students in collaborative learning sessions to support deeper understanding and success in the content of mathematics.  Tutoring is offered as additional support to students outside of the Supplemental Instruction sessions.  Students enrolled in Triton Freshman Scholars program have higher access to completing lower division math prerequisites, which makes it easier to complete the requirements of their major in four years. 

The Triton Freshman Scholars offers students the opportunity to enroll in a critical reading and writing course, Language and Learning in the American Academy, that will build skills necessary for all levels of writing and enhance reading skills and strategies that are essential to University of California (UC), San Diego, college writing programs and majors. This course will introduce you to the expectations for student writing at UC San Diego through an exploration of scholarly reading and writing.

Students receive support inside the Language and Learning in the American Academy course with embedded peer writing tutors.  The tutors will also be available for one-on-one appointments and drop in sessions during the 8-week program.  We have evidence that students that complete this course during the summer have higher success rates in their first year writing courses.

Triton Freshman Scholars Courses

Triton Freshman Scholars students enroll in Language and Learning in the American Academy and one math course.  Enrollment in math courses is determined by UCSD math course placement criteria (see Math Testing and Placement).   Course descriptions for the offered courses are provided below:

Language and Learning in the American Academy  (4 units): 

Inquiry is an important part of academic work and is central to the academic culture at UC San Diego. Good writing at the university level depends on inquiry—and thus a strong understanding of how knowledge is generated, how evidence is used, and how conclusions are drawn.

Even as this course explores the university’s expectations and practices, it will also consider how these expectations challenge different students in different ways. Despite its interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion, the university can sometimes be a homogenizing force that requires students to conform to its ideas of success rather than allowing students to articulate their own standards. Several questions arise. As it develops its standards for success, does the university sufficiently accommodate different languages, learning styles, educational histories, and cultural backgrounds? Does its definition of success fully consider differences in students’ racial, gender, and socio-economic identities? Or does the university ask students to “flatten” what makes them different in order to succeed? And if the latter, should students assimilate? Should they resist? Or should they work to change the university’s standards and practices? How?

To address these questions, students will read and write extensively about education and success. The readings will draw from authors who explore how their racial, socio-economic, and linguistic identities informed their educational experiences. Some of the authors students will be reading are members of groups who are well represented at American universities; others are members of groups who are traditionally under-represented; still others come from entirely different cultures. The reading and writing assignments will be carefully scaffolded to help you understand your own cultural and linguistic identity and to critique your relationship to the dominant narratives of success that inform university standards and practices.

Math 2, Math 3C, 4C, 10A, or 20A

  • Math 2: Introduction to College Mathematics (4 units): A highly adaptive course designed to build on students’ strengths while increasing overall mathematical understanding and skill. This multi-modality course will focus on several topics of study designed to develop conceptual understanding and mathematical relevance: linear relationships; exponents and polynomials; rational expressions and equations; models of quadratic and polynomial functions and radical equations; exponential and logarithmic functions; and geometry and trigonometry. Placement determined by Math Placement Exam.
  • Math 3C Precalculus (4 units) - Functions and their graphs. Linear and polynomial functions, zeroes, inverse functions, exponential and logarithmic, trigonometric functions and their inverses. Emphasis on understanding algebraic, numerical and graphical approaches making use of graphing calculators. (No credit given if taken after Math 4C, 10A, or 20A.) Three or more years of high school mathematics or equivalent recommended. Prerequisites: Math Placement Exam qualifying score.
  • Math 4C. Precalculus for Science and Engineering (4 units) - Review of polynomials. Graphing functions and relations: graphing rational functions, effects of linear changes of coordinates. Circular functions and right triangle trigonometry. Reinforcement of function concept: exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Vectors. Conic sections. Polar coordinates. Three lectures, one recitation. (No credit given if taken after 10A or 20A. Two units of credit given if taken after Math 3C.) Prerequisites: Math Placement Exam qualifying score, or SAT II Math Level 2 score of 600 or higher, or Math 3C with a grade of C– or better.
  • Math 10A. Calculus I (4 units) - Differential calculus of functions of one variable, with applications. Functions, graphs, continuity, limits, derivatives, tangent lines, optimization problems. (No credit given if taken after or concurrent with Math 20A.) Prerequisites: Math Placement Exam qualifying score, or AP Calculus AB score of 2, or SAT II Math Level 2 score of 600 or higher, or Math 3C, or Math 4C.
  • Math 20A. Calculus for Science and Engineering (4 units) - Foundations of differential and integral calculus of one variable. Functions, graphs, continuity, limits, derivative, tangent line. Applications with algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Introduction to the integral. (Two credits given if taken after Math 10A and no credit given if taken after Math 10B or Math 10C. Formerly numbered Math 2A.) Prerequisites: Math Placement Exam qualifying score, or AP Calculus AB score of 3 (or equivalent AB sub score on BC exam), or SAT II Math 2C score of 650 or higher, or Math 4C with a grade of C– or better, or Math 10A with a grade of C– or better.

Requirements and Placement

Requirements and Placement

1. Students are places based on their Math Placement Exam (MPE) scores, AP/IB or SAT scores. More information can be found in the FAQ portion of this site!

2. Students must submit their Accept your Offer of Admission to UCSD for Fall 2018.

3. Students must apply online at http://summer.ucsd.edu/success/ through the Summer Success Programs Common Application. 

Academic Support

  • Supplemental Instruction, Math Tutoring, and Writing Tutoring
  • To improve students’ development of self-determination within the context of their diverse backgrounds and promote positive students’ attitudes toward math by furthering their math knowledge and skills.
  • Learning Strategists (Metacognition Tutoring Program) supporting all students in building successful learning strategies to meet the academic rigor of university courses
  • Mindset and Behavior development workshops and one-one-one appointments with Metacognition Tutors (Learning Strategists)
  • Peer Mentors to build social, academic, and instutional knowledge.
  • Getting to know the campus (this includes campus excursions; meeting and interacting with faculty; learning about advising structure and meeting college and major advisors; campus resources etc.)
  • Research Careers transition workshop or the Careers in Science and Math workshop - STEM success preparation for university level courses and obtaining institutional and social capital
  • Faculty-led and/or Graduate Student-led Career Exploration Sessions

Program Setting & Environment

  • Triton Freshman Scholars Program offers mathematics and writing courses in a small class environment (30-40 students) as opposed to the large lecture environment that is common in math/writing courses during fall. These classes emphasize conceptual understanding which prepare students to be successful in subsequent courses in the calculus sequence and other writing courses.
  • In addition, academic support for the math and writing courses is provided by Supplemental Instruction (only math) and Tutoring. Students enrolled in theTriton Freshman Scholars Program have higher access to completing lower division math and writing prerequisites which makes it easier to complete the requirements of their major in four years.
  • Additionally, this program is a residential-based summer success program. Students will have the opportunity to participate in non-course-based program components designed to improve students’ transition to college and to UC San Diego. They will develop a sense of belonging to the campus, be introduced to the campus community and further improve their development.

FAQ

Program

Why should I take a math course in the summer?

The Triton Freshman Scholars program supports students’ mathematical preparation and success in the following ways: 

  • The courses are designed to bridge students’ high school-level math experiences to the expectations of college-level math courses.
  • Students in the Triton Freshman Scholars program receive specifically targeted, high-level support in their math courses.
  • Students will receive more personalized instruction in the small classes with approximately 30-40 students per class. Precalculus and calculus courses taught during the regular school year are much larger with typical lecture sizes ranging from 200 to 400. Moreover, you will get some of the best teachers on campus. 
  • The specific support for your courses are facilitated by highly trained undergraduate Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leaders with an approximate ratio of one SI Leader for each 10 students along with math content tutors.

Additionally, taking a math course during the summer will help with the time to degree as many majors on campus have math requirements.  Completing the math requirements early make it easier for you to schedule and enroll in more advanced courses in your major.

What class should I enroll in for Triton Freshman Scholars?

There are two series of calculus courses at UCSD the Math 10 series and the Math 20 series.  These series and pathways are defined below:

  • Math 10A/B/C are standard calculus courses for Biology and non-STEM majors
  • Math 20A/B/C are calculus courses for math, science, and engineering majors
  • Math 3C is the precalculus course that prepares students for Math 10A
  • Math 4C is the precalculus course that prepares students for Math 20A
  • Math 2 is the preparatory course that prepares students for Math 3C

Application

When can I apply to the Triton Freshman Scholars Program?

Applications open March 16th and closes May 15th. Space is limited and application will be considered during the open application timeline on a rolling basis. 

Where can I apply to the Triton Freshman Scholars Program? 

You may apply online. The link to the application can be found HERE - https://summersuccessprograms.ucsd.edu/.

Entry Exams

When is the Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) and do I need to take the AWPE for the Triton Freshman Scholars Program?

The exam is administered in May by the UC system, not by UC San Diego. The UC system requires that the students take this exam before they begin in the fall if they have not cleared the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) some other way. Students can get a waiver for the fee if they received a waiver for the UC application fee.

Triton Freshman Scholars Program is prepared to work with all students—ones who pass the AWPE and ones that have not. There is no writing placement exam or requirement for theTriton Freshman Scholars Program, but students who plan to attend UC San Diego and have not cleared the ELWR another way (AP, SAT, ACT) must take the AWPE before September. 

More information is on awp.ucsd.edu.

How do I receive placement in my Triton Freshman Scholars Math course?

Student placement into one of the five math courses is determined by UCSD Math Department course placement criteria which include qualifying scores on the following exams: ACT, SAT, AP, or Mathematics Placement Exam (MPE).  Placement criteria are explained below:

  1. ACT Math Exams:
    1. ACT Math scores of 22 allows enrollment to Math 3C
    2. ACT Math scores of
  2. SAT Math Exams:
    1. SAT Level I Math 600 or higher allows enrollment to Math 3C
    2. SAT Level II Math 600 or higher allows enrollment to Math 4C or Math 10A
    3. SAT Level II Math 650 or higher allows enrollment to Math 20A
  3. AP Calculus Exams:
    1. AP Calculus AB score of 2 allows enrollment to Math 10A
    2. AP Calculus AB score of 3 allows enrollment to Math 20A
    3. AP Calculus AB scores higher than 3 allow enrollment to courses higher than offered by Math Track
  4. Math Placement Exam (MPE): Scores on the MPE qualify enrollment into the following courses: Math 2, Math 3C, Math 4C, Math 10A, and Math 20A.  ALL STUDENTS are required to take the MPE by June 9th. 

Why am I required to take the MPE?

The MPE has been shown to be the best measure to predict student success in the following courses: Math 2, Math 3C, Math 4C, Math 10A, and Math 20A.  The MPE provides diagnostic feedback to both students and faculty.  For students enrolling in Freshman Scholars results from the MPE are used to:

  • Determine appropriate placement in their summer math course
  • Identify topics of review which benefit student understanding of their current readiness for their Triton Freshman Scholars course
  • Provide diagnostic information to the Math Track Faculty and SI Leaders to inform their course planning and to the program developers who create and implement appropriate intervention and differentiation strategies to support students’ success in math during the Triton Freshman Scholars program

How do I take the MPE?

The MPE is a proctored online test that can be taken at UCSD or at home.  Exams offered on campus at UCSD are free.  If you elect to take the MPE at home, it is proctored through an online service called ProctorU for a fee of $20.  Students using ProctorU must use a computer with a webcam and audio and use a valid credit card for payment. 

To register for the MPE (on campus and ProctorU), please visit the Math Testing and Placement website (http://mathtesting.ucsd.edu/testing/test-dates.html).

Walk-ins for exams proctored at UCSD are NOT allowed.  Students taking exams at home through ProctorU must register at least 48 hours in advance to select an exam date that works best for their schedules.

How do I prepare for the MPE?

There are two ways to prepare for the MPE.  First, the Math Testing and Placement department recommends all students take each of two online readiness tests that model the MPE prior to taking the actual MPE.  The Mathematical Analysis Readiness Test provides diagnostic feedback on students’ readiness for precalculus and the Calculus Readiness Test provides feedback on students’ readiness for calculus.  Topics on the MPE include:

  • Rational Expressions
  • Exponents and Radicals
  • Linear Equations and Inequalities
  • Polynomials and Polynomial Equations
  • Functions
  • Trigonometry
  • Logarithmic and Exponential Functions

Second, students may engage in self-study prior to taking the MPE.  Recommended refresher books include:

  • Just-In-Time Algebra and Trigonometry by Mueller & Brent. Addison-Wesley ISBN 0-201-41951-3 (for Math 4C/20A)
  • Schaum's Outline of College Algebra by Spiegel. McGraw Hill ISBN 0-07-060266-2 (for Math 3C/10A)
  • Schaum's Outline of Precalculus by Fred Safier. McGraw Hill ISBN 0-07-057261-5 (for Math 4C/20A)

How will I receive my MPE results?

Student results for MPE exams taken at UCSD will be posted by noon of the following work-day.  Student results for MPE exams taken through ProctorU will be posted by noon on Monday for students results from the previous Monday through Sunday. Students may access their results online through the Math Testing and Placement website (http://mathtesting.ucsd.edu/). Students receive an individual report online that includes placement level and a list of topics that should be reviewed before the class begins.

If you are placed into a lower math course than desired, you are strongly encouraged to engage in serious review of the suggested topics before attempting the MPE again. Students may retake the MPE after waiting at least 60 days.

Cost and Financial Aid

How much is the cost of the Triton Freshman Scholars Program?

Once you are accepted into the Triton Freshman Scholars Program, costs for course tuition and other campus-based fees are paid for by the program.

Housing

Where will I be living in the summer?

On-campus at the University of California, San Diego. More information to come. 

Course Enrollment

Do I need to enroll in both courses stated above or can I choose different courses?

Students in the Triton Freshman Scholars Program are obligated to enroll in both a math course and AWP 10 in order to participate in the program. 

Apply now!

Apply Now! Steps for applying to the Common Application:

Applications open March 16th and closes May 15th. Space is limited and application will be considered during the open application timeline on a rolling basis. 

  • Sign on as a Student SSO using your: Single Sign-On User ID/PID and password
  • Once you log in, you will be directed to the Common Application Dashboard, where you will see a list of Summer Success Programs that are available to you. Click on Triton Freshman Scholars Program to begin the application process, which includes essay question(s) created by the program leader(s). 

For more information about the Triton Freshman Scholars Program 2018:

Email: freshmanscholars2018@ucsd.edu 

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