Skip Navigation Links

Cookies + Math = Success

By Stefanie Senkow
May 24, 2019

Cadet and teacher playing harmonicaNEW LONDON, Conn. -- Have a fear of or struggle with math? If you’re like many students, you’re not alone. But success in your first math class at the Academy is a strong predictor of whether or not you’ll graduate.

So what can you do? Eat cookies, do puzzles, bond with friends – and, of course, solve math problems.

Welcome to the Math Learning Center at the Coast Guard Academy. The Center’s unconventional approach to tutoring sets cadets up for success. Not just a place for overcoming numbers, it’s a space where cadets can unwind and be themselves.

“We’re quirky here. We serve cookies on Mondays, play chess, have harmonica jam sessions and wear pink on Wednesdays,” said staff member, Tim Fill.

Cadets visited the Math Learning Center 10,000 times in the past six semesters. The staff’s offices are conveniently located in the Center and walk-ins are welcome. Some cadets gain so much confidence in their skills that they switch to the math major, Operations Research and Computer Analytics (ORCA).

“I initially chose the government major because I had struggled in math. But the Center extends beyond solely receiving help in math. It is an inclusive, fun, and special community in which the teachers truly demonstrate a desire to help cadets succeed,” said Third Class Cadet Charlotte Braman.

Don’t just take her word for it, though. The rest of the Academy noticed the Center’s contribution by honoring its staff with the Coach Hallie Gregory Respect Award this past spring.

So what can the Math Learning Center do for you? Email Tim at [email protected] to find out. Better yet, stop by Satterlee Hall Room 135 and, if it’s Monday, grab a cookie. Visitors are welcome all summer!