You probably do not know this but, Thomas Edison was really bad at math and well aware of it. He once said, “I can always hire a mathematician, but he cannot hire me!” Later we know, he sealed a place in history with great inventions like the electric bulb and the phonogram and 1,093 US patents to his name.
In this day and age, many colleges around the globe are recognizing that excelling in mathematics cannot be held synonyms with intelligence alone. Also as the awareness about learning disorders like dyslexia and dyscalculia is rising, more and more colleges are willing to give a math waiver to students allowing them to complete their graduation, provided that the requisite protocol is followed.
Things to keep in mind as you apply for a math waiver
Understand your college program
Your college may or may not be willing to grant you a math waiver. Even if there is a college math waiver program for students with learning disabilities in your college, they may have stringent conditions on who can apply and further protocols to be followed. Sit with your college student councilor and get your doubts cleared beforehand.
Every year, only a few students apply for a math waiver, and even fewer go through the entire process and complete their associate degree without passing the math class.
Learning Disability Certificate
You might need to get your learning disability verified by an appropriate medical practitioner and submit the learning disability certificate. You might also need to have regular review meetings with the Disability specialist appointed by your college to review your case on regular basis.
Good faith efforts
The colleges usually make sure that you have a genuine learning disability handicapping you in the arena of mathematics and you are not just being plain lazy. For the same reason, you will have to have an excellent attendance record showing that you have showed up for all the math classes. Furthermore, you will be required to give all the math tests that are held in the class to showcase the fact that you are making a genuine pursuit of understanding mathematics.
Apply for the math waiver
If, however, you do not pass the class despite your best efforts, you can drop the class in the end. You may then apply for a math waiver.
Some colleges require you have to a minimum proficiency score to apply for a math waiver or you may be required to pass an alternative elementary level algebra test or equivalent. Again, you have to check the details with your college.
The college will be more willing to give you a math waiver in your associate degree if it believes that you have put your best foot forward.
All though different colleges may have slightly different criteria, on average there are certain criteria that should be met before you can get a math waiver.
A student should be able to show Minimum Proficiency in Mathematics through his\her ACT\SAT Scores. These score requirements may be anything like 28 and higher for the ACT and 600 or higher for SAT.
They can also apply through transfer credit of a Calculus level course. They can thus transfer a Calculus course credit of C- or higher.
However, everything has a price attached to it. Get a math waiver may help you graduate college, but many Universities may not be willing to accept students who have graduated with a math waiver. There have been cases where the application of a math waiver student has been straight forward rejected by the concerned university.
However, the trend is slowly changing and more and more universities are willing to admit students if their major is not related to the subject of mathematics.
Inclusive education is an important aspect of overall social justice. Students with learning disabilities like dyscalculia and dyslexia should not feel shorthandeded with regard to their graduation and pursuing further studies, only because of their inherited disability to process mathematical equations.
In fact, some legal binding on the education system has already been provided for the same. Section 504 of the Civil Rights Act allows for a math waiver if the advanced study in the area that is being pursued does not require math, in order to avoid discrimination against people with learning disabilities.
The Education system has a long way to go to make education all-inclusive for such students, so that many more Edison can be produced out of it, rather than nipping raw talent in the bud. A college math waiver is the right baby step in this direction.