What is MVCC Math Corps?

MVCC Math Corps is a combined academic enrichment and mentoring program that brings middle and high school students from the greater Utica area together with college students to learn mathematics from each other, as well as to interact with professional mathematicians in a university setting. We are a branch of Wayne State University’s Math Corps program, seeking to replicate the tremendous successes of the model they have developed over the course of more than two decades. MVCC Math Corps is based on the dream of creating a self-perpetuating corps of students from middle school through college, who excel academically, hold values that breed success in general, and who, through strong mentoring relationships, pass their knowledge and their values on to younger students, who in turn do the same.

In a world where the dreams of children are so often unfulfilled or not even encouraged, and where the obstacles to success are so daunting, MVCC Math Corps has, from the beginning, been about making a difference and changing lives. At its core, MVCC Math Corps is about a very simple but unwavering belief that all children have a unique and special greatness within them, and that through hard work and a commitment to excellence, as well as with the support of a caring community, this greatness can be realized.

MVCC Math Corps Summer Camp

The Summer Camp, the centerpiece of the MVCC Math Corps, is a four-week program on the MVCC campus. The program serves cohorts of rising seventh through ninth graders, as well as a group of high school and college students. College students serve as instructors and mentors. The students are broken into teams, with each team having 10 middle school students, 5 high school students (TAs), and 1 college student (CI) at the head. Each day of the camp has a morning and an afternoon component. In the morning, the focus is entirely on the middle school kids. The CIs and TAs not only serve as teachers and role models, but in many instances, as essentially "big brothers" and "big sisters." In the afternoon, the middle school students participate in a variety of hands-on activities, while the high school students engage in two mathematics courses of their own, at least one of which is an advanced course at the college level.

High school and college students, as well as professional staff members, are trained by Wayne State University’s Math Corps team. Math Corps was originally developed in the 1990s by a team at Wayne State University, with the goal of creating a combined academic enrichment and mentoring program that could bring middle and high school students from urban centers together with college students to learn mathematics from each other, as well as to interact with professional mathematicians in a university setting. Math Corps received the prestigious 2016 New York Life Excellence in Summer Learning Award, sponsored by the National Summer Learning Association. On November 2019, the MVCC Math Corps program nominated by MVCC and received the Genesis Group outstanding program award of the year.