Wow. This is possible. I can do math. Why was I sitting in a math hole for years?

Christopher Rogers enrolled at College of the Canyons in 2012 to become a nurse. Despite what he calls “extreme math anxiety,” he studied hard for the placement test and was placed into a class one level below a transferable math course. From this starting point, the odds of his completing the math requirements were a little over 50%. 

Christopher put off taking math until his last semester before graduation, when he had only one option left: an accelerated pre-statistics course combined with college-level statistics in a single semester. He had heard good things about the course, but he was anxious enough that his wife had to step in and register him.

Once in pre-statistics, math opened up for Christopher. “The problems were real world. The contexts really helped me understand the concepts and tied ideas together that never made sense before,” he recalls. “Numbers had meaning that I could find for myself.” Christopher was surprised when the teacher asked him to mentor other students in the class.

Christopher earned an A in both pre-statistics and college-level statistics. Today, he studies public health and epidemiology at the California State University, Northridge, where he’s earning a 3.97 GPA and has been named to the dean’s list. Christopher works as an adjunct instructor at College of the Canyons. He also studies tuberculosis for the Los Angeles County Department of Health, where he has built a statistical database on TB in L.A. county and has presented and published his work nationally. 

“I’m now a lab instructor and tutor in advanced biostatistics,” he says, amazed. “It’s hard to imagine where I was with math and where I am now. I thought math was not applicable to my life. Now math is a huge part of almost every day.”