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SCC Students Solve ‘Real World’ Problems in University Transfer Classes: Calculus I, II & III


Imagine you are towing your boat to a dock using a winch mounted twelve feet above the boat, which pulls the tow rope at a speed of four feet per second. When there are thirteen feet of rope pulled out, how fast is the boat going towards the dock? Does that sound complicated? It’s not if you’re in Dr. Susan Worth’s Calculus I class at Surry Community College.

Recently, Worth, who is the Mathematics Division Chair for SCC, assigned students real world problems to solve and then present to the class, teaching others how they arrived at their solution. Wyatt Bowman of King and Gabriel Wheeler of Pinnacle were assigned the boating problem, along with some other real-life type challenges, all of which were about determining rate of change, which is an important skill in many professions.

As the students presented their solutions to the class, Worth beamed with pride at how well the students accomplished their task.

“Research says students who attend community college graduate at higher rates and regularly out-perform students who attend a four-year college or university right out of high school,” she noted.

Bowman and Wheeler will have no difficulties in high level mathematics wherever they go, evidenced by their confident and thorough explanation of the problems at hand.

Worth notes that SCC offers Calculus I, Calculus II, and Calculus III classes, all of which transfer to any institution in The University of North Carolina System. Alumni students often report a high satisfaction level with taking classes, especially difficult ones, such as Calculus, at SCC since class sizes are smaller and instructors are much more accessible than at four-year institutions.

Dr. Ashley Morrison, SCC Vice President of Instruction, says, “The college transfer program offers a quality education at an affordable price, giving students not only a chance to explore different classes before committing to a major but also a head start on a bachelor’s degree before attending a four-year college or university.”

SCC offers eleven college transfer programs. Visit the College Transfer page on to learn more about these programs and to explore transfer guides to The University of North Carolina System. Early college high school and home school juniors and seniors may also take these classes through the Career and College Promise Program.

Gabriel Wheeler and Wyatt Bowman still have time to decide exactly what they will do in life and to which college or university they might transfer. As for now, however, they have a strong enough grasp on Calculus I concepts that they can share solutions with others. The sky is truly the limit with their potential.

To learn more about college transfer programs at SCC, contact Student Services at (336) 386-3264 or If you’d like to learn more about mathematics at SCC, contact Dr. Susan Worth, Mathematics Division Chair, at (336) 386-3357 or

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