two Project MISS students

Photo by GReg Andersen

Project MISS Provides Intensive Math Instruction

More than 160 girls from junior and senior high schools in Orange County and surrounding areas this summer took part in Cal State Fullerton’s Project MISS, the 23-year-old program that gives students intensive mathematics instruction in geometry, algebra and pre-calculus. The program also aims to boost the students’ confidence to succeed and reach for a college education.

David L. Pagni, professor of mathematics and recipient of numerous state and national awards, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, administered by the National Science Foundation, created the program in 1990. His goal is to provide  school girls with specialized math instruction. Over the life of the free program — now a partnership between the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the university’s Student Affairs Division — more than 1,200 girls have attended. Nearly 98 percent of the participants go on to college, with about one-third enrolling at Cal State Fullerton. Some Project MISS alumni have pursued careers in teaching.