While serving in the Navy, Marcus Sauceda, of Texas City, viewed first-hand the myriad of opportunities open to those with an education.

After finishing his service and enrolling at College of the Mainland to pursue new options, the motivated student recently set a record as the fastest COM student to complete Math 0310.
“It’s self-paced, so I wanted to do as much as I can as fast as I can,” said Sauceda. “College is something I’ve been thinking about for years. Now that I’m here I don’t want to waste my time or anyone else’s.”
In class Sauceda worked independently with an interactive computer program with instructor Marilyn Larsen and a tutor’s assistance as needed. A self-motivated student, he continued to read the material and solve problems at home, finishing an entire 16-week semester in about five weeks.
He refused to stop there. Taking advantage of the COM Math Lab’s resources, he studied to test out of the next level of math, Math 0320. After a week’s study, he succeeded in testing out of the course.
“I never knew that I was good at math until now,” said Sauceda.
The modular math program launched at COM in 2012 to help students more quickly complete developmental, or remedial, math. Sauceda is one of many students returning to school after several years who have benefited from the self-paced refresher courses.
“He was so dedicated,” said math instructor Marilyn Larsen. “Working on it outside of class is key.”
This fall Sauceda plans to take college algebra and general studies courses as he determines which career to pursue. He advises other students to take advantage of all the support the college offers.
“Use all the resources,” Sauceda said. “There’s a lot at the college – the Math Lab, teachers, tutors and study sheets.”

To register for modular, self-paced math classes at COM, visit www.com.edu/register.