Step Ahead Math 2020



What is the Step Ahead Math (SAM) Program?

  • This is a 9-day program that reinforces basic math and algebra skills needed to enter a college-level math course, such as College Algebra or Pre-Calculus I.
  • This program is a combination of lectures, small group interactions, practice and homework using computer-based software, and tutoring.
  • This program requires students to complete an exit exam at the end of the course. The exam will determine whether a student is eligible to register into specific, college-level math courses at UTC.  These courses include: Math 1130, 1710, and 2150.
  • This program does not provide college credit.

How can it help me?

If you do not have an ACT Math score of 19, then you will not be able to enroll in MATH 1130, MATH 1710, or MATH 2150.  You have three choices:  Retake the ACT, attend a community college and pass one or more developmental math courses with at least a C, or successfully complete the Step Ahead Math program. 

Successful completion of the 9-day, Step Ahead Math (SAM) program means that you must pass the SAM Exit Exam.  If you pass the exit exam, then you will be allowed to enroll in College Algebra (MATH 1130), Precalculus I (MATH 1710), or Math for Elementary & Middle School Teachers I (MATH 2150). 

In other words, passing the SAM exit exam allows you register in a college level math course during your first semester at UTC, even if your ACT Math score is below the prerequisite requirement score of 19.  SAM saves you time and money.  However, it’s important to note that the SAM program is challenging and will require commitment, sacrifice, and work within those 9 days.

Who is eligible?

  • Only students who complete the online application for Step Ahead Math are eligible. (The link to the online application is provided at the bottom of this page.)
  • Priority registration is given to incoming freshmen with ACT Math scores below 19.
    • Registration and payment confirmation is required before Friday, July 31 at 1:00 PM ET.
  • Incoming freshman with ACT Math scores between 19-21 and returning/transfer students with ACT Math scores below 19 are also eligible. These students are also encouraged to register for the SAM program, however, they will be placed on the waiting list. 
    • Students on the waiting list will be notified no later than Friday, July 24 about their SAM registration status. (If accepted, a payment confirmation will be required before Friday, July 31 at 1:00 PM ET).
  • Space is limited. Do not procrastinate with this decision or registration process. 
  • The first 300 students who meet the criteria and submit a Step Ahead Math application

Who will teach the SAM program?

SAM is taught by UTC Mathematics faculty.  In fact, these are the same instructors who regularly teach College Algebra, Precalculus I, and Math for Elementary & High School Teachers I. 

When is the SAM Program?

Dates:  August 5 - August 13, 2020

Times:  9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

The SAM Exit Exam will be proctored on Thursday, August 13, 2020

Students are expected to be present on all days and during all sessions. 


*Note:  To permit students personal time, there will only be an afternoon session on Sunday, August 9, 2019.

What happens if I pass the SAM Exit Exam?

Students who pass the Exit Exam will be eligible to register for Math 1130, Math 1710, or Math 2150.  Since these courses are in high demand and fill up quickly, spaces have been reserved in several sections of each course for Step Ahead students.  After the exit exams have been graded, Step Ahead students will return to the Math Department to find out if they passed the exam.  The Step Ahead faculty will then assist all passing students in registering for a Math 1130, Math 1710, or Math 2150 course for the Fall semester.

What is the cost?

The program fee is $95.  Students with assigned dorm rooms will be allowed to check in early. (See below.)  All students are responsible for their own meals. (See below.)

Students will be prompted to make a payment at the end of the application/registration survey.  Payment must be received by Friday, July 31 at 1:00 PM ET. 

What do I need to bring to class?

Required:  Pencil(s), a 3-ring binder, and a notebook

Optional, but strongly recommended:  Laptop computer

Detailed information will be sent to accepted students at the end of July.  You are encouraged to frequently check your UTC email.

When can I check into my dorm room?

Students with assigned dorm rooms for the Fall semester will be able to check into their dorms on August 5 at 8:00 AM. 

Students who do not have a campus housing assignment must commute from home or make their own arrangements for a place to stay during Step Ahead Math.

All students are required to be present for the first session at 12:30 PM on August 5, regardless of on- or off-campus housing.

What about meals?

  • Fall meal plans will be active sometime during the week of August 10, 2020.
  • Limited options will be available on campus and at nearby restaurants - information will be provided prior to your arrival.
  • Scrappy Cash (cash amounts) may be added to your Mocs Card ID card via GET for food purchases prior to meal plan activation.
  • Food court and Crossroads hours will be posted when they have been determined.

What about parking?

Students will receive a parking permit to allow them to park in general lots during the program. 

How do I apply?


  1. Click on the link below to start the application process.
  2. Choose "Add to Cart" to proceed to the Shopping Cart.
  3. On the Shopping Cart page, you will see a "summary" of your order with the program fee of $95.  However, you will not enter your payment information until the end. From the Shopping cart, choose "Proceed to Checkout."  This will take you to the application where you will enter all of your contact information and other requested personal information.
  4. After filling out the application, you will choose "Log in" at the bottom of the page.
  5. This will open a payment page where you will be asked to choose your payment method (the options are listed as Credit Card or Invoice).  You MUST choose credit card.  Payment via invoice will not be accepted.
  6. Follow the instructions to complete your payment via credit card and submit your application.

All students must complete the online application.  Please use the following link and complete all fields:


Step Ahead 2020 Application 



  • Cancellation requests must be made via email to by 5pm, July 29th, or the entire program fee will be forfeited. Cancellations received by 5pm, July 29th, will receive a refund of the program fee, less a $25 administrative fee. 
  • The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga reserves the right to cancel the course due to low enrollment. If a course is canceled due to low enrollment, registration fees are refunded in full.

If you have questions with the registration/payment process or need additional information about the program, please contact:

Ms. Heather Heinlein at 423-425-4545 or  or

Ms. Tracy Hughes via email: