Using a digital learning program, a student with a learning disability succeeds in college algebra

“I was born with lead poisoning because many of the houses built in Chicago before 1995, including the one my family lived in, had lead paint. It damaged my comprehension skills so badly that I almost failed the 3rd grade. It takes me a little longer to comprehend information, especially math,” explained Richard Greenfield.

“My 3rd-grade teacher diagnosed that I had the problem, and she worked with my mother to get the services I needed to help me with my comprehension problems,” Richard added. Because of his learning disability, Richard faced academic challenges in middle and high school, but he persevered because he was determined to attend college.

As his high school graduation approached, Richard began looking at his postsecondary education options. “The cost of going to a four-year institution scared me,” he confided. “I didn’t want to take out loans for the first two years, so I decided to go to a community college to get my general education requirements done.”

Photo of Richard GreenfieldRichard enrolled in Richard J. Daley College on the southwest side of Chicago. He decided to study political science so he could pursue a career in educational policy.

As part of his general education requirements, Richard took a college algebra course that used MyMathLab®, a digital learning program. In addition to homework problems, Richard used the digital learning program for all his quizzes and tests, including his final.

“I’m a visual learner,” Richard explained. “When I was doing my homework and I couldn’t see how my professor solved a problem, the digital learning program showed me what I was doing wrong.  And it showed me how to do the problems correctly.”


I liked that MyMathLab showed me how to do problems correctly.



Richard completed all his general education requirements and transferred to Illinois State University where he is maintaining a 3.5 GPA. After he graduates from college, he would like to work for the state or run for an elected position so that he can help make college more affordable for all.