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STRENGTHENING MATHEMATICS SKILLS AT THE
POSTSECONDARY LEVEL:
LITERATURE REVIEW AND ANALYSIS
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Vocational and Adult Education
Division of Adult Education and Literacy
2005


STRENGTHENING MATHEMATICS SKILLS AT THE
POSTSECONDARY LEVEL:
LITERATURE REVIEW AND ANALYSIS
Prepared for
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Vocational and Adult Education
Division of Adult Education and Literacy
Prepared !y
"#e $%A $orporation
$ontri!utors
Pe&&y 'olfin( "#e $%A $orporation( Ale)andria( VA
*ill +ordan( "#e $%A $orporation( Ale)andria( VA
Darrell ,ull( $enter for Occupational -esearc# and Development( *aco( ".
/onya -uffin( American 0nstitutes for -esearc#( *as#in&ton( D.$.

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t#e U.S. Department of Education.
U.S. Department o E!"#at$on
/ar&aret Spellin&s
Secretary
Septem!er 2005
"#is report is in t#e pu!lic domain. Aut#ori7ation to reproduce it in 1#ole or in part is
&ranted. *#ile permission to reprint t#is pu!lication is not necessary( t#e citation s#ould
!e U.S. Department of Education( Office of Vocational and Adult Education(
Strengthening Mathematics Skills at the Postsecondary Level: Literature Review and
Analysis, *as#in&ton( D.$.( 2005.
On re8uest( t#is pu!lication is availa!le in alternate formats( suc# as 9raille( lar&e print(
or computer dis:ette. ;or more information( please contact t#e Department6s Alternate
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CONTENTS
Ta%&e'..................................................................................................................................(
A%%re($at$on'....................................................................................................................($
E)e#"t$(e S"mmar*...........................................................................................................+
,a#-.ro"n!....................................................................................................................+
Ma/or 0$n!$n.'...............................................................................................................+
0nstitutions providin& developmental mat# instruction......................................3
*#at constitutes ade8uate mat# preparation@....................................................2
9est instructional practices.................................................................................4
Intro!"#t$on........................................................................................................................1
W2at S-$&&' an! Kno3&e!.e Do St"!ent' Nee! to P"r'"e Co&&e.e4&e(e&
Mat2emat$#'5...................................................................................................................++
Cro''roa!'....................................................................................................................++
Stan!ar!' or S"##e''..................................................................................................+6
T2e V$'$on Report........................................................................................................+1
Amer$#an D$p&oma Pro/e#t.........................................................................................+7
S"mmar*......................................................................................................................+8
A''e''ment an! P&a#ement Po&$#$e'................................................................................+9
Te't' Common&* U'e!.................................................................................................:;
ASSE" and $O/PASS....................................................................................23
A$$UPLA$E-...............................................................................................23
"A9E................................................................................................................22
State4'pe#$$# Po&$#$e'...................................................................................................::
W2at In'tr"#t$ona& Met2o!' Wor- ,e't or A!"&t Learner'5....................................:8
T2e Ro&e o Te#2no&o.*...............................................................................................:8
$omputer2Assisted 0nstruction.........................................................................2?
$omputer Al&e!ra System...............................................................................42
Pe!a.o.$#a& I''"e'........................................................................................................<<
,o1 people learn.............................................................................................44
Learner2centered environment.........................................................................4>
Small2&roup instruction....................................................................................4?
$onte)tual learnin&..........................................................................................4A
BSystems "#in:in&CDDev/ap ProEect...........................................................F0
Accelerated courses..........................................................................................F3
Metr$#' o Pro.ram Ee#t$(ene''..................................................................................6<
A S"r(e* o Comm"n$t* Co&&e.e'= Pra#t$#e'.................................................................68

T2e U.S. M$&$tar*.............................................................................................................1+
Genera& E&$.$%$&$t* Re>"$rement'...............................................................................1+
Arme! Ser($#e' Vo#at$ona& Apt$t"!e ,atter*............................................................1+
9asic s:ills.......................................................................................................54
Postsecondary VolEd........................................................................................5F
,"'$ne''e' an! Or.an$?e! La%or...................................................................................18
Corporate Mat2 S-$&& Tra$ner'...................................................................................1@
A!"&t E!"#at$on an! Wor-or#e De(e&opment.............................................................7+
S"mmar* an! Con#&"'$on'.............................................................................................7<
Appen!$) A: Mat2emat$#' Kno3&e!.e an! S-$&&' or S"##e'' 0rom Con&e* an!
,o!one A:;;:B...................................................................................................................71
Appen!$) ,: S"mmar* o St"!$e' Re&ate! to De(e&opmenta& Mat2emat$#' Re($e3e!
$n T2$' Report...................................................................................................................8+
Appen!$) C: Compara%&e ASSETC ACTC an! COMPASS C"to S#ore' 0or St"!ent
P&a#ement $nto Mat2emat$#a& Co"r'e'..........................................................................81
Appen!$) D: Le(e& o Pro$#$en#* A''o#$ate! W$t2 ACCUPLACER C"to S#ore'. 88

Ta%&e'
"a!le 3 Summary of -e8uired /inimum /at#ematics Assessment "est Scores for
Selected States.................................................................................................25
"a!le 923 Summary of Studies -elated to Developmental /at#ematics -evie1ed in
"#is -eportG..GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.53
"a!le $23 Asset( Act( and $ompass $utoff Scores for Student Placement......................55
"a!le D23 Level of Proficiency Associated *it# A$$UPLA$E- $utoff Scores...........55

A%%re($at$on'
AA$$ American Association of $ommunity $olle&es
AAS$U American Association of State $olle&es and Universities
AAU Association of American Universities
A9E Adult 9asic Education
A$$UPLA$E- $olle&e Placement E)am
A$ES Adult $lassroom Environment Scale
A$" American $olle&e "estin& Pro&ram
AE$; Advanced ElectronicsH$omputer ;ield
A;I" Armed ;orces Iualifications "est
ALEJS Assessment and LEarnin& in Jno1led&e Spaces
A/A American /ana&ement Association
A/A"K$ American /at#ematical Association of "1o2Kear $olle&es
AP Advanced Placement
A- Arit#metic -easonin&
A-' Association -evie1 'roup
AS Auto S#op 0nformation
AS0 Adaptive Style 0nventory
ASSE" Assessment of S:ills for Successful Entry and "ransfer
AS"D American Society for "rainin& and Development
ASVA9 Armed Services Vocational Aptitude 9attery
9LS 9ureau of La!or Statistics
9SEP 9asic S:ills Education Pro&ram
$A0 $omputer2Assisted 0nstruction
$AS $omputer Al&e!ra Systems
$9E $omputer29ased Education
$90 $omputer29ased 0nstruction
$E0 $omputer2Enric#ed 0nstruction
$/0 $omputer2/ana&ed 0nstruction
$%A $enter for %aval Analyses
$%A$ $%A $orporation
$O/AP $onsortium for /at#ematics and its Applications
$O/PASS $omputeri7ed Adaptive Placement Assessment and
Support System
$O"S $ommercial off t#e S#elf
$P" $omputeri7ed Placement "est
$-A;"K $urriculum -ene1al Across t#e ;irst "1o Kears
DOD Department of Defense
D"0$ Defense "ec#nical 0nstitute $enter
E0 Electronics 0nformation
E0" Employee2in2trainin&
ESL En&lis# as a Second Lan&ua&e
E"S Educational "estin& Service
;K ;iscal Kear

'ED 'eneral E8uivalency Diploma
'S 'eneral Science
'" 'eneral "ec#nical
,SD' ,i&# Sc#ool De&ree 'raduate
0EP 0ndividuali7ed Education Plans
+D$$ +efferson Davis $ommunity $olle&e
JE" Jentuc:y Educational "elevision
JSAs Jno1led&e( S:ills and A!ilities
/AA /at#ematical Association of America
/ASP /ilitary Academic S:ills Pro&ram
/$ /ec#anical $ompre#ension
/J /at# Jno1led&e
%AEP %ational Assessment of Education Pro&ress
%ALS %ational Adult Literacy Survey
%$ES %ational $enter for Education Statistics
%$L$ %avy $olle&e Learnin& $enters
%$LP %avy $olle&e Learnin& Pro&ram
%$PA$E %avy $olle&e Pro&ram for Afloat $olle&e Education
%$-VE %ational $enter for -esearc# in Vocational Education
%$"/ %ational $ouncil of "eac#ers of /at#ematics
%,SD' %on2,i&# Sc#ool Diploma 'raduate
O+" On2t#e2Eo! trainin&
OVAE Office of Vocational and Adult Education
PALS Principles of Adult Learnin& Scale
P$ Para&rap# $ompre#ension
-$" -andomi7ed $ontrolled "rial
-O0 -eturn on 0nvestment
SA" Sc#olastic Assessment "est
SO$ Servicemem!ers Opportunity $olle&es
"A "uition Assistance
"A9E "est of Adult 9asic Education
"iPS "utorials in Pro!lem Solvin&
UA* United Auto *or:ers
UVS$ Uta# Valley State $olle&e
VE Ver!al E)pression
VolEd Voluntary Education
V"$ Video "eleconferencin&
*ASL *as#in&ton State Assessment of Student Learnin&
*0A *or:force 0nvestment Act
*09 *or:force 0nvestment 9oard
*J *orld Jno1led&e

E)e#"t$(e S"mmar*
,a#-.ro"n!
"#e nature of America6s 1or:force #as c#an&ed dramatically in t#e past several
decades( due in lar&e part to t#e infusion of rapidly c#an&in& tec#nolo&y. "#is trend #as
resulted in an increased need for 1or:ers 1it# &reater mat#ematical s:ills and #i&#er
education.
"#e U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education
<OVAE= contracted 1it# "#e $%A $orporation <$%A$= and its partners to identify
promisin& strate&ies 1it#in community colle&es( !usinesses( or&ani7ed la!or( and t#e
military t#at ena!le adult learners to stren&t#en t#eir mat# s:ills and a!ilities and to
transition into #i&#er2level mat# courses or 1or: assi&nments re8uirin& #i&#er2level
mat#ematics.
"#is literature revie1 is t#e first step in t#is process. 0n order to esta!lis# a
!aseline understandin& of postsecondary developmental mat#ematics pro&rams 1e
e)amine t#e follo1in& t#ree issues
3. *#at is t#e definition( or s:ill t#res#old( of ade8uate student preparation in
mat#ematics at t#e postsecondary level@
2. *#at institutions provide developmental mat# education( and #o1 does t#e
education provided differ across t#ese institutions@
4. *#at approac#es and strate&ies appear to #old promise for ena!lin& adult learners
to stren&t#en t#eir mat#ematical s:ills and to pro&ress into colle&e2level mat# courses
or 1or: assi&nments re8uirin& #i&#er2level mat#ematical a!ilities@
Strate&ies identified in t#is revie1 1ill provide t#e !asis for t#e second p#ase of
t#is proEect( t#e purpose of 1#ic# is to identify mat# pro&rams in community colle&es(
!usiness( la!or or&ani7ations( and t#e military t#at #ave supportin& evidence t#at suc#
strate&ies are( indeed( successful.
Ma/or 0$n!$n.'
In't$t"t$on' pro($!$n. !e(e&opmenta& mat2 $n'tr"#t$on
$ommunity colle&es are t#e lar&est source of developmental mat# instruction( and
virtually all pu!lic t1o2year colle&es offer at least one developmental course. ,o1ever(
t#ese colle&es vary in t#e num!er of developmental courses t#ey offer( #o1 many of
t#ese courses eac# student may ta:e( and t#e type of credit a1arded. 0n addition( 5>
percent offer developmental education to local !usinesses( and !asic mat# courses are
offered !y A4 percent of t#e colle&es t#at e)tend courses to !usinesses <%$ES 2004=.
3
"#e military services offer !asic s:ills instruction to mem!ers 1#o 8ualify on t#e
!asis of lo1 entrance test scores or !ecause t#ey do not possess a 'eneral E8uivalency
Diploma <'ED=. "#eir remediation efforts vary across t#e services in !ot# t#e len&t# and
met#od of instruction( yet more t#an 45(000 service mem!ers receive !asic s:ills
instruction eac# year <U.S. Department of Defense 200F=.
Adult education and 1or:force development pro&rams also provide !asic s:ills
remediation. "#ere is &ro1in& interest in developin& opportunities for people 1#o lac:
s:ills and resources around career pat#1ays t#at inte&rate education( trainin&( and s:ill
development in tar&eted #i&#21a&e( #i&#2demand employment areas. $areer pat#1ays
provide developmental( adult( or En&lis# as a Second Lan&ua&e <ESL= classes in t#e
conte)t of students6 lives and t#e 1or:2specific s:ills t#ey need for employment in
particular industries or sectors.
$entral to federal &overnment efforts to stren&t#en t#e s:ills of displaced or
dislocated 1or:ers is "itle 0 of t#e Workforce Investment Act of !!". "#is pro&ram
supports a net1or: of One2Stop $areer $enters t#at provide access to a full ran&e of
services pertainin& to employment( trainin& and education( employer assistance( and
&uidance for ot#er types of assistance.
9usinesses also are involved in t#e remediation of !asic s:ills. $ompanies spend
an avera&e of 3.? percent of payroll on trainin&. Of t#is amount( 5 to 5 percent is in !asic
s:ills( includin& literacy( readin&( compre#ension( 1ritin&( mat#( ESL( and learnin& #o1
to learn. 9y far( t#e lar&est cate&ory of trainin& is in tec#nical processes and procedures(
1#ic# totals appro)imately 34 percent of all trainin& e)penditures <Van 9uren 2003=. "#e
most often cited sources of e)ternal education and trainin& used !y !usiness are
community colle&es( tec#nical and vocational sc#ools( !usiness and industry associations(
consultants( and universities.
W2at #on't$t"te' a!e>"ate mat2 preparat$on5
*e found t#at t#e :no1led&e necessary for successfully pursuin& colle&e2level
mat# pro&rams depends on t#e education and career &oals of t#e individual. ;or instance(
adult learners in community colle&es 1ould re8uire some1#at different :no1led&e if t#e
first colle&e2level course 1ere calculus rat#er t#an !usiness mat#. -e&ardless of 1#et#er
t#is is a contri!utin& factor( 1e #ave found t#at no consistent definition of mat# standards
for colle&e2level preparation e)ists. ,o1ever( a num!er of studies indicate t#e need to
#ave a &ood foundation in arit#metic( &eometry( tri&onometry( and al&e!ra 0 and 00.
Emer&in& 1or: also indicates t#e increasin& need for !asic statistics and t#e a!ility to
analy7e data.
"#ere is less uncertainty or am!i&uity in t#e s:ills necessary to pursue colle&e2level
mat# and to succeed in t#e #i&#est2paid and #i&#est2s:illed Eo!s. 0n particular( t#ere
seems to !e a&reement on t#e need to t#in: critically( to solve pro!lems( and to
communicate mat#ematically. 9ot# !usinesses and postsecondary institutions t#at 1ere
surveyed as part of lar&e curriculum reform efforts indicate t#at t#ey 1ant people 1#o
can identify a pro!lem( determine 1#et#er it can !e solved( :no1 1#ic# operations and
2

procedures are re8uired to solve it( use multiple representations <suc# as &rap#s and
1ords= to descri!e pro!lems and solutions( and understand and apply mat#ematical
modelin&. ,o1ever( t#ese are t#e s:ills t#at are t#e most difficult to teac# and to assess
<American Diploma ProEect 200F=.
*#et#er community colle&es are universally adoptin& t#ese recommendationsD
in terms of t#e specific :no1led&e( s:ills( and a!ilitiesDremains to !e seen. 0t is also
uncertain 1#et#er community colle&es ade8uately assess t#e :no1led&e and s:ills
necessary to pursue postsecondary level mat# or succeed in t#e 1or:place. -e&ardless(
t#e maEority of t1o2year colle&es re8uire incomin& students to ta:e and pass an
assessment test !efore t#ey are allo1ed to enroll in colle&e2level mat# courses. 'iven
t#eir prevalence( t#is may !e t#e most relevant !enc#mar: for 1#et#er a student can
successfully transition to colle&e2level mat#ematics. *#ile minimum scores vary( 1e
note a ran&e of score t#res#olds for t#e most common of t#ese tests.
,e't $n'tr"#t$ona& pra#t$#e'
Our e)tensive searc# of t#e developmental education literature yielded only a
limited num!er of studies pertainin& to adult developmental mat#ematics instruction( t#e
maEority of 1#ic# #as !een conducted in t1o2year colle&es. Of t#ese( 1e revie1ed 35
studies of postsecondary institutions( 1it# a maEority !ased on pro&rams in community
colle&es. Unfortunately( none 1ere !ased on randomi7ed controlled trial e)periments(
1#ic# #ave !een elevated to a position of t#e B&old standardC for researc# !ecause t#is
e)perimental desi&n is relatively un!iased in evaluatin& t#e effect of pro&rammatic
interventions in t#e field of education. "o au&ment researc# on developmental
mat#ematics pro&rams for adult learners( particularly aspects of developmental mat#
courses( 1e relied on a !roader !ase of researc# to provide &uidance as to 1#at may #old
promise for developmental mat#ematics specifically. ,o1ever( 1e 1ere not a!le to locate
pu!lis#ed researc# on developmental mat#ematics pro&rams outside of academic
institutions. 0n addition to sc#olarly sources( 1e searc#ed *e! sites of !usinesses and
la!or or&ani7ations. ;or e)ample( t#e *e! site of t#e A;L2$0O( 1it# a mem!ers#ip of
over 34 million( #as a section concernin& education issues and le&islation( !ut it contains
no information a!out specific education pro&rams in &eneral( or developmental
mat#ematics in particular.
Alt#ou&# 1e did not identify e)istin& studies containin& scientifically !ased
evidence of promisin& practices( salient t#emes concernin& peda&o&y emer&ed(
su&&estin& promisin& !ut unproven instructional practices t#at are fre8uently
implemented. "#ese may 1arrant furt#er study. Amon& t#e recommendations in t#e
literature are &reater use of tec#nolo&yL inte&ration of classroom and la!oratory
instructionL &ivin& students t#e option to select from amon& different instructional
met#odsL use of multiple approac#es to pro!lem solvin&L proEect2!ased instructionL lo1
student to faculty ratiosL assessment and placement of students into t#e appropriate
mat#ematics coursesL and inte&ration of counselin&( staff trainin&( and professional
development.

Underscorin& t#ese recommendations( our revie1 found t#at a num!er of studies
sou&#t to evaluate t#e impact of various teac#in& delivery met#ods on student success(
includin& traditional lecture( computer2assisted courses( self2paced instruction( 0nternet2
!ased courses( and accelerated pro&rams. %o clear consensus of t#e effectiveness of
tec#nolo&y2!ased delivery met#ods emer&ed. Usin& various metrics( some studies found
no effects( some found #i&#er levels of success( and some found lo1er levels of success
for students usin& tec#nolo&y2!ased or tec#nolo&y2en#anced instruction versus traditional
lecture. ,o1ever( a num!er of researc# proEects( suc# as t#ose from t#e American
/at#ematical Association of "1o2Kear $olle&es <A/A"K$= <3AA5 and 2002= and t#e
American Diploma ProEect <200F=( conclude t#at all students s#ould !e familiar 1it#
tec#nolo&y( includin& &rap#in& calculators( and spreads#eets( and s#ould !e a!le to
understand t#e !enefits and limitations of eac#. ;urt#er( t#ere is &eneral consensus t#at
tec#nolo&y s#ould !e a supplement to( as opposed to a replacement of( more traditional
delivery met#ods. ,o1ever( &iven t#e inconsistency in study findin&s( 1e !elieve t#at
t#is is one area t#at 1arrants furt#er investi&ation.
;inally( 1e #ave found researc# t#at indicates t#at t#e types of pro!lems used in
teac#in& t#e material is important. 0n particular( it is important to use activities t#at
en&a&e students in t#e learnin& process( particularly in small colla!orative &roup
processes( most of 1#ic# reflect t#e real21orld pro!lem solvin& done in !usinesses.
"#ese activities s#ould re8uire t#e student to actively plan( desi&n( researc#( model( and
report findin&s for proEects or case studies. Some ar&ue t#at students re8uire conte)tual
learnin& and real21orld pro!lems to #elp ma:e course1or: and trainin& relevant and
meanin&ful.
*e summari7e :ey components of !est practice approac#es to postsecondary
developmental mat#ematics pro&rams !elo1
• In'tr"#t$ona& an! pe!a.o.$#a& adEuncts to traditional instructionL multiple
delivery options from 1#ic# students may c#ooseL computer2assisted instructionL
0nternet2!asedL self2pacedL distance learnin&L calculatorsL computer al&e!ra
systemsL spreads#eetsL la!oratoriesL small &roup instructionL learnin&
communitiesL conte)tual learnin&L lin:a&es to and e)amples from t#e 1or:placeL
and career pat#1ays.
• C"rr$#"&"m #ontent nonstandard topics covered in developmental mat# courses
or topics t#at vary !y career pat#L len&t# of instructionL and types of activities
used to reinforce t#e material.
• Proe''$ona& !e(e&opment faculty trainin& and developmentL full2time versus
part2time instructorsL and proportion of faculty t#at are adEuncts.
• S"pport$n. 'trate.$e' counselin&( assessment( placement( and e)it strate&ies.
• Learner an! $n't$t"t$ona& #2ara#ter$'t$#': full2time versus #alf2time community
colle&e studentL socioeconomic attri!utes of learnerL 1or:place versus academic
learnerL and #avin& private or military employment versus preparin& for a ne1
career.

Intro!"#t$on
"#e nature of America6s 1or:force #as c#an&ed dramatically in t#e past several
decades( due in lar&e part to t#e infusion of rapidly c#an&in& tec#nolo&y. "#is trend #as
resulted in an increased need for 1or:ers 1it# &reater s:ills and #i&#er education. ;or
instance( t#e 9ureau of La!or Statistics <9LS= <9LS 2003= predicts t#at Eo!s re8uirin& at
least a !ac#elor6s de&ree 1ill &ro1 23.> percent !et1een 2000 and 2030( and t#ose
re8uirin& an associate de&ree or vocational certificate 1ill increase 2F.3 percent. 0n
contrast( Eo!s re8uirin& only 1or:2related e)perience 1ill increase Eust 32.F percent
durin& t#e same time period.
0n spite of t#ese trends( employers are findin& t#at t#eir 1or:force is simply not
prepared to meet even t#e most !asic s:ill re8uirements( includin& readin&( 1ritin&( and
mat#ematics. "#e %ational Association of /anufacturers found in a 2003 survey sent to
its mem!ers t#at ?0 percent of manufacturers e)perience a moderate to serious s#orta&e
of 8ualified Eo! candidates( and t#at 2> percent of employers listed inade8uate mat# s:ills
amon& t#e most serious s:ill deficiencies <%ational Association of /anufacturers $enter
for *or: Success 2003=. ;urt#er( 20 percent said t#ey reEected applicants for #ourly
production positions due to inade8uate mat# s:ills. A survey conducted in 2003 !y t#e
American /ana&ement Association <A/A=( !ased on responses from 3(>25 #uman
resource mana&ers in A/A mem!er and client companies( found t#at F3 percent test Eo!
applicants in !asic literacy and or mat# s:illsL of t#ose tested( 4F percent lac:ed sufficient
s:ills for t#e positions t#ey sou&#t <A/A 2003=. Less t#an A percent of t#e respondents
said t#at t#ey #ired t#ose found to !e deficient. 0f interested in #irin&( respondents eit#er
assi&ned applicants to o!li&atory developmental trainin& or offered voluntary
developmental trainin&( and t#is 1as true across !usiness sectors. /anufacturin& offered
remediation to t#e most( ?.> percent( 1#ile 1#olesale and retail offered remediation to
t#e least( Eust 2.? percent. 0nstead( t#e over1#elmin& maEority of companies simply refuse
to #ire t#ose 1#o do not pass t#e !asic s:ills re8uirementsDt#e fate of over ?0 percent of
t#ese applicants in all !usiness sectors.
"#is &ro1t# in deficient s:ills is in lar&e part a function of t#e rapidly increasin&
s:ill re8uirements and t#e c#an&es in t#ese re8uirements over t#e past fe1 years. 0n ot#er
1ords( it is not Eust a matter of employers re8uirin& more 1or:ers to :no1 mat#L t#e type
of mat# re8uired is also c#an&in&.
"#e most recent statistics on adult literacy
3
confirm t#e deficit in s:illed 1or:ers.
"#e 3AA2 %ational Adult Literacy Survey <%ALS=( conducted !y t#e %ational $enter for
Education Statistics <%$ES=( assessed t#e prose( document( and 8uantitative literacy
3
A num!er of definitions e)ist for numeracy and mat#ematical( or 8uantitative( literacy. *e prefer t#e
definition provided in t#e 3AAF $onference on Adult /at#ematical Literacy. "#at source states t#at
numeracy and mat#ematical literacy are interc#an&ea!le notions( and define t#em as Bt#e a&&re&ate of
s:ills( :no1led&e( !eliefs( patterns of t#in:in& and related communicative and pro!lem2solvin& processes
individuals need to effectively interpret and #andle real21orld 8uantitative situations( pro!lems( and tas:sC
<'al and Sc#mitt 3AA5=

proficiency of adults <Jaestle et al. 2003=. "#e study defined t#e follo1in& five
#ierarc#ical levels of 8uantitative proficiency <Jaestle et al. 2003( p. 33=
• Level 3 "as:s re8uire performin& sin&le( relatively simple arit#metic
operations( suc# as addition. "#e num!ers to !e used are provided and t#e
arit#metic operation to !e used is specified.
• Level 2 "as:s typically re8uire performin& a sin&le operation usin& num!ers
t#at are eit#er stated in t#e tas: or easily located in t#e material. "#e operation
to !e performed may !e stated or easily determined from t#e format of t#e
material <for e)ample( an order form=.
• Level 4 "1o or more num!ers are typically needed to solve t#e pro!lem( and
t#ese must !e found in t#e material. "#e operation<s= needed can !e determined
from t#e arit#metic relation terms used in t#e 8uestion or directive.
• Level F "#e fourt# level re8uires performin& t1o or more se8uential
operations or a sin&le operation in 1#ic# t#e 8uantities are found in different
types of displays( or t#e operations must !e inferred from semantic information
&iven or dra1n from prior :no1led&e.
• Level 5 Level 5 re8uires performin& multiple operations se8uentially. "#e
features of t#e pro!lem must !e disem!edded from te)t or !ased on !ac:&round
:no1led&e to determine t#e 8uantities or operations needed.
"#eir results indicated t#at 22 percent of adults demonstrated s:ills in t#e lo1est
level of 8uantitative literacy proficiency( and an additional 25 percent demonstrated s:ills
at t#e second lo1est level. 0n ot#er 1ords( almost #alf of all adults could not perform
tas:s at t#e level necessary as defined !y t#e t#ird level of 8uantitative proficiency( suc#
as usin& a calculator to calculate t#e difference !et1een t#e re&ular and sale price of an
item in an advertisement <Jaestle et al. 2003( p. 20?=.
Jaestle and #is collea&ues <2003= concluded t#at t#ere is a stron& relations#ip
!et1een t#e level of literacy and education attainment. ;or instance( t#e 8uantitative
proficiency of 5A percent of adults 1#o 1ere #i&# sc#ool dropouts and completed nine to
32 years of sc#ool 1as !elo1 t#e t#ird level( compared 1it# 53 percent of t#ose 1#o
completed a #i&# sc#ool de&ree. "#ey also found t#at t#ose #i&# sc#ool dropouts 1#o
1ent on to earn a 'ED fared as 1ell as #i&# sc#ool diploma &raduates( 1it# 5F percent
scorin& !elo1 t#e t#ird level <Jaestle et al. 2003( p. 35=.
Lo1 levels of literacy #ave fairly serious ne&ative economic conse8uences. "#e
%ALS study found employed 1or:ers 1#o scored in t#e lo1est t1o levels of literacy
tended to !e employed in t#e lo1est 1a&e occupations( suc# as food service( c#ildcare(
and maintenance <Jaestle et al. 2003( p. )))viii=. Ot#er studies #ave also found t#at #i&#
sc#ool dropouts e)perience #i&#er rates of unemployment and are more li:ely to receive

pu!lic assistance t#an #i&# sc#ool diploma &raduates 1#o did not &o on to colle&e
<%ational $enter for ;amily Literacy 2004=.
"#e fact t#at #alf of all #i&# sc#ool &raduates do not possess 8uantitative literacy
s:ills at least at t#e t#ird level( as defined !y t#e %ALS study( is a clear indication t#at a
#i&# sc#ool diploma is not enou&# to meet t#e increasin& need for #i&#ly s:illed 1or:ers.
0n part as a response to t#e needs of employers and t#e #i&#er 1a&es t#at #i&#2tec# Eo!s
offer( t#e rate of colle&e enrollment of &raduatin& #i&# sc#ool seniors #as increased
si&nificantly since t#e last #alf of t#e 20t# century( from F5 percent in 3A>0 to >2 percent
in 2003 <%$ES 2002( ta!le 3?F=. Even so( studies find t#at a lar&e proportion of t#ose
1#o enroll in colle&e are not prepared to pursue colle&e2level courses. A recent study
concluded t#at more t#an one million students enterin& postsecondary education eac#
year re8uire participation in developmental courses( representin& F2 percent of t#e
student population </c$a!e 2000=. "#is same researc# concluded t#at successfully
remediated students do perform 1ell in standard colle&e2level courses( notin& t#at ?2
percent of a nonrandom sample of remediated students included in t#e study passed
colle&e2level mat#ematics classes. "#is is a stri:in& findin& considerin& t#at many
developmental courses are descri!ed !y students as dull and poorly tau&#t( and
emp#asi7e lo12level drill and practice <'ru!! 3AAA=.
-ecently( states #ave esta!lis#ed #i&#er standards for #i&# sc#ool &raduation(
#ave increased admission re8uirements at colle&es and universities( #ave structured open
admissions pro&rams at community colle&es( and #ave used testin& and evaluation to
assess education outcomes <9andy 3A?5L ;onte 3AA5L /erisotis and P#ipps 2000L
"#ac:er 2000=. Accordin& to t#e U.S. Department of Education( #o1ever( only four
states
2
re8uired students to #ave four $arne&ie Units <eac# unit is rou&#ly e8uivalent to
one academic year of study= in mat#ematics for #i&# sc#ool &raduation in 2003(
seventeen of t#e remainin& states only re8uired t1o units( and t#e rest re8uired t#ree
<%$ES 2002( ta!le 352=.
$learly( some students can ta:e more mat# t#an 1#at is mandated !y state la1 for
#i&# sc#ool &raduation( and some states recommend more mat# for colle&e2!ound
students. Accordin& to 9art# <2002=( t#e percenta&e of students completin& al&e!ra 00 in
#i&# sc#ool( t#e minimum content typically re8uired to enroll in colle&e2level
mat#ematics( #as &ro1n from F0 percent to >2 percent !et1een 3A?2 and 3AA?.
Ket( accordin& to t#e U.S. Department of Education( t#e avera&e scores on t#e
%ational Assessment of Education Pro&ress <%AEP= of 352year2olds 1#ose #i&#est level
of mat#ematics is al&e!ra 00 are at a level t#at ena!les t#em to perform reasonin& and
pro!lem solvin& involvin& fractions( decimals( percents( elementary &eometry( and
simple al&e!ra <%$ES 2002( ta!le 325=. 9ut t#e pro!lem does not !e&in in #i&# sc#ool.
"#e most recent ne1s of t#e mat# competency of t#e nation6s sc#oolc#ildren s#o1s t#at
scores on t#e %AEP are up in mat#ematics( !ut a fairly lar&e num!er still do not meet t#e
proficiency standards set !y t#e %ational Assessment 'overnin& 9oard <Plis:o 2004=.
Amon& fourt#2&raders( 55 percent are at or a!ove a !asic level of proficiency( up from 50
2
Ala!ama( 'eor&ia( %ort# $arolina( and Sout# $arolina.

percent in 3AA0. ;or ei&#t#2&raders( >? percent are at a !asic level of proficiency or
#i&#er( up from 52 percent in 3AA0. 9ut as impressive as t#ese &ains are( t#ey still s#o1
t#at almost one2t#ird of ei&#t#2&raders are not at a !asic level of mat# proficiency.
Adult learners 1#o are not recent #i&# sc#ool &raduates 1#o see: to improve
t#eir !asic s:ills literacy( earn a 'ED( or pursue postsecondary education face more
difficulties in o!tainin& #i&#er level mat# s:ills t#an recent &raduates do. 0n particular(
t#ey often face more financial <often as sole #ouse#old earner= and lo&istical <suc# as
daycare and time off from 1or:= c#allen&es. And in many cases( t#ey #ave a #istory of
education failure and of lon&2term functionin& at lo1 levels of 8uantitative literacy.
"#e Adult #ducation and $amily Literacy Act of !!"( "itle 00 of t#e Workforce
Investment Act of !!"( aut#ori7es a pro&ram of national leaders#ip activities to en#ance
t#e 8uality of adult education and literacy pro&rams nation1ide( includin& collectin& data
and disseminatin& !est practices information. "#e U.S. Department of Education Office
of Vocational and Adult Education <OVAE= is sponsorin& a num!er of studies t#at
address t#e &ro1in& need for adult education in &eneral and !asic literacy in particular.
OVAE #as sponsored t#is proEect to provide !etter information on current and
ne1 strate&ies under development in t#e field( and to use t#at information as &uidance for
future researc# efforts into promisin& practices in developmental mat#ematics for adult
learners. One specific &oal is to inform and en#ance adult !asic education pro&rams to
ensure t#at participants #ave t#e mat# :no1led&e and s:ills necessary to pursue colle&e2
level mat#ematics 1#en t#ey transition from Adult 9asic Education <A9E= to
postsecondary education or to 1or:force pro&rams t#at re8uire #i&#er2level mat#.
"#e &oals of t#is literature revie1Dt#e first p#ase of t#is researc#Dare to <a=
define t#e mat#ematical :no1led&e and s:ills necessary to pursue colle&e2level
mat#ematics and <!= identify t#e elements of developmental mat#ematics pro&rams
1it#in community colle&es( t#e military( !usinesses( and or&ani7ed la!or t#at ena!le adult
learners to transition from developmental to colle&e2level mat#ematics. "o t#at end( 1e
address t#e follo1in& t#ree issues
3. *#at is t#e definition and s:ill t#res#old of ade8uate student preparation in
mat#ematics at t#e postsecondary level@
2. *#at institutions provide developmental mat# education( and #o1 does t#e
education provided differ across t#ese institutions@
4. *#at approac#es and strate&ies appear to #old promise in ena!lin& adult learners to
stren&t#en t#eir mat#ematical s:ills and to pro&ress into colle&e2level mat# courses or
1or: assi&nments re8uirin& #i&#er2level mat#ematical a!ilities@

*e !e&in our literature revie1 1it# a discussion of t#e :no1led&e and s:ills
necessary to pursue colle&e2level mat#ematics( and of common tests and t#eir cutoff
scores used to assess t#e a!ility of students to pursue colle&e2level mat#ematics. %e)t 1e

discuss a revie1 of t#e literature concernin& components of successful developmental
mat#ematics pro&rams in postsecondary settin&s. 9ecause of t#e paucity of researc# on
many aspects of developmental mat#ematics instruction for adult learners( 1e also revie1
literature of more common t#emes 1it#in developmental education.
*e t#en revie1 some common practices in colle&es in terms of t#ese components(
to determine t#e pro&ress of postsecondary institutions in addressin& t#e
recommendations from t#e literature. ;inally( 1e e)amine 1#at ot#er or&ani7ations are
doin& in developin& t#e mat#ematics s:ills of t#eir 1or:force. 0n particular( 1e loo: at
t#e military( !usinesses( la!or or&ani7ations( and ot#er adult education efforts.


W2at S-$&&' an! Kno3&e!.e Do St"!ent' Nee! to P"r'"e Co&&e.e4&e(e&
Mat2emat$#'5
"#e primary &oal in t#is literature revie1 is to define t#e s:ill t#res#old necessary
to pursue colle&e2level mat#ematics and to discover promisin& strate&ies for #elpin&
students to pro&ress to t#is t#res#old. *e #ave discovered t1o salient t#emes in t#e
literature concernin& 1#at t#is means precisely. "#e first is t#e :no1led&e( or content(
re8uired. "#is includes a detailed description of t#e specific mat# facts or su!Eects to !e
covered( suc# as ratios( decimals( or( more !roadly( arit#metic. "#e second t#eme
concerns t#e s:ills and a!ilities necessary to pursue colle&e2level mat#. 9y s:ills 1e refer
to o!serva!le competencies to perform a function. ;or instance( critical t#in:in&(
&eneratin& ideas( and determinin& 1#ic# tool is necessary to do a Eo! are considered
s:ills. A!ilities are attri!utes t#at affect t#e a!ility to perform a tas:( suc# as manual
de)terity and inductive and deductive reasonin&.
9ased on or revie1( 1e conclude t#at t#ere is less uncertainty or am!i&uity in t#ese
necessary s:ills and a!ilities t#an t#ere is in t#e re8uired :no1led&e( or content. 0n fact(
community colle&es and !usinesses are in &eneral a&reement concernin& t#ese s:ills and
a!ilities. ,o1ever( s:ills and a!ilities are often more difficult t#an :no1led&e to teac#
and assess. 0n particular( t#ere seems to !e 1idespread consensus as to t#e need to t#in:
critically( to solve pro!lems( and to communicate mat#ematically. Several studies provide
more precise definitions of t#ese s:ills( 1#ic# 1e summari7e !elo1.
Cro''roa!'
%rossroads in Mathematics: Standards for Introductory %ollege Mathematics
&efore %alculus <#ereafter referred to simply as $rossroads=( pu!lis#ed in 3AA5 !y t#e
American /at#ematical Association of "1o Kear $olle&es( esta!lis#ed &oals and
standards for preparation for colle&e2level mat#ematics t#at are t#e most oft2cited of any
study of developmental mat#ematics at t#e postsecondary level <American /at#ematical
Association of "1o Kear $olle&es 3AA5=. A/A"K$ developed on si) &uidin& principles
upon 1#ic# it !ased its standards
3. All students s#ould &ro1 in t#eir :no1led&e of mat#ematics 1#ile attendin&
colle&e.
2. Students s#ould study mat#ematics t#at is meanin&ful and relevant.
4. /at#ematics must !e tau&#t as a la!oratory discipline.
F. "#e use of tec#nolo&y is an essential part of an up2to2date curriculum.
5. Ac8uirin& mat#ematics :no1led&e re8uires !alancin& content and instructional
strate&ies recommended in t#e A/A"K$ standards alon& 1it# t#e via!le
components of traditional instruction.

>. 0ncreased participation in mat#ematics and in careers usin& mat#ematics is a
critical &oal in our #etero&eneous society.
"#e standards are divided into t#ree cate&ories intellectual development( content(
and peda&o&y. 9ecause $rossroads is t#e seminal 1or: in t#is area( 1e summari7e its
standards( 1#ic# provide &oals for introductory colle&e mat#ematics and &uidelines for
selectin& content and instructional strate&ies for accomplis#in& t#e principles.
Inte&&e#t"a& !e(e&opment 'tan!ar!'
Students 1ill
o En&a&e in su!stantial mat#ematical pro!lem solvin&L
o Learn mat#ematics t#rou&# modelin& real21orld situationsL
o E)pand t#eir mat#ematical reasonin& s:ills as t#ey develop convincin&
mat#ematical ar&umentsL
o Develop t#e vie1 t#at mat#ematics is a &ro1in& discipline( interrelated 1it#
#uman culture( and understand its connections to ot#er disciplinesL
o Ac8uire t#e a!ility to read( 1rite( listen to( and spea: on mat#ematics
su!EectsL
o Use appropriate tec#nolo&y to en#ance t#eir mat#ematical t#in:in& and
understandin& and to solve mat#ematical pro!lems and Eud&e t#e
reasona!leness of t#eir resultsL and
o En&a&e in ric# e)periences t#at encoura&e independent( nontrivial e)ploration
in mat#ematics( develop and reinforce tenacity and confidence in t#eir
a!ilities to use mat#ematics( and inspire t#em to pursue t#e study of
mat#ematics and related disciplines.
Content 'tan!ar!'
Students 1ill
o Perform arit#metic operations and 1ill reason and dra1 conclusions from
numerical informationL
o "ranslate pro!lem situations into t#eir sym!olic representations and use t#ose
representations to solve pro!lemsL
o Develop a spatial and measurement senseL
o Demonstrate understandin& of t#e concept of function !y several means
<ver!ally( numerically( &rap#ically( and sym!olically= and incorporate it as a
central t#eme into t#eir use of mat#ematicsL
o Use discrete mat#ematical al&orit#ms and develop com!inatorial a!ilities in
order to solve pro!lems of finite c#aracter and enumerate sets 1it#out direct
countin&L
o Analy7e data and use pro!a!ility and statistical models to ma:e inferences
a!out real21orld situationsL and

o Appreciate t#e deductive nature of mat#ematics as an identifyin&
c#aracteristic of t#e disciplineL reco&ni7e t#e roles of definitions( a)ioms( and
t#eoremsL and identify and construct valid deductive ar&uments.
Pe!a.o.* 'tan!ar!'
/at#ematics faculty 1ill
o /odel t#e use of appropriate tec#nolo&y in t#e teac#in& of mat#ematics so
t#at students can !enefit from t#e opportunities it presents as a medium of
instructionL
o ;oster interactive learnin& t#rou&# student 1ritin&( readin&( spea:in&( and
colla!orative activities so t#at students can learn to 1or: effectively in &roups
and communicate a!out mat#ematics !ot# orally and in 1ritin&L
o Actively involve students in meanin&ful mat#ematics pro!lems t#at !uild on
t#eir e)periences( focus on !road mat#ematical t#emes( and !uild connections
1it#in !ranc#es of mat#ematics and ot#er disciplines so t#at students 1ill
vie1 mat#ematics as a connected 1#ole relevant to t#eir livesL
o /odel t#e use of multiple approac#esDnumerical( &rap#ical( sym!olic( and
ver!alDto #elp students learn a variety of tec#ni8ues for solvin& pro!lemsL
and
o Provide learnin& activities( includin& proEects and apprentices#ips t#at
promote independent t#in:in& and re8uire sustained effort and time so t#at
students 1ill #ave t#e confidence to access and use needed mat#ematics and
ot#er tec#nical information independently( to form conEectures from an array
of specific e)amples( and to dra1 conclusions from &eneral principles.
"#e A/A"K$ is revisin& its $rossroads curriculum standards to Bcreate a
product t#at communicates a rene1ed vision and &uidelinesC <American /at#ematical
Association of "1o Kear $olle&es 2002a=. "o t#at end( t#e A/A"K$ conducted t1o
activities to assess t#e impact of t#e ori&inal $rossroads standards. 0t sent a survey to 350
A/A"K$ mem!ers and 250 potential mem!ersL respondents num!ered F2 and 34(
respectively. 0n addition( an Association -evie1 'roup <A-'= 1as esta!lis#ed consistin&
of >4 A/A"K$ affiliates( academic committee c#airs( and mem!ers. *#ile t#e survey
response rate is lo1( 1e note t#e findin&s !ecause t#ey may !e indicative of a lar&er
trend. 0n particular( t#e survey responses su&&est t#at respondents made t#e follo1in&
c#an&es to mat#ematics curricula in response to t#e ori&inal $rossroads
recommendations
• 'reater use of tec#nolo&yL
• /ore emp#asis on conte)tual e)periences( pro!lem solvin&( or modelin&L
• /ore colla!orative 1or: in t#e classroomL and

• 0ncreased a1areness of different teac#in& and learnin& styles.
/any respondents attri!uted t#ese curricula c#an&es to $rossroads. "#ose 1#o
did not said t#at eit#er $rossroads reaffirmed suc# principles or t#e %ational $ouncil of
"eac#ers of /at#ematics <%$"/= Standards #ad a &reater effect on causin& t#ese
c#an&es. %$"/ provides compre#ensive &uidelines coverin& curricula( professional
teac#in& standards( and assessment standards tar&eted to1ard JM32 mat#ematics
curricula <%ational $ouncil of "eac#ers of /at#ematics 3A?A( 3AA3( 3AA5( 2000=.
;urt#er( survey respondents noted t#at t#e most si&nificant !arriers to
implementin& t#e $rossroads recommendations 1ere time( overcomin& faculty resistance
to c#an&e( money( scarcity of te)ts and materials( and lac: of convenient and afforda!le
professional development opportunities. ;inally( t#e top si) issues t#at faculty mem!ers
!elieve s#ould !e addressed in t#eir current reform efforts are instructional delivery(
tec#nolo&y( peda&o&y( content( adEunct faculty( and trainin& ne1 and retainin& current
faculty.
Stan!ar!' or S"##e''
$onley and 9odone <2002= provide one of t#e more compre#ensive studies of
mat#ematical content necessary for success for entry2level colle&e students. "#is study
reports findin&s from a colla!orative &roup of F00 representatives from numerous
universities t#at &enerated t#e so2called Standards for Success( in 1#ic# t#ey formulated
:ey :no1led&e and s:ills necessary for university success in entry2level courses
compared 1it# Eust #i&# sc#ool preparation. "#e Pe1 $#arita!le "rusts and t#e
Association of American Universities <AAU= sponsored t#e 1or: of $onley and 9odone(
and t#e aut#ors note t#at it is t#e first and only compre#ensive statement of university
entrance2level s:ills t#at is presented in terms of standards rat#er t#an simply in terms of
course names or !road content statements.
"#e aut#ors point out several important findin&s emanatin& from t#is 1or:. ;or
instance( academic content standards in t#e JM32 system are not set in consultation 1it#
#i&#er education personnel( and no state6s standards correlate 1it# colle&e admission
criteria. "#ese criteria are e)pressed in terms of class ran:( 'PA( and re8uired coursesD
!ut not in competencies. "#e aut#ors su&&est t#at it is important to ali&n t#e JM32
standards 1it# academic e)pectations so t#at t#ere are not t1o distinct educational
systems <JM32 versus postsecondary= 1it# vastly different :no1led&e and s:ills
e)pectations and outcomes. ,o1ever( t#ey also note t#at( 1#ile t#e !asic content
:no1led&e standards proposed !y t#is &roup do ali&n 1ell 1it# individual states6
standards for #i&# sc#ool( a real divide e)ists in t#e types of intellectual development t#at
s#ould accompany t#e mastery of content :no1led&e.
9ecause t#e Standards for Success included t#e :no1led&e and s:ills necessary(
1#ic# &oes !eyond t#e $rossroads standards( it is important to include t#e full set of
standards in t#is report. ,o1ever( !ecause t#ey are so detailed and len&t#y( 1e provide
t#e full list in Appendi) A. 0n summary( t#e standards esta!lis#ed !y t#is &roup indicate
t#at !efore pursuin& colle&e2level mat#ematics( students s#ould #ave t#e follo1in&

:no1led&e !asic arit#metic( includin& fractions and e)ponentsL !asic al&e!ra( includin&
manipulation of polynomials and solutions for systems of linear e8uations and
ine8ualitiesL !asic tri&onometric principlesL !asic pictorial and coordinate &eometry(
includin& t#e relations#ip !et1een &eometry and al&e!raL and statistics and data analysis.
;urt#er( t#e standards stipulate a!ilities similar to t#ose in $rossroads( under
mat#ematical reasonin&. ;or instance( t#ey state t#at students s#ould #ave t#e a!ility to
<a= use inductive reasonin& and a variety of strate&ies to solve pro!lemsL <!= use a
frame1or: or mat#ematical lo&ic to solve pro!lems t#at com!ine several stepsL and <c=
determine mat#ematical concept from t#e conte)t of a real21orld pro!lem( solve t#e
pro!lem( and interpret t#e solution in t#e conte)t of a real21orld pro!lem.
-elated to t#is literature( 1e note some emer&in& researc# !elo1 on mat# content
and s:ill re8uirements of students in t1o2year colle&es. "#is 1or: #as important
implications. 0t may mean a s#ift in t#e :no1led&e and s:ills t#at are necessary to pursue
mat# at t1o2year colle&es. 0t also reinforces some common t#emes in t#e t1o studies
cited( as 1ell as ot#er literature t#at 1e revie1ed and t#at 1e discuss later.
T2e V$'$on Report
;irst( 1e note t#e 1or: t#at is !ein& conducted !y A/A"K$ under t#e %ational
Science ;oundation &rant( B"ec#nical /at#ematics for "omorro1 -ecommendations and
E)emplary Pro&rams.C At a recent national conference( over ?0 educators( tec#nical
personnel from !usiness and industry( and tec#nical faculty from t1o2year colle&es
identified 1#at t#ey defined as e)emplary practices in mat#ematics pro&rams t#at serve
#i&#ly tec#nical curricula( suc# as !iotec#nolo&y( computeri7ed manufacturin&(
electronics( information tec#nolo&y( semiconductors( and telecommunications. "#eir
1or:( summari7ed in A 'ision: $inal Re(ort from the )ational %onference on *echnical
Mathematics for *omorrow <A/A"K$ 2002!= and #ereafter referred to as t#e Vision
-eport( !uilt on t#at conducted !y t#ose of t#e /at#ematical Association of America6s
</AA= su!committee on $urriculum -ene1al Across t#e ;irst "1o Kears <$-A;"K=(
1#o also participated in t#is conference.
"#e recommendations t#at emer&ed from t#is conference cover several topics.
Underlyin& t#e discussion of content is t#e necessity for students to possess certain
a!ilities t#at t#e $rossroads and Standards for Success researc# #i&#li&#ted( as 1ell as
t#ose emp#asi7ed !y ot#er studies 1e discuss later. "#e recommendations are uniform(
re&ardless of t#e learner6s a&e( level of mat#ematics( or or&ani7ation notin& t#e
re8uirement( and are e8ually important as( or per#aps even more important t#an( t#e
:no1led&e re8uirements t#emselves. "#ese are critical t#in:in& s:ills( t#e a!ility to
communicate mat#ematics( and t#e a!ility to select an appropriate met#od to solve a
pro!lemDfrom fairly !asic 1ord pro!lems to t#ose t#at are muc# more comple) and
may re8uire researc#( development of a ne1 process( data collection( or use of
tec#nolo&y to or&ani7e data.
"#e Vision -eport6s discussion of content includes arit#metic( al&e!ra( &eometry(
tri&onometry( calculus( and statistics. *#ile t#ese topics and t#eir su!cate&ories refer to

colle&e2level mat#ematics( a level !eyond 1#at concerns us #ere( t#ey indicate t#e types
of courses in 1#ic# students s#ould #ave some !ac:&round !efore pursuin& colle&e2level
mat#. 0t is 1ort# #i&#li&#tin& t#at !ot# t#e Vision -eport6s recommendations and t#ose
contained in t#e Standards for Success <$onley and 9odone <2002== include some
:no1led&e and s:ills in statistics( particularly t#e :no1led&e of analytic tools and t#e
a!ility to analy7e( interpret( and display real data. "#ey also note t#e need to !e a!le to
use spreads#eets( &rap#in& calculators( and $omputer Al&e!ra Systems. "#ese studies
su&&est t#at( in preparin& adult learners for colle&e2level mat#ematics( it 1ould !e useful
to introduce t#em simultaneously to t#e tec#nolo&y and t#e fundamental concepts of
statistics.
Amer$#an D$p&oma Pro/e#t
"#e last study on 1#ic# 1e report 1as conducted !y t#e American Diploma
ProEect <200F=( a Eoint venture of Ac#ieve( 0nc.( t#e Education "rust( and t#e "#omas
;ord#am ;oundation( and supported in part !y a &rant from t#e *illiam and ;lora
,e1lett ;oundation. "#e %ational Alliance of 9usiness also 1as an ori&inal partner of
t#e proEect. *e refer to t#is pu!lication !y proEect name rat#er t#an !y title.
4

"#is is a particularly relevant study for our 1or: for a num!er of reasons. ;irst(
t#is researc# confirms t#e findin&s of t#e studies 1e #ave Eust cited concernin& t#e
:no1led&e( s:ills( and a!ilities t#at are necessary for #i&# sc#ool &raduates( and t#erefore
adult learners( 1#o 1ant to pursue postsecondary education. 0t &oes furt#er !y providin&
precise e)amples of t#e types of pro!lems t#at students s#ould !e a!le to solve. 0n
addition( t#ese recommendations are not Eust !ased on feed!ac: from postsecondary
institutionsL t#ey #ave !een developed in partners#ip 1it# frontline mana&ers in
occupations 1it# t#e #i&#est proEected pay and s:ill re8uirements for t#e ne)t decade.
"#e &oal of t#is 1or: 1as to reali&n #i&# sc#ool diploma re8uirements 1it# t#e
e)pectations of employers and postsecondary institutions to( in t#eir terms( reesta!lis# t#e
value of a #i&# sc#ool diploma. "#e startin& point 1as to descri!e t#e En&lis# and mat#
s:ills t#at #i&# sc#ool &raduates need to succeed in postsecondary education or in #i&#2
performance( #i&#2&ro1t# Eo!s. "#e 1or: of t#e American Diploma ProEect 1as !ased on
a close colla!oration 1it# JM32( postsecondary( and !usiness leaders in suc# occupations
as #ealt#care( information tec#nolo&y( telecommunications( #i&#2tec# manufacturin&(
semiconductor tec#nolo&y( la1( ener&y( retail( and financial services.
"#e mat# content necessary reflects 1#at is typically tau&#t in al&e!ra 0 and 00(
&eometry( and data analysis( t#e latter ec#oin& t#e recommendations for statistics and
data analysis s:ills noted previously. American Diploma ProEect partners also include
analytic and reasonin& s:ills t#at t#ey su&&est #ave !een associated traditionally 1it#
#onors or Advanced Placement <AP= courses( !ut t#at t#ey no1 assert are considered to
!e essential s:ills !y colle&es and employers.
4
"#e title is Ready or )ot: %reating a +igh School ,i(loma *hat %ounts-

"#e American Diploma ProEect found a surprisin& amount of consistency in t#e
s:ills and content standards esta!lis#ed !y !usiness and postsecondary institutions
involved in t#is 1or:( !ot# 1it#in and across states. 0t concludes t#at t#is 1or: confirms
t#e notion t#at postsecondary and 1or:place e)pectations are conver&in&.
Once a&ain( t#e researc#ers note t#at it is not Eust specific :no1led&e t#at is
important !ut t#e a!ility to t#in: critically. "#ey emp#asi7e s:ills to develop and analy7e
an ar&ument( to define and researc# a pro!lem( to present a 1ell2reasoned solution to t#e
pro!lem( and to apply !asic :no1led&e and s:ills in ne1 and unfamiliar conte)ts.
,o1ever( unli:e many of t#e standards 1e #ave revie1ed( t#e American Diploma
ProEect differentiates t#e :no1led&e and s:ills necessary !y 1#et#er t#e person intends to
maEor in mat# or in mat#2dependent fields. "#is is an important distinction in terms of
1#at defines ade8uate preparation to pursue colle&e2level mat#ematics. $ertainly( t#e
ans1er to t#is 8uestion 1ould depend on 1#et#er t#e person plans to pursue a career in(
for e)ample( electronics en&ineerin& versus la1.
"#e proEect6s researc# includes specific !enc#mar:s and actual 1or:place tas:s
and postsecondary assi&nments t#at illustrate eac# of t#ese !enc#mar:s. E)amples of
t#ese tas:s can !e found on its *e! site at 111.ac#ieve.or&.
S"mmar*
"#e four studies t#at 1e revie1edD$rossroads( Standards for Success( t#e Vision
-eport( and t#e American Diploma ProEectDto&et#er provide consistent and
compre#ensive &uidance on specific topics and t#e s:ill t#res#old necessary to pursue
colle&e2level mat#ematics. "#e consensus is t#at students s#ould #ave a !asic foundation
in &eometry( tri&onometry( al&e!ra 0 and 00( and some !asic statistics. All four studies
emp#asi7e t#e importance of mat#ematical s:ills( particularly critical t#in:in& s:ills. "#is
researc# also indicates t#e necessity of tailorin& t#e preparation to t#e types of colle&e
mat# and career pat# t#at t#e person intends to pursue.
*#ile t#e conclusions and recommendations of t#ese studies are !ased on careful
researc# and colla!oration 1it# postsecondary institutions or !usinesses or !ot#( t#ey
#ave yet to !e adopted universally !y t1o2year colle&es. Even 1#ere t#ey are in use(
assessment of incomin& students6 s:ills may not reflect t#is ne1 approac# to content or
a!ilities. As 1e noted previously( it is muc# easier to assess in a paper2and2pencil test
1#et#er a person #as command over certain !asic s:ills t#at re8uire memori7ation t#an it
is to determine 1#et#er a person #as t#e critical t#in:in& s:ills to perform #i&#er2level
mat# t#at postsecondary education and t#e 1or:place re8uire.
An e)amination of t#e ade8uacy of assessment tests in determinin& 1#et#er
incomin& students possess ade8uate s:ills and a!ilities re8uired for t#ese emer&in& trends
is !eyond t#e scope of t#is study. ,o1ever( 1e turn to a discussion of assessment tests
!ecause( more t#an anyt#in& else( t#ey are currently t#e most common re8uirement of
students 1#o 1is# to pursue colle&e2level mat#ematics at community colle&es.


A''e''ment an! P&a#ement Po&$#$e'
"#e use and misuse of placement tests is central to t#is revie1 for t1o reasons.
;irst( accordin& to a recent survey !y t#e American Association of $ommunity $olle&es(
5? percent of its F00 respondents re8uired adult learners transitionin& from an A9E
pro&ram to pass an assessment of !asic s:ills in order to enroll in a colle&e2level mat#
course <Sc#ults 2003=. Studies t#at 1e revie1ed su&&est t#at mandatory student
assessment and placement tests #ave a positive impact on student performance. Koun&
<2002= ar&ues t#at re8uirin& mandatory placement tests is a &ood policy !ecause
numerous studies #ave s#o1n t#at students 1#o ta:e mandatory placement and
assessment tests and su!se8uently enroll in developmental courses perform !etter in
colle&e2level courses t#an similar students 1#o do not ta:e developmental courses. And
accordin& to 9oylan and Sa)on <2002=( fe1er t#an 30 percent of students 1#o re8uire
remediation 1ill !e successful in colle&e 1it#out &ettin& it. "#eir 1or:( !ased on a
synt#esis of over 200 studies on developmental education( finds t#at only t#e most
motivated students 1ill enroll 1#en assessment and placement into developmental
courses is voluntary. "#ey conclude t#at placement and assessment s#ould !e made
mandatory. ,o1ever( 1e note t#at( if unmotivated students are not see:in& remediation(
ma:in& remediation mandatory 1ill not necessarily increase t#eir motivation level or
t#eir course performance.
"#e ot#er reason for focusin& on placement tests is t#at an understandin& of test
content and cutoff scores to !ypass developmental mat#ematics may #elp to create
curriculum &uidelines for en#ancin& A9E pro&rams. 0n particular( t#ey may provide
useful information not only a!out 1#at students s#ould :no1 !ut 1#at level of
compre#ension is re8uired. Usin& ot#er tests( suc# as standardi7ed tests or #i&# sc#ool
e)it e)ams( may not !e sufficient in many cases. Several studies 1e revie1ed ar&ued t#at
t#ere is a disconnect !et1een scores on standardi7ed tests used !y postsecondary
institutions and scores on e)it e)ams re8uired for #i&# sc#ool &raduation( or on ot#er
measures of mat#ematics :no1led&e ac8uired in #i&# sc#ool.
;or instance( a study conducted in t#e mid23AA0s loo:ed at #o1 #i&# sc#ool
preparation affected placement rates in developmental courses at Uta# Valley State
$olle&e <UVS$= <,oyt and Sorensen 2003=. 0n t#at study( t#e researc#ers surveyed #i&#
sc#ool transcripts from five #i&# sc#ools in t1o districts for 3AA5 t#rou&# 3AA5 to
determine t#e relations#ip !et1een #i&# sc#ool preparation and colle&e placement test
scores. Of t#ose students 1#o too: al&e!ra 00 and &eometry( t#e nominal prere8uisites for
colle&e al&e!ra( t#e avera&e score on t#e American $olle&e "est <A$"=
F
mat# component
1as 20 in one district and 3A in anot#er. Durin& t#e time frame under study( UVS$
re8uired students to score 2F or #i&#er on t#e A$" mat# component to !e eli&i!le to
enroll in colle&e al&e!ra. 0n fact( over #alf of all students in t#ese districts 1#o #ad
completed t#at level of #i&# sc#ool mat# 1ere su!se8uently placed into developmental
F
"#e A$" is one of t#e t1o most popular tests used for four2year colle&e admissions. *e discuss t#e
various placement tests later in t#is section.

mat# at UVS$. "#us( ta:in& t#e presumed prere8uisites for colle&e al&e!ra is no
&uarantee t#at t#e student 1ill ac8uire t#e level of competency to ta:e colle&e al&e!ra.
,oyt and Sorensen <2003= found t#at t#eir results 1ere consistent 1it# t#ose
o!tained from A$" for nation1ide trends. "#e pu!lis#er of A$" <A$"( 0nc.= reported
t#at( for t#ose in t#e class of 3AA? 1#o too: t#e A$"( totalin& nearly 3 million students(
t#e avera&e mat# A$" score 1as 3? for t#ose 1#o #ad completed al&e!ra 00Dstill !elo1
t#e standard used !y most colle&es for colle&e2level mat#ematics.
5
Similarly( in a study conducted !y t#e State of *as#in&ton( scores on t#e 30t#2
&rade *as#in&ton State Assessment of Student Learnin& <*ASL= test 1ere compared
1it# scores on colle&e placement tests for students ta:in& !ot# tests in t#e same sprin&
term <Pavelc#e:( Stern( and Olsen 2002=. "#e aut#ors found t#at( 1#ile t#ere 1as
si&nificant correlation in t#e content of t#e tests( t#e colle&e placement tests tended to
include some #i&#er2level material t#an t#at in t#e *ASL. Even so( *ASL scores and
colle&e placement scores 1ere moderately correlated. ;urt#er( 1#ile a score !et1een F00
and F2F on t#e *ASL is sufficient to Bmeet standards(C t#ey found t#at only 44 percent of
students 1#o scored F00 on t#e *ASL #ad placement scores #i&# enou&# to place t#em
in colle&e2level mat#. ;urt#er( students 1#o scored FF2 on t#e *ASL( considered to !e
e)ceedin& standards( #ad only a 552percent c#ance of !ein& placed in a colle&e2level
mat# course !ased on t#eir standardi7ed placement test scores.
*e turn no1 to a discussion of t#e tests most commonly used !y community
colle&es for t#e purpose of placin& students in mat#ematics courses.
Te't' Common&* U'e!
7
"#e most 1ell2:no1n tests are t#e t1o standard colle&e entrance e)ams typically
ta:en !y students see:in& admission to a four2year colle&e t#e A$" and t#e Sc#olastic
Assessment "est <SA"=. Eac# test assesses students6 ver!al and mat#ematical reasonin&
s:ills( and virtually all four2year colle&es re8uire results from at least one of t#ese tests
for admission.
$ommunity colle&es do not re8uire t#e A$" or t#e SA" for entrance to t#e
institution. 0nstead( admission typically is !ased on #i&# sc#ool 'PA or( even less
strin&ent( admission is open to all t#ose 1it# eit#er a #i&# sc#ool de&ree or 'ED. 0n t#e
case of t#ose 1#o are not see:in& a de&ree !ut 1ant to ta:e vocational courses or simply
1ant to ta:e a limited num!er of courses( admission is typically open to everyone.
5

*#ile t1o2year colle&es do not re8uire t#e A$" or t#e SA"( some 1ill accept scores from
eit#er one of t#ese tests in lieu of institutionally re8uired tests to determine 1#et#er t#e
student #as t#e necessary !asic s:ills in mat#ematics. 0n some cases( #o1ever( t#e student
5
*e discuss t#e A$" and commonly used cutoff scores later( !ut &enerally a score of 3A or #i&#er on t#e
mat# component of t#e A$" is re8uired.
>
;or reference( t#e ma)imum mat#ematics component score is ?00 on t#e SA"( 4> on t#e A$"( 300 on t#e
$O/PASS test( 55 on t#e ASSE" test( and 320 on t#e A$$UPLA$E- test.
5
;or instance( in 3AAA22000( >2 percent of pu!lic t1o2year institutions #ad a policy of open admissions
<%$ES 2002( ta!le 40?=.

may still !e re8uired to ta:e t#e !asic s:ills assessment test !ecause t#e tests are re8uired
to place t#e student in t#e correct colle&e2level mat#ematics course.
"#ree tests t#at are more 1idely used and #ave !een developed specifically to
assess !asic s:ills are t#e Assessment of S:ills for Successful Entry and "ransfer
<ASSE"= and t#e $omputeri7ed Adaptive Placement Assessment and Support System
<$O/PASS=( !ot# of 1#ic# are pu!lis#ed !y A$"( and A$$UPLA$E-( pu!lis#ed !y
t#e $olle&e 9oard. A less commonly used test is t#e "est of Adult 9asic Education
<"A9E=( produced !y $"9 /c'ra12,ill. *e descri!e t#ese tests ne)t. *e &at#ered t#e
information reported in t#is section from telep#one conversations 1it# corporate
representatives( from e2mail e)c#an&es 1it# t#e same( and from *e! sites. "#e contact
list is included in t#e !i!lio&rap#y.
ASSET an! COMPASS
"#e ASSE" and $O/PASS tests cover muc# t#e same material( e)cept t#at t#e
$O/PASS test is a computeri7ed adaptive test( 1#ile ASSE" is a paper and pencil test.
"#e mat# component of t#e ASSE" test covers numerical s:ills( elementary al&e!ra(
intermediate al&e!ra( and colle&e al&e!ra( and $O/PASS covers pre2al&e!ra( al&e!ra(
colle&e al&e!ra( and tri&onometry.
Accordin& to A$"( a!out 3(000 institutions use $O/PASS( ?5 percent of 1#ic#
are t1o2year colle&es and t#e remainin& 35 percent are four2year colle&es. ASSE" is used
!y a!out 500 institutions( some of 1#ic# use !ot# ASSE" and $O/PASS. And to t#eir
:no1led&e( no t1o2year colle&e uses A$" e)clusively to assess students6 !asic s:ills
<-ot# 2004=.
A$" #as compiled data t#at reflect t#e most typical cut scores t#at institutions
report t#ey are usin& to determine ade8uate preparation for various levels of mat#ematics(
1#ic# 1e provide in Appendi) $ <-ot# 2004=. "#e ta!le includes compara!le scores for
all t#ree tests A$"( ASSE" and $O/PASS. "#e courses at t#e top of t#e list are t#ose
t#at are usually considered to !e developmental mat#ematics. A$" notes t#at colle&es
&enerally re8uire a score of at least 24 on t#e mat#ematics component of t#e A$" to !e
allo1ed to enroll in a colle&e al&e!ra class. ;or reference( >> percent of all people 1#o
too: t#e A$" in 2004 scored 22 or !elo1 on t#e mat#ematics component <A$" 2004=.
,o1ever( as 1e note later( it appears t#at several states #ave esta!lis#ed an A$" mat#
score of 3A or 20 as t#e minimum score necessary for students to enroll in colle&e2level
mat#ematics courses. ;or reference( FF percent of all 1#o too: t#e A$" in 2004 scored
!elo1 20 on t#e mat# component.
ACCUPLACER
Accordin& to t#e $olle&e 9oard( t#e pu!lis#er of A$$UPLA$E-( a!out ?00
postsecondary institutions use t#is test( rou&#ly F0 percent of 1#ic# are four2year
colle&esL t#e rest are t1o2year colle&es. 0n addition( some #i&# sc#ools use t#is test in
conEunction 1it# t#e local community colle&e </urp#y 2004=.

"#e $olle&e 9oard provided us 1it# information pertainin& to t#e level of
proficiency in eac# of t#e t#ree cate&ories <arit#metic( elementary al&e!ra( and colle&e2
level mat#ematics= t#at scores represent. "#ey are reproduced in Appendi) D.
TA,E
"#e "A9E !attery encompasses five &raduated levels of difficulty across five
different content areas t#at include readin&( lan&ua&e( and applied mat#ematics. 0n
addition to its re&ular forms( t#e "A9E is availa!le in a special version suita!le for use in
a 1or: environment and in a Spanis# edition desi&ned to measure t#e !asic s:ills of
Spanis#2spea:in& adults in t#eir primary lan&ua&e.
"#e "A9E 1as developed t#rou&# a revie1 of adult curricula and follo12up
meetin&s 1it# content specialists to determine common educational &oals( :no1led&e(
and s:ills emp#asi7ed in t#e curricula. "#e "A9E is availa!le in !ot# paper2and2pencil
and soft1are formats. "#e soft1are is P$2!ased to permit electronic administration and
scorin&.
State4'pe#$$# Po&$#$e'
@
%ot all states mandate 1#et#er( or 1#ic#( assessment tests must !e administered
to incomin& students. *e searc#ed t#e 0nternet and contacted several officials in states
t#at #ad policies &overnin& t#e placement of incomin& fres#man to learn more a!out
1#at tests and cutoffs t#ey use. 0n correspondence 1it# t#e ;lorida Department of
Education( 1e learned t#at ;lorida re8uires all enterin& fres#men in a de&ree pro&ram at
any pu!lic community colle&e or state university to ta:e a common placement test in
mat#( readin&( and 1ritin& <S#erry 2004=. ;lorida uses a computeri7ed( adaptive test(
called t#e $omputeri7ed Placement "ests

<$P"= t#at 1as developed !y t#e $olle&e 9oard
and is part of t#e A$$UPLA$E- System. "#e score re8uired on t#e elementary al&e!ra(
a minimum of 52( is all t#at is re8uired for a student to !e enrolled in colle&e2level
mat#ematics. Amon& t#e various e)emptions stipulated !y t#e state are completion of an
associate de&ree or #i&#er( or a score of FF0 or !etter on t#e mat# portion of t#e SA" or
3A or !etter on t#e En#anced A$".
"#e O:la#oma State -e&ents for ,i&#er Education #ave a policy t#at &overns
entry2level assessments at all pu!lic institutions 1it#in O:la#oma( 1it# only certain
specifics and ot#er re8uirements determined !y eac# institution. "#eir policy concernin&
mat#ematics is t#at all students at all institutions are re8uired to score a minimum of 3A
on t#e mat# portion of t#e A$" prior to placement in a colle&e2level mat# course.
Students 1#o do not meet t#at re8uirement are &iven t#e opportunity to ta:e an additional
test t#at is selected !y t#e institution. 0n t#is system( 33 institutions use A$$UPLA$E-(
3F use $O/PASS( one uses ASSE"( and one uses t#e E"S for t#e secondary
mat#ematics assessment </oss 2004=. Some of t#ese institutions use com!inations of
tests( includin& locally developed instruments. "#e cut2scores are determined !y t#e
?
;or reference( t#e ma)imum mat#ematics component score is ?00 on t#e SA"( 4> on t#e A$"( 300 on t#e
$O/PASS test( 55 on t#e ASSE" test( and 320 on t#e A$$UPLA$E- test.

institution and vary &reatly amon& institutions. "#e O:la#oma state re&entsN policy #as no
re8uirement for eit#er t#e met#od of assessment or t#e cut2scores.
"#e "ennessee 9oard of -e&ents re8uires an assessment of all students admitted
1it# less t#an 3A on t#e A$" in mat#( or F>0 on t#e mat# portion of t#e SA". "#ose
students 1#o #ave not ta:en t#e A$" or SA"( or 1#ose scores are !elo1 t#e cutoffs and
1ant to c#allen&e t#e results( must ta:e t#e $O/PASS test for appropriate placement
<9radley 2004=.
0n t#e University System of 'eor&ia( students must ta:e a placement test if t#ey
#ave not completed t#e colle&e preparatory curriculum <four years of #i&# sc#ool mat#=
or #ave SA" mat# scores !elo1 F00. "o !e e)empted from or e)it re8uired remediation( a
student must #ave a $O/PASS al&e!ra score of at least 45. 0nstitutions may set #i&#er
scores <9ur: 2004=.
All first2time enterin& fres#men at all state2supported colle&es and universities in
Ar:ansas 1#o are admitted to enroll in all associate or !ac#elorNs de&ree pro&rams must
!e tested !y t#e admittin& institution for placement purposes. Students must score 3A or
a!ove on t#e mat# section of t#e En#anced A$"( F>0 or a!ove on t#e 8uantitative portion
of t#e recentered SA"( 4A or a!ove on t#e ASSE" intermediate al&e!ra test( or F3 percent
or a!ove on t#e $O/PASS al&e!ra test to enroll in colle&e2level mat#ematics courses.
Students not meetin& t#e standard must successfully complete a developmental mat#
pro&ram demonstratin& ac#ievement at a level at least as sop#isticated as intermediate
al&e!ra. "#ese scores are considered to !e t#e minimum mat# re8uirement( and
individual institutions may elect to follo1 a #i&#er standard <9ird 200F=.
"#e Sout# Da:ota 9oard of -e&ents developed a standardi7ed placement process
t#at re8uires all enterin& fres#men see:in& a !ac#elor6s de&ree( or enrollin& students in
En&lis# and mat#ematics( to eit#er score 20 or #i&#er on t#e A$" or ta:e t#e $O/PASS
e)am. ;or $O/PASS( t#ey must score F5 or &reater on t#e al&e!ra test in order to enroll
in a colle&e2level mat# course.
Accordin& to t#e *est Vir&inia ,i&#er Education Policy $ommission *e! site( in
order to enroll in colle&e2level mat#( students must score F>0 or a!ove in t#e SA" mat#
test( 3A or #i&#er on t#e A$" mat# test( F0 or #i&#er on t#e numerical and 4? on t#e
elementary al&e!ra ASSE" tests( 5A on t#e pre2al&e!ra and 4> on t#e al&e!ra $O/PASS
tests( or ?5 on t#e arit#metic and ?F on t#e elementary al&e!ra A$$UPLA$E- tests
<*est Vir&inia ,i&#er Education Policy $ommission 2004=.
"#e cutoff score re8uired to enroll in colle&e2level mat# course in $olorado is FF0
or #i&#er on t#e mat# SA" test or 3A or #i&#er on t#e A$" mat# test <$olorado
$ommunity $olle&e Online Placement "estin& 2004=.
;or comparison( in ta!le 3 1e summari7e t#e minimum scores necessary for t#e
A$"( SA"( A$$UPLA$E-( $O/PASS( and ASSE" tests provided as stipulated !y state

policies or a test pu!lis#er. *e note t#at( in all cases( t#e minimum scores provided !y t#e
test pu!lis#er are #i&#er t#an t#ose mandated !y t#e states included in our survey.

Ta%&e +: S"mmar* o Re>"$re! M$n$m"m Mat2emat$#' A''e''ment Te't S#ore' o
Se&e#te! State'
State ACT SAT ACCUPLACER COMPASS
A&.e%ra
ASSET
A- 3A F>0 F3 0nter. Al& 4A
$O 3A FF0
;L 3A FF0 Elem. Al& 52
'A F00 45
OJ 3A
SD 20 F5
"% 3A F>0
*V 3A F>0 Arit# ?5
Elem. Al& ?F
Al&e!ra 4>
Pre2Al& 5A
%um. S:ills F0
$olle&e Al& 24
Pu!lis#er 24 Arit# A4
Elem. Al& ?2
$olle&e /at# >4
>>
*#ile t#e value of placement tests is :no1n( some researc# #as s#o1n t#at not all
assessment tests accurately place students in developmental mat#ematics courses. ;or
instance( faculty at t#e United States Air ;orce Academy 1anted to determine 1#et#er
providin& appointees to t#e academy 1it# a practice placement e)am !efore t#e actual
placement e)am 1ould reduce t#e num!er of students re8uired to ta:e developmental
mat#ematics( and 1#et#er t#ose 1#o too: t#e practice e)am and 1ere su!se8uently
placed into colle&e2level calculus did 1orse in t#at course <-eva:( ;ric:enstein( and
$ri!! 3AA5=. -eva: and #is collea&ues found t#at t#e placement scores for t#ose 1#o
too: t#e practice e)am 1ere si&nificantly #i&#er t#an for t#ose 1#o did not. ;urt#er(
t#ose 1#o too: t#e practice e)am and 1ere placed into calculus 0 1ere as successful in
t#at course as t#ose 1#o did not ta:e t#e practice e)am. "#eir e)periment also resulted in
fe1er students !ein& placed into remediation mat# <precalculus at t#e Air ;orce
Academy=. "#us( t#e practice placement e)am allo1ed more students to place into( and
successfully pass( calculus 0 t#eir first semester.
*e turn no1 to a revie1 of t#e literature pertainin& to successful instructional
strate&ies.


W2at In'tr"#t$ona& Met2o!' Wor- ,e't or A!"&t Learner'5
Our revie1 of t#e literature includes 35 studies of developmental mat#ematics
pro&rams in postsecondary institutions.
A
*e c#ose t#ese studies !ecause t#ey addressed
developmental mat#ematics in particular( t#ey covered a num!er of different strate&ies(
and t#ey 1ere representative of t#e !ody of literature in &eneral. ,o1ever( 1e 1ere not
a!le to identify any studies of developmental mat#ematics t#at 1ere !ased on randomi7ed
controlled trial <-$"= e)periments. -$" #as !ecome t#e &old standard for researc#
<%ational -esearc# $ouncil 2002= and is t#e met#od t#at #as !een found to !e t#e most
un!iased in evaluatin& t#e effect of pro&rammatic interventions in t#e field of education.
0nstead( t#e studies 1e found are !ased on nonscientific met#ods( 1it# students self2
selectin&
30
into t#e course( and no attempt is made to control for factors t#at are
correlated 1it# suc# c#oices. Even so( 1e cover t#ese studies in some detail !ecause 1e
!elieve t#at t#eir findin&s #elp to inform our initial understandin& of pro&rammatic
structures and practices t#at may #old promise. *e also include findin&s from studies of
developmental education in &eneral t#at serve to reinforce t#e findin&s from t#e
developmental mat#ematics literature( or to su&&est promisin& practices in areas t#at #ave
not !een addressed for developmental mat#ematics for adult learners specifically.
T2e Ro&e o Te#2no&o.*
"#e literature t#at 1e revie1ed pertainin& to instructional met#ods in
developmental education in &eneral( and in developmental mat#ematics in particular(
revealed t#at a si&nificant !ody of researc# #as !een devoted to t#e 8uestion of t#e
relative value of tec#nolo&y versus t#e traditional instructor2led modality( and t#e e)tent
to 1#ic# tec#nolo&y s#ould !e used as an instructional tool. *e concentrate on t#is
de!ate in t#is section( and revie1 ot#er classroom strate&ies in t#e section on peda&o&y.
-esearc# on education tec#nolo&y #as increased tremendously in t#is arena in t#e
past several years( 1it# studies on t#e effectiveness la&&in& !e#ind. ;or instance( 1#ile
calculators #ave !een around for decades( controversy still e)ists over t#e appropriate use
of t#is far less complicated and far more pervasive tec#nolo&y.
A
See Appendi) 9 for a summary of t#e studies 1e revie1ed.
30
"#e difficulty 1it# self2selection is t#at it can cause a statistical !ias resultin& in a misattri!ution of cause
and effect. ;or e)ample( consider a system t#at allo1s eac# student to select #is or #er o1n met#od of
instruction. "#ose 1#o are more motivated and more confident 1ould !e more li:ely to select computer2
!ased instruction !ecause t#ey are more familiar 1it# computers. 0n a simple statistical test( it 1ould not !e
surprisin& to find t#at students usin& computer2!ased instruction #ave a #i&#er pass rate in t#e course t#an
t#ose usin& an alternative met#od of instruction. 0t 1ould !e incorrect to conclude t#at it is t#e mode of
instruction t#at is causin& t#e !etter results unless it is possi!le to adEust for t#e motivation and confidence
of t#e enterin& students. 0t is rare in t#is conte)t to !e a!le to ma:e suc# an adEustment. 0n an -$"
e)periment( #o1ever( in 1#ic# eac# student is randomly assi&ned to eit#er an e)perimental or traditional
class <t#e latter constitutes t#e control &roup=( ( t#ere is no reason to !elieve t#at students assi&ned to one
mode of instruction are any different from students assi&ned to anot#er mode. "#us( if t#ere are differences
in outcomes( t#ey can !e more confidently attri!uted to t#e mode of instruction.

Per#aps t#e &reatest topic of de!ate and uncertainty in t#e effectiveness of various
strate&ies in developmental education for adult learners is in t#e appropriate use of
tec#nolo&y. "#e de!ate includes 8uestions of #o1 e)tensively it s#ould !e used( as 1ell
as t#e appropriate c#oice of tec#nolo&y. ;or instance( /acDonald et al. <2002=
summari7e t#e de!ate as follo1s B"#e de!ate is over 1#et#er or not to utili7e tec#nolo&y
t#at is capa!le of conductin& t#e very s:ill t#at t#e developmental mat#ematics student is
tryin& to o!tainC <p. 4>=. "#ey note t#at one aspect of t#e de!ate concerns t#e type of
calculator t#at students s#ould useDscientific versus &rap#in&. Unli:e &rap#in&
calculators( scientific calculators do not allo1 t#e learner to see t#e connection !et1een
input parameters and output results. ,o1ever( t#e de!ate cannot !e conducted apart from
t#e content of t#e course( as t#e aut#ors point out. A num!er of developmental
mat#ematics instructors are findin& &reater success in usin& calculators 1#en t#ey c#an&e
t#eir emp#asis from !asic s:ills to pro!lem solvin&( usin& real21orld pro!lems or
emp#asi7in& development of critical t#in:in& s:ills.
"#ere is even a de!ate a!out t#e precise definition of certain terms( includin&
computer2!ased education <$9E=( computer2!ased instruction <$90=( computer2assisted
instruction <$A0=( computer2mana&ed instruction <$/0=( and computer2enric#ed
instruction <$E0=. ;or t#e purpose of t#is revie1( t#e term $A0 1ill !e used to refer to
instruction t#at is typically a supplement to traditional instructor2led instruction and most
commonly includes drill2and2practice( tutorial( or simulation activities.
A num!er of studies evaluate t#e impact of various teac#in& delivery met#ods on
student success( suc# as traditional lecture( computer2assisted courses( self2paced
instruction( 0nternet2!ased courses( and accelerated pro&rams. Several studies reported
inconsistent conclusions as to 1#et#er tec#nolo&y2assisted or tec#nolo&y2!ased
instruction is superior to instructor2led approac#es. $onclusions are !ased on different
definitions of success in eac# study( suc# as receivin& a passin& &rade in t#e course(
persistence to #i&#er2level mat#ematics( or scores on final e)ams. ,o1ever( t#ere is
&eneral a&reement t#at( 1#ile students may not necessarily !e more competent 1it# one
particular type of instructional mode( t#eir persistence in developmental mat# and !eyond
may !e en#anced !y t#e option of instructional c#oice. Several researc#ers contend t#at
allo1in& students to c#oose t#e instructional met#od t#at t#ey feel !est suits t#eir
particular learnin& style ma:es t#em more li:ely to complete t#e course and per#aps ta:e
#i&#er2level mat#ematics.
Comp"ter4A''$'te! In'tr"#t$on
Our first studies on t#is topic include computer2assisted instruction as an option to
t#e traditional instructor2led modality. $artnal <3AAA= e)amined success( retention( and
persistence in several mat# courses !et1een t#ose offerin& traditional instructor2led
met#ods and computer2assisted courses. "#e study found t#at students 1#o too:
computer2assisted courses in elementary al&e!ra and intermediate al&e!ra #ad #i&#er
retention rates( !ut students in t#e traditionally tau&#t courses #ad a #i&#er success rate(
defined as receivin& a passin& &rade <$ or #i&#er=. ,o1ever( of t#ose 1#o successfully
completed t#e computer2assisted al&e!ra courses( a &reater percenta&e 1ent on to ta:e
#i&#er mat#( includin& tri&onometry and precalculus. 9ecause t#e study did not control

for self2selection( and results are not ro!ust( $artnal su&&ests t#e need to do furt#er
researc# in t#is area.
/c$lendon and /cArdle <2002= conducted a study of t#e effectiveness of t#ree
delivery modalities of developmental instruction in mat#ematics in t#e /at#ematics
Department of t#e *inter Par: $ampus of ;lorida6s Valencia $ommunity $olle&e
traditional lecture( Academic Systems <an 0nternet2accessed soft1are curriculum t#at
com!ines lecture( practice pro&rams( and self2administered assessment tests=( and
Assessment and LEarnin& in Jno1led&e Spaces <ALEJS= <a nonlinear( nontraditional
0nternet2!ased course=. Students 1ere a1are of 1#ic# modality 1as used in eac# of t#e
classes( and t#eir advisors 1ere told !y t#e researc#ers 1#ic# modality 1as optimal for
various learnin& styles. ,o1ever( students self2selected into eac# course( and not all
students used advisors 1#en selectin& courses. 0n addition( ALEJS 1as t#e only
modality availa!le for students 1#o re&istered late.
Usin& ra1 percenta&es of students 1#o completed t#e course <defined as a &rade
of $ or #i&#er=( t#e study found t#at students 1#o attended t#e traditional lectures #ad t#e
#i&#est completion rate( 1#ile t#ose 1#o attended ALEJS #ad t#e lo1est. 9ecause of t#e
si&nificantly #i&#er 1it#dra1al rate in t#e ALEJS courses versus t#e traditional lecture
met#od( 1#ic# t#ey !elieve 1as due to t#e ina!ility of a lar&e num!er of students to self2
select out of ALEJS( t#e researc#ers recalculated t#e completion rate only of t#ose 1#o
did not 1it#dra1 from t#e course. %ettin& out 1it#dra1als( t#e aut#ors found no
si&nificant difference in outcomes !y modality. %evert#eless( t#e study concluded t#at
institutions s#ould consider ma:in& various learnin& modalities availa!le.
Similar to t#e study !y /c$lendon and /cArdle( Jinney <2003= analy7ed t#e
difference in effectiveness of various approac#es to teac#in& elementary al&e!ra and
intermediate al&e!ra at t#e University of /innesotaM'eneral $olle&e. "1o met#ods 1ere
used( 1it# students c#oosin& t#e one t#at t#ey !elieved 1ould meet t#eir learnin&
preferences !est direct instruction classes or a computer2mediated instruction usin& 1#at
is :no1n as a full implementation model. 0n t#is latter model( students met at t#e same
time and follo1ed t#e same sc#edule( !ut t#e soft1are delivered t#e instruction 1#ile t#e
instructor provided individual or small &roup assistance on re8uest. "#e advanta&e of t#is
type of instruction for developmental education is t#at it provides students 1it# an
alternative to direct instruction( and &ives t#em more control over t#eir learnin&.
,o1ever( t#is is not a self2paced model.
"#e study found no si&nificant difference in scores on common final e)ams
!et1een t#e t1o met#ods of instruction. ,o1ever( students in !ot# &roups reported an
increase in confidence to succeed in mat#( and t#eir attitudes to1ard mat# #ad improved.
And( similar to /c$lendon and /cArdle( Jinney also concluded t#at it is important to
provide students 1it# alternative instructional formats and to &ive t#em &uidance in
c#oosin& t#e format t#at !est suits t#eir particular learnin& style.
0n a similar vein( a study conducted !y $reery <2003= compared t#e outcomes of
developmental mat# students tau&#t !asic mat# usin& lecture( self2paced( and online

met#ods. %ot all students 1ere a1are of t#e different modalities 1#en t#ey si&ned up for
t#e course( alt#ou&# descriptions 1ere availa!le in t#e !ulletin. "#ey also conclude t#at
many of t#e students in t#e nontraditional modalities 1ere in t#ose classes !ecause t#e
traditional ones 1ere already closed( a&ain implyin& t#at t#ese types of students 1ere
enrollin& relatively late. $reery noted t#at many of t#e students in t#e online courses #ad
relatively fe1 computer s:ills.
$reery uses &rades at t#e end of t#e semester for t#ose 1#o did not drop out !y
t#e end of t#e first 1ee: of class to evaluate t#e outcomes of t#e t#ree met#ods. %o
statistically si&nificant difference in t#e outcomes for t#e t#ree different delivery met#ods
1as found. ;ollo1in& students into t#e ne)t level mat# course( elementary al&e!ra( t#e
results 1ere t#e sameDno statistically si&nificant difference for t#e t#ree delivery
met#ods. Even so( $reery ar&ues t#at it is important to offer various met#ods of
instruction.
A seven2year study conducted !y *aycaster <2003= in five Vir&inia colle&es
e)amined 30 instructors and 35 developmental mat# classes 1#ose primary instruction
1as eit#er lecture 1it# la! or individuali7ed computer2aided instruction. "#e &oal 1as to
determine t#e most effective ideas and teac#in& met#ods !ein& used in developmental
mat#ematics( loo:in& specifically at suc# factors as course credit #ours( class si7e(
attendance( student and teac#er &ender( class participation rates( met#od of instruction(
success rates in developmental and su!se8uent colle&e2level mat#ematics courses( and
retention and &raduation rates.
-esults indicated t#at t#e success rate in t#e developmental classes( defined as a
passin& &rade( 1as independent of t#e manner of instruction used( alt#ou&# no test for
statistically si&nificant difference in proportion passin& 1as conducted. 0t also 1as found
t#at students 1#o too: developmental mat#ematics #ad #i&#er retention rates <alt#ou&#
retention is not defined( it often means persistence at t#e colle&e from one semester to
anot#er=( a&ain !y simply loo:in& at t#e retention rates across pro&rams for t#ose 1#o
too: developmental mat#ematics versus t#ose 1#o did not.
Several studies included in our revie1 addressed t#e effectiveness of specific
soft1are in developmental mat#ematics pro&rams. "1o of t#e studies 1ere !ased on a
popular computer2!ased instructional tool( t#e PLA"O Adult Learnin& "ec#nolo&ies.
Eac# study found t#e use of soft1are to !e effective( eit#er as a self2paced pro&ram( or as
a computer2assisted component of an instructor2led course.
Iuinn <2004= reported on t#e success of adult learners usin& t#is system at
/iami2Dade $ommunity $olle&e. As part of t#e admission process( all students at
/iami2Dade $ommunity $olle&e must ta:e a $P"( developed !y t#e $olle&e 9oard as
part of its A$$UPLA$E- system( to assess t#eir competency in readin& compre#ension(
sentence s:ills( elementary al&e!ra( and arit#metic. Students must ac#ieve a certain score
to !e a!le to ta:e colle&e2level courses. 0f students do not pass t#e $P"( t#ey are re8uired
to meet 1it# counselors and receive &uidance as to 1#at t#ey must do to pass t#e $P"(

1#ic# includes assi&nments to complete certain PLA"O Adult Learnin& "ec#nolo&ies
course1are modules.
;ollo1in& ?2 students 1#o used t#e PLA"O soft1are for arit#metic s:ills( and 5A
1#o used it for elementary al&e!ra( Iuinn found t#at student scores on t#e $P" s#o1ed a
statistically si&nificant increase for !ot# su!Eects( 1it# an avera&e &ain of a!out one
standard deviation.
33
Iuinn also 1as a!le to correlate t#e time spent on t#e soft1are to
increases in $P" scores and found t#at( for every #our students spent on t#e course1are
instruction( t#ey &ained 0.>3 percent to 3.?> percent on t#e $P" reta:e test.
Lancaster <2003= studied t#e effectiveness of usin& PLA"O computer2assisted
instruction in developmental courses at +efferson Davis $ommunity $olle&e <+D$$=. All
students are placed in t#e appropriate class !ased on scores on t#e $O/PASS test( 1#ic#
t#ey ta:e at enrollment. Students 1#ose scores place t#em into t1o or more
developmental courses are re8uired to ta:e a study s:ills class.
+D$$6s developmental courses use computer2assisted instruction in com!ination
1it# classroom instruction( and some instructors c#oose to use additional *e!2!ased
pro&rams to en#ance ot#er s:ills or for career a1areness purposes. ;or instance( t#e
career a1areness soft1are allo1s students to e)plore career opportunities( conduct Eo!
s:ills assessments( and develop Eo! preparation s:ills.
0n t#e !e&innin& of eac# term( students ta:e an initial assessment on t#e PLA"O
soft1are pro&ram( 1#ic# t#en forms t#e !asis for t#eir 0ndividuali7ed Education Plans
<0EPs=. "#ese form t#e !asis for speciali7ed modules t#at are esta!lis#ed to remediate
t#ose deficiencies. "o increase mastery of t#e material( instructors also often conduct
traditional classroom instructions and &roup activities.
"#e $A0 approac# 1as initiated durin& t#e summer 2000 term( and t#e study
compared t#e performance of t#ose in developmental courses t#e previous summer term(
usin& t#e traditional classroom format( 1it# t#ose usin& t#e $A0 approac# durin& t#e
summer 2000 term. "#is is a 8uasi2e)perimental desi&n since students could not
necessarily self2select into t#e academic term !ased on instructional modality differences.
"#e study found t#at usin& $A0 resulted in a 52percent decrease in t#e num!er of
1it#dra1als in elementary al&e!ra( a 322percent increase in t#e num!er of satisfactory
&rades( and an 332percent decrease in t#e num!er of unsatisfactory &rades in elementary
al&e!ra.
"#e U.S. %avy recently evaluated t#e effectiveness of "utorials in Pro!lem
Solvin& <"iPS=( an intervention for trainin& arit#metic and pro!lem2solvin& s:ills in adult
populations( usin& adult learners re8uirin& developmental mat#ematics instruction at
/ississippi State University <At:inson 2004=. "#e material in "iPS is provided in t#e
conte)t of 1ord pro!lems( providin& students 1it# a set of dia&rammatical tools to
33
Appro)imately >? percent of all student scores fall 1it#in plus or minus one standard deviation of t#e
mean.

analy7e t#e pro!lem. 0t #as an interactive interface tool( a #elp system( and dia&nostic and
feed!ac: capa!ilities.
"#is study used a ri&orous approac# to evaluate t#e effectiveness of t#e soft1are(
usin& pretest and posttest measures( and pro&ram2comparison &roup strate&ies in 1#ic#
students 1ere c#osen for t#e pro&ram !ased solely on a pretest cutoff score. "#e aut#or
notes t#at t#is approac# is useful 1#en courses are &iven on t#e !asis of need or merit(
and it is considered to !e as ro!ust in inferences as t#ose dra1n from randomi7ed
desi&ns.
"#eir metric 1as test performance c#an&e across time for students usin& "iPS(
compared to t#e test performance c#an&e of a control &roup of students in developmental
mat#ematics 1#o #ad similar scores on t#e pretest( !ut 1#o 1ere not c#osen to use "iPS.
"#ey also sou&#t to determine 1#et#er t#e len&t# of instruction varied systematically
accordin& to a student6s mat#ematical a!ility !efore usin& "iPS. "#ey found t#at t#e
avera&e posttest score for "iPS participants 1as si&nificantly #i&#er t#an t#ose of t#eir
peers in t#e control &roup. "iPS 1as ori&inally desi&ned for use in trainin& of enlisted
sailors( !ut t#e results indicate t#at it #as muc# 1ider applica!ility for middle sc#ools(
adult literacy pro&rams( and 1or:place trainin& pro&rams.
Comp"ter A&.e%ra S*'tem
Anot#er type of tec#nolo&y t#at is t#e su!Eect of some de!ate is t#e $omputer
Al&e!ra System <$AS=( 1#ic# in &eneral refers to a system or soft1are t#at is used in
manipulatin& mat#ematical formulae in !ot# sym!olic and numeric form( unli:e
traditional calculators t#at only allo1 manipulation of numeric e8uations. 0n addition(
$AS automates some of t#e more tedious or difficult al&e!raic manipulations( 1it# t#e
intent to reduce t#e amount of time spent on drill e)ercises( allo1in& more time to spend
on &reater compre#ension of t#e su!Eect matter.
Livin&ston <2003= investi&ated t#e impact of a computer al&e!ra system on si)
intermediate al&e!ra classes at Oran&e $oast $olle&e in $alifornia. Usin& a 8uasi2
e)perimental nonrandomi7ed control &roup pretest2posttest desi&n( #e e)amined 1#et#er
classes tau&#t usin& a &rap#in& calculator 1it# a computer al&e!ra system <t#e $AS "02
?A( produced !y "e)as 0nstruments= performed as 1ell as classes tau&#t usin& traditional
met#ods 1it# scientific calculators. Livin&ston does not mention #o1 t#e control and
e)perimental &roups 1ere c#osen( t#ou&# #e notes t#at it 1as a nonrandomi7ed desi&n.
Also( #e does not control for student c#aracteristics( t#ere!y furt#er reducin& t#e value of
#is results. "#e findin&s indicated t#at t#ere 1as no statistically si&nificant difference in
t#e pretest and posttest scores of t#e t1o &roups( nor 1as t#ere a difference in t#e a!ility
to perform mat#ematics !y #and. ,o1ever( t#e &roup tau&#t usin& t#e computer2!ased
system did perform !etter at solvin& #i&#er2order reasonin& s:ills !y #and.
0n &eneral( $AS #as not met 1it# over1#elmin& success. Lein!ac#( Pountney(
and Etc#ells <2002= ar&ue for t#e value of suc# systems. "#eir ar&ument is t#at for
tec#nolo&y suc# as $AS to !e successful( it must !e a tool used in ot#er1ise &ood
peda&o&y t#at allo1s students to !ecome active participants in t#eir learnin& e)periences

and to plan and carry out pro!lem2solvin& strate&ies( ec#oin& conclusions dra1n !y
/acDonald( Vas8ue7( and $averly <2002=.
"#e Standards for Success study cited earlier <$onley and 9odone 2002= did not
provide muc# detail in its recommendations concernin& tec#nolo&y( !ut t#e aut#ors did
state t#at students s#ould understand !ot# t#e use and t#e limitations of calculators(
includin& &rap#in& calculators. "#e $rossroads standards <American /at#ematical
Association of "1o2Kear $olle&es 3AA5=( descri!ed earlier( stated t#at t#e use of
tec#nolo&y is an essential part of an up2to2date curriculumL students s#ould use
appropriate tec#nolo&y to en#ance t#eir mat#ematical t#in:in& and understandin& and to
solve mat#ematical pro!lems.
"#e most important point concernin& t#e role of tec#nolo&y is t#at it appears to !e
most useful as a supplement to( rat#er t#an a replacement for( re&ular classroom
instruction. "#is point is reiterated !y 9oylan and Sa)on <2002=( as 1ell as !y Lein!ac#(
Pountney( and Etc#ells et al. <2002= and t#e A/A"K$ Vision -eport <American
/at#ematical Association of "1o Kear $olle&es 2002!=. "#e latter report also concludes
t#at( for tec#nolo&y to !e effective( instructors must #ave ade8uate professional
development in t#e appropriate use of tec#nolo&y. "#is conclusion applies to adEunct as
1ell as full2time faculty. "#e aut#ors su&&est t#at all types of tec#nolo&y( includin&
&rap#in& calculators( spreads#eets( and $AS( s#ould !e used to &ive students t#e c#ance
to !ecome familiar 1it# t#e tec#nolo&y and to understand its !enefits and limitations.
Even so( t#e studies 1e revie1ed t#at specifically addressed t#e effectiveness of
tec#nolo&y #ave found t#at( relative to t#e traditional instructor2led format( $A0 and $AS
resulted in #i&#er( lo1er( or no difference in pass rate( no difference or #i&#er rates of
persistence to #i&#er2level mat#( and no difference in final &rades. $learly( t#is is an area
ripe for furt#er study.
Pe!a.o.$#a& I''"e'
*e turn no1 to addressin& researc# on ot#er peda&o&ical tec#ni8ues. *e !e&in
1it# a discussion of t#e researc# concernin& #o1 people learn. "#is field of study
provides a conte)t for muc# of t#e literature t#at 1e revie1ed on peda&o&y.
Ho3 peop&e &earn
"#e A/A"K$ <American /at#ematical Association of "1o2Kear $olle&es 3AA5(
2002!=( Standards for Success <$onley and 9odone 2002=( and American Diploma
ProEect <200F= researc# t#at 1e discussed previously defined t#e :no1led&e necessary to
pursue colle&e2level mat#ematics. "#eir recommendations also included several s:ills
and a!ilities( as 1ell as peda&o&ical strate&ies. "#ese strate&ies( as 1ell as t#e s:ills and
a!ilities t#emselves( are !est understood in t#e conte)t of #o1 people learn. "#e %ational
-esearc# $ouncil compiled an important !ody of researc# on t#is topic. Accordin& to
+ow Peo(le Learn: &ridging Research and Practice <Donovan et al. 2000=( !ecause
students #ave certain preconceived notions( t#ey 1ill fail to &rasp ne1 concepts if t#eir
initial understandin& is not en&a&ed. ;urt#er( students need a deep foundation of factual

:no1led&e and a stron& conceptual frame1or: if t#ey are to develop competence in a
particular area( and t#ey need to monitor t#eir o1n understandin& and pro&ression in
pro!lem solvin&. 0f learners are a!le to ma:e analo&ies to 1#at is :no1n 1#en
confronted 1it# ne1 material( t#ey can !etter advance t#eir understandin& of ne1
material. *#ile t#e study 1as initially intended for primary and secondary education( t#e
aut#ors indicate t#at t#e lar&er desi&n frame1or: for c#ildren6s learnin& environments
applies to adult learnin& as 1ell.
Ot#er researc# on learnin& confirms t#at t#ere are ne1 1ays to introduce adult
students to traditional su!Eects( suc# as mat#ematics. 0n concert 1it# strate&ies outlined
!y t#e %ational -esearc# $ouncil <Donovan et al. 2000=( t#ese ne1 approac#es ma:e it
possi!le for t#e maEority of individuals to develop a deep understandin& of important
su!Eect matter <9ransford et al. 2000=.
"#e %ational -esearc# $ouncil #as developed a notion t#at t#ere are four
perspectives on learnin& environments. "#ese seemin&ly separate perspectives( #o1ever(
s#ould !e interconnected to mutually support one anot#er <9ro1n and $ampione 3AA>=.
Specifically( t#e perspectives are as follo1s
3. Learner4#entere! en($ronment. Accountin& for t#e perspective of t#e adult
learner re8uires payin& careful attention to t#e learner6s :no1led&e( s:ills(
attitudes( and !eliefs. Adult learners need to !e treated as adults 1#o are
responsi!le for t#eir o1n lives and 1#o are capa!le of self2direction <Jno1les
3A?A=. Also( adults ac8uire :no1led&e a!out t#in&s t#ey need to :no1Dt#at is( to
cope effectively 1it# t#eir real2life situations. Postsecondary pro&rams for adults
s#ould !e desi&ned 1it# t#e understandin& t#at adults underta:e most learnin&
efforts in response to life transitions <Aslanian and 9ric:ell 3A?0=.
2. Kno3&e!.e4#entere! en($ronment. Adult learners re8uire a 1ell2or&ani7ed
structure of concepts( suc# as t#ose defined !y A/A"K$ <3AA5=( t#at or&ani7e
t#e presentation of su!Eect matter and #elp students <3= develop su!stantial
mat#ematical pro!lem2solvin& a!ilitiesL <2= learn to develop models involvin&
real21orld situationsL <4= e)pand t#eir mat#ematical reasonin& s:illsL and <F= use
tec#nolo&y. Students need #elp to !ecome metaco&nitive !y e)pectin& ne1
information to ma:e sense and as:in& for clarification 1#en it doesn6t <Palinscar
and 9ro1n 3A?FL Sc#oenfeld 3A?4( 3A?5( 3AA3=. Students s#ould learn to
compute( !ut t#ey s#ould also learn ot#er t#in&s a!out mat#ematics( especially t#e
fact t#at it is possi!le for t#em to ma:e sense of mat#ematics and to t#in:
mat#ematically <$o!!( Kac:el( and *ood 3AA2=.
4. A''e''ment4#entere! en($ronment. Postsecondary pro&rams s#ould #ave clear
learnin& &oals and assessment met#ods( procedures( and items t#at are con&ruent
1it# t#ose &oals. "#e primary element of importance is t#at assessment !e used
for feed!ac: and revision of t#e pro&ram( includin& teac#in& and learnin&. 0n
many classrooms( opportunities for feed!ac: appear to occur infre8uently(
resultin& in &rades on tests( papers( 1or:s#eets( #ome1or:( and final reports t#at

represent summative assessment only( since students typically move on to a ne1
topic 1it#out opportunity to revise t#eir t#in:in&Din particular( #i&#er2order
t#in:in&. Assessment of #i&#er2order t#in:in& in mat#ematics includes amon&
factors met#ods of e)aminin& nonal&orit#mic <not fully specified in advance=
pro!lem solvin&L opportunities for multiple solutions <eac# 1it# costs and
!enefits=L nuanced Eud&ment and interpretationL application of multiple criteria
t#at sometimes conflict 1it# one anot#erL self2re&ulated t#in:in& processesL and
imposin& meanin& and structure in situations 1it# apparent disorder <-om!er&(
Oarinnia( and $ollis 3AA0=. $ritics ar&ue t#at in contrast to assessments !uilt
around #i&#er2order t#in:in&( many of t#e typical assessments in postsecondary
mat#ematics developed !y teac#ers emp#asi7e memory for procedures and facts
<Porter et al. 3AA4=.

F. Comm"n$t*4#entere! en($ronment. "#e e)tent to 1#ic# students( teac#ers( or
even administrators feel connected in several aspects of community is reflected in
classrooms as communities( institutions as communities( and even lar&er
communities suc# as t#ose 1it#in t#e military and !usinesses. "#e importance of
communities in learnin& cannot !e emp#asi7ed stron&ly enou&# 1it# adult
learners. 0n t#e development of #i&#er mental functions( suc# as plannin& and
numerical reasonin&( Binternali7ationC of self2re&ulatory activities first ta:es place
in t#e social interaction !et1een adults and more :no1led&ea!le ot#ers <Vy&ots:y
3A5?=. Studies of mat#ematical pro!lem solvin&( for e)ample( !y %oddin&s
<3A?5=( Pettito <3A?Fa( 3A?F!=( and Sc#oenfeld <3A?5=( indicate #o1 useful
dialo&ues amon& mat#ematics pro!lem solvers can !e in learnin& to t#in:
mat#ematically. Small &roup dialo&ues prompt dis!elief( c#allen&e( and t#e need
for e)plicit mat#ematical ar&umentationL t#e &roup can !rin& more previous
e)perience to !ear on t#e pro!lem t#an can any individual( and it #i&#li&#ts t#e
need for an orderly pro!lem2solvin& process. 0n addition( computers can serve to
en#ance communities of learnin& !y functionin& as mediational tools t#at promote
dialo&ue and colla!oration on mat#ematical pro!lem solvin&.
"#e Vision -eport <American /at#ematical Association of "1o Kear $olle&es
2002!= also provides an e)tensive discussion of 1#at participants considered to !e t#e
!est teac#in& and learnin& met#ods for t#e first t1o years of colle&e( and it specifically
addresses t#e needs of adult learners. 0t recommends t#at lectures !e supplemented !y a
num!er of student2centered met#ods( suc# as computer simulations and colla!orative
learnin& activities( includin& 1or:in& in teams. "#e need to !e a!le to 1or:
colla!oratively( particularly in teams( is consistent 1it# re8uirements of !usinesses as
stated in t#e American Diploma ProEect <200F.. "#e Vision -eport also contends t#at it is
not Eust t#e peda&o&y !ut t#e curriculum content t#at can !e effective in teac#in&
mat#ematics to adults. 0n particular( t#e report states t#at it is important to use activities
t#at en&a&e students in t#e learnin& process( suc# as t#e use of case studies and proEects
t#at re8uire desi&nin&( modelin&( researc#in&( and presentin& findin&s.
Several studies note similar factors as !ein& effective in adult education pro&rams.
Alamprese <3AA?=( Alamprese( La!aree( and Voi&#t <3AA?=( and Alamprese <2003= detail

pro&ram2level factors in adult education and t#eir relation to student outcomes in t#eir
revie1 of t#e literature. Accordin& to t#eir revie1( e)emplary adult education pro&rams
feature t#e follo1in& five c#aracteristics
• Effective pro&ram mana&ement and instructional leaders#ipL
• A commitment to staff developmentL
• $onscious attention to appropriate instructional strate&iesL
• A focus on learner assessmentL and
• E)tensive supports for learnin&( especially for students 1it# lo1 levels of
literacy proficiency.
"#e t#emes discussed a!ove are present in many of t#e studies t#at 1e revie1ed.
*e summari7e a num!er of t#ese studies t#at specifically address t#e role t#at learner2
centered instruction and metaco&nition strate&ies( small &roup instruction( and
colla!orative learnin& play in developmental mat# education. 0n addition( 1e summari7e
a fe1 studies t#at su&&est additional strate&ies or #i&#li&#t important considerations.
Learner4#entere! en($ronment
Lendin& support to t#e potential !enefits of learner2centered instruction( /i&lietti(
Stran&e( and $arney <2002= investi&ated t#e relations#ip !et1een learnin& and teac#in&
styles in developmental En&lis# and mat#ematics courses in a t1o2year !ranc# of a four2
year /id1estern colle&e. 0nstructors rated t#eir o1n teac#in& styles usin& a specifically
desi&ned instrument for t#is purpose( t#e Principles of Adult Learnin& Scale <PALS= tool.
Students assessed t#eir learnin& styles 1it# t1o tools t#e Adult $lassroom Environment
Scale <A$ES=( 1#ic# t#e aut#ors state is t#e only scale desi&ned to measure adult
students6 perception of t#e classroom environment in &eneral( and t#e Adaptive Style
0nventory <AS0=( 1#ic# measures students6 emp#asis on styles of learnin&. A total of 3?5
students c#ose to participate( !ut only 35A completed t#e courses. Of t#ese( 5A percent
1ere enrolled in a developmental mat# course.
"#e study found no a&e or &ender effects on classroom environment and learner
style preferences. 0n terms of a&e and teac#in& style on classroom outcomes( t#e aut#ors
note t#at t#ey could conduct an analysis of t#e effects of teac#in& style on developmental
En&lis# classes only !ecause( 1it#in t#e mat#ematics sections( none of t#e five
mat#ematics instructors reported a learner2centered teac#in& style. "#e aut#ors6 findin&s
in terms of developmental En&lis# led t#em to conclude t#at adult underprepared students
in learner2centered classrooms ac#ieved #i&#er &rades t#an similar students in teac#er2
centered classrooms.
,i&!ee and "#omas <3AAA= revie1ed t#e literature concernin& important factors
pertainin& to a learner2centered environment( and #o1 t#ey relate to ac#ievement in

mat#ematics. "#e aut#ors note t#at t#e follo1in& affective varia!les are important
student6s academic self2concepts( attitudes to1ard success in mat#ematics( confidence in
t#eir a!ility to learn mat#ematics( mat# an)iety( te)t an)iety( perceptions of t#e
usefulness of mat#( motivation( self2esteem( and locus of control. ;urt#er( t#ese
researc#ers also #ave e)amined t#e relations#ip !et1een performance in mat#ematics and
co&nitive factors( suc# as preferred learnin& styles( visual and spatial a!ility( t#e use of
specific co&nitive strate&ies( and critical t#in:in& s:ills. 9ased on t#is !ody of researc#(
educators #ave !e&un to researc# various tec#ni8ues to reduce or eliminate some of t#e
!arriers so far identified( includin& t#e use of colla!orative learnin& and ver!ali7ation
durin& t#e pro!lem2solvin& process. ;inally( ,i&!ee and "#omas note t#at t#ere is an
increasin& s#ift from a focus on learner c#aracteristics to a more inte&rated and #olistic
approac#( incorporatin& t#e role of t#e teac#er and course content( includin& different
types of tests( &radin& systems( t#e use of mat#ematics applications( and colla!orative
learnin&.
,i&!ee and "#omas also e)plore t#e relations#ip !et1een nonco&nitive varia!les
and success in a t1o28uarter developmental al&e!ra se8uence desi&ned for #i&#2ris:
students at t#e University of 'eor&ia. "#e t1o28uarter se8uence covered t#e same
material as a one28uarter course( e)cept at a slo1er pace. One day per 1ee: a counselor
tau&#t 1it# t#e mat# instructor and introduced special learnin&2promotion topics( suc# as
rela)ation e)ercises and metaco&nition strate&ies( as 1ell as strate&ies for solvin& 1ord
pro!lems in colla!orative &roups. Students also 1ere re8uired to attend t#e mat#ematics
la!oratory 1ee:ly to ta:e computer tests t#at paralleled t#ose administered in t#e core
al&e!ra course.
"#e results indicated a si&nificantly lo1er test an)iety and an increase in students6
confidence to succeed in learnin& mat# as measured at t#e !e&innin& and end of t#e t1o2
8uarter class se8uence. 0n terms of course outcomes and affective varia!les( t#ey found
ne&ative correlations !et1een pretest scores on &eneral test an)iety and mat# test an)iety.
"#ey note t#at t#ere 1as no relations#ip !et1een posttest scores on tests of an)iety and
any of t#e test( #ome1or:( or final 'PAs. 0n ot#er 1ords( on avera&e( students
e)perienced a reduction in mat# and test an)iety over t#e t1o28uarter se8uence( !ut t#e
reduction in an)iety 1as not correlated 1it# &reater mat# competency( as measured !y a
variety of course outcomes.
$onsistent 1it# t#ese findin&s and 1it# a learner2centered classroom approac# in
&eneral( 9oylan and Sa)on <2002= conclude t#at remediation pro&rams re8uire
counselin& as an inte&ral part of t#e pro&ram. "#ey find t#at remediation pro&rams 1it#
counselin& t#at is inte&rated into t#e entire remediation pro&ram #ave !etter results. "#ey
report t#at counselin& s#ould !e !ased on stated &oals and o!Eectives of t#e pro&ram and
underta:en early in t#e pro&ram. "#e counselin& s#ould use sound principles of student
developmental t#eory( and s#ould !e carried out !y counselors 1#o are trained to 1or:
1it# developmental students.
Different sets of student perceptions 1ere t#e su!Eect of a recent study !y
*#eland( Jonet( and 9utler <2004=. "#ey loo:ed at five perceived in#i!itors to student

success in intermediate al&e!ra at a pu!lic university 1it# an under&raduate enrollment of
2F(000 students. Student2perceived factors in#i!itin& success 1ere as follo1s
<a= %onnative En&lis#2spea:in& instructors #ad a detrimental impact on t#eir successL
<!= "eac#in& assistants resulted in lo1er success t#an adEunct professorsL
<c= Student performance in intermediate al&e!ra 1as not reflective of overall
performance in nonmat#ematics coursesL
<d= Student success in intermediate al&e!ra did not affect performance in su!se8uent
mat# coursesL and
<e= Attendance #ad no si&nificant impact on performance.
;aculty( #o1ever( perceived t#at factors <c=( <d= and <e= all #ad a potential ne&ative
impact on performance.
Usin& midsemester tests( final e)am scores( and 'PA to investi&ate t#e effect of
eac# of t#ese factors( t#e study found( contrary to students6 perceived notions( t#at
nonnative instructors and teac#in& assistants did not #ave a ne&ative impact on t#eir
success in intermediate al&e!ra( !ut t#eir performance in intermediate al&e!ra correlated
8uite #i&#ly 1it# overall 'PA t#at semester( t#eir attendance also 1as #i&#ly correlated
1it# success in t#e course( and t#eir &rade in intermediate al&e!ra did #ave a fairly #i&#
predictive value on t#eir performance in su!se8uent mat# courses. ,o1ever( t#ese
conclusions are !ased on e)amination of t#e effect si7e <t#e difference in means of t1o
&roups divided !y t#e standard deviation= for t#e various metrics under studyL t#ey do not
attempt to control for self2selection or ot#er potentially confoundin& effects. ;or instance(
students 1#o do not perceive nonnative instructors as #avin& a ne&ative impact on t#eir
learnin& may disproportionately select into courses t#at #ave t#ese types of instructors.
"#e aut#ors conclude !y notin& t#at a misconception of many students <i.e.( t#at
factors contri!utin& to t#eir failure in intermediate al&e!ra are in lar&e measure perceived
to !e out of t#eir control= only serves to ma:e t#e course material more difficult to
master.
Sma&&4.ro"p $n'tr"#t$on
DePree <3AA?= e)amined differences in outcomes for students at a lar&e ur!an
community colle&e 1#o 1ere instructed in preparatory al&e!ra classes delivered eit#er !y
instructor or !y small2&roup instruction. Small2&roup instruction is one strate&y in
community2centered learnin& environments t#at is specifically recommended in t#e
$rossroads and Vision documents <American /at#ematical Association of "1o Kear
$olle&es 3AA5( 2002!=. Students 1ere not a1are of 1#ic# type of instruction 1ould !e
used at t#e time t#ey enrolled( ena!lin& a 8uasi2e)perimental desi&n.

"#e results indicated t#at t#ose ta:in& t#e course via small2&roup instruction #ad
statistically #i&#er confidence in t#eir mat#ematical a!ility( as measured !y t#e ;ennema2
S#erman /at#ematics Attitude Scales. 0mprovements 1ere &reatest for students 1#o
#ave !een traditionally underrepresented in mat#ematics ,ispanic( %ative American( and
female students. ;urt#er( students 1#o received t#e small2&roup instruction 1ere more
li:ely to complete t#e course t#an students in t#e instructor2led course. ,o1ever( Depree
did not find any difference in ac#ievement !et1een t#e t1o teac#in& met#ods. Even so(
t#e fact t#at students increased t#eir confidence and 1ere more li:ely to complete t#e
course 1#en administered !y small2&roup instruction led t#e aut#or to conclude t#at a
lar&er num!er 1ould ultimately !e successful in t#is type of class.
Conte)t"a& &earn$n.
$onsistent 1it# ot#er literature t#at 1e #ave cited concernin& t#e need for adults
to #ave conte)tual learnin& e)periences( /a77eo( -a!( and Alssid <2004= descri!e t#e
efforts of five community colle&es t#at #ave created !rid&es !et1een !asic s:ills
development and entry2level 1or: or trainin& in #i&#21a&e( #i&#2demand career sectors.
/a77eo and #is collea&ues ar&ue t#at conte)tuali7ed !asic s:ills instruction is often more
successful t#an traditional models of adult education for en&a&in& disadvanta&ed
individuals and lin:in& t#em to 1or:. Eac# pro&ram t#ey descri!e uses conte)tuali7ed
teac#in& and learnin& e)periences( 1#ic# means t#at courses incorporate material from
specific fields into course content( and employ proEects( la!oratories( simulations( and
ot#er e)periences t#at ena!le students to learn !y doin&. ;urt#er( t#ey contend t#at
1or:force and education systems s#ould !e reor&ani7ed around Bcareer pat#1aysC t#at
inte&rate education( trainin&( and 1or:( and are tar&eted to #i&#21a&e( #i&#2demand
employment to address t#e &ro1in& needs for s:illed 1or:ers and 1or:ers6 needs for
economic self2sufficiency. ,o1ever( t#ey state t#at furt#er researc# is needed to
determine 1#et#er conte)tuali7ed !asic s:ills instruction is more effective t#an more
traditional instructional approac#es.
*e #ave found t#at ot#er aut#ors also su&&est t#at a stron& connection !et1een
education and employment increases earnin&s and placement rates <'ru!! 3AA>L +en:ins
and ;it7&erald 3AA?=. 9ot# 'ru!! <3AAA= and /urp#y and +o#nson <3AA?= ar&ue t#at one
essential c#aracteristic of effective pro&rams is a focus on employment2related &oals
t#rou&# instruction t#at inte&rates !asic and occupational s:ills trainin& 1it# 1or:2!ased
learnin&. -o&off <3AA0=( Lave and *en&er <3AA0=( Lave <3AA3=( and *en&er <3AA?=
emp#asi7e t#e important role of conte)t in s#apin& student learnin&. 'reeno et al. <3AAA=
descri!e one of t#e most important conte)ts for adult learnin& as t#e 1orld of 1or: itself
and t#e specific tools( practices( and social relations em!edded in t#e 1or: settin&.
"#e five pro&rams t#at /a77eo and #is collea&ues revie1ed also e)#i!ited t#ese
additional c#aracteristics
• 0nte&ration of developmental and academic content.

• Development of ne1 curriculum materials and provision of professional
development to learn to teac# in a ne1 1ay.
• /aintenance of active lin:s 1it# employers and industry associations.
• 0dentification of resources to fund t#e pro&rams( at least in t#e s#ort run.
• Production of promisin& pro&ram outcomes( especially in terms of Eo! placement
and earnin&s.
*e #i&#li&#t t#eir findin& t#at t#ese pro&rams emp#asi7e professional
development for faculty. 9oylan and Sa)on <2002=( a study !y t#e Education $ommission
of t#e States <Spann 2000=( and t#e revie1s of adult pro&rams conducted !y Alamprese
<3AA?=( Alamprese( La!aree( and Voi&#t <3AA?=( and Alamprese <2003= cited earlier all
conclude t#at staff trainin& and on&oin& professional development are very important
components of successful adult developmental efforts.
DS*'tem' T2$n-$n.EFDe(Map Pro/e#t
*e turn no1 to a proEect t#at addresses t#e %ational -esearc# $ouncil6s notion
t#at students must !e a!le to ma:e analo&ies to 1#at is :no1n 1#en confronted 1it# ne1
material. 0n a 3AA5 %ational $enter for -esearc# in Vocational Education <%$-VE=
1or:s#op( B9eyond Ei&#t# 'rade(C industry representatives emp#asi7ed t#e need for
Bsystems t#in:in&C t#at allo1s 1or:ers to reco&ni7e comple)ities in various situations
su!Eect to multiple inputs( and for t#ose in certain fields to formulate a pro!lem and
desi&n e)periments to determine t#e influence of various factors <$onsortium for
/at#ematics and 0ts Applications 2004=. "#e Dev/ap ProEect at t#e $onsortium for
/at#ematics and 0ts Applications <$O/AP=( 1#ic# is funded !y t#e Adult "ec#nolo&y
Education Pro&ram of t#e %ational Science ;oundation( is intended to address t#e
disconnect !et1een traditional colle&e developmental pro&rams in mat#( t#at #ave !een
Eust a replication of #i&# sc#ool mat#( and t#e needs of industry as stated in t#e 3AA5
1or:s#op. "o t#at end( $O/AP is developin& a one2year se8uence( Developin&
/at#ematics "#rou&# Applications. "#is pro&ram( !ased in lar&e part on t#e $rossroads
recommendations( includes t#e follo1in& uni8ue features
• *#ile all t#e maEor components of al&e!ra( &eometry( and tri&onometry 1ill !e
included( t#e pro&ram 1ill not !e divided into t#ese distinct and separate topics.
• "#e pro&ram 1ill !e !ased on applications( 1#ic# s#ould !e particularly relevant
to adult learners 1#o can use applications t#at dra1 on areas in 1#ic# t#ey may
!e 1or:in& or in 1#ic# t#ey aspire to 1or:.
• Pro!lem solvin& 1ill re8uire inte&ratin& tec#nolo&y in a natural 1ay( as opposed
to t#e Bdrill2and2practiceC use of tec#nolo&y found in many developmental
mat#ematics pro&rams.

A##e&erate! #o"r'e'
Lastly( 1e note an interestin& approac# t#at is not !ased on any of t#e ot#er
strate&ies or t#eories t#at 1e #ave covered so far !ut may !e a ne1 strate&y t#at #olds
promise. "#e University of /aryland( $olle&e Par: <Adams 2004= !e&an a pro&ram in
t#e fall of 2003( in 1#ic# students 1#o re8uired mat# remediation <representin& 20 to 25
percent of enterin& fres#man( or a!out 3(000 students= and scored in t#e top >0 percent of
t#e placement tests 1ere placed into a com!ination course t#at met five days a 1ee: and
covered t#e material for !ot# t#e developmental mat#ematics and t#e introductory
colle&e2level course. At t#e end of t#e intensive first five 1ee:s of t#e course( in 1#ic#
all of t#e developmental material 1as completed( students retoo: t#e placement test. 0f
t#ey passed t#e test( t#ey continued in t#e course( 1#ic# #ad as many contact #ours
durin& t#e remainder of t#e semester as t#ose students 1#o enrolled in t#e re&ular
colle&e2level course. Students successful in t#e latter part of t#e class 1ere t#en a!le to
complete !ot# t#eir developmental and first colle&e2level mat# re8uirement in Eust one
semester. "#ose 1#o did not pass( only 33 percent( 1ere placed into t#e re&ular
developmental course( 1#ic# is a more traditional si) #ours2per21ee: self2paced course(
usin& a computer platform.
9ot# t#e accelerated developmental course and t#e re&ular colle&e2level course
used t#e same final e)am. Adams found t#at t#e final test scores 1ere a!out t#e same for
t#e t1o &roupsL in fact( t#ey 1ere often #i&#er for t#e students in t#e accelerated
developmental course. Adams also found t#at t#e t1o classes #ad a!out e8uivalent A( 9(
and $ &rade rates. Precise statistics are not cited( #o1ever( nor is it noted 1#ic# statistical
tests 1ere conducted.
"#e study also follo1ed t#ose students 1#o successfully completed t#e
accelerated pro&ram into #i&#er mat# courses. "#e pass rate <&rade of $ or #i&#er= of
t#ose students in elementary calculus 1as a!out 5 percenta&e points #i&#er t#an re&ular
students. "#e results 1ere not as &ood for t#ose students 1#o too: t#e en&ineerin&
calculus( #o1everL t#eir pass rate 1as sometimes far 1orse t#an t#at of re&ular students.
0n summary( 1e note t#at t#e researc# 1e revie1ed consistently indicates t#at
certain s:ills and a!ilities are as important as t#e specific :no1led&e to successfully
pursue colle&e2level mat# and to succeed in t#e 1or:place. "#ese include t#e a!ility to
• Understand t#e connection of mat# to ot#er disciplinesL
• Perform inductive reasonin&L
• $ommunicate mat# orally and in 1ritin&L
• /odel real21orld pro!lemsL and
• *or: colla!oratively.

Some peda&o&ical strate&ies to ac#ieve t#ese s:ills and a!ilities include
• Addressin& students6 perceptionsL
• 0ncorporatin& counselin& into t#e pro&ramL
• Usin& small2&roup instructionL
• Usin& colla!orative learnin&L
• Usin& conte)tual learnin& and real21orld e)amplesL and
• -e8uirin& students to conduct researc# and modelin& e)ercises.
;inally( professional development of developmental mat# educators is necessary to
ensure t#at t#ey :eep current 1it# tec#nolo&y and peda&o&ical researc#. A!sent &old2
standard researc# on t#e value of t#ese strate&ies for adult mat#ematical literacy
education( 1e !elieve t#at t#ey 1arrant furt#er study.

Metr$#' o Pro.ram Ee#t$(ene''
0n t#is section( 1e discuss metrics of pro&ram effectiveness noted in t#e literature.
*e do so !ecause( in our searc# of promisin& practices( it may !e difficult to locate
pro&rams t#at trac: t#e metric of &reatest interest to t#is studyDt#at is( t#e a!ility of
adult learners to successfully pro&ress t#rou&# and out of a developmental mat#ematics
pro&ram and into t#eir first colle&e2level mat#ematics course. 0t is important to
understand 1#et#er t#is is in fact a 1ell2esta!lis#ed &oal or stated o!Eective of pro&rams
in order to understand 1#et#er t#e strate&y is aimed at improvin& t#is metric or at some
ot#er e8ually valid outcome.
Our revie1 #as found t#at numerous metrics are used in evaluatin& t#e
effectiveness of colle&e developmental mat#ematics courses or pro&rams. ,o1ever( no
clear consensus emer&ed concernin& optimal metrics for impact evaluations. "#is lac: of
consensus may !e due to a more &eneral lac: of consensus a!out t#e ultimate role of
developmental courses. 0n ot#er 1ords( s#ould t#e &oal !e to ensure t#at t#ose 1#o
complete t#e course ac#ieve some #ei&#tened mat#ematics competency( or is it !etter to
ensure t#at a lar&er num!er complete t#e course( !ut at a sli&#tly lo1er yet accepta!le
level of competency@
*e #ave already discussed t#at some researc#ers( for instance( 1#en loo:in& at
1#et#er a particular type of instruction or material is more effective( e)amine t#e pass
rate <typically a $ or #i&#er=( or avera&e e)am scores( or final class 'PA of t#e various
approac#es. "#ese studies are intended to determine 1#et#er students 1#o ultimately
complete t#e course #ave learned more of t#e material or are more competent in t#e
su!Eect. "#is may !e at t#e e)pense of a #i&#er 1it#dra1al rate( #o1ever.
Ot#ers are concerned 1it# t#e completion rate of t#e course for 1#ic# t#e 'rade
Point Avera&e <'PA= does not count since only data for t#ose students 1#o completed t#e
course can !e included in t#e 'PA. "#ese studies are concerned less 1it# 1#et#er t#ose
1#o pass t#e course are more :no1led&ea!le in t#e su!Eect t#an 1it# 1#et#er more
students are a!le to pass t#e course. "#is is an important consideration !ecause( even if
t#e particular approac# does not improve t#e overall understandin& of t#ose 1#o pass( a
lar&er num!er of underprepared students may !e a!le to succeed in t#e !asic s:ills
instruction.
Still ot#er researc# concerns t#e level of an)iety or satisfaction 1it# t#e
developmental course !ecause t#at directly relates to t#e 1illin&ness of students to eit#er
persist in t#e developmental pro&ram or pursue #i&#er2level mat#ematics. A&ain( t#is is
important not so muc# !ecause eac# BsuccessfulC student is more :no1led&ea!le !ut
!ecause more developmental students are a!le to pursue even #i&#er mat#ematics in
order to ultimately ac#ieve t#eir career &oals. Even in t#ese cases( as 1e #ave noted(
researc#ers rarely follo1 students !eyond t#e immediate semester or( at !est( t#ey follo1
t#em one additional semester.

*e also note t#at( !ecause of t#e su!Eective nature of &radin&( t#e use of &rades and
pass rates are not necessarily valid or relia!le measures of t#e :no1led&e and s:ills of
students. "#is means t#at a comparison of pass rates or t#e avera&e 'PA of students in
institutions usin& different strate&ies( !ot# across institutions and even 1it#in institutions
t#at do not use common e)ams( often is not useful. 0t is more meanin&ful 1#en common
placement e)ams and cutoff scores are used( say( as a re8uirement to transition out of
developmental( or into colle&e2level( mat#ematics courses or 1#en performance 1it#in
t#e same colle&e2level mat# course at a particular institution is compared for students
su!Eected to various strate&ies in lo1er2level developmental mat# courses.
;or instance( t1o studies 1e revie1ed loo:ed at differences in t#e 'PA of
students in colle&e2level mat#ematics !et1een t#ose 1#o too: developmental courses
and t#ose 1#o did not. One study investi&ated 1#et#er students 1#o successfully
complete an e)it2level developmental course and enroll immediately in a colle&e2level
course in t#e same su!Eect do !etter t#an t#ose 1#o do not enroll immediately after1ard
<Sinclair $ommunity $olle&e 2004=. 0t found t#at( in t#e case of developmental mat#(
avera&e 'PA is si&nificantly lo1er 1#en students delay t#ree terms( !ut t#e course pass
rate is not affected. *#ile t#is study uses t1o metricsD'PA and passin& t#e courseDt#e
analysis fails to ta:e into consideration factors t#at influence a student6s c#oice in
delayin& additional mat# courses. 0n ot#er 1ords( students 1#o are not as confident in
mat#( and may not #ave completed t#eir last developmental mat# course 1it# a #i&#
&rade( may !e more li:ely to delay ta:in& a su!se8uent mat# course. "#eir lac: of
confidence( as 1ell as lo1 'PA in t#e developmental mat# course( may #ave a direct
impact on t#eir performance in su!se8uent mat# courses.
"#e University of *isconsinM/adison /at#ematics Department #as !een
pu!lis#in& results of its developmental mat# pro&ram for t#e past several years
<University of *isconsin 2004=. 0n 3AAA( five criteria department staff developed to
evaluate t#e overall pro&ram effectiveness in 8uantifia!le terms
• Success in developmental mat#( defined as percenta&e of students 1#o remained
after t#e initial addHdrop period and earned a &rade of $ or !etter in t#e course.
• Pro&ress from developmental mat# to de&ree credit mat# courses( defined as t#e
proportion of students 1#o completed elementary al&e!ra 1#o enrolled in t#e
first colle&e2level mat# course( intermediate al&e!ra( 1it#in one year.
• Success e8ual to ot#er students overall( as defined !y t#ree metrics avera&e
num!er of course completion attempts( &rade of $2 or !etter( and avera&e &rade
of students enrolled in intermediate al&e!ra for t#ose 1#o too: developmental
mat# courses versus t#ose 1#o did not.
• 9etter preparation for colle&e credit courses t#an ot#er students( defined as t#e
cumulative 'PA of students currently enrolled in intermediate al&e!ra of t#ose
1#o too: developmental mat# courses versus t#ose 1#o did not.

• Ac#ievement of desi&nated course proficiencies( defined as percenta&e meetin&
e)pectations in seven different proficiency &oals for elementary al&e!ra.
"#ese metrics are e)amples of 1#at may !e commonly trac:ed !y community
colle&es. Some are &ood pro)ies for t#e metric of &reatest interest to us( 1#ile ot#ers are
not. ;or instance( in t#e University of *isconsin e)ample( t#e fourt# metric is not
necessarily a &ood pro)y for persistence in developmental education( 1#ereas t#e second
metric is precisely t#at in 1#ic# 1e are most interested. Ket 1e #ave found fe1 studies
t#at specifically use t#at metric as a measure of pro&ram effectiveness.


A S"r(e* o Comm"n$t* Co&&e.e'= Pra#t$#e'
0n our survey of community colle&es in t#e second p#ase of t#is proEect( 1e need
to !e a1are of certain policies or relevant components of pro&rams t#at may #ave a direct
impact on t#e success of t#eir particular strate&ies. Suc# factors as professional
development for developmental mat#ematics instructors or t#e or&ani7ational location of
developmental mat# <e.&.( 1#et#er it is part of t#e mat#ematics department( in a separate
developmental education department( and so on= may !e #i&#ly correlated 1it# t#e value
t#at t#e institution places on developmental education in &eneral. "#is section
summari7es :ey components of community colle&e practices t#at are relevant to
developmental education in &eneral and developmental mat#ematics specifically.
A recent study !y t#e American Association of $ommunity $olle&es <AA$$=
involved sendin& surveys to over 3(300 community colle&es( 1it# a nearly F02percent
return rate <Sc#ults 2003=. "#e study covered a num!er of t#e most important features of
developmental education( includin& t#e student !ody involved( and t#e colle&es6
approac#es and policies. /any of t#e 8uestions concerned approac#es t#at #ave !een
made as recommendations for optimal developmental trainin& t#at 1e #ave outlined in
previous sections. 0n some of t#ese cases( it is clear t#at community colle&es #ave not
universally adopted t#e recommendations. 9elo1 are some #i&#li&#ts of t#eir findin&s
• Every colle&e respondin& to t#e survey offered at least one developmental course.
/at#( readin&( and 1ritin& 1ere offered !y AF to A> percent( and adult !asic
education 1as offered !y less t#an #alf.
• Of t#e institutions t#at responded( 44 percent of t#eir faculty at pu!lic community
colle&es 1#o teac# developmental education classes 1ere full2time( rou&#ly
e8uivalent to t#e overall proportion of faculty t#at are full2time.
• "#e maEority( or 5? percent of respondin& institutions( re8uired assessment of
!asic s:ills for all students. /any allo1 e)emptions from t#ese testsL 5> percent
of t#ose t#at allo1 e)emptions use colle&e entrance e)am scores instead. Ot#er
criteria for 1aiver of t#e tests include #i&# sc#ool 'PA( state1ide #i&# sc#ool
e)am scores( advanced placement scores( and transfer from anot#er postsecondary
institution.
• "#e most commonly used tools for assessin& s:ills 1ere a computeri7ed test <>4
percent= and a paper2and2pencil test <>0 percent=. Ot#er measures included colle&e
entrance tests <4> percent=( institutionally developed measures <2F percent=( and
state2developed measures <3> percent=.
• A lar&e percenta&e of t#e institutionsD55 percentDset t#eir o1n cutoff scores on
t#e assessment tests( 1#ile t#e state sets t#e standards in t#e remainin& 24 percent.

• Of t#e 5? percent of institutions t#at mandate assessment( 55 percent re8uire
placement in courses !ased on t#e testin&. Of t#ese( almost t1o2t#irds set t#is
policy( and t#e remainin& one2t#ird reports t#at t#e standards are set !y t#e state.
• Developmental courses are predominantly offered 1it#in relevant departments
<>3 percent=( 1#ile 25 percent report t#at developmental courses are #oused in a
separate developmental department. "#e remainin& 34 percent report t#at courses
1ere offered t#rou&# Eust one academic department.
• "#e maEority of institutions respondin& indicated t#at ESL and A9E courses 1ere
typically offered !y departments t#at are separate from t#ose offerin&
developmental education( typically t#rou&# a noncredit department.
• "#e median num!er of levels of developmental mat# offered !y colle&es is t#ree.
/ore levels of remediation 1ere offered in institutions located in lar&e cities( and
enrollment in developmental education also 1as typically #i&#er in t#ese
institutions.
• "#ree2fourt#s of t#e institutions offered only institutional credit <not to1ard
&raduation !ut countin& to1ard full2time status for t#e purpose of financial aid=
for all developmental courses( 5 percent offered de&ree credit only( and 5 percent
offered no credit. "#e remainin& institutions offered multiple forms of credit.
• Developmental courses in mat# #ad t#e #i&#est median class si7eD25Dof any
ot#er type of developmental class surveyed. ;or comparison( t#e median class
si7e for developmental readin& and developmental 1ritin& 1ere !ot# 20.
,o1ever( almost t1o2t#irds of t#e institutions report #avin& a policy concernin&
limits to class si7es 1it# A5 percent of t#ese reportin& t#at t#e state did not
mandate suc# limits.
• Partly !ecause of limits on federal student financial aid t#at a person may receive
for developmental education( almost one28uarter of institutions use various
met#ods to limit t#e num!er of developmental courses a student may ta:e. Of
t#ose( 20 percent increase tuition after students attempt multiple times to ta:e
developmental courses( 42 percent simply restrict students from ta:in& additional
developmental courses( 40 percent cease nonfederal fundin&( and 3A percent use
ot#er met#ods. Of t#ose t#at set limits( F5 percent do so !y state mandate.
• Virtually all colle&es surveyed report t#at students could ta:e colle&e2level
courses not related to a de&ree or certificate pro&ram 1#ile in developmental
courses.
• Sli&#tly over #alf <5> percent= of institutions report usin& more t#an one measure
to assess 1#et#er a student can transition out of developmental 1or:. "#e lar&est

percenta&e <A3 percent= use successful completion of t#e developmental course
for assessment.
• Almost #alf <F5 percent= of institutions offered self2paced developmental courses
to students( and 2> percent offered distance education for developmental courses.
• Appro)imately ?0 percent of institutions respondin& indicated t#at t#ey
sometimes or fre8uently use computers in instruction.
• ;orty2five percent of institutions provide contract developmental trainin& to
!usiness and industry( 1it# >5 percent of t#ese reportin& t#at t#ey do not a1ard
colle&e credit for t#ose classes.
"#e U.S. Department of Education recently released an updated summary of
remedial education in postsecondary institutions for t#e year 2000 <%$ES 2004=. /any
of its findin&s are similar to t#ose of t#e AA$$ report( !ut t#e Department surveyed all
postsecondary institutions( not Eust t1o2year colle&es( and it also measured ot#er
p#enomena. "#e maEor findin&s include
• Seventy2one percent of all institutions surveyed and A5 percent of pu!lic t1o2year
institutions t#at enrolled fres#men( offered developmental mat#ematics.
• Of t#ose t#at offered developmental mat#ematics( >0 percent offered !et1een t1o
and four courses( 1it# an avera&e of 2.5 courses. "#e avera&e for pu!lic t1o2year
colle&es 1as 4.F courses.
• Of t#e institutions t#at did not offer any developmental courses( 4F percent said
t#at t#ey did not !ecause eit#er institutional or state policy or la1 pro#i!its t#em
from offerin& suc# courses. "#is is an increase from 25 percent in 3AA5.
• ;ifty2si) percent of all pu!lic t1o2year colle&es provided remedial education
services to local !usinesses and industry( an increase from 50 percent in 3AA5.
"1enty2one percent of all institutions did so.
• Of t#e pu!lic t1o2year institutions t#at offered remedial education to employers(
A4 percent offered mat# s:illsL ?5 percent offered instruction on site( ?0 percent
offered instruction at t#e !usiness or industry( and 3> percent offered instruction
via distance learnin&.
• Si)ty2one percent of all institutions re8uired all enterin& fres#men to !e &iven
placement tests in mat#ematics( 1#ile >F percent of all pu!lic t1o2year colle&es
did so.
• "1enty2si) percent of all institutions limit t#e amount of time a student may
spend in developmental courses. Of t#ose( 53 percent state t#at t#e policy is set !y

t#e institution( 1#ile 2F percent say t#at it is set !y state policy. ;or pu!lic t1o2
year colle&es( 20 percent #ave limits( and t#eir reasons are rou&#ly divided
!et1een state la1 or policy <F> percent= and institutional policy <F4 percent=.
• ;orty percent of all t1o2year colle&es stated t#at computers 1ere used fre8uently(
and FF percent said students used t#em occasionally as a #ands2on instructional
tool for on2campus developmental mat#ematics courses. "#is compares to 43
percent of all institutions reportin& t#at t#ey 1ere used fre8uently( and F0 percent
statin& t#ey 1ere used occasionally.
$ommunity colle&es and four2year institutions are not t#e only source of
developmental mat#ematics or even postsecondary education. All of t#e military services
provide trainin& and education( as do many !usinesses and !usiness or&ani7ations. 0n
addition( numerous !asic s:ills services offered in adult education and in employment
trainin& efforts are outside t#e traditional postsecondary arena. *e turn to t#ese ne)t.

T2e U.S. M$&$tar*
Genera& E&$.$%$&$t* Re>"$rement'
All of t#e services #ave !asic enlistment eli&i!ility criteria t#at include a&e(
1ei&#t and #ei&#t( moral !ac:&round <e.&.( arrest #istories and prior dru& use=( medical
conditions( education credentials( and mental a!ility. Amon& t#e eli&i!ility criteria is a
cap on recruitin& non2#i&#2sc#ool2diploma &raduates <%,SD's=. %o service is allo1ed
to #ave more t#an 30 percent of its total accessions
32
per year in t#is cate&ory. "#e reason
for t#e cap is t#at t#ere is a si&nificant !ody of evidence s#o1in& t#at %,SD's are muc#
less li:ely to complete t#eir enlistment contract t#an are #i&# sc#ool diploma &raduates.
Also for t#e purpose of t#is cap( recruits 1it# 'EDs are considered in t#e %,SD'
cate&ory !ecause 'ED &raduates perform more li:e dropouts t#an li:e &raduates in terms
of t#eir attrition. *it#in t#e cap( eac# service is permitted to mana&e its o1n mi) of
recruits. *#ile t#e Army and t#e %avy strive to cap t#eir %,SD' accessions at 5
percent( durin& t#e very difficult recruitin& period of t#e late 3AA0s( !ot# services #ad to
increase t#eir cap to 30 percent. 0n recent years( t#ey #ave decreased t#eir caps steadily.
"#e /arine $orps #as consistently accessed 5 percent or fe1er %,SD' accessions( and
t#e Air ;orce typically accesses less t#an 3 percent %,SD's( and almost all of t#ese
possess 'EDs.
Arme! Ser($#e' Vo#at$ona& Apt$t"!e ,atter*
"#e services assess t#e mental a!ility of potential recruits 1it# a test :no1n as t#e
Armed Services Vocational Aptitude 9attery <ASVA9=. Accordin& to t#e ASVA9 *e!
site <2004=
"#e ASVA9 is t#e most 1idely used multiple aptitude test !attery in t#e 1orld. 0t 1as
ori&inally desi&ned to predict future academic and occupational success in military
occupations. Since its introduction in 3A>?( t#e ASVA9 #as !een t#e su!Eect of e)tensive
researc#. %umerous validation studies indicate t#e ASVA9 assesses academic a!ility and
predicts success in a 1ide variety of military and civilian occupations.
"#e test consists of ei&#t components 'eneral Science <'S=( Arit#metic
-easonin& <A-=( *ord Jno1led&e <*J=( Para&rap# $ompre#ension <P$=( /at#
Jno1led&e </J=( Electronics 0nformation <E0=( Auto and S#op 0nformation <AS=( and
/ec#anical $ompre#ension </$=. "#e ASVA9 scores are standardi7ed to a nationally
representative sample of American yout#s <3?2 to 242year2olds= 1#o too: t#e ASVA9 in
3A?0(
34
1it# eac# test normali7ed
3F
to #ave a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 30.
32
"#e term Baccession(C as used !y t#e military( is reserved for t#ose 1#o !e&in military active duty. "#is is
a smaller num!er t#an t#ose 1#o are recruited( since t#e entire recruitin& process #as a num!er of p#ases. A
certain proportion of recruits never ma:e t#e transition to active duty. "o access is to successfully ma:e
t#at transition to active duty.
34
"#e services are in t#e process of renormin& t#e ASVA9 !ased on a sample from t#e late 3AA0s.
3F
%ormali7ed means related to a normal or !ell2s#aped curve distri!ution.

"#e scores on various su!tests are used to screen recruits for specific occupations(
and four of t#e tests are used for !asic enlistment eli&i!ility. Specifically( t#e Armed
;orces Iualifications "est <A;I"= is composed of t#e standardi7ed scores on t#e
Arit#metic -easonin& test plus t#e /at# Jno1led&e test( plus t1o times t#e Ver!al
E)pression <VE= measure( 1it# VE !ein& t#e standardi7ed score for t#e sum of t#e
Para&rap# $ompre#ension and *ord Jno1led&e components. "#e A;I" is t#en
e)pressed as a percentile.
$on&ress #as stipulated t#at t#e services cannot recruit people 1#o score in t#e
lo1est 30 percentile of A;I" scores( and only 20 percent may !e in t#e 30t# t#rou&#
40t# percentile. ;urt#er( %,SD's must score a!ove t#e 40t# percentile <"itle 30 United
States $ode( Section 520=. ,o1ever( most of t#e services impose even #i&#er standards.
;or instance( t#e %avy currently does not access anyone 1#o scores !elo1 t#e 43st
percentile on t#e A;I".
"#us( all of t#e services do assess t#e !asic s:ills competency of t#eir recruits in
t#e areas of readin&( 1ritin&( and mat#ematics( and t#ey esta!lis# certain criteria for
admission. 9eyond t#e screens for admission( #o1ever( t#e services also screen recruits
for t#eir military occupation( !ased on ASVA9 scores. ;or instance( to enlist in one of t#e
%avy6s most tec#nical pro&rams( t#e Advanced ElectronicsH$omputer ;ield <AE$;=( in
addition to stricter screenin& criteria t#at pertain to citi7ens#ip( color perception and
moral !ac:&round( t#ey impose &uidelines in terms of mental a!ility. "#e sum of a
recruit6s scores on t#e /J( E0( and 'S components of t#e ASVA9 must meet a minimum
t#res#old( and scores must !e a!ove a prescri!ed minimum for t#e A- and /J
components <U.S. %avy 2002=. "#ese t#res#olds #ave !een esta!lis#ed to ensure t#at t#e
recruit 1ill #ave a satisfactory c#ance of successfully completin& t#e trainin&( 1#ic#
ta:es as lon& as 3? mont#s.
9ecause of t#ese ASVA9 re8uirements( t#e services typically do not recruit
people 1#o are si&nificantly deficient in t#eir mat# s:ills 1#o also 1ill re8uire #i&#er2
level mat# to perform t#eir Eo!. 0nstead( t#ose 1it# inade8uate mat# s:ills eit#er are not
recruited( or are c#osen for occupations t#at do not re8uire t#ose s:ills.
Servicemem!ers 1#o need minimal remediation in mat# may receive some as
part of t#eir trainin&( !ut t#is 1ould typically involve only very s#ort courses of a fe1
days in len&t#. 0nstead( servicemem!ers 1it# deficient mat# s:ills 1ould pursue
developmental mat#ematics education only to en#ance t#eir o1n personal &oals( suc# as
to improve t#eir ASVA9 scores in order to re8ualify for anot#er occupation( or to earn a
'ED( or to pursue a colle&e education. All of t#ese pursuits 1ould !e under 1#at t#e
military terms Voluntary Education <VolEd=. VolEd in t#e military consists of numerous
pro&rams( eac# leadin& to various education outcomes and eac# 1it# a variety of
financial support to t#e servicemem!er. 0n fiscal year <;K= 2004( Department of Defense
<DoD= spent PF55.5 million on all VolEd pro&rams <U.S. Department of Defense 200F=.

,a'$# '-$&&'
"#e lo1est level of VolEd consists of !asic s:ills trainin&Dt#at 1#ic# #elps
servicemem!ers <primarily enlisted personnel= master readin&( 1ritin&( and mat#ematics
s:ills necessary to eit#er do t#eir Eo! or accomplis# t#eir personal education &oals. 0n
;K04( 45(4F> servicemem!ers( or 4.3 percent of t#e total( enrolled in noncredit !asic
s:ills courses
• 3?(025 in t#e Army(
• 33(5>? in t#e %avy(
• 2(4A2 in t#e /arine $orps( and
• 5(3>3 in t#e Air ;orce.
9y service t#ese num!ers ran&e from F.F percent for t#e Army to3.5 percent for t#e
/arine $orps <U.S. Department of Defense 200F=.
All of t#e services pay 300 percent of t#e cost of studies and testin& t#at lead to a
'ED. 0n ;K04( ?F soldiers( >F sailors( 22 /arines( and 4> airmen received #i&# sc#ool
diplomas or 'EDs 1#ile on active duty <U.S. Department of Defense 200F=.
Eac# of t#e services provides !asic s:ills education independently. "#e Army6s
pro&ram is called t#e 9asic S:ills Education Pro&ram <9SEP=( desi&ned to #elp soldiers
master t#e functional readin&( 1ritin&( and mat#ematical s:ills re8uired of t#eir Eo!s. 0n
3AAA( t#e undersecretary of t#e Army directed t#at 9SEP s#ould !e automated and fully
deployed <9ilodeau 2004=. "#e Army found in an evaluation of t#ree commercial off2t#e2
s#elf <$O"S= products(
35
students performed as 1ell on "A9E posttests as soldiers 1#o
too: traditional 9SEP courses.
9SEP is open only to soldiers 1#o score !elo1 t#e 30t#2&rade level on "A9E( or
1#ose 'eneral "ec#nical <'"= scores are !elo1 300 <U.S. Army 2005=. '" scores are
computed as t#e sum of VE plus A- standard ASVA9 scores <eac# #as a mean of 50 and
a standard deviation of 30 in t#e yout# population=. All services e)cept t#e %avy t#en
standardi7e t#is sum to #ave a mean of 300 and a standard deviation of 20.
"#e /arine $orps !asic s:ills pro&ram is called /ilitary Academic S:ills
Pro&ram </ASP=( and is offered in a variety of delivery met#ods via videoconferencin&
classroom( traditional classroom( or online. "#is is a four21ee: pro&ram tar&eted to1ard
/arines 1#o score AA or !elo1 on t#e '" and 30.2 or !elo1 on "A9EL t#ere is an
additional /ASP preparatory course for t#ose 1#o score ?.5 or !elo1 on t#e "A9E. 0n
addition( /arines 1#o #ave !een referred !y t#eir commander also may enroll <U.S.
/arine $orps 3AA?=.
"#us( !ot# t#e Army and t#e /arine $orps restrict enrollment in t#eir !asic s:ills
education courses to servicemem!ers 1#o score !elo1 a t#res#old of t#e "A9E t#at is
addressed !y our researc#Dt#at is( !elo1 t#e 30t#2&rade level.
35
Lifetime Li!rary( Pass:ey( and PLA"O.

"#e %avy6s VolEd pro&ram is called %avy $olle&e Pro&ram. 9asic s:ills are
availa!le eit#er t#rou&# online instruction in t#e %avy $olle&e Learnin& $enters <%$L$=
located on numerous !ases or in teac#er2led instruction under t#e %avy $olle&e Learnin&
Pro&ram <%$LP=. %$L$ instruction is provided usin& PLA"O soft1are( and sailors are
administered a pretest to determine proper placement. "#e content of t#e PLA"O
instruction covers mat# !e&innin& 1it# second &rade material( t#rou&# t#e t1elft# &rade(
includin& al&e!ra <U.S. %avy 2004=.
*e consulted 1it# mem!ers of t#e %avy and t#e Army researc# staff( and
conducted academic literature searc#es and a searc# in t#e Defense "ec#nical 0nstitute
$enter <D"0$= repository <D"0$ 2004= and 1ere not a!le to identify researc# t#at #as
!een conducted concernin& t#e effectiveness of t#e services6 !asic s:ills education in
developmental mat#ematics. "#e only study t#at emer&es on t#is topic in &eneral is one
t#at 1as conducted in t#e late 3AA0s !y t#e $enter for %aval Analyses <$%A= <'arcia
3AA?=. "#e %avy 1anted to conduct an analysis of t#e effectiveness of VolEd in &eneral
!ecause so little 1as :no1n a!out t#e returns to t#is pro&ram( includin& !asic s:ills and
postsecondary education. "#e study found t#at( relative to nonparticipants( participants in
t#e VolEd pro&ram &ot promoted faster and fart#er( #ad fe1er disciplinary pro!lems( and
#ad #i&#er retention even after controllin& for relevant factors( suc# as military specialty
and demo&rap#ic factors. 0n s#arp contrast to ot#er studies in t#is revie1( t#is study uses
an econometric tec#ni8ue t#at adEusts for t#e self2selection !ias in#erent in a voluntary
pro&ram. ;urt#ermore( t#is study calculates a return on investment <-O0= for various
components of t#e pro&ram !y comparin& t#e implied reduction in recruitin& and trainin&
costs from #i&# retention to t#e cost of t#e pro&ram. "#e -O0 on t#e adult !asic education
component of t#e pro&ram 1as even #i&#er t#an t#e -O0 on more advanced s:ill
components.
Po't'e#on!ar* Vo&E!
;or servicemem!ers 1#o 1ant to pursue postsecondary education( t#ere are a
num!er of avenues( and t#ey vary !y service. "uition Assistance <"A=( 1#ic# is offered
!y all t#e services( provides 300 percent of t#e mandatory tuition and fees at accredited
institutions of #i&#er education( up to P250 per semester #our. All of t#e services e)cept
t#e %avy cap t#is assistance at PF(500 per year. "#e %avy limits fundin& to 32 semester
#ours per year </ilitary.com 2004=.
"#e Army( %avy( and /arine $orps eac# #ave a &roup of colle&es t#at to&et#er
compose t#e Servicemem!ers Opportunity $olle&es <SO$=( a consortium of
appro)imately 3(500 colle&es( 1#ic# is cosponsored !y t#e American Association of
State $olle&es and Universities <AAS$U= and t#e AA$$. Amon& ot#er re8uirements(
mem!ers of t#e consortium a&ree to accept credit a1arded from ot#er mem!ers. "#is
feature is an important consideration for servicemem!ers 1#o move fre8uently and so
may not !e a!le to complete a de&ree at t#e institution t#at ori&inally &ranted credit. "#e
Air ;orce does not #ave a compara!le consortium !ecause it #as t#e $ommunity $olle&e
of t#e Air ;orce t#at serves a similar function.

Servicemem!ers may ta:e courses at any accredited colle&e( re&ardless of
mem!ers#ip in SO$( on t#eir o1n time. ;or many( t#is includes distance learnin& or
Video "eleconferencin& <V"$=( !ut for t#ose located near lar&e !ases( a num!er of
community colle&es 1ill actually provide instruction on !ase.
"#e cost of t#ese courses is su!sidi7ed for servicemem!ers t#rou&# "A( includin&
developmental mat#ematics courses t#at confer credit <includin& institutional= and are
re8uired !y t#e colle&e. ,ence( any developmental mat#ematics t#at 1ould !e re8uired
!y t#e institution 1ould !e similar to t#ose for ot#er adult learners enrolled at t#at
institution and are( t#erefore( included in our analysis of community colle&es.

,"'$ne''e' an! Or.an$?e! La%or
/any corporations and moderate2si7ed companies support continuin& education
and trainin& of t#eir 1or:force. A study conducted !y t#e American Society for "rainin&
and Development <AS"D=( in 1#ic# t#ey surveyed 4>5 or&ani7ations in 3AAA( found t#at
companies spend an avera&e of 3.? percent of payroll on trainin& <Van 9uren 2003=. Of
t#e amount spent on trainin&( !et1een 5 and 5 percent is in !asic s:ills( includin& literacy(
readin& compre#ension( 1ritin&( mat#( En&lis# as a second lan&ua&e( and learnin& #o1 to
learn. 9y far( t#e lar&est cate&ory of trainin& 1as in tec#nical processes and procedures(
totalin& appro)imately 34 percent of all trainin& e)penditures. "#e %ational Association
of /anufacturers survey cited earlier found t#at 5 percent of employers offered advanced
mat# education opportunities( 1#ile 35 percent offered !asic mat# trainin&. "#e study
also found t#at Eust F percent of respondents in companies 1it# at least one union said
t#at t#e union offered trainin& to employees.
0n concurrence 1it# t#e %$ES <2004= findin&s previously cited( t#e most often
cited sources of e)ternal education and trainin& in t#e survey 1ere community colle&es
<F5 percent=( tec#nical and vocational sc#ools <F> percent=( !usiness and industry
associations <F5.A percent=( consultants <4A percent=( and universities <35 percent=.
Our searc# of t#e literature revealed no definitive researc# on !usiness or
or&ani7ed la!or education pro&rams in &eneral. 0n addition( a searc# of t#e *e! sites of
maEor unions and lar&e corporations also did not reveal more information a!out specific
education pro&rams in developmental mat#ematics. ;or e)ample( t#e *e! site of t#e
A;L2$0O( 1it# a mem!ers#ip of over 34 million( #as a section concernin& education
issues and le&islation( !ut it contains no information a!out specific education pro&rams in
&eneral( or developmental mat#ematics in particular <A;L2$0O 2004=. *e did find one
*e! site t#at mentions an education pro&ram offered !y a Eoint partners#ip !et1een t#e
United Auto *or:ers <UA*= and 'eneral /otors $orporation <'/=( alt#ou&# little
information a!out t#e specific pro&ram is provided <UA*2'/ $enter for ,uman
-esources 200F=. "#ey do note( #o1ever( t#at t#ere are more t#an A5 UA*2'/ S:ill
$enters across t#e country t#at operate 1it#in a local education a&ency( and offer
opportunities in Adult 9asic Education( 'eneral Educational Development( educational
enric#ment services( En&lis# as a second lan&ua&e( academic advisin& services( and #i&#
sc#ool completion.
*olfe <2003= descri!ed a !usiness2!ased pro&ram in Jentuc:y t#at is a
colla!oration 1it# t#e local community colle&e( Jentuc:y Educational "elevision <JE"=(
and ,ospitality "elevision. "#is Sc#ool2to2*or: pro&ram !rin&s !asic mat# and
developmental classes to t#e 1or:place via television( t#ere!y !rin&in& t#e education to
t#e 1or:er rat#er t#an re8uirin& t#em to come to t#e colle&e. "#e pro&ram 1as launc#ed
in 3AA? for 1or:ers in t#e #ospitality sector( !ut !y 2003 it #ad e)panded to include
retail( manufacturin&( and local &overnment( especially sc#ool districts. Alt#ou&# no
evaluation of effectiveness of t#e pro&ram 1as noted( *olfe stated t#at one official
envisioned t#is pro&ram as !ein& a feeder for community colle&es and tec#nical sc#ools
!ecause of its potential to &et learners started on t#e ri&#t pat#.
Dou&#erty and 9a:ia <2000= discussed t#e role t#at !usiness and or&ani7ed la!or
#ave in contract trainin& to community colle&es. "#ey descri!e contract trainin& in t#e
five areas t#ey investi&ated auto manufacturin&( construction( apparel mar:etin&(
!an:in&( and auto repair. "#ey note t#at entry2level s:ills trainin& across t#e five
industries t#ey studied 1ere focused primarily on mac#inists( carpenters( and auto repair
tec#nicians. "#ey found far less contract trainin& for entry2level semis:illed 1or:ers.
"#ese entry2level s:ills trainin& pro&rams com!ine a lar&e amount of classroom
and on2t#e2Eo! <O+"= trainin&. Amon& t#e most si&nificant of t#ese pro&rams are t#e
apprentices#ips in auto manufacturin& and t#e nonapprenticed employee2in2trainin&
<E0"= pro&rams t#at are primarily conducted at t1o2year postsecondary institutions( t#e
control of !ot# !ein& dominated !y employers and t#e UA*. 0n fact( Dou&#erty and
9a:ia note t#at many are Eoint union2mana&ement apprentices#ip pro&rams and union
mem!ers play a :ey role in decisions concernin& curriculum( c#oice of providers( and
evaluation of t#e pro&ram.
9ecause of t#e a!sence of unions in t#e auto repair industry( t#ey note t#at
trainin& in t#is area is primarily sponsored !y '/( ;ord( $#rysler( and "oyota( 1it# t#e
community colle&e as a muc# more e8ual partner.
Also( construction contract trainin& tends to !e s#orter in duration if it is
sponsored !y industry t#an if it is sponsored !y Eoint union2mana&ement apprentices#ip
trainin& committees.
;inally( t#ey note t#at contract trainin& #as t#e potential to c#an&e not only t#e
content of courses to meet t#e particular needs of t#e !usiness or union !ut also t#e
peda&o&y( particularly 1#en t#e corporate customer uses ne1er instructional tec#ni8ues
or tec#nolo&y t#an t#e colle&e uses. 0n t#ose cases( colle&e instructors 1#o teac#
corporate2sponsored courses often pic: up t#ese tec#nolo&ies and t#en import t#em !ac:
into t#eir re&ular courses.
Corporate Mat2 S-$&& Tra$ner'
/uc# of our revie1 so far #as focused on developmental colle&e pro&rams.
9usinesses also report usin& !usiness and industry associations staff( and corporate mat#
s:ills trainers to remediate t#e mat# s:ills of t#eir 1or:force. *e &at#ered information
via *e! sites and e)c#an&es 1it# personnel from a num!er of corporate mat# s:ill
trainers( includin& four of t#e lar&estD/at#*or:s 0nc. </a#er 200F=L "#omson %E"&
<-ollins 200F=L S:illSoft 0nc. <+ordan 200F=L and /at#soft <Sc#indler 200F=Dand t1o
smaller or&ani7ationsD/at# Learnin& 0nstitute 0nc. <$#arles 200F= and t#e Alinea 'roup
</artin 200F= in order to o!tain a more compre#ensive representation of corporate
trainin&.
"#e researc# revealed t#at a variety of !usinesses rely on t#e contractual services
of corporate mat# s:ill trainin& companies to provide mat# s:ill development tools(
products( and trainin& for t#eir employees. Alt#ou&# most companies cannot &ive
detailed information a!out t#eir clients( t#ey indicated t#at clients #ave included U.S.
&overnment a&encies( maEor auto manufacturers( aerospace companies( maEor airlines( 0"
companies( and lar&e discount c#ain stores. "#is in8uiry yielded several :ey
o!servations
• A lar&e num!er of companies rely primarily on t#e contractual services of local
colle&es and universities( particularly services provided !y community colle&es(
for !asic mat# s:ill <addition( su!traction( division( multiplication( fractions( etc.=
trainin&.
• Of t#e four lar&est mat# s:ill trainin& companies intervie1ed and researc#ed( all
re8uired !asic mat# s:ill :no1led&e !efore ta:in& classes( or usin& t#eir products(
or !ot#. Alt#ou&# courses 1ere offered to t#ose 1it# little to no advanced level
mat# :no1led&e( in almost all cases( t#e trainin& companies6 clientele consisted
primarily of individuals 1it# a stron& mat#ematics !ac:&round( at least a
!accalaureate de&ree( or !ot#( often in t#e areas of mat#ematics( en&ineerin&( t#e
sciences or tec#nolo&y. /any of t#eir clients also #ave advanced de&rees.
• "#e t1o smaller companies did provide customi7ed !asic mat# s:ill trainin&.
• Several of t#e lar&er mat# s:ill trainin& companies provide referral services to
clients to local colle&es and universities t#at provide !asic mat# s:ill trainin& to
employees to ensure t#at t#eir clients are ade8uately prepared to succeed in t#eir
trainin& classes( or use t#eir mat# soft1are( or !ot#.
• Several corporations t#at provide some mat# s:ill trainin& #ave partnered 1it#
educational institutions <e.&.( University of P#oeni)= to &ive employees t#e
opportunity to receive colle&e credit for courses t#ey ta:e t#rou&# t#eir trainin&
pro&rams.
• /ost corporate consultin& and trainin& or&ani7ations provide course1or: t#rou&#
e2learnin& <*e!2!ased=( $D -O/s( instructor lead trainin&( onsite trainin&C or
trainin& at t#eir o1n facilities.
• "#e mat# s:ill courses are desi&ned to meet t#e needs of t#e client and t#erefore
vary in len&t# and format. Some classes are as s#ort as one to t1o #ours or may
meet re&ularly over t#e course of several mont#s.
• /at# s:ill trainin& is &enerally only one component of t#e services provided !y
companies t#at provide mat# s:ill trainin& t#rou&# various course offerin&s
<finance( !ud&et( etc.=. /ost of t#e companies t#at provide trainin& also #ave
developed products and tools t#at t#ey mar:et( train ot#ers to use( and sell.
A!"&t E!"#at$on an! Wor-or#e De(e&opment
%e1 economic realities #ave created a need for 1or:force and education policies
t#at !etter meet employer demands for s:illed 1or:ers. $urrent efforts to develop
opportunities for people lac:in& s:ills and resources are focusin& on career pat#1ays t#at
inte&rate education( trainin&( and s:ill development in tar&eted #i&#21a&e( #i&#2demand
employment areas </a77eo( -a!( and Alssid 2004=. $areer pat#1ays provide
developmental( adult education( or ESL classes in t#e conte)t of students6 lives and t#e
1or:2specific s:ills t#ey need for employment in particular industries or sectors. *it#
t#is type of approac#( courses suc# as mat#ematics are modified to incorporate materials
from specific fields into t#e actual course content. Pro&rams t#at promote conte)tual
teac#in& and learnin& ma:e #eavy use of proEects( la!oratories( simulations( and ot#er
e)periences t#at ena!le students to learn !y doin& <+en:ins 2002=. 9y inte&ratin&
instruction in !asic s:ills 1it# instruction in tec#nical content( conte)tuali7ed teac#in&
and learnin& also ena!le academically unprepared students to o!tain career trainin& at t#e
same time t#at t#ey enroll in !asic education.
$entral to federal efforts to remediate displaced or dislocated 1or:ers is t#e WIA.
"itle 0 of WIA is t#e cornerstone le&islation in t#e federal arsenal as it provides 1or:force
investment services and activities t#rou&# a net1or: of One2Stop $areer $enters and
strate&ic plannin& and oversi&#t !y !usiness2led 1or:force investment !oards <*09s=.
Availa!le 1or:force development activities provided in local communities can !enefit
Eo! see:ers( laid off 1or:ers( yout#s( incum!ent 1or:ers( ne1 entrants to t#e 1or:force(
veterans( persons 1it# disa!ilities( and employers. "#e purpose of t#ese activities is to
promote an increase in t#e employment( Eo! retention( earnin&s( and occupational s:ills
improvement !y participants. "#is( in turn( is intended to improve t#e 8uality of t#e
1or:force( reduce 1elfare dependency( and improve t#e productivity and
competitiveness of t#e nation.
Adult and laid2off 1or:er services are provided t#rou&# locally !ased One2Stop
$areer $enters. $ompre#ensive one2stop centers provide access to a full ran&e of
services pertainin& to employment( trainin& and education( employer assistance( and
&uidance for o!tainin& ot#er assistance. *#ile WIA re8uires one2stop centers to provide
specific services( local areas may desi&n pro&rams and provide services t#at reflect t#e
uni8ue needs of t#eir area. WIA "itle 0 funds may !e used to support adult education and
ot#er literacy activities only if t#is instruction is provided in com!ination 1it#
occupational s:ills or on2t#e2Eo! trainin&. "itle 00 of WIA aut#ori7es t#e Adult #ducation
and $amily Literacy Act( 1#ic# provides formula fundin& to states to support adult
education and literacy services <includin& 1or:place literacy services=( family literacy
services( and En&lis# literacy pro&rams. Eli&i!le individuals may access adult education
pro&rams funded !y WIA "itle 00 t#rou&# One2Stop $areer $enters.
$ommunity colle&es are also :ey players in adult education and 1or:force
development. A recent study !y t#e Education $ommission of t#e States <+en:ins and
9os1ell 2002= found t#at community colle&es fre8uently offer trainin& to up&rade t#e
s:ills of 1or:ers( 1#ic# is often provided under contract to employers and typically does
not confer colle&e credit. "#ey note t#at a study done !y $olum!ia University6s "eac#ers
$olle&e <9ailey et. al. 200F= estimated t#at( in 3AAA( 2.4 million students 1ere enrolled in
noncredit( Eo!2related trainin& pro&rams at community colle&es. 0n addition( community
colle&es play a :ey role in #elpin& unemployed and underemployed adults in !asic s:ills
trainin&( suc# as ESL( in pro&rams lin:ed to trainin& for Eo!s. "#e aut#ors also offer
e)tensive pro&rams to #elp 1elfare recipients enter t#e 1or:force.
"#e study notes t#at community colle&es are desi&nated as t#e lead a&ency to
provide 1or:force trainin& in at least 3A states Alas:a( Ala!ama( Ar:ansas( $olorado(
Dela1are( 0o1a( Jansas( Jentuc:y( /aine( /issouri( /ississippi( %e!ras:a( %e1
,amps#ire( %evada( %ort# $arolina( %ort# Da:ota( Vir&inia( *as#in&ton( and
*isconsin.
"#e Education $ommission of t#e States <E$S= administered a survey in 2003 to t#e
state a&ency responsi!le for community colle&es in all 50 states. ;ive states did not
respond ,a1aii( 0da#o( /aryland( /ontana( and Sout# Da:ota. Accordin& to t#e E$S
<2002= report( t#e maEority of states indicated t#at t#e lac: of 1or:force development
fundin& is a c#allen&e( particularly in terms of ma:in& investments in tec#nolo&y to
prepare a tec#nically competent 1or:force. ;urt#er( several states pointed out t#e
inconsistency in t#e decreased 1illin&ness of policyma:ers to support 1or:force
development pro&rams 1#ile t#ey stress t#e &ro1in& importance of a s:illed la!or force.
/aEor #i&#li&#ts of t#e findin&s 1ere
• Ei&#teen states provide state fundin& <in addition to federal fundin&= to support
occupational trainin& of disadvanta&ed students !y community colle&es. 0n all !ut
one of t#ese states( 1elfare recipients are tar&eted specifically for suc# trainin&.
Ot#er tar&eted &roups include lo12income adults( displaced 1or:ers( veterans(
t#e disa!led( and at2ris: yout#.
• "#irty2t1o states provide state fundin& to support customi7ed trainin& for
employers( 1it# most states imposin& some restrictions on t#e use of t#ese funds.
"#e level of fundin& ran&ed from under P3 million in several states to P50
million in %e1 +ersey. 0n &eneral( community colle&es compete 1it# ot#er
trainin& providers for t#ese funds.
• "1enty states fund noncredit occupational trainin& <separate from fundin& for
customi7ed trainin&= at community colle&es.
S"mmar* an! Con#&"'$on'
"#is literature revie1 set out to e)amine researc# on promisin& strate&ies for
stren&t#enin& mat# s:ills at t#e postsecondary level. Our 1or: #as indicated t#at researc#
into instructional practices and curriculum content met#odolo&ies t#at are specific to
developmental mat#ematics is lar&ely fla1ed( lac:in& in t#e scientific ri&or necessary to
ma:e sound inferences. /ost of t#e studies 1e revie1ed are met#odolo&ically limited !y
t#e a!sence of control or comparison &roups( 1#ic# ma:es it virtually impossi!le to
&au&e t#e interventions6 true impact on learnin&.
0n terms of t#e :no1led&e necessary for successfully pursuin& colle&e2level mat#(
1e #ave found t#at no consistent definition of mat# standards for colle&e2level
preparation e)ists. ,o1ever( a num!er of studies indicate t#e need to #ave a &ood
foundation in arit#metic( &eometry( tri&onometry( and al&e!ra 0 and 00. Emer&in& 1or:
also indicates t#e increasin& need for !asic statistics and t#e a!ility to analy7e data.
*e found t#at t#ere is less uncertainty or am!i&uity in t#e s:ills necessary to
pursue colle&e2level mat# and to succeed in t#e #i&#est2paid and #i&#est2s:illed Eo!s. 0n
particular( t#ere seems to !e 1idespread a&reement on t#e need to t#in: critically( to solve
pro!lems( and to communicate mat#ematically. 9ot# !usinesses and postsecondary
institutions indicate t#at t#ey 1ant people 1#o can identify a pro!lem( determine 1#et#er
it can !e solved( :no1 1#ic# operations and procedures are re8uired to solve t#em( use
multiple representations <suc# as &rap#s and 1ords= to descri!e t#e pro!lems and
solutions( and understand and apply mat#ematical modelin&. ,o1ever( t#ese are t#e
s:ills t#at are t#e most difficult to teac# and to assess.
0t remains to !e seen 1#et#er community colle&es are adoptin& t#ese
recommendations( in terms of t#e :no1led&e( s:ills( or a!ilities. 0t is also uncertain
1#et#er community colle&es ade8uately assess t#e :no1led&e and s:ills necessary to
pursue postsecondary2level mat# or succeed in t#e 1or:place. -e&ardless( t#e maEority of
t1o2year colle&es re8uire incomin& students to ta:e and pass an assessment test !efore
t#ey are allo1ed to enroll in colle&e2level mat# courses. 'iven t#eir prevalence( t#is may
currently !e t#e most relevant !enc#mar: for 1#et#er a person may successfully
transition into colle&e2level mat#ematics.
*#ile 1e did not identify e)istin& studies !ased on &old2standard researc# in
developmental mat#ematics at t#e postsecondary level( salient t#emes concernin&
peda&o&y emer&ed( su&&estin& promisin& !ut unproven instructional practices t#at are
fre8uently implemented. "#ese may 1arrant furt#er study. *e summari7e promisin& :ey
components of strate&ies or approac#es to developmental mat#ematics pro&rams at t#e
postsecondary level into t#e cate&ories and topics !elo1
• In'tr"#t$ona& an! pe!a.o.$#a&: traditional instructionL multiple delivery options
for students to c#oose fromL computer2assisted instructionL 0nternet2!asedL self2
pacedL distance learnin&L calculatorsL computer al&e!ra systemsL spreads#eetsL
la!sL small2&roup instructionL learnin& communitiesL conte)tual learnin&L lin:a&es
to and e)amples from t#e 1or:placeL and career pat#1ays.
• C"rr$#"&"m #ontent: nonstandard topics covered in developmental mat# courses
or topics t#at vary !y career pat#L len&t# of instructionL and types of activities
used to reinforce t#e material.
• Proe''$ona& !e(e&opment: faculty trainin& and developmentL and full2time
versus part2time instructors.
• S"pport$n. 'trate.$e': counselin&L and assessment( placement( and e)it
strate&ies.
• Learner an! $n't$t"t$ona& #2ara#ter$'t$#': full2time versus #alf2time community
colle&e studentL socioeconomic attri!utes of learnerL 1or:place pro&ramL and
servicemem!er.
Imp&$#at$on' or 0"rt2er Re'ear#2
Additional researc# is necessary to understand 1#at 1or:s in developmental
mat#ematics. 0n particular( 1e need to understand more precisely 1#y students drop out
of developmental mat# courses. 0s it !ecause of t#e material covered( t#e instructional
met#ods used( c#allen&es outside of t#e classroom suc# as financial or family constraints(
or some com!ination of all of t#ese factors@ As a first step in en#ancin& t#at
understandin&( researc#ers need to &at#er more information concernin& <a= a variety of
outcomes( suc# as developmental mat# course pass rates( persistence to and pass rates of
developmental mat#ematics students in #i&#er2level mat# courses( transfer rates to ot#er
institutions( and &raduation rates( <!= student c#aracteristics <e.&.( race and et#nicity( a&e(
&ender( #i&#est education credential( socioeconomic status=( and <c= t#e relations#ip of
eac# of t#ese c#aracteristics to t#e various outcomes. "#is information could t#en !e&in
to address important 8uestions( suc# as 1#et#er a particular peda&o&ical approac#
!enefits all students e8ually re&ardless of t#eir education credential( a&e( and ot#er
c#aracteristics( and 1#et#er t#e !enefits persist to #i&#er2level mat# courses and
ultimately( to &raduation.
Appen!$) A: Mat2emat$#' Kno3&e!.e an! S-$&&' or S"##e'' 0rom
Con&e* an! ,o!one A:;;:B
"#e :ey :no1led&e and s:ills considered to !e necessary for success in mat#ematics
include t#e follo1in&
• $omputation
o "#e student 1ill :no1 !asic mat#ematics operations !y !ein& a!le to
 Use arit#metic operations 1it# fractionsL
 Use e)ponents and scientific notationL
 Use 1#ole num!ers to perform all !asic arit#metic operations(
includin& lon& division 1it# and 1it#out remaindersL
 Use radicals correctlyL
 Understand relative ma&nitude and a!solute valueL
 Jno1 terminolo&y for real num!ers( suc# as irrational num!ers(
natural num!ers( inte&ers( and rational num!ersL and
 Use t#e correct order of arit#metic operationsL
o "#e student 1ill :no1 and carefully record sym!olic manipulations.
o "#e student 1ill :no1 and demonstrate fluency 1it# mat#ematical
notation and computation !y !ein& a!le to
 Perform addition( su!traction( multiplication and divisionL
 Perform appropriate !asic operations on setsL and
 -eco&ni7e alternative sym!ols <e.&.( 'ree: letters=.
• Al&e!ra
o "#e student 1ill :no1 and apply !asic al&e!raic concepts !y !ein& a!le
to
 Use t#e distri!utive property to multiply polynomialsL
 /ultiply and divide polynomialsL
 ;actor polynomialsL
 Add( su!tract( multiply( divide( and simplify rational e)pressions
includin& findin& common denominatorsL
 Understand properties and !asic t#eorems of roots and e)ponentsL
and
 Understand properties and !asic t#eorems of lo&arit#ms.
o "#e student 1ill use various tec#ni8ues to solve !asic e8uations and
ine8ualities !y !ein& a!le to
 Solve linear e8uations and a!solute value e8uationsL
 Solve linear ine8ualities and a!solute value ine8ualitiesL
 Solve systems of linear e8uations and ine8ualities usin& al&e!raic
and &rap#ic met#odsL
 Solve 8uadratic e8uations usin& various met#ods and reco&ni7e
real solutions !y !ein& a!le to
• Use factorin& and 7ero productsL
• Use completin& t#e s8uareL and
A((endi/ A 0cont1d.
• Use t#e 8uadratic formula.
o "#e student 1ill !e a!le to reco&ni7e and use !asic al&e!raic forms !y
!ein& a!le to
 Distin&uis# !et1een e)pression( formula( e8uation( and function
and reco&ni7e 1#en simplifyin&( solvin&( su!stitutin& in( or
evaluatin& is appropriateL
 Determine 1#et#er a relation is a functionL
 Understand applicationsL
 Use a variety of models to represent functions( patterns( and
relations#ipsL
 Understand terminolo&y and notation used to define functionsL and
 Understand t#e &eneral properties and c#aracteristics of many
types of functions <e.&.( direct and inverse variation( &eneral
polynomial( radical( step( e)ponential( lo&arit#mic( and sinusoidal=.
o "#e student 1ill understand t#e relations#ip !et1een e8uations and &rap#s
!y !ein& a!le to
 Understand slope2intercept form of a e8uation of a line and &rap#
t#e lineL
 'rap# a 8uadratic function and reco&ni7e t#e intercepts as
solutions to a correspondin& 8uadratic e8uationL and
 Jno1 t#e !asic s#ape of t#e &rap# of an e)ponential function.
o "#e student 1ill :no1 #o1 to use al&e!ra !ot# procedurally and
conceptually !y !ein& a!le to
 -eco&ni7e 1#ic# type of model !est fits t#e conte)t of a situation.
o "#e student 1ill demonstrate a!ility to al&e!raically 1or: 1it# formulas
and sym!ols !y !ein& a!le to
 Understand formal notation and various applications of se8uences
and series.
• "ri&onometry
o "#e student 1ill :no1 and understand !asic tri&onometric principles !y
!ein& a!le to
 Jno1 t#e definitions of t#e tri&onometric ratiosDsine( cosine( and
tan&entDusin& ri&#t trian&le tri&onometry and position on t#e unit
circleL
 Understand t#e relations#ip !et1een a tri&onometric function in
standard form and its correspondin& &rap#L
 Jno1 and use identities for sum and difference of an&lesL
 -eco&ni7e periodic &rap#sL
 Understand concepts of periodic and e)ponential functions and
t#eir relations#ips to tri&onometric formula( e)ponents( and
lo&arit#msL
 Solve pro!lems usin& e)ponential modelsL and
 Understand and use dou!le and #alf an&le formulas.
• 'eometry
A((endi/ A 0cont1d.
o "#e student 1ill :no1 synt#etic <i.e.( pictorial= &eometry !y !ein& a!le to
 Use properties of parallel and perpendicular lines in 1or:in& 1it#
an&lesL
 Jno1 trian&le propertiesL
 Understand t#e concept of mat#ematical proofs( t#eir structure and
useL
 Use &eometric constructions to complete simple proofs( to model(
and to solve mat#ematical and real21orld pro!lemsL and
 Use similar trian&les to find un:no1n an&le measurements and
len&t#s of sides.
o "#e student 1ill :no1 analytic <i.e.( coordinate= &eometry !y !ein& a!le
to
 Jno1 &eometric properties of linesL
 Jno1 t#e e8uations for conic sectionsL
 Use t#e Pyt#a&orean "#eorem and its converse and properties of
special ri&#t trian&les to solve mat#ematical and real21orld
pro!lemsL
 Use transformations of fi&ures to &rap# simple variations of
e8uations for !asic &rap#sL
 Set up appropriate coordinate system for applicationsL and
 Understand vectors in mat#ematical settin&s.
o "#e student 1ill understand t#e relations#ips !et1een &eometry and
al&e!ra !y !ein& a!le to
 Jno1 #o1 to manipulate conicsL
 Understand t#at o!Eects and relations in &eometry correspond
directly to o!Eects and relations in al&e!raL and
 Solve real21orld pro!lems usin& t#ree2dimensional o!Eects.
o "#e student 1ill demonstrate &eometric reasonin& !y !ein& a!le to
 Prove con&ruency of trian&lesL and
 Use inductive and deductive reasonin& to ma:e o!servations a!out
and to verify properties of and relations#ips amon& fi&ures.
o "#e student 1ill !e a!le to com!ine al&e!ra( &eometry( and tri&onometry
!y !ein& a!le to
 Understand and use t#e la1 of sines and t#e la1 of cosinesL and
 Use properties of and relations#ips amon& fi&ures to solve
mat#ematical and real21orld pro!lems.
• /at#ematical -easonin&
o "#e student 1ill demonstrate an a!ility to solve pro!lems !y !ein& a!le to
 Use inductive reasonin&L
 Demonstrate a!ility to visuali7eL
 Use multiple representations to solve pro!lemsL
 Use a frame1or: or mat#ematical lo&ic to solve pro!lems t#at
com!ine several stepsL
A((endi/ A 0cont1d.
 Use a variety of strate&ies to understand ne1 mat#ematical content
and to develop more efficient solution met#ods or pro!lem
e)tensionsL and
 $onstruct lo&ical verifications or counter e)amples to test
conEectures and to Eustify al&orit#ms and solutions to pro!lems.
o "#e student 1ill understand various representations !y !ein& a!le to
 Understand a!stract mat#ematical ideas in 1ord pro!lems(
pictorial representations( and applications.
o "#e student 1ill demonstrate a t#orou&# understandin& of mat#ematics
used in applications !y !ein& a!le to
 Understand t#e concept of a function.
o "#e student 1ill demonstrate stron& memori7ation s:ills !y !ein& a!le to
 Jno1 a variety of formulas and s#ort proofs.
o "#e student 1ill :no1 #o1 to estimate !y !ein& a!le to
 Understand t#e relations#ips amon& e8uivalent num!er
representationsL
 Jno1 1#en an estimate or appro)imation is more appropriate t#an
an e)act solution for a variety of pro!lem situationsL and
 -eco&ni7e t#e validity of an estimated num!er.
o "#e student 1ill understand t#e appropriate use of tec#nolo&y !y !ein&
a!le to
 Jno1 t#e appropriate uses of calculators and t#eir limitationsL
 Perform difficult computations usin& a calculatorL
 Jno1 #o1 to use &rap#in& calculatorsL
o "#e student 1ill !e a!le to &enerali7e <e.&.( to &o from &eneral to a!stract
and !ac: and to &o from specifics to a!stract and !ac:= !y !ein& a!le to
 Determine t#e mat#ematical concept from t#e conte)t of a real2
1orld pro!lem( solve t#e pro!lem( and interpret t#e solution in t#e
conte)t of t#e real21orld pro!lem.
o "#e student 1ill !e 1illin& to e)periment 1it# mat#ematics !y !ein& a!le
to
 Understand t#at mat# pro!lems can #ave multiple solutions and
multiple met#ods to determine t#e solution<s=.
o Students 1ill emp#asi7e process over mere outcome<s= !y !ein& a!le to
 Understand t#e various steps to a solution.
o "#e student 1ill s#o1 a!ility to modify patterns and computations for
different situations !y !ein& a!le to
 $ompare a variety of patterns and se8uences.
o "#e student 1ill use trial and error to solve pro!lems !y !ein& a!le to
 ;ind t#e 1ay<s= t#at did not 1or: to solve a pro!lem and finally
find t#e one<s= t#at do 1or:.
o "#e student 1ill understand t#e role of mat#ematics !y !ein& a!le to
 Jno1 t#e relations#ip !et1een t#e various disciplines of mat#L and
A((endi/ A 0cont1d.
 Understand t#e connections !et1een mat#ematics and ot#er
disciplines.
o "#e student 1ill use mat#ematical models !y !ein& a!le to
 Use mat#ematical models from ot#er disciplines.
o "#e student 1ill understand t#e need to !e an active participant in t#e
process of learnin& mat#ematics !y !ein& a!le to
 As: 8uestions t#rou&#out multistep proEects( reco&ni7in& natural
8uestions arisin& from a mat#ematical solutionL
 Use appropriate mat# terminolo&yL and
 Understand t#at mat#ematical pro!lem solin& ta:es time.
o "#e student 1ill understand t#at mat#ematics is a sym!olic lan&ua&e and
t#at fluency re8uires practice !y !ein& a!le to
 "ranslate simple statements into e8uationsL and
 Understand t#e role of 1ritten sym!ols in representin&
mat#ematical ideas and t#e precise use of special sym!ols of
mat#ematics.
• Statistics
o "#e student 1ill understand and apply concepts of statistics and data
analysis !y !ein& a!le to
 Select and use t#e !est met#od of representin& and descri!in& a set
of dataL
 Understand measures of central tendency and varia!ility and t#eir
application to specific situationsL and
 Understand different met#ods of curve2fittin& and various
applications.
Appen!$) ,: S"mmar* o St"!$e' Re&ate! to De(e&opmenta&
Mat2emat$#' Re($e3e! $n T2$' Report
St"!* Approa#2 • Metr$#' • O"t#ome • Re'ear#2 I''"e'
Adams 2004 $om!ined t1o2
semester course
in one semester
• "op >0 percent of
scorers in
assessment test
• $omparison of
final test scores
for t#ose in
developmentalH
re&ular course vs.
t#ose in re&ular
course not
re8uirin&
remediation
• Pass rates in
#i&#er mat#
courses compared
for t1o &roups
• ;inal test scores similar
• Developmental students
#ad 5 percenta&e points
#i&#er pass rate in
elementary calculus
• -esults not as &ood for
en&ineerin& calculus
• %o control for student
c#aracteristics
• Precise measures of differences
not stated
At:inson
2004
"utorials in
Pro!lem Solvin&
<"iPS= for
arit#metic and
pro!lem2solvin&
s:ills in adults
• Pretest and
posttest measures
• -elations#ip
!et1een len&t# of
instruction and
assessed
mat#ematical
a!ility prior to
usin& "iPS
• Avera&e posttest score 1as
si&nificantly #i&#er for
students usin& "iPS t#an
similarly assessed students
in an untreated control
&roup
• *#ile ori&inally intended
for %avy sailors( results
indicated "iPS #as muc#
1ider applica!ility to adult
literacy pro&rams and
1or:force trainin&
pro&rams
• Use of re&ression2discontinuity
desi&n ensures validity of
results
$artnal 3AAA "raditional vs
computer2
assisted
instruction in
elementary and
intermediate
al&e!ra
• Success
• -etention
• Persistence
• -etention and persistence
#i&#est in computer2
assisted instruction
• Success #i&#est in
traditional
• -ecommends furt#er
researc#
• Self2selection !ias
• %o control for student
c#aracteristics
• %o statistical test of
si&nificance reported
$reery 2003 Lecture vs. self2
paced vs. online
instruction
• ;inal &rades
• Persistence
• %o difference in final
&rades or persistence
amon& t#e t#ree met#ods
• -ecommends offerin&
multiple instructional
modes
• Self2selection !ias
• %o control for student
c#aracteristics
• %o analysis of differentials in
1it#dra1als
DePree 3AA? 0nstructor vs.
small2&roup
instruction
• /at# confidence
• Ac#ievement
• $ourse
completion
• Small2&roup instruction
#ad statistically #i&#er
confidence( more li:ely to
complete t#e course
• 0mprovements 1ere
&reatest for traditionally
underrepresented students
in mat#ematics ,ispanics(
%ative Americans( and
females
• Iuasi2e)perimental desi&n 1it#
students not a1are of modality
used at time of re&istration
St"!* Approa#2 • Metr$#' • O"t#ome • Re'ear#2 I''"e'
• %o difference in
ac#ievement
,i&!ee and
"#omas 3AAA
-elations#ip
!et1een
nonco&nitive
varia!les and
success in t1o2
8uarter al&e!ra
se8uence
• "est an)iety
• $onfidence to
succeed in
learnin& mat#
• /at# and test an)iety
decreased for students in
course 1it# rela)ation
e)ercises and
metaco&nition strate&ies
• Posttest measures of
an)iety 1ere not correlated
1it# #i&#er course &rades
• Aut#ors ac:no1led&e t#at
desi&n does not allo1 for
separatin& out effects of
individual treatments( teac#in&
a!ility( and personality traits of
professor
• %o control &roup
• *it#dra1als are not accounted
for
Jinney 2003 "raditional vs.
computer2
mediated
instruction in
elementary and
intermediate
al&e!ra
• Scores on final
e)ams
• $onfidence in
mat#
• %o difference in final e)am
scores
• 9ot# &roups reported
increased confidence
• -ecommends offerin&
multiple instructional
modes
• Self2selection !ias
• %o control for student
c#aracteristics
• %o information pertainin& to
metrics and tests conducted
Lancaster
2003
PLA"O Soft1are
vs. traditional
lecture in
elementary
al&e!ra
• $ourse
1it#dra1als
• Satisfactory
&rades
• $omputer Assisted
0nstruction <$A0= resulted
in 52percent decrease in
num!er of 1it#dra1als
• 322percent increase in
num!er of satisfactory
&rades
• 332percent decrease in
unsatisfactory &rades
• Iuasi2e)perimental desi&n 1it#
control &roup consistin& of
students in prior year
• %o control for student
c#aracteristics
Livin&ston
2003
$omputer
Al&e!ra System
<$AS= vs.
traditional
met#od 1it#
calculators in
intermediate
al&e!ra
• A!ility to
perform
mat#ematics !y
#and
• A!ility to solve
#i&#er2order
reasonin& !y
#and
• %o statistically si&nificant
difference in a!ility to
perform mat#ematics !y
#and
• $AS &roup performed
!etter in a!ility to solve
#i&#er2order reasonin& !y
#and
• Iuasi2e)perimental nonrandom
control &roup desi&n
• %o control for student
c#aracteristics
• Self2selection !ias
/c$lendon
and /cArdle
2002
"raditional vs.
lectureHcompu2
ters vs.
Assessment
LEarnin& in
Jno1led&e
Spaces <ALEJS=
• $ourse
completion <letter
&rade of $ or
!etter=
• *it#out eliminatin&
1it#dra1als( traditional
#ad #i&#est completion
• %ettin& out 1it#dra1als( no
difference
• -ecommends offerin&
multiple instructional
modes
• Self2selection !ias
• %o control for student
c#aracteristics
• %o analysis of 1#y ALEJS
#ad #i&#er 1it#dra1al rate
/i&lietti et al.
2002
-elations#ip
!et1een a&e and
&ender on
learnin& styles(
and !et1een
teac#er style and
classroom
outcomes
• Principles of
Adult Learnin&
• Adult $lassroom
Environment
Scale
• Adaptive Style
0nventory
• Adult underprepared
students in learner2centered
developmental En&lis#
classrooms ac#ieved #i&#er
&rades t#an similar students
in teac#er2centered
classrooms
• %o a&e or &ender effects on
classroom environment or
learnin& style preference
• Effect of a&e and teac#in&
style on developmental
mat#ematics 1as not
possi!le
• *it#dra1als are not accounted
for
St"!* Approa#2 • Metr$#' • O"t#ome • Re'ear#2 I''"e'
Iuinn 2004 PLA"O Soft1are
for arit#metic and
elementary
al&e!ra
• A!solute increase
in scores on
computeri7ed
placement test
<$P"=
• -elations#ip
!et1een time
spent on soft1are
and increase in
$P" scores
• Statistically si&nificant
increase for all students in
pretest and posttest $P"
scores
• Eac# additional #our spent
results in 0.>3 to 3.?>
percent improvement in
$P" posttest score
• %o comparison &roup
• Does not control for student
c#aracteristics
Sinclair
$ommunity
$olle&e 2004
-elations#ip
!et1een time
since last
developmental
mat#ematics
course and first
colle&e2level
mat# course
• Avera&e 'PA in
course
• Success rate
• Avera&e 'PA is
si&nificantly lo1er 1#en
students delay 4 terms
• Success rate is not affected
• ;actors affectin& c#oice to
delay su!se8uent mat# courses
are not measured or controlled
for
*aycaster
2003
Lecture 1it# la!
vs. individuali7ed
computer2aided
instruction
• Pass rate
• -etention
• 'raduation rate
• Success 1as independent
of instruction met#od
• Developmental
mat#ematics students #ad
#i&#er retention t#an
re&ular students
• Self2selection !ias
• %o control for student
c#aracteristics
• %o statistical test for
differences conducted
• /etrics not 1ell2defined
*#eland et al.
2004
Perceived
in#i!itors to
student success in
intermediate
al&e!ra
• /idsemester tests
• ;inal e)am scores
• 'PA
• %onnative instructors do
not #ave ne&ative impact
on success
• Performance in
intermediate al&e!ra
correlated 1it# overall
semester 'PA
• Attendance #i&#ly
correlated 1it# success
• 'rade in intermediate
al&e!ra predictive of
performance in #i&#er mat#
• Self2selection !ias
• Does not control for student
c#aracteristics
Appen!$) C: Compara%&e ASSETC
+7
ACTC
+8
an! COMPASS
+@
C"to
S#ore' 0or St"!ent P&a#ement $nto Mat2emat$#a& Co"r'e'
"#is ta!le provides information concernin& t#e most typical cutoff scores used !y
colle&es on t#e ASSE"( A$"( and $O/PASS tests for placement into various levels of
mat#ematics courses. ;or instance( readin& across t#e top ro1( colle&es t#at use t#e
ASSE" test &enerally place a student 1#o scores !et1een 24 and F0 on t#e %umerical
S:ills component of t#at test into a course t#at provides a !asic arit#metic revie1.
0nstitutions t#at use t#e A$" /at#ematics su!test instead 1ould place students scorin&
!elo1 3? into a similar course( and institutions t#at use t#e $O/PASS 1ould place a
student into a similar course if #e or s#e scored less t#an a FF on t#e Pre2al&e!ra
component.
Ta%&e C4+: A''etC A#tC an! Compa'' C"to S#ore' or St"!ent P&a#ement
ASSE" Scores A$" /at# $O/PASS Scores $ourse -ecommendations
%umerical S:ills PreMal&e!ra
24MF0 0M35 0MF4 Arit#metic revie1
F3M55 3?M20 FFM300 Elementary al&e!ra or courses
1it# arit#metic prere8uisite
Elementary Al&e!ra Al&e!ra
24MF0 3?M20 0MF5 Elementary al&e!ra or courses
1it# arit#metic prere8uisite
F3M55 23M22 F>M>5 0ntermediate al&e!ra or courses
1it# elementary al&e!ra
prere8uisite
0ntermediate Al&e!ra
24MF0 23M22 F>M>5 0ntermediate al&e!ra or courses
1it# elementary al&e!ra
prere8uisite
F3M55 24M25 >>M300 $olle&e al&e!ra or courses 1it#
intermediate al&e!ra
prere8uisite
$olle&e Al&e!ra $olle&e Al&e!ra
24MF0 24M25 0MF5 $olle&e al&e!ra or courses 1it#
intermediate al&e!ra
prere8uisite
F3M55 2>M25 F>M300 "ri&onometry or !usiness
calculus or courses 1it# colle&e
al&e!ra prere8uisite
"ri&onometry
2>M25 0MF5 "ri&onometry or !usiness
3>
Assessment of S:ills for Successful Entry and "ransfer
35
American $olle&e "estin& Pro&ram
3?
$omputeri7ed Adaptive Placement Assessment and Support System
ASSE" Scores A$" /at# $O/PASS Scores $ourse -ecommendations
calculus or courses 1it# colle&e
al&e!ra prere8uisite
2?M4> F>M300 $alculus 3 or courses 1it#
colle&e al&e!ra and
tri&onometry prere8uisites
Source -ot# 2004
Appen!$) D: Le(e& o Pro$#$en#* A''o#$ate! W$t2 ACCUPLACER
+9

C"to S#ore'
Le(e& o Pro$#$en#* A''o#$ate! W$t2 ACCUPLACER C"to S#ore'
Arit#metic
Proficiency
Elementary Al&e!ra
Proficiency
$olle&e2level /at#ematics
Proficiency
S#ore o <@M476 S#ore o :@M6< S#ore o <9 or &e''
Students at t#is level #ave
minimal arit#metic s:ills.
"#ese students can
• perform simple operations
1it# 1#ole num!ers and
decimals <addition(
su!traction( and
multiplication=
• calculate an avera&e(
&iven inte&er values
• solve simple 1ord
pro!lems
• identify data represented
!y simple &rap#s
Students at t#is level #ave
minimal pre2al&e!ra s:ills.
"#ese students demonstrate
• a sense of order
relations#ips and t#e
relative si7e of si&ned
num!ers
• t#e a!ility to multiply a
1#ole num!er !y a
!inomial
"#ese students s#ould ta:e t#e
elementary al&e!ra test !efore
any placement decisions are
finali7ed.
S#ore o 71G9: S#ore o 66M@+ S#ore o 6;M7:
Students at t#is level #ave
!asic arit#metic s:ills. "#ese
students can
• perform t#e !asic
arit#metic operations of
addition( su!traction(
multiplication( and
division usin& 1#ole
num!ers( fractions(
decimals( and mi)ed
num!ers
• ma:e conversions amon&
fractions( decimals( and
percents
Students scorin& at t#is level
#ave minimal elementary
al&e!ra s:ills. "#ese students
can
• perform operations 1it#
si&ned num!ers
• com!ine li:e terms
• multiply !inomials
• evaluate al&e!raic
e)pressions
Students scorin& at t#is level
can
• identify common factors
• factor !inomials and
trinomials
• manipulate factors to
simplify comple) fractions
"#ese students s#ould !e
considered for placement into
intermediate al&e!ra. ;or
furt#er &uidance in placement(
#ave t#ese students ta:e t#e
elementary al&e!ra test.
S#ore o 9<M+;9 S#ore o @:M+;@ S#ore o 7<M@1
Students at t#is level #ave
ade8uate arit#metic s:ills.
"#ese students can
• estimate products and
s8uares of decimals and
s8uare roots of 1#ole
num!ers and decimals
Students at t#is level #ave
sufficient elementary al&e!ra
s:ills. 9y t#is level( t#e s:ills
t#at 1ere !e&innin& to emer&e
at a Btotal ri&#t scoreC of 55
<i.e. 55 correct= #ave !een
developed. Students at t#is
Students scorin& at t#is level
can demonstrate t#e follo1in&
additional s:ills
• 1or: 1it# al&e!raic
e)pressions involvin& real
num!er e)ponents
• factor polynomial
3A
$olle&e Placement E)am
Arit#metic
Proficiency
Elementary Al&e!ra
Proficiency
$olle&e2level /at#ematics
Proficiency
• solve simple percent
pro!lems of t#e form pQ
of 8 R @ and @Q of 8 R r
• divide 1#ole num!ers !y
decimals and fractions
• solve simple 1ord
pro!lems involvin&
fractions( ratio( percent
increase and decrease( and
area
level can
• add radicals( add al&e!raic
fractions( and evaluate
al&e!raic e)pressions
• factor 8uadratic
e)pressions in t#e form
a)
2
S !) S c( 1#ere a R 3
• factor t#e difference of
s8uares
• s8uare !inomials
• solve linear e8uations 1it#
inte&er coefficients
e)pressions
• simplify and perform
arit#metic operations 1it#
rational e)pressions(
includin& comple)
fractions
• solve and &rap# linear
e8uations and ine8ualities
• solve a!solute value
e8uations
• solve 8uadratic e8uations
!y factorin&
• &rap# simple para!olas
• understand function
notation( suc# as
determinin& t#e value of a
function for a specific
num!er in t#e domain
• a limited understandin& of
t#e concept of function on
a more sop#isticated level(
suc# as determinin& t#e
value of t#e composition
of t1o functions
• a rudimentary
understandin& of
coordinate &eometry and
tri&onometry
"#ese students s#ould !e
considered for placement into
colle&e al&e!ra or a credit2
!earin& course immediately
precedin& calculus.
S#ore o +;;H S#ore o +;9H S#ore o @7M+;:
Students at t#is level #ave
su!stantial arit#metic s:ills.
"#ese students can
• find e8uivalent forms of
fractions
• estimate computations
involvin& fractions
• solve simple percent
pro!lems of t#e form pQ
of @ R r
• solve 1ord pro!lems
Students at t#is level #ave
su!stantial elementary al&e!ra
s:ills. "#ese students can
• simplify al&e!raic
e)pressions
• factor 8uadratic
e)pressions 1#ere a R 3
• solve 8uadratic e8uations
Students scorin& at t#is level
can demonstrate t#e follo1in&
additional s:ills
• understand polynomial
functions
• evaluate and simplify
e)pressions involvin&
functional notation(
includin& composition of
functions
• solve simple e8uations
Arit#metic
Proficiency
Elementary Al&e!ra
Proficiency
$olle&e2level /at#ematics
Proficiency
involvin& t#e
manipulation of units of
measurement
• solve comple) 1ord
pro!lems involvin&
percent( avera&e( and
proportional reasonin&
• find t#e s8uare root of
decimal num!ers
• solve simple num!er
sentences involvin& a
varia!le
involvin&
• tri&onometric functions
• lo&arit#mic functions
• e)ponential functions
"#ese students can !e
considered for a pre2calculus
course or a non2ri&orous
course in !e&innin& calculus.
S#ore o +;<H
Students scorin& at t#is level
can demonstrate t#e follo1in&
additional s:ills
• perform al&e!raic
operations and solve
e8uations 1it# comple)
num!ers
• understand t#e
relations#ip !et1een
e)ponents and lo&arit#ms
and t#e rules t#at &overn
t#e manipulation of
lo&arit#ms and e)ponents
• understand tri&onometric
functions and t#eir
inverses
• solve tri&onometric
e8uations
• manipulate tri&onometric
identities
• solve ri&#t2trian&le
pro!lems
• reco&ni7e &rap#ic
properties of functions
suc# as a!solute value(
8uadratic( and lo&arit#mic
"#ese students s#ould !e
considered for placement into
calculus.
Source /urp#y( S. 2002
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