Pamela Burdman PB Strategy Myra Snell Los Medanos College

Amy Getz UT Austin Dana Center


How Community Colleges Are Re-Thinking College Readiness in Math

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It’s the statistics…
Overall low college completion rates High proportion of community college students require remedial math Low rates of success in remedial sequences

Math = Single greatest barrier to college completion?


• lady’s face or … saxophone player? • unprepared students or … indefensible math requirements?

+ + + + Math is a hurdle for the majority of community college students Most students deemed “unready” in math will never graduate Placement tests are weak predictors Standard math sequence is irrelevant to most students’ aspirations for college and career

Math Readiness Reform Menu
Colleges and practitioners are choosing reforms from one or more columns: columns:

Promising Preliminary Results
• Carnegie Foundation’s Statway involves 43 colleges in 11 states. • Of students in Statway, 51 percent completed college-level math in their first year of college, compared to just 6 percent in the standard pathway.

See Learning Works report:
Changing Equations: How Community Colleges are Re-Thinking College Readiness in Math

Contact: Pamela Burdman

For Path2Stats: Myra Snell, Math Instructor, Los Medanos College, Path2Stats Founder, California Acceleration Project Founder, For New Mathways Project: Amy Getz, Manager of Community College Services, Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas at Austin

Supporting California’s 112 Community Colleges to redesign their English and Math Curricula and Increase Student Completion

California Acceleration Project

Myra Snell CAP Math Lead

What is the California Acceleration Project?
• CAP supports California community colleges in the creation and implementation of accelerated developmental pathways in math and English. • Faculty teams participate in 3 workshops (2-3 days each) and receive ongoing coaching and support from a large peer network. • In math, 21 CA community colleges have developed a shortened Statistics pathway for students in majors that are not math-intensive. • CAP website

CAP Principles for Curricular Redesign
• Shorten and align: Shorten the developmental pathway and align developmental course work with students’ area of study. (For students in areas that are not math-intensive, align pathway with general education requirements, such as Statistics.) • High-levels of challenge and high levels of support: Five key principles for the accelerated classroom: – Backward design from college-level courses – Relevant, thinking-oriented curriculum – Just-in-time remediation – Low-stakes, collaborative practice – Intentional support for students’ affective needs • Rethink placement: Reduce reliance on high-stakes placement tests that do not assess skills requisite for success in college work in the student’s area of study.

Away from … Toward …
• Away from decontextualized algebra, mimicry of symbolic procedures and template word problems

An apple falling from a tree is h feet above the ground t seconds after it begins to fall, where h=64-16t^2. How long does it take the apple to hit the ground?

• Toward data analysis and decision-making in the face of uncertainty
What factors correlate with low birth weights? Use graphs and conditional percentages to investigate the relationship between one of the factors in the data set and low birth weight. Present your results in 500 words or less, include relevant graphs and calculations. Data set: Birth weights and 6 qualitative factors from a Massachusetts study of 189 pregnant women.

Results: Proof of Concept
• Promising preliminary results from some colleges Completion rate: percent of students enrolled at first census in a developmental math course that complete a transfer-level math course.
Statistics Pathway (1 year) Cuyamaca Los Medanos 50% (171) 60% (119) Traditional Pathway (3 years) 23% (2315) 21%(1756)

At both colleges most students enrolled in the Statistics pathway had a placement level of 2 to 3 levels below transfer-level math (65% at Cuyamaca and 73% at LMC). At both colleges the majority of students were non-Asian students of color. Third-party evaluation of the first year of implementation for 8 colleges in CAP’s first cohort due out in December.

The NMP: An Introduction
Amy Getz
Manager of Community College Services

an initiative of the Charles A. Dana Center and the Texas Association of Community Colleges

The NMP Model: Four Principles for Reform
Developmental and gateway mathematics should include: 1.Multiple pathways aligned to fields of study 2.Acceleration that allows students to complete a college-level math course more quickly 3.Intentional use of strategies to help students develop skills as learners 4.Curriculum design and pedagogy based on proven practice


Dana Center’s Role: State Level
Broadly support reform based on the four principles: Work with TACC, state agencies, and two- and four-year institutions to address policy obstacles Leverage resources and build support through collaboration with partners:
 Other reform initiatives
 Professional organizations


Dana Center’s Role: Institutional Level
Build tools and services that help colleges implement systemic reform

Detailed implementation guide
Data templates Tools and strategies to help train advisors and plan for student recruitment Services that support planning:
 Data-Based Mobilization Workshop


Dana Center’s Role: Faculty & Classroom Level
Develop materials and services to support on-the-ground implementation

Course materials
Professional learning opportunities – general and specific to the Dana Center’s course materials
 Online modules, workshops, institutes, and written support materials

The development process is based on input from and engagement with community college faculty and staff.


The NMP Courses


Timeline for Development and Implementation
Courses Frameworks for Mathematics and Collegiate Learning* Foundations of Mathematical Reasoning First Implementation Spring 2013 Fall 2013 Publically Available Fall 2013 Fall 2014

Statistical Reasoning
Quantitative Reasoning STEM-Prep and bridge course

Spring 2014
Spring 2015 Spring 2016

Spring 2015
Spring 2016 Spring 2017

*A PDF version of the Frameworks course will be published for open use.


Contact Information
 General information about the Dana Center:

 Higher Education work:

 To receive monthly updates about the NMP, contact us at:

 Amy Getz (general project issues):