Clarify the Paths
- Math and other core coursework aligned to each program of study
The Reasoning Path (Students from Madison College describe their experiences in a Quantway course.) (posted 10/9/2018)
The Reasoning Path (Students from Madison College describe their experiences in a Quantway course.)
The Case for Mathematics Pathways (posted 4/5/2018)
Mathematics is a barrier to degree completion for millions of students. This brief examines two major challenges — mismatch of math content to students’ academic/career needs and long developmental sequences — and math pathways initiatives that show promise for helping students complete entry-level math coursework in one year or less. (Charles A. Dana Center)
Dana Center Math Pathways Institutional Implementation Guide (posted 4/5/2018)
Designed for faculty and staff at two- and four-year institutions, this guide offers a blueprint for implementing and scaling mathematics pathways. (Charles A. Dana Center)
Carnegie Math Pathways 2015-2016 Impact Report: A Five-Year Review (posted 4/5/2018)
This report presents evidence of the success of Quantway and Statway, year after year, since 2011. Even as enrollments have quadrupled, nearly triple the number of students are completing their college math requirement or developmental math sequence in half the time with these programs, as compared to students in the traditional math sequence. (Carnegie Math Pathways)
Guide to Aligning Mathematics Pathways to Programs of Study (posted 4/5/2018)
This guide helps leadership teams with key aspects of aligning math pathways, including identifying math course requirements for each program, comparing math course requirements at primary transfer institutions, facilitating discussions with program leads and department chairs, and providing clear and consistent information for advisors and faculty. (Charles A. Dana Center)
PRACTITIONER, PRESIDENT, AND PARTNER PERSPECTIVES
Karen Stout, President & CEO, Achieving the Dream, Pathways Partner (posted 4/5/2018)
We learned a lot from Achieving the Dream’s work in developmental education. I think it’s the 1.0 version of developmental education redesign. And what we learned is that standalone sequential developmental education, even tweaked and accelerated a little bit, if it’s not connected to a program, is not going to be effective. And so now we’re in this Developmental Education Redesign 2.0 that requires dev ed to be connected to the programs. It can’t be standalone anymore. And so that is like the fundamental point of connection between developmental education and pathways. So if you reverse engineer and you begin with the end in mind, and you go back, you have to get students on the pathway. Dev ed’s going to connect with that student at that point most of the time, right? But it has to be contextualized with the program.
Marty Cavalluzzi, President, Pierce College Puyallup, Pathways College (posted 4/5/2018)
And when I first got there, the first year, I would hear advisors, I’d hear other people just say, “Hey, get your gen eds out of the way.” I never hear that anymore. And it’s not because of me, it’s everyone’s doing. You just don’t hear that anymore. And what’s beautiful about that, and how that connects to professional technical programs, is that — and where we’re getting with the guided pathways is that students will be able to see every single course that they’re taking, “How does that map out to my career?” So you’re not just in English 101.You’re in English 101 because you need to learn these skills because they directly apply to your career, and here’s how. You’re in this math class because you need to learn these skills. And this is exactly how they’re going to apply to your career. I mean, so literally every single course a student goes into, they’re going to hear this explanation about how this maps into their career. So it totally changes the outcome. It totally changes how much what they see, it changes their mindset going into the course about why they need this course.
Uri Treisman, Director, Charles A. Dana Center, The University of Texas at Austin (posted 4/5/2018)
I always feel, as a mathematics leader, that when I speak to my colleagues in education and higher education, I should start by apologizing for the role that we play. We know that the three highest failure rate courses in higher education are all in the developmental mathematics and gateway sequence. So while math is not the only important subject, however dear it is to me, it is a critical barrier — an almost insurmountable barrier — for too many students. Not because of the mathematics, but because of the way we’ve organized mathematics instruction.
So key to the AACC pathways and the Core Principles is making sure that students are in not only a college-credit math course, but a credit math course that speaks to or is aligned with their program of study. Certain individuals, journalists may need quantitative reasoning and modeling. Criminal justice probably needs statistics. These courses probably all need some basic algebra. But the profession — for the first time all 17 professional associations of mathematicians — now endorse the idea that students should be in math courses that are directly relevant to their programs of study, that intermediate algebra or other algebra courses should never be a default course as a screen for other majors. We don’t want the responsibility of screening students for other programs, and we will no longer participate or sanction that kind of work. So we are cognizant of our special role in students’ futures. And the math pathways movement has shown that, if we offer students better instruction in more relevant mathematics with the supports built in, we are tripling the success rate of students who were once deemed too unprepared to be in college-credit material.
Anne Kress, President, Monroe Community College, Pathways College (posted 4/5/2018)
You know, faculty will sometimes express concern that students are too structured in their pathways, that they’re not guided, but they’re sort of nailed down in place. And what we’ve been able to do is work with faculty to really bring out some of the discussions that I think faculty sometimes only have with other faculty. For example, if you’re in business, you know, there may be a plethora of sociology options for that elective, but in reality, the business folks tell students to take only three of those. And we’ve been able to then have our faculty really participate in creating the guided pathways by putting, I would say, in formal structure what they do informally in advising students. So that when students are on the right path, it’s not a happy accident, but it is really by design. And faculty see that their students stay in their programs, find the courses that they’re looking for. And that has really helped them take ownership of this.