Institutional leadership plays a major role in initiating a transformative change process. Key administrators include the president, provost, vice presidents, and deans.
All students benefit from mathematics pathways. Math pathways are not a secondary structure for developmental students. See The Case for Mathematics Pathwaysview full resourceDownloadFile on the DCMP resource site.
Key administrative leaders must understand the rationale for mathematics pathways, which seek to eliminate a major barrier—postsecondary mathematics—to student success. Mathematics pathways strive to align rigorous and relevant mathematics courses to programs of study and to reduce long developmental course sequences that hinder students’ ability to complete college-level mathematics in a timely fashion.
Institutional leaders also must ensure that faculty and staff see the connection between mathematics pathways, equity goals, and the institution’s mission, goals, and strategic plan. Leaders can find ways to tie the project to the motivations of different stakeholder groups. For example, leaders continuously highlight how mathematics pathways help students succeed and can reduce the overall cost of education. They engage faculty and staff to an enterprise that is central to their campus community. Leaders also prioritize an equity-based, inclusive educational environment that is accountable to student access, experiences, and outcomes in mathematics for historically marginalized student groups, including Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students and students from low-income communities.
Successful implementation of mathematics pathways requires time and money to support staff members who are involved. The leadership team (addressed in Essential Action 2) monitors resource use over time and relies on key administrative leaders to allocate sufficient staff, approve workload adjustments as needed, and set aside or acquire funding to ensure that implementation and monitoring continue.
Practitioner Point of View
Jeff Detrick, dean of instruction at Brazosport College, believes that “you value teachers with your budget.” He ensures that funds are budgeted for instructors’ travel expenses and participation in conferences, professional development, meetings, and workshops.
By prioritizing funding for a program like the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways, it’s “not seen as some little experiment that’s being funded on the side. Our support is unwavering, and teachers feel like we have their back and they are valued.”
Leaders emphasize their institutional commitment to mathematics pathways through clear and consistent communication. Visible actions, such as mentioning mathematics pathways during public meetings and highlighting progress through multiple outlets, signify the importance of this endeavor.
While senior leaders provide ongoing and public support for mathematics pathways, other leadership is responsible for campus-wide communication and engagement. It is essential to communicate specific details about mathematics pathways and the role of pathways in the institution’s equity goals, strategic plan, and student success agenda. Additionally, leaders regularly review data demonstrating progress toward goals. The president, provost, and other appropriate leaders should schedule regular updates on progress. They should also provide guidance and support when needed and periodically review resources, safeguarding the time and effort needed for broad implementation.
overviews the DCMP and offers tips to support an institution’s president and senior leadership team in implementing mathematics pathways at scale.