Implementation Stories

The successful implementation of mathematics pathways at scale requires planning, implementing, and continuously improving. As more individual colleges and universities, states, and institutions report successful reforms, we are sharing their knowledge to help all stakeholders adopt exemplary practices and remove barriers to student success.

Notes From the Field is a collection of innovative practices from colleges, universities, and systems that show the DCMP Principles in action. Learn how these institutions—in different stages of implementation and working in their local context—found creative and effective approaches, which can also help others in building, supporting, and scaling math pathways.

For example, a multi-campus community college system cultivated faculty support through authentic dialogue and by directly addressing faculty concerns across disparate institutions. One college created a fun board game to help both students and advisors gain a better understanding of math pathways. Another institution used clever “backward mapping” of student course data to provide support for state-level policies on transferability and applicability, while elsewhere, a statewide effort brought about alignment of relevant gateway math courses. Two-year and four-year institutions are designing and scaling co-requisite supports as well as adopting multiple placement measures and pedagogy-driven student support services. A straightforward data collection tool has highlighted exemplary practices continuous improvements.

Peruse Notes from the Field for these stories and more. 

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Notes from the Field

Whether you are just getting started, planning, implementing, or engaged in continuous improvement, the success stories here serve as instructive resources and stand as notable examples of work from the front lines of math pathways reforms.

In the early stages of implementing mathematics pathways reforms across multiple campuses, leaders strategically and authentically engaged faculty, directly addressing their concerns and empowering the people on the front lines to work towards the institution’s vision.

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Level
Institution
Process Stage:
Process Stage
Implementing
Continuously Improving
Role:
Role
Institutional Leadership
Math Department
Partner Disciplines

Developing multiple ways to explain mathematics pathways to students and advisors, including nontraditional approaches such as a “Math Paths” game, led to a deeper understanding of how pathways fit with the overall college experience.

Level:
Level
Institution
Process Stage:
Process Stage
Implementing
Continuously Improving
Role:
Role
Math Department
Advisors and Coordinators

Student support centers play a key role in helping underprepared and underserved students succeed in gateway mathematics courses. Ongoing tutor training and thoughtful integration of this support with the curriculum structure can pay big dividends.

Level:
Level
Institution
Process Stage:
Process Stage
Implementing
Continuously Improving
Role:
Role
Institutional Leadership
Math Department
Advisors and Coordinators

A fully scaled corequisite support model that uses common course textbooks and exams helps underprepared students complete their gateway mathematics courses in their first year, removing a persistent barrier to degree completion.

Level:
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Institution
Classroom
Process Stage:
Process Stage
Planning
Implementing
Role:
Role
Institutional Leadership
Math Department
Partner Disciplines

Combining several initiatives led to a rapid scaling up of co-requisite supports for underprepared students. The multipronged approach required faculty collaboration to align gateway mathematics courses and intense training of support staff and advisors.

Level:
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Institution
Classroom
Process Stage:
Process Stage
Planning
Implementing
Role:
Role
Math Department

Broad collaboration across multiple stakeholders and clear guidance from faculty and policymakers produced clearly defined pathways for students to enroll in mathematics courses that will both transfer and apply to their chosen fields of study.

Level:
Level
State
Process Stage:
Process Stage
Implementing
Role:
Role
Policy
Institutional Leadership
Math Department
Advisors and Coordinators

Analysis and “backward mapping” of data illuminate natural pathways students are taking to fulfill their math requirements. This approach informs a state-level data framework to address transfer inconsistencies between two-year and four-year institutions.

Level:
Level
State
Process Stage:
Process Stage
Continuously Improving
Role:
Role
Policy
Institutional Leadership
Partner Disciplines
Advisors and Coordinators
Researchers

Implementing and scaling mathematics reforms can leave little time and energy to document and share innovations. A modest data collection tool, and recognition of progress and best practices, can motivate continuous evaluation and improvement.

Level:
Level
Institution
Process Stage:
Process Stage
Implementing
Continuously Improving
Role:
Role
Institutional Leadership
Math Department
Partner Disciplines
Advisors and Coordinators

Using multiple measures of mathematics readiness to place students, providing “just-in-time” supports, and improving alignment of gateway courses to degree programs show promise to move students to-and-through their degree requirements efficiently.

Level:
Level
Institution
Process Stage:
Process Stage
Planning
Implementing
Role:
Role
Institutional Leadership
Math Department
Advisors and Coordinators