This brief summarizes recent work by the Texas Transfer Alliance, a collaboration of universities and community colleges in Texas led by the Dana Center since 2018. The brief further highlights some emerging practices from institutions in the state that show promise in improving student success and social mobility.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This report attempts to examine the preparation for calculus on a microscopic level. Researchers tracked the actual enrollment of students in precalculus, calculus, and non-calculus based courses over 20 successive semesters, from fall 1992 to spring 2002.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spotlight: Updated and New Resources
This report outlines the progress toward SStF Arkansas Initiative goals from 2018-2020. It also presents the persistent scaling challenges that Arkansas higher education stakeholders face, as they work to increase equitable access and outcomes in undergraduate English and mathematics.
The Transfer Partnership Strategy (TPS) was a one-year collaboration that built on the work of the Texas Transfer Alliance. TPS effectively used regional coordinators to facilitate collaboration and communication between community colleges and universities.
Research shows that math is a significant contributor to education equity gaps.