Institutional Level

Institutional action is the linchpin between a statewide vision and establishing math pathways in practice. Leaders at the institutional level must ensure that faculty work to design the pathways will be sustained through institutional structures and processes and that local implementation aligns with efforts across the state.

Creating Structures for Success

Implementation of mathematics pathways at the institutional level is most effective when done within the context of a state-level effort because this serves to create the enabling conditions that eliminate many barriers faced by institutions working in isolation. If your state is engaged in a statewide effort, we encourage you to become informed and engaged in that work. A state-level effort should not deter you from starting on implementation at your institution now. See the Where We Work section to determine if the Dana Center is working with your state.

If your state is not engaged in math pathways, it is still possible to implement at your institution. In many states, individual colleges and universities have taken a leadership role in building momentum for a statewide effort by demonstrating that math pathways can be implemented successfully and increase student success.

Any institution--whether a part of a statewide effort or not--can use the process and resources described here.

The process at a glance:

This process is not necessarily linear in nature. The stages listed below may overlap.

  • Getting Started: Leadership sets and communicates an institutional commitment and establishes a leadership team. (1–2 months)
  • Planning: The leadership team reviews data, defines the problem, and sets the goal for scale. The team then examines options, defines the local strategy, and creates an implementation plan. (3–6 months)
  • Implementing: Faculty develop, schedule, and staff courses. Advising coordinators train advisors and develop advising tools. Students are enrolled in courses. (3 – 6 months)
  • Continuously Improving: The leadership team reviews institutional progress to ensure that the implementation plan is being followed and evaluates for quality and progress toward full-scale implementation. Strategies are revised and refined as needed. (ongoing)


Paula Talley
"Math pathways has tremendously benefited our students by providing them a way to accelerate through developmental mathematics and take a gateway mathematics course that is relevant to their field of study. The relevant mathematics content helps to prepare our students to not only be successful in mathematics, but also in other college courses and the workforce. Ultimately, we are acting upon our institution’s vision to help students graduate and integrate into the workforce."
Division Director of Student Success at Temple College, Temple, Texas
May 2016