Who should lead?
As the state moves towards institutional implementation, responsibility shifts to working groups and institutional leaders. The lead agency and the task force monitor to make sure progress is being made. While the exact roles vary, generally the agency facilitator takes the primary role of coordinating the different strands of work. The faculty co-chairs review products and decisions from working groups, and the full leadership team contributes to strategic planning. The full task force meets two or three times as a group to review state-level progress.
What does it take?
The commitments vary greatly in this stage. There are three main areas of focus: communications and engagement, creating enabling conditions, and institutional implementation.
Communications and Engagement: The task force creates a communication and engagement plan to ensure stakeholders are informed and have opportunities to participate in the effort. The lead agency establishes a communications hub that enables people to get accurate information easily. Task force members also play an important role in advocacy and information dissemination through presentations and outreach to colleagues.
Creating Enabling Conditions: The task force implementation plan created in the Planning stage outlines the actions that need to be taken to enable institutions to implement math pathways. This plan varies widely from state to state. For example, there might be a need to change a state policy on placement or to provide opportunities for faculty development. Often these activities are assigned to working groups led by task force members or other leaders.
Institutional Implementation: The task force and lead agency finds ways to encourage and support colleges and universities to implement the pathways. States with a large number of institutions may decide to initially focus on key regions, institutions that are highly influential, or those that impact a large number of students, and then expand implementation to the rest of the state. A number of strategies can help build momentum such as asking institutions to make a public commitment, sharing implementation plans and success stories across institutions, and honoring institutional and individual leadership.
One challenge we see in every state is transfer and applicability. The ideal system is one in which a student can take a gateway mathematics course and know with confidence that it will transfer AND apply to specific programs of study across the state. In our experience, most systems recognize the challenge generally but fail to examine the critical issues in depth--this can lead to glossing over obstacles that can derail implementation efforts.