the rocky mountains

  • Colorado Department of Higher Education
  • In Fall 2014, the Colorado Math Pathways Task Force was created after Colorado was selected as one of six states to receive technical assistance support from the Charles A. Dana Center and Complete College America. The initiative, Building Math Pathways to Programs of Study (BMPPS), was designed to mobilize mathematics faculty leaders from across two- and four-year institutions to create math pathways that enable students to complete an appropriate gateway math course, which would fulfill requirements for their chosen programs of study, within one year.
  • Ian Macgillivray, Director of Academic Affairs, Colorado Department of Higher Education
  • Dean Allison, Director and Professor at the School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Northern Colorado  
Name Title Institution
Steve Aldrich Professor of Mathematics Adams State University
Shelly Ray Parson Professor of Mathematics Aims Community College
Lynn Bennethum Undergraduate Chair, Mathematics Department University of Colorado Denver
Dave Ruch Professor of Mathematics Metropolitan State University of Denver
Sandy Gilpin Director, Freshman Math Program Fort Lewis College
Casey Sacks Grant Project Manager Colorado Community College System
Alexander Hulpke Undergraduate Director, Mathematics Department Colorado State University
Rob Tubbs Associate Professor of Mathematics University of Colorado Boulder
Rick Miranda Provost and Executive Vice President Colorado State University
Alexsis Venter Math Faculty Arapahoe Community College
Rick Ott Associate Professor of Statistics Colorado Mesa University
Frank Zizza Chair, Department of Mathematics and Physics Colorado State University–Pueblo


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Division of Academic Affairs
Colorado Department of Higher Education
Formal Charge

Formal Charge

The mission of the Colorado Math Pathways Task Force was to:

  • Convene math faculty leaders to decide how well gateway math courses are aligned with programs of study;
  • Draft a public statement on the importance of better alignment of gateway math courses with programs of study;
  • Identify and/or suggest alternative gateway math courses that are rigorous and of quality in content and competencies, and that are more appropriately aligned with the math skills students need to succeed in their programs of study; and
  • Work with representatives from academic disciplines and advisors to review math requirements and consider alternative courses to college algebra for majors that do not ultimately require calculus.


In November 2015, the task force published its  state-level recommendationsview full resourceDownloadFile, which have been endorsed by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and the state General Education Council. These recommendations were grouped into four themes:

  1. Curriculum
  2. Advising
  3. Support and Professional Development
  4. Communication

In March 2016, the Colorado Math Pathways Conference brought together math and client discipline chairs and appropriate senior faculty to discuss how the recommendations could be implemented at their institutions. Colorado also modified placement policy to allow for differentiated placement based on pathway and revised the mathematics requirements in statewide articulation agreements for five programs.

Casey Sacks
Pathways to Success
"The state math pathways work created circumstances where our math faculty from 2-year and 4-year institutions could have conversations about content, sequencing, and student learning. The recommendations developed by our faculty, that we are now being put into practice, are incredibly promising strategies that promote meaningful mathematics engagement and help students complete their intended programs of study."
Assistant Provost at Colorado Community College System

Our Work at the State Level

Select a state to learn more about how local leaders are setting a vision for math pathways or read an analysis of math pathways work across multiple states.