The state of Washington has a systemic mathematics policy in place, via articulated math pathways described in the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) as well as a statewide math strategic plan framed around the notion of math pathways. However, three critical problems need to be addressed in order to scale math pathways in the state. In spring 2016, the Washington State Mathematics Pathways Task Force was charged with addressing these problems by:
- Aligning the content of college-level mathematics courses to educational/career pathways.
- Creating clear links between precollege mathematics and college-level math pathways.
- Incorporating valid and reliable placement procedures while giving students access to intentional advising procedures framed around math pathways.
In February 2017, the Task Force published its report -- Washington Math Pathways to Completion Task Forceview full resourceDownloadFile -- which identified five specific recommendations and strategies committed to dramatically improve the success of students in developmental and gateway mathematics courses. These five recommendations include:
- Provide students, faculty, and advisors greater clarity and consistency about the math pathways currently available in Washington higher education institutions.
- Develop a rationale for math pathways, including evidence for promising models and approaches that accelerate student progress into and through college-level gateway math courses.
- Align the content of college-level gateway math courses to the mathematical needs of students’ educational / career pathways; create clear links between precollege math courses and the gateway college math courses; and identify how well prerequisite precollege content prepares students for their required entry-level college math coursework.
- Connect to current initiatives and grants in order to best leverage assets.
- Provide postsecondary mathematics faculty members with professional development related to teaching in pathways.
In Fall 2017, 8 two-year institutions and 2 four-year institutions committed to implement mathematics pathways in Fall 2018. See Summary of Institutional Commitments for Washingtonview full resourceDownloadFile for more information about who committed and institutional expectations to implement mathematics pathways.