Over the course of six years, Statway® and Quantway® have begun transforming developmental math education. These new approaches pioneer new ways of teaching math, by presenting engaging, relevant and useful math concepts that students can use in their fields of study and their daily lives. Together, these methods have helped more than 30,000 students at community colleges across 15 states succeed in math. Our grant is laying the groundwork for spreading these methods to many more students in the years ahead.

ISSUE

Community colleges strive to serve all segments of society through open admissions. However, completion and transfer rates are low, in part because of serious challenges many students face in earning math credits.

Roughly 60% of new community college students place into developmental math. Yet within three years, fewer than 20% of them will earn their developmental credit plus the college-level math course they need to graduate or transfer.

The result: Students find their pathways to a better career or continued education at a four-year college blocked, even when they're able to successfully complete all other courses.

SOLUTION

Quantway and Statway are two different pathways that get students to the same place. They move students through both developmental and college-level math courses, often within a single year. Where only 15% of students in traditional developmental math ultimately earn college credit over two years, more than three times as many Statway and Quantway students (50%) do so in a single year. And these results have held even as the program has scaled to serve more students each year.

The number who go on to achieve their education and career goals goes up, too. The secret is a new way of teaching math that focuses on making math concepts engaging and relevant to students' fields of study and daily lives.

We're making a three-year grant—joining other funders like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The Kresge Foundation—to learn and then share what it takes to make this the standard pedagogy across two very different community college environments, in New York and California. Regional hubs will help colleges and support faculty development, including collaborative technology to help ensure the remarkable success rates seen by early adopters are equaled or beat by new colleges adopting the pathways.

Funding also helped transition Quantway and Statway from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to WestEd, a national nonprofit education research and services agency.

QUESTIONS

Contact Senior Program Manager Sue Cui at scui@glhec.org or (608) 294-8922.