Harper College and its three high school districts (Northwest Education Council for Student Success) set out to increase the percentage of first-time freshman from feeder school districts who begin in credit bearing courses. With that target set, a strategy aptly named Partners for Success: COMPASS Math Project was identified in 2009-10 and developed to address five goals:
- Identify students at-risk of not being college-ready in math before the senior year;
- Increase math enrollment in the senior year;
- Align high school Algebra II and Harper College Intermediate Algebra curriculum;
- Identify multiple methods to qualify for college credit mathematics; and
- Offer dual credit general education as a senior year math option.
Junior level students taking Algebra II were identified as the at-risk group being likely to need to take developmental math in college. Harper College began COMPASS testing in the junior year to determine readiness and to encourage math in the senior year. As a result of faculty partnering to align curriculum, additional dual credit options were created and a high school trig/stat class was replaced with the Harper College Intermediate Algebra course (Math 080- the highest level developmental math course) to best prepare students for college-readiness in math.
The work of formalized agreements with high school educational partners (Northwest Educational Council for Student Success) has aligned curriculum as well as clarified messaging about college expectations. Student college-readiness in math has increased since 2010 with nearly 27% more students placing into credit bearing courses (45.8% in 2010 to 72.9% in 2014).
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