Developmental Math Reform and Acceleration

In fall 2012, the Math Department revised its developmental mathematics curriculum at scale to improve student progression through the math sequence. Achieving the Dream's Student Centered Model of Institutional Improvement served as a guiding principle for this curricular reform. Elements critical to the reform were the integration of technology and lab instruction supported by a new Math Space, and a self-paced acceleration option in every course. Nearly 50 full and part-time math faculty came together to align learning outcomes and teaching approaches across courses. The reform shortened the developmental math sequence from three courses to two courses for the upwards of 90 percent of students who are non-STEM majors. (As noted in last year’s annual report, Successful Completion of Gateway Math within three Years rose by 14.4 percentage points, from 6.9 percent for the 2009-2010 cohort to 22 percent for the 2010-2011 cohort, an indicator of the reform’s success).

Building on the success of curricular reform, the Math Department has focused for the past three years on further accelerating student progression through developmental math requirements. The BHCC accelerated math model compresses two levels of developmental math (MAT093 and MAT097) into a single semester in the form of an Accelerated Math Learning Community Cluster. The Accelerated Math Cluster was piloted with 42 students in two sections in fall 2012. Of the 42 students, 57 percent successfully completed both courses in a single semester with a grade of C or better. This compared favorably to students enrolled in stand-alone sections of MAT-093, 20 percent of whom completed MAT-093 and MAT-097 in consecutive semesters. Based on these promising results, the Math Department began a scaling process, adding additional Accelerated Math Clusters to each semester’s schedule and providing instructors with professional development in the pedagogy of acceleration, including focus on a growth mindset approach and productive persistence. In fall 2015, 11 Accelerated Math Clusters enrolled 214 students. By the end of the fall 2015 term, a total of 787 students had enrolled in Accelerated Math Clusters. For each of the six semesters between fall 2012 and spring 2015, there was a difference of at least 20 percentage points in successful course completion between students who completed the Accelerated Math Cluster in one semester and students who took the courses in stand-alone format over two consecutive semesters. (See attached Developmental Acceleration versus Stand Alone Consecutive Enrollment and Successful Completion charts).

In 2014, the Math Department designed two additional Accelerated STEM Pathway Clusters, one that compresses MAT097 and MAT099 into one semester and a second that integrates MAT099 and MAT194 (College Algebra) into one semester. In the three semesters between summer 2014 and spring 2015, 91 students have enrolled in the MAT097/MAT099 Cluster and 99 students have enrolled in the MAT099/MAT194 Cluster. For each of the three semesters between summer 2014 and spring 2015, between 60 and 97 percent of students successfully completed both courses in the Cluster in a single semester with a grade of C or better. This compares favorably to rates for students who took the courses in stand-alone format over two consecutive semesters.

All three of these Accelerated Math Cluster models, along with curricular reforms implemented in 2012 as part of the College’s student success agenda, are contributing to the trend of improvement in completion of developmental math requirements in two years. 2010-2011 cohort data serves as baseline data for these interventions, as completion of developmental math requirements in two years for this cohort would need to have been accomplished by spring 2012, a semester before developmental math reform and Accelerated Math Clusters were implemented in fall 2012. As the Math Department has continued to scale Accelerated Math Clusters and engage in continuous improvement of the curricular reforms enacted in fall 2012, the College is seeing increased impact on timely developmental math completion for each entering cohort.

ID 15598

To contact this college about this intervention, take note of the ID above, ID #15598, and then fill out the intervention contact request form

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