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Charles A. Dana Center Higher Ed In Brief
January/February 2018
A Message from Heather

Happy 2018! I’m excited to start the new year with the release of our updated Dana Center Mathematics Pathways Implementation Guide, a free resource to support institutional teams in implementing effective mathematics pathways. This third edition of the Guide has evolved with our growing understanding of effective practices and the rapidly changing higher education landscape.

The Implementation Guide provides a broad framework to define four stages of implementation—Getting Started, Planning, Implementing, and Continuous Improvement—and the 10 essential actions within these stages to implement and scale mathematics pathways successfully. The Dana Center set a high bar for the definition of “essential” and looked for evidence across different institutions that these actions were truly essential for successful implementation.

The DCMP Implementation Guide comes in two formats: a print version that focuses solely on the stages and essential actions of implementation, and an interactive online version that expands upon the print edition. The enhanced online guide provides additional considerations, quick access to tools and resources, examples from the field, and an option for tracking institutional progress through the implementation process.

Both versions are available for free at

We hope this updated resource will help you take action to implement effective mathematics pathways at your institution.

Heather R. Ortiz Signature
Heather Ortiz
State Implementation Specialist, Higher Education Services
The Charles A. Dana Center

Explore the DCMP Online Institutional Implementation Guide
What We Are Doing

Mathematics Launch Years Toolkit: Defining Content in a Transition to College Mathematics Course at the State or Regional LevelCritical Steps in Launching the “Launch Years”
Did you know an estimated 60 percent of incoming two-year college students are underprepared for a college-level mathematics course? A key to addressing this issue is the implementation of a high-quality mathematics transition course offered in the senior year of high school. But what does that course content look like? What are the necessary steps to pursue and who are the critical stakeholders to help set goals and requirements?

The second installment in our Mathematics Launch Years Toolkit explores the processes and considerations—from the policy environment to course implementation and evaluation—that drive any successful effort to build a “launch years” mathematics course.

Read “Defining Content in a Transition to College Mathematics Course at the State or Regional Level.”

Learning from Example (Again)!
A few weeks ago, we introduced Notes from the Field, a series of briefs highlighting the innovative practices we encounter in mathematics pathways implementations around the country. In Notes from the Field – Number 1, we explored the need for strong faculty engagement in any implementation effort and saw how one college met its faculty support challenge.

In Notes from the Field – Number 2, we shift the focus to advising and student engagement. By creating and using a game-based advising tool, one college found a fun, engaging way to cut through the complexities of enrollment options and course choices by communicating that information clearly to students—as well as to advisors and college administrators.

Read “Games-Based Advising at Northwest Vista College” (Notes from the Field – Number 2).

Implementation Connect

Stay Updated on Math Pathways Efforts
The Mathematics Pathways to Completion (MPC) is a major effort supporting six states in moving from a broad vision for mathematics pathways to institutional implementation of the DCMP model at scale. Now almost three years into their efforts, MPC states have done exceptional work as they move into the final phases of implementation. Read through their activities to learn some of what’s involved as you plan or implement math pathways at your institution.

Read about the strategies and innovative practices from these groundbreaking math pathways efforts.
Texas Success Center / Complete College America LogosSupporting Underprepared Students Through Co-Requisite Models
In collaboration with the Texas Success Center and Complete College America, the Dana Center will hold a series of Texas regional workshops throughout the month of February on co-requisite models to support underprepared students. 

Building on meetings conducted by the Dana Center in Fall 2017, these regional convenings will situate co-requisite models in the context of guided pathways and will include discussions of strategies for both mathematics and English, informed by rules approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Read about co-requisite development in Texas.

Learn more and register for the February workshop series.
Dana Center Presenters – Making a Splash in San Diego
Last week, the Dana Center’s experienced educational specialists presented several popular sessions at the Joint Mathematics Meetings 2018 conference in San Diego. All of the Dana Center sessions were very well received.

In “Experiments in Inclusion,” the Dana Center’s executive director, Dr. Uri Treisman, led a discussion of novel instructional techniques that are intended to promote students’ “productive persistence” and result in sustained student engagement with mathematics. Rebecca Hartzler and Jeremy Martin explored initial findings from an ongoing, randomized study of the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways. Finally, Frank Savina described the cross-disciplinary collaborations that led to the development of authentic mathematical modeling activities for our STEM-oriented Pathway to Calculus curriculum.
What We Are Reading
“Massachusetts state colleges are trying to solve a math problem”
This Boston Globe story gives a great overview showing the value of co-requisite models in developmental math education. Colleges and universities are trying different solutions to address their “math dilemma” and to better support their students. Read more.

“How to Reform Remedial Education”
The Center for American Progress shares ways to improve developmental math education in college: 1) use aligned, quality placement tests; 2) build better connections between high school and college coursework; and 3) apply multiple measures, implement a co-requisite approach, and advocate for change at the policy level. Read more in this story.
Spotlight Resources
DCMP President’s Playbook
The President’s Playbook is not only for senior-level administrators—it’s also for anyone involved with or interested in math pathways implementation. The Playbook provides a rapidly digestible overview of the vision, goal, and principles behind the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways. It offers actionable tips for organizing and launching math pathways and also describes how the DCMP team can support your implementation, with links to the most relevant and critical resources.
Download it today!

Prevalence of Students Changing to STEM Majors
A common concern among those considering mathematics pathways is the degree to which students who begin their college-level work in non-STEM pathways might be hindered if they switch to a STEM major. This brief summarizes numerous studies examining the prevalence of students who changed majors from non-STEM to STEM fields and provides recommendations for serving those students.

Read the brief now.
Save the Date
Designing Math Pathways:
Building Institutional Capacity and Sustainability in Math Redesign 

April 16–18, Pittsburgh, PA

Achieving the Dream and the Dana Center will once again co-host a unique workshop that supports institutional teams to begin or deepen their work to develop and implement mathematics pathways at scale.  

The co-sponsored workshop is designed for teams made up of math faculty, an administrator, and a representative of advising to work on a holistic approach to impact student success. Each team will engage in sessions designed for cross-functional institutional teams as well as breakout sessions focused on specific roles and responsibilities (i.e., faculty, administrator, advisor). Participants will leave the highly interactive workshop with specific action steps for their team and institution. Registration will open soon and seats will fill quickly. 

Watch for more information in upcoming Higher Ed In Brief newsletters and follow us on social media!  
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