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Charles A. Dana Center Higher Ed In Brief
July/August 2018
A Note from The Editor

As educators, our sense of a “year” is often a bit different from that held by others. For many of us, it’s the summertime that gives us a chance to reflect on the previous academic year and provides a moment to make big plans for the next.

As always, our academic year has been incredibly full. We have continued leading the expansion of the mathematics pathways movement nationally, but we have also been busy launching new initiatives, conducting new research, building new collaborations, and developing new and critically needed resources for the field.

This issue of the Dana Center Higher Ed In Brief, then, is our opportunity to reflect on a few of our accomplishments from the last twelve months. It is also your opportunity to see what news you might have missed. Stay cool this summer, and get ready for an upcoming year of continued growth and success.
What's New?
Study of Dana Center Model Builds Evidence for Statistics, Quantitative Reasoning Pathways

According to interim results from a study by the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Research (CAPR), the promising mathematics reforms led by the Charles A. Dana Center are helping more community college students complete math remediation and fulfill degree requirements more quickly, while learning math that will be useful throughout their lives and careers. The study focuses on students participating in courses based on the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways model.

Students were randomly assigned to math pathways or traditional algebra-focused remediation to isolate the effects of these courses. After following the students for three semesters, CAPR found:
  • 56 percent of math pathways students passed developmental math compared with 48 percent of students in traditional developmental courses.
  • 36 percent of math pathways students were able to enroll in college-level math compared with 21 percent who began in traditional developmental courses.
  • 25 percent of math pathways students passed college-level math compared with 17 percent in traditional courses.
The research brief, Making It Through: Interim Findings on Developmental Students’ Progress to College Math with the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways, is available now. Read more about it here.

We Are Hiring! Will You Join Us?

Do you or someone you know have a strong background in higher education, including curriculum development, creating and delivering professional learning, and research? Would you like to join a team that is dedicated to reforming higher education and building more equitable opportunities for students?

Be our “plus one” – have a look at the details.

What's Coming Up?
Emerging Issues Monograph

Over 20 writers with long field experience in math pathways implementations and representing more than 15 colleges, universities, and research centers. More than a dozen chapters covering hot, current topics ranging from faculty leadership, curriculum development, and stakeholder engagement to K–12 considerations, transfer and applicability, and equity. These are some of the vital statistics for our upcoming monograph: Emerging Issues in Mathematics Pathways: Case Studies, Scan of the Field, and Recommendations. Set for release next month, this monograph promises to provide insight, challenge assumptions, and share success in the growing field of pathways-oriented education.

Look for Emerging Issues in Mathematics Pathways in August.

Making the Case (from an Updated Perspective)

The Case for Mathematics Pathways, published in 2016, describes some of the difficult, ongoing issues facing postsecondary mathematics education and presents strong recommendations for systemic, sustainable reform. The brief is the most downloaded resource on the DCMP website and has become a touchstone document in the mathematics pathways field.

In the interest of continuous improvement, and based on years of on-the-ground experience gained by helping hundreds of colleges and universities to begin math pathways implementations, we are poised to release the companion brief to this critical resource.

Look for the new brief, Mathematics Pathways: Scaling and Sustaining in coming weeks but, in the meantime, explore The Case for Mathematics Pathways.
A Year in Review
MathPaths Videos Show the Impact of Mathematics on STEM Careers

Launched this spring, our MathPaths videos profile working STEM professionals who detail how mathematics impacts their personal lives and careers. With four MathPaths profiles available now and more due to be released in coming months, our featured professionals demonstrate the ways math is used to innovate, plan, measure, and understand solutions to real-world challenges. These videos are perfect to use in the classroom, for student advising, or to help inspire future mathematicians, engineers, or scientists.

Visit now.

Learn from the Successes of Others with Notes from the Field

Earlier this year, we introduced Notes from the Field, a series of briefs highlighting the innovative practices we encounter in mathematics pathways implementations around the country. These briefs range in focus from how best to engage faculty during a math pathways implementation to recommended ways to support the development of co-requisite course offerings.

With new issues of Notes from the Field due for release in a matter of weeks, now is the perfect time to catch up on the series. Read Notes from the Field.


DCMP Expands Impact with “Deep Dive” Work in Four States

The steady nationwide growth of the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways (DCMP) initiative expands to new, extended collaborations with higher education systems and institutions in four states: California, North Carolina, Georgia, and Maine. With the addition of these four major engagements, the DCMP continues to have substantial impact on the development of mathematics pathways in over 25 states since the project began in 2012.

Learn about our new collaborations.

Essential Mathematics for Nursing

Mathematical competency and effective quantitative reasoning skills are essential for safe nursing practice. However, research on mathematics education in nursing identifies fundamental disconnects between typical educational practices and the mathematical skills required for safe nursing. The Dana Center and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) are collaborating with the nursing community to explore, implement, and continuously improve best practices for the mathematics education of nursing students. With Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN), we are bringing together the two fields of mathematics and nursing to improve student success and quality practice.

Learn more about this important effort.

Extending Math Pathways with the Mathematics Launch Years Toolkit

In early 2018, the Dana Center released the first in a series of briefs that explore and define what we call the “launch year” challenge — ensuring that curricular pathways and expectations for student preparedness are aligned and streamlined between high school and postsecondary mathematics coursework.

The first brief in the Mathematics Launch Years Toolkit examines the changing definitions of college readiness and practices in higher education mathematics that have a positive impact on student completion. The second Launch Years brief provides a process to facilitate the complex task of developing learning objectives for a mathematics transition course offered in the last year of high school. The third brief draws on lessons learned from the Dana Center’s many collaborations with the K–12 and higher education sectors on mathematics education for over two decades.

Find the Mathematics Launch Years Toolkit here.

The Dana Center Blog – Reflections, Thought Leadership, Experience

Visit the Dana Center Blog.The January launch of the Dana Center Blog has enabled us to share stories, ideas, and passions with you. We have talked, among other things, about how we evolved our math identities, ways to support our students and teachers, and new thinking on the importance of belonging.

The Dana Center Blog has made a splash in the field.
Read it here.

DCMP Institutional Implementation Guide Goes Digital

Implementing mathematics pathways at scale is a complex undertaking. Successful implementation requires engaging with stakeholders representing diverse roles across all levels of the higher education system. Intentional planning, collaboration, and action are critical.

The Dana Center Mathematics Pathways Institutional Implementation Guide—updated in early 2018 and available in PDF or enhanced digital format—informs and supports institutional leadership teams in implementing and scaling mathematics pathways.

The online Institutional Implementation Guide has easy-to-use features and the ability to track progress through essential actions, empowering your institution and its stakeholders to successfully take action and build mathematics pathways.

Explore the Guide now.

A Focus on FOCI

Are you interested in exploring how active and collaborative learning techniques can be applied in your mathematics classes? Are you open to examining your own beliefs about effective teaching strategies? Are you looking for a support group of peers and other leaders in mathematics education? Are you willing to try out new classroom techniques?

If you answered “yes” even to a portion of these questions, the Dana Center’s Focused Online Collaborative Interactions (FOCI) is for you. Our FOCI series takes place online through state-of-the-art videoconferencing and collaboration technologies. Far from being simple online webinars, these sessions are focused, highly interactive, and collaborative professional learning opportunities led by experienced Dana Center facilitators who understand the challenges facing today’s educators. Early FOCI cohorts found these sessions to be highly effective in terms of both cost and outcomes.

FOCI will launch in the coming months as an ongoing professional learning opportunity for the higher education community at large. Contact Connie Richardson for more information.
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