Monday, September 08, 2014

OCCA Developmental Education Report

One of my LCC Math division colleagues is part of the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development Developmental Education Redesign.

How is that for a mouthful?  They do have a website that is much friendlier than their name.

Their job is to help students needing remedial math or writings skills succeed at the state's community colleges.  Every few years they present an official report of suggestions.

(Since representatives from all of the community colleges collaborate on the project, these "suggestions" are more accurately "non-binding consensus goals".)

The most recent report was finished in August, and does not yet seem to be on their website.

But if you are curious, here is the section about community college math departments.
Long developmental math sequences are a barrier to success for countless students. Eliminating these sequences and accelerating student enrollment in college-level gateway courses can be achieved through a variety of strategies: redesigning curricula to reduce the number of required courses or the amount of time required to complete them, requiring or rewarding early and sustained attempts at math coursework, modifying pedagogy, incorporating support services to increase course success rates, and training students in college success strategies, among other approaches. Although each institution must adopt practices and policies appropriate to their local context, one strategy that is likely to have a large positive impact is for each campus to establish a separate, more accelerated pathway through developmental math for students in non-STEM degree fields.

Non-STEM students must have access to mathematics experiences appropriate to their chosen career paths. Alternate mathematics pathways will reduce the number of exit points and decrease time to graduation. Therefore, the Developmental Education Redesign Work Group urges each campus and the state of Oregon to consider strongly the following recommendations:

1. Create an alternate non-STEM pathway appropriate for the student population and mission of each college. These pathways would offer courses that prepare students to succeed in a college-level liberal arts mathematics course such as Math 105, Contemporary Math.

2. Change the requirement that “any transferrable 100-level mathematics course that satisfies the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree must have a prerequisite of Intermediate Algebra or a Quantitative Literacy course.” Currently, for a mathematics course to satisfy the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree, it must have a prerequisite of Intermediate Algebra, Math 095. This implies that all degree-seeking students, regardless of degree field, must complete the traditional pre-calculus course sequence before attempting a gateway mathematics course.

3. Agree that Math 105 fulfills the Baccalaureate Core Requirement in Mathematics for all non-STEM four-year degrees at all Oregon public colleges.

4. Convene under the leadership of OCCA mathematics faculty representatives from Oregon two-year and public four-year institutions during the fall to clarify and improve consistency in the outcomes for Math 105 and ensure that Math 105 provides appropriate and sufficient mathematics education for non-STEM students.
Sound helpful to you?

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