Math Pathways to Success

Brenda Gardner Brenda Gardner, Associate Professor at Salt Lake Community College.

At community colleges, an overwhelming majority of entering students enroll in developmental mathematics classes. Historically, 80% of these students never go on to complete a college-level mathematics course, thus putting their graduation, career, and life goals at risk.
To foster student success in mathematics, NSF and other Federal agencies are partnering with educational organizations and institutions to support new ways of learning mathematics. For example, with funding from NSF, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was
able to more than double the number of institutions participating in its “Math Pathways” program.

Now in place at more than 70 institutions, the Math Pathways program aims to shorten the mathematics course sequence and reduce
transition points for students placed in remedial mathematics; offer a curriculum relevant to students’ lives and areas of study; and provide support to encourage persistence in mathematics. One branch of the program, Statway, focuses on statistics, data analysis, and causal reasoning,
combining college-level statistics with developmental mathematics.

The other branch, Quantway, focuses on quantitative reasoning that fulfills developmental requirements with the aim of preparing students for success in college-level mathematics. Both are taught using a research-based approach focused on collaboration that fosters deeper learning and community building in the classroom. Research on the impact of Statway and Quantway shows that over the last six years participating students have been earning college-level mathematics credit at triple the previous rates and in half the time as in the years preceding the program.