There are many reasons students might choose to stop at a two-year degree or certificate, but one significant identified barrier nationally is the lack of uniform transfer policies and the inconsistent applicability of math credits between departments and across institutions. For students the extra cost in time and money spent having to take additional courses can be a challenging burden. In Washington, the success of the Direct Transfer Agreement and lack of consistent data related to programs of study make it difficult to understand to what extent these issues, and math course-taking in general, are obstacles to successful transfer and degree completion.
As part of the three-year Washington Math Pathways to Completion initiative (MPC) a multi-sector Transfer and Applicability work group drafted and presented to the Joint Transfer Council (JTC) a set of recommendations in an effort to identify and address these issues in Washington. The overall goals are to achieve better alignment statewide of the various math pathways to move students into and through their college math requirements most effectively and provide the most relevant content for their fields of study. Given the level and complexity of the curricular issues involved, the Joint Transfer Council is proposing a Math Advisory Group to help clarify and implement the recommendations.
Advisory Group Charge
- Provide a faculty perspective on and make recommendations regarding the role of math in higher education transfer success and degree completion
- Consider how well core gateway math courses are aligned with various transfer programs of study
- Connect with partner disciplines to clarify rigorous and relevant math courses to support student success across diverse disciplinary programs
- Develop recommendations about how transfer success can be incorporated into the focus on guided pathways (and specifically program maps)
- Explore best practices in math pedagogy and their potential for implementation in Washington across sectors to close student achievement gaps
- Evaluate current mechanisms for collecting data and make recommendations regarding changes to existing data collection, new metrics and processes for implementation
Initial Work Plan
By the summer 2019 JTC meeting, review the recommendations of the MPC Statistics Work Group and propose next steps regarding the statistics pathway.
Additional work—e.g., reviewing the math required for entry into and graduation from the most popular baccalaureate programs statewide and exploring the consistency and the applicability of the sequence into and through the calculus pathway—will be referred to the Advisory Group based on what emerges from the Transfer Summit 2.0 (July 15-16, Walla Walla).
Meeting Resource Materials:
WA Transfer Math Course_Taking Report (see “Data Highlights” on page 2 for highlights of findings and links to key tables)