Math Pathways at Washington Colleges and Universities

The following is adapted from a summary report produced for MPC by Pat Averbeck and Helen Burn in May 2017 entitled “Math Pathways in Washington State Community and Technical Colleges: Results from Analysis of Math Flow Charts”:

As part of the Math Pathways to Completion (MPC) project, and in response to key recommendations from the MPC Task Force, Pat Averbeck (Edmonds) with assistance from Helen Burn (Highline) investigated the current status of math pathways in community and technical colleges (CTCs) in Washington. The research involved three stages: (1) development and analysis of flowchart of mathematics course offerings at the 34 CTCs in Washington state (fall 2016); (2) interviews with a mathematics faculty member in each department to confirm flowcharts and gather information about motivations of program development and future plans of program, the department’s assessment of mathematics programs, typical mode of instruction of pre-college mathematics courses, and placement (winter 2017); (3) analysis of effectiveness of pre-college programs from state data (spring 2017 and ongoing).

In order to increase the ease of comparing the 34 CTCs, information gleaned from the college math department flowcharts and catalog information was translated into a common flowchart format developed for this project. In December 2016, Helen and Pat met in person to examine all of the flowcharts, looking for patterns in the following areas: (1) college level math pathways with specific focus on Elementary Education and Business pathways, and (2) pre-college pathways. To analyze the flowcharts, printouts of the flowcharts were made and then grouped with agreement of both researchers. Then during the 2017 Winter Term, Pat interviewed faculty and staff at the colleges to confirm the flowcharts and re-examined groups with the same criteria used earlier.

Full Math Pathways Report: Math Pathways Flow Charts

Summary Analysis (Averbeck and Burn): Math Pathways Summary Analysis

The report reflects a snapshot in time; as colleges continue to revise and improve their math pathways the specific college diagrams/flow charts will become out of date, so check with specific colleges to confirm the current pathway before sharing. We hope to update this report within the next year or so…


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