Pathway to Calculus

Precalculus should not be merely a sequence of courses that comes before Calculus but should be designed intentionally to be preparatory for the concepts, problems, and techniques that a student will encounter in Calculus and should emphasize problem solving and creative thinking.   

The current work on the Pathway to Calculus emphasizes identifying a carefully aligned, cohesive set of course objectives but does not stop there. Colleges are paying careful attention to course design, authentic assessment, engaging and effective classroom practices, and how they are using their classes to offer a meaningful learning opportunity for all of their students. 


February 3, 2021: The Precalculus Working Group Meets the First Wednesday of each month 3-4pm, Meeting times are used to build on the statewide 2017 work to create common expectations for Math& 141 and 142. If you would like to be added to the list of faculty to receive updates, please e-mail directly. Newest “working document” is open for comments: Course Description

February 24, 2021, 2:30-4:30pm: Rethinking the Pathway to Calculus Virtual Workshop

This workshop is designed for math faculty who are currently teaching, or will be teaching, college-level math courses that prepare students for Calculus.

Join colleagues from across the state of Washington for a two-hour workshop where participants will explore research on preparation for calculus, engage with curricular development processes, and begin creating materials for their courses.

This virtual workshop will offer breakout sessions designed to foster engagement between math faculty at different institutions and promote intra-institutional collaboration and development. The result will be actionable mathematics activities to take back to your campus. This workshop is not tied to any specific curriculum, but rather helps to provide actionable guidance for building successful and sustainable approaches to curricular redesign.

Please register for this event here!
See more on the Dana Center Event Flyer.

Materials from Previous Work

June 17, 2020: The Precalculus Working Group met to start the work of setting expectations for the Pre-Calculus sequence. Power point slides and a Zoom recording of the June 17 meeting.

May 27, 2020: Big Issues with Moving Math& 141 to Remote Instruction.  We had a lively discussion with 34 faculty from 13 colleges.  Notes from the meeting.

October 25, 2017: The Washington MPC project partnered with the Dana Center to co-host a Washington symposium on the pathway to calculus (see the agenda and additional Dana Center material above). 50 faculty and administrators representing 9 community and technical colleges and 5 of the 6 public baccalaureates (all but Evergreen State) participated in a lively and productive discussion of issues related to the STEM pathway.


Driving the design of the STEM_prep_Content Paper_2017feb6


Other Resources

Dana Center Curricular Resources – The Pathway to Calculus: A two-course college-level sequence designed to prepare students for college-level Calculus.

The STEM Core Alliance -currently the Seattle District, Highline, and Tacoma
are Core Partners from the state of Washington.

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