Monday, May 1, 2017

The CEOCCC and CCCT Boards Unanimously Support Alternative Math Pathways

SACRAMENTO, CA - On Friday, the California Community College Trustees (CCCT) and Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges (CEOCCC) Boards met at their scheduled joint meeting in Sacramento. In response to Agenda item 4.3 Quantitative Reasoning the CCCT and CEO Boards unanimously approved the following resolution:

In response to encouraging and impressive preliminary data that alternative math pathways have demonstrated the potential to dramatically increase student success and lead to greater completion of degrees, the Boards of the California Community College Trustees (CCCT) and Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges (CEOCCC) are gravely concerned that the proposed recommendations from the CSU Chancellor’s Office will be a significant setback to our shared interest in closing equity gaps and increasing completion of degrees. Specifically, we are troubled that requiring demonstrated competency in intermediate algebra will disproportionally impact our historically underrepresented students and prevent colleges from gathering additional data to determine how students enrolled in alternate pathways perform in upper level courses. Accordingly, we will work with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to share our concerns about the ill-conceived recommendations with a goal of continuing the alternative math pilot programs as previously agreed.

For the past five years the Governor has supported our collective efforts to address the unsatisfactory rate of success for students attempting our math and English sequences. Many of our colleges have experienced great success with the Statway and Quantway approach resulting in greater degree completion and successful transition to a four year college. This work has recently been corroborated by a national study by the Carnegie Math Pathways Project which found that the Pathways students have higher completion rates, subsequent math enrollment and success, credit accumulation rate and transfer rates from two-year to four- year colleges.

The stimulus for the discussion at the joint board meeting was a recent recommendation from the CSU Chancellor’s Office to add a requirement for competency in intermediate algebra for nine approved Associate Degrees for Transfer. Because development of an alternative to intermediate algebra is a key component to the programs developed by the California Acceleration Project and Statway and Quantway, the proposed change would in effect end the pilot of the alternative math pathways for these nine degrees before any data could be collected on the efficacy of the alternative efforts. A communication from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges outlines the recommendation and the rationale for this sudden change.