October 24, 2017

Starting fall 2018 new college students should see changes in math requirements because of House Bill 1042 that was signed into law June 7, 2012. One of the provisions requires the Coordinating Board for Higher Education within the Department of Higher Education (MDHE) to replicate best practices that improve the preparation and retention of students in college-level courses.

Consequently, MDHE formed the Missouri Mathematics Pathways Task Force in October 2014 and charged the group to explore options and make recommendations that will increase significantly students’ success rates in mathematics gateway courses without compromising the integrity of the mathematics and increase significantly the percentage of students completing degree programs. Kim Miller, State Fair Community College’s Math and Science division chair and mathematics instructor, serves on the task force with educators and administrators from across the state.

On Sept. 29, 13 SFCC faculty and staff attended the all-day Central Missouri Regional Math Pathways Symposium in Moberly. The purpose of the meeting was to learn from state and regional experts why the math curriculum changes are needed, how the state and central region are responding, and the proposed math pathways each college and university will be implementing.

“The task force has identified alternative entry-level mathematic courses that are most effective and beneficial to each academic major,” said Miller. “In other words, students will take math courses relevant to their academic majors. If College Algebra is not relevant to the student’s career path, then he or she will take different math courses that are relevant.

“The rigor of the courses will not change, but the types of math knowledge and skills will be matched to specific programs. A statewide faculty survey has been disseminated to determine the pathways preferred by majors. Once the results are received, the task force will use that information to make recommendations that colleges and universities can implement. We believe these changes will improve student success and retention at SFCC and across the state,” Miller said.

Miller was to lead a panel discussion with faculty and staff at the symposium but was unable to attend. Ashlee McQueen, Mathematics instructor, stepped in to lead the discussion. Others who attended were Jennifer Wilbanks, Registrar; Julie Crawshaw, Tutoring Services coordinator; Elizabeth Amos, Admissions and Outreach advisor; Angie Gentry, Mathematics instructor; Samantha Schultz, Admissions and Outreach advisor; Crissina Kemp, Student Success and Retention director; Rick McBride, Mathematics instructor; April Young, Radiologic Technology director; Allison Brosch, Associate Degree Nursing program director; Sarah Moulder, Mathematics instructor; Meagan Klein, Admissions and Outreach coordinator; and Jim Cunningham, Academic Affairs dean.

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