Mathematics Learning Center
Nationally, figures have been reported that as high as eighty percent of students who place into developmental mathematics do not complete a college-level course within three years. Many spend long periods of time repeating courses and too many simply leave college without a credential. As a consequence, millions of students each year are not able to progress toward their career and life goals. Equally important, these students lack command of the mathematics that matters for personal life in an increasingly quantitative age and to be critically engaged citizens.
In addition, a disproportionate number of these students come from traditionally underserved populations.
The idea of the Mathematics Learning Center (MLC) is to:
- identify the specific targeted (and measureable) problems to be solved in the multi-faceted areas of: 12th grade readiness for college mathematics; transition to college; appropriate and efficient first course placement in mathematics; effective and innovative remedial options; meaningful credit-bearing options; and swift attention to successful completion of mathematics requirements
- generate a short list of "promising solutions" per target
- develop a shared working theory of practice improvement (i.e., what specific problems will need to be solved in order to integrate effectively any one or more of these change ideas
- engage those willing to commit individually and as a community to measurable progress-"what outcomes to be accomplished by when" with regular data feedback as to "how are we doing?"
- agree to operate as a networked community using the disciplined methods and tools of improvement research to generate practice-based evidence to guide progress toward these measurable targets
- agree to participate as a learning community to share with each other to accelerate improvement together. Bill Speer is serving as the Director of the Mathematics Learning Center project and has been since the inception on July 1, 2013.