Voices and Viewpoints

Implementing Contextualized Math to Address Barriers to Completion for Students in the MultiCraft Technology Pathway at Sauk Valley Community College

by Marci Rockey / Sep 14, 2016

Sauk Valley Community College initially sought to explore gender equity within the MultiCraft Technology pathway. However, the data revealed that students in general were electing to take technical courses in the first few semesters and delaying general education requirements until the end. Skills gaps in math and reading that required developmental coursework compounded this problem. Thus, the team identified developmental education needs and structures as distinctive barriers to completion.

After an exploration of the math curriculum within the pathway, the team concluded that the curriculum could be revamped to integrate math concepts within the technical courses in lieu of requiring one technical math course. Feedback from students and industry partners indicate that the integration of math in the technical curriculum had the potential to alleviate obstacles to completion, boost confidence, and better prepare students for the workforce.

Sauk Valley was one of five colleges who were part of PTR’s first cohort of second-year implementation and evaluation grants. These teams are expanding on the work completed in the first year of the PTR project. Sauk Valley’s PTR team is setting the stage for scaling change at their institution. With approximately 56% of their incoming students placing into at least one developmental course, institutional efforts to support students in overcoming this barrier to completion have been embraced beyond this pathway. Administrators were able to see the opportunity for scale and sustainability in an institution-wide effort to redesign developmental education. The work being done at Sauk Valley may inspire you to embrace innovative strategies to alleviate barriers to completion for students placed into developmental education at your institution. Read Integrating Contextualized Math in the MultiCraft Curricula at Saux Valley Community College to learn more.

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