Grantee: Chattanooga State Community College
Do the Math! Increasing Student Engagement and Success will aim to increase student success in developmental math by utilizing software, disrupting the traditional math class, and introducing a new approach where students work in the math classroom and teachers spend their time assisting students individually. Chattanooga State Community College (Tennessee), Jefferson Community and Technical College (Kentucky), University of Hawaii Maui (Hawaii), and Education Trust will join forces in this project which promises to increase both student engagement and success in the area of developmental math.
The goal of our innovation is to redesign developmental math courses at three colleges – Chattanooga State Community College, Jefferson Community and Technical College, and University of Hawaii Maui College. The project will impact over 9000 students to increase their engagement and increase their learning and success. Education Trust will disseminate the results of the project within their Access to Success network.
Students say that our work requires them to change their behavior in the classroom.
Do the Math requires a change in student culture, because they are required to work during class. Outside of the classroom, students go to the math lab for individual assistance. While this increase in engagement is uncomfortable for many students at first, they like the approach once they become used to it. Many students take control of their learning, completing multiple courses in one semester.
Faculty and staff say that our work requires them to build relationships with their students in new ways.
Do the Math requires a change in the faculty-student interactions, as teachers assist students in the lab and classroom while they access online resources and engage in the course work. This shift in the classroom environment leads to a better relationship between faculty and students, with each working together to ensure student learning and success. Dr. Tina Cannon, a math faculty member at Chattanooga State, summarizes this shift when she states, “I saw more smiling faces and got more hugs these past few days than I have gotten the whole 21 years I have been at Chattanooga State. I like seeing students happy about math.”
We know it’s working because we have seen achievement gaps close – gender, race, and income. This innovative program started at Cleveland State Community College, where studies have confirmed that both race and gender achievement gaps were closed. At Chattanooga State Community College low-income students were tracked and compared to all students in terms of course success, accelerated learning, and retention, and there were no differences in the performance of the two groups. The project has also seen a number of students take control of their learning, completing multiple courses in one semester.
In five years, we imagine we will be collaborating with many more institutions to increase student success in mathematics. Education Trust is working with the Access to Success network (http://www.edtrust.org/issues/higher-education/access-to-success) to scale Do the Math within the network members, which consists of 22 systems. By increasing student engagement, Do the Math hopes to provide a national model for increasing student success in developmental mathematics. We hope to form a learning community among college math teachers at institutions that have implemented the emporium model.
So far, our most surprising development has been having an impact on more students than originally projected, which is a nice surprise. College math enrollment at University of Hawaii Maui College and Chattanooga State Community College is already increasing. Success at the next level at Jefferson Community and Technical College is also increasing. These are good indications that Do the Math is working.
We are looking for partners to help us, and help their students, by joining our work. We are looking for colleges interested in implementing the emporium model in mathematics in order to scale this innovation throughout the nation. We are also looking for institutions interested in forming a mathematics learning community around the emporium model, which is the basis of Do the Math.
SAILS Tennessee: Chattanooga State is leading an initiative to embed college developmental math curriculum in the high school senior year. Visit the website for SAILS for more information.
Contact for more information:
John Squires, Chattanooga State Community College