REGENTS’ CO-REQ MATH INITIATIVE SEEING PROMISING RESULTS
BATON ROUGE, La. – College students needing remedial math courses their freshman year are three times more successful when they take a for-credit math course with additional support, according to results shared today with the Louisiana Board of Regents. The strategy, called co-requisite remediation, is now being implemented at scale across the state thanks to a highly coveted $300,000 Education Commission of the States’ (ECS) Strong Start to Finish grant in support of the Louisiana Math Forward initiative.
According to data shared by Strong Start to Finish, passing a college-level math course in the first year significantly increases a student’s chances of degree completion. Nationally, less than 10% of two-year students and 35% of four-year students taking developmental or remedial courses graduate on time. This results in nearly half of all developmental education students taking on additional debt, averaging $3,000 per course.
“The goal of the work being done in Louisiana is to build on the excellent effort already underway in the state to scale up implementation of effective co-requisite math so more students pass gateway math in the first year,” said Dr. Alison Kadlec, founding partner of Sova and a core partner in Strong Start to Finish. “This work is targeted to Louisiana’s 28 public undergraduate institutions and could seed further philanthropic investment in reform efforts aligned to the state’s Master Plan.”
The Board of Regents Master Plan calls for the state to more than double the number of postsecondary credentials earned annually in Louisiana by 2030. Addressing barriers to student success, like math passage rates, is critical to reaching that goal.
“Strong Start supports change at scale by incubating and promoting the dissemination of actionable, evidence-based policy and practice about student entry to and success in their initial year of college to improve outcomes and close equity gaps,” said Director of Strong Start to Finish Dr. Christopher M. Mullin. “Louisiana’s Master Plan is an excellent foundation for this work, and we’re excited about the state’s inclusion in this project.”
In Louisiana, freshmen participating in co-req math achieved a passage rate of 71%, compared to 20% for those taking remedial math alone. Based on this initial success, the Math Forward initiative has established a steering committee of math leaders from across the state to ensure every institution establishes a solid plan for implementing a successful, high-quality co-req model. Next steps include practitioner-led peer learning communities, a co-req math workshop series and sharing of best practices, resources and initiative updates with math faculty and administrators.
“When we talk about developing talent in Louisiana, it’s critical that we take on major barriers to success; for too many students that’s math passage,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “Math reform is working across the country and we’re committed to scaling what works. Our steering committee of math experts is uniquely positioned to transform remediation for students, and I am so proud of their commitment to innovation and success,” said Reed.
Members of Louisiana’s Math Forward Steering Committee include:
The Math Forward Steering Committee is comprised of four nominees from each of the four public higher education systems (LSU System, Southern University System, University of Louisiana System and Louisiana Community and Technical College System) to ensure a broad representation of math professionals from around the state. The Committee hosted its first meeting on September 9th and plans to meet monthly with support from Regents’ staff.