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Supporting Student Success: Curriculum pathways help students complete math courses on time

Posted 03/21/19

Mathematics skills labFitchburg State University adopted a pilot program wherein incoming students are placed in math courses based on high school GPA (rather than a placement test), which is getting more students into credit-bearing math in their first semester. Most first-semester math courses also includes a mandatory co-requisite period where students work on improving their skills and getting questions answered.

Fitchburg State also developed distinct math pathways designed to better align with the student’s course of study, such as a course in quantitative reasoning and a course that applies statistics to social justice issues.

For students who require a remedial math class, the course is now offered in a self-paced online program that is administered in a newly renovated mathematics learning laboratory, staffed by faculty who also assist students both during scheduled classes and on a walk-in basis.

These efforts were supported by the Commonwealth through a performance incentive fund grant in the 2017-18 academic year. These combined efforts are intended to meet the state’s goal of having 90 percent of students complete credit-bearing mathematics courses in their first year of college.

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