Up to 70 percent of students in two-year colleges — and 40 percent in four-year colleges — enter college taking developmental classes, and around half of these students never complete their developmental math requirements. Given that developmental math can cost students and their families upward of $1 billion per year, the need to improve developmental math students’ success is critical. (https://postsecondaryreadiness.org/dcmp-final-press-release/)

Mathematics is typically targeted for reform due to large enrollment numbers and subsequently large numbers of unsuccessful students who are then prevented from progressing in their studies due to many pre-requisites that might require a certain grade in a certain class. 

In order to build capacity and meet the needs of CTN’s math students, Catch the Next has actively been working with mathematics faculty since 2017 training them in classroom methodology, as Leadership Fellows, and providing support for large-scale change in Texas in the form of Co-Requisite instruction and the Texas Pathways Project. 

CTN’s South Texas College and San Antonio College campuses are currently piloting the Enlearn software within their Ascender remedial mathematics courses.  Enlearn CEO, Scott Adams, has provided individual guidance and assistance with integrating the software into Ascender classes and CTN is currently working to strengthen the program’s implementation into additional classes.  Mr. Jonathan Bell, Mathematics Instructor at South Texas College, will take a leadership role in supporting future trainings for the software. “In addition to helping Catch the Next math faculty and students implement the Enlearn Mathematics platform, I will also serve to help Catch the Next faculty in the use of technology in the classroom.  Our students begin using technology in elementary school, and I believe our instructional approaches in the classroom should be closely aligned with the expectations of a 21st-century workplace.  Hence, it is very important to consistently use technology as a problem-solving tool to properly prepare our students for the workplace they will enter,” commented Bell.

Recently CTN acquired Dr. Mario Morin, Program Chair of the Department of Mathematics at South Texas College, as Professional Development Coordinator for CTN’s Math faculty.  “Professional Development in Mathematics is a continual journey of exploration, experimentation and the sharing of, not only best practices, but of lessons learned.  Balancing the scales between mathematics theory and mathematical applications is a challenging task and much work is incumbent upon each teacher to recognize the unique needs of each respective class that they teach,” Morin commented. “One area that mathematics faculty can use as a foundation to strengthen their classroom engagement & interaction(s) is to understand that female students have shown substantially higher success rates across all metrics in mathematics classes across Texas and the nation (Slide 3 E3 Alliance + Slide 9 ERC).  Recognizing this underappreciated reality can help when designing group activities as well as when identifying student leaders in the classroom to help with other engagement activities,” he added.

Helping to empower Ascender female math students will be supported by the creation of the Girls Discovering Math Club at STC, which will be led by Mrs. Rosa Gutierrez, Mathematics Instructor. This will also help to build support and community for Ascender female students across the state who are talented and inclined to studying mathematics and science. “My goal for the Girls Discovering Math Club is to help STEM students create a community of peers that support each other through socializing, sharing experiences, and striving towards a common goal,” commented Gutierrez.

The core values of the Girls Discovering Math Club will be

Resilience – Overcoming setbacks and obstacles; Problem Solver – Finding solutions to problems or issues; Curiosity – The desire to know why or learn something new; Patience – The ability to wait and remain calm and work towards your goals; Determination – A strong sense of purpose or intention; Responsibility – Being reliable and accountable for your actions.

“I feel these values are important to have in any career, but math or any STEM majors can present special challenges for any student.  Practicing these values can help students succeed,” commented Gutierrez.

The Girls Discovering Math Club will also have a paid student internship, whose job it will be to assist the club advisor with club activities, recruitment, administrative paperwork, and be a liaison between the club and CTN.

Catch the Next is also looking for math faculty to serve as Leadership Fellows. If interested, please contact CEO Dr. Chavez at maria.chavez@catchthenext.org

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