USM Receives $2.98 Million Grant from U.S. Department of Education to Develop Remedial Mathematics Courses for Students in Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Adelphi, Md. (Sept.
-- The University System of Maryland (USM) is one of 15 higher education institutions
in the United States to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education
under the federal government's First in the World (FITW) grant program. The
award will fund USM's work in helping students who pursue degrees in the
liberal arts and social sciences perform better in developmental mathematics courses
early in their college career.
USM has received a four-year, $2.98 million grant to implement its Maryland
Mathematics Reform Initiative (MMRI), which will introduce a new statistics curriculum
for students in these majors. The statistics coursework would be as rigorous as
the traditional algebra/calculus curriculum sequence required to graduate, but
much more relevant to what liberal arts and social sciences students need for
giving students an alternative to traditional remedial mathematics with more
"real world" applications to the study of the liberal arts and social sciences
than traditional remedial algebra courses, it is anticipated retention and
graduation rates will increase.
USM anticipates the biggest beneficiaries of this future curriculum change will
be underrepresented minority students, who typically come to college with the
greatest economic and academic challenges.
and our partners took a serious look at one of the biggest barriers to college
completion, developmental mathematics, and asked ourselves: ‘How can we make
math a meaningful part of students' college education by connecting it more
directly to students' majors?' said USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret. "This new
statistics pathway will be much more applicable to what students need for their
majors and will, we are sure, lead to more student success going forward."
is clear that Maryland students enrolled in remedial courses face a serious
challenge to completing the development or remedial sequence that will advance
them to credit courses and, ultimately, a degree. This barrier has been
especially high in math, where the only developmental course sequence that
currently exists requires demonstrated achievement in algebra/calculus
coursework-particularly among underrepresented students.
In Maryland, 42 percent of all African-American students and 41 percent
of all Hispanic students entering four-year and two-year colleges require
developmental math support, compared to 31 percent of all white students.
program will involve five USM institutions--Coppin State University; Towson
University; University of Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County;
and University of Maryland University College-and several community colleges.
Those 2-year institutions are Anne Arundel Community College; Garrett College;
Harford Community College; Howard Community College; and Montgomery College.
"All educated citizens need basic quantitative
literacy, but that has not always been the approach taken in college courses,
which have leaned heavily in the calculus direction. By having our project closely
aligned with students' majors, these students can learn math in context," said
Nancy Shapiro, USM associate vice chancellor of academic affairs and special
assistant to the Chancellor for P-20 education. "Our Maryland Math Reform
Initiative will allow us to bring math departments into partnership with other
departments around the campus. We'll also bring new teaching technologies to
these new courses to increase access and success for more students."
The U.S. Department of Education announcement
can be seen here.
Contact: Mike Lurie