Current Projects

Announcement: New Publication!

The USM P-20 Office is pleased to announce the official release of the publication Reforming Mathematics in Maryland: Stories from the Journey (full publication available for download here). This publication describes the work done by nine Maryland institutions—four USM institutions, four community colleges, and one non-USM public university—as part of the Maryland Mathematics Reform Initiative, funded by a U.S. Department of Education First in the World grant. You can read more about MMRI and FITW below.

Maryland Mathematics Reform Initiative (MMRI) - The Maryland Mathematics Reform Initiative (MMRI) is the result of a day-long state conference (Counting on Our Future: Redefining Quantitative Literacy in Maryland) aimed at exploring ideas about what quantitative literacy skills students need for Maryland’s future economic success.  Over 160 participants, including faculty, K-12 teachers, administrators, and policy leaders, and representatives from national associations (AACU, Lumina, BHEF) attended the meeting to hear Dana Center's Executive Director, Uri Treisman, deliver the keynote address and engage in discussions centered around recent national research on how students learn mathematics, as well as national efforts and strategies that have been developed to improve student success in mathematics and subsequent mathematics-dependent courses. During Dr. Treisman’s speech, he presented a model for mathematics reform in higher education to address the question:  What does quantitative literacy mean for Maryland education?  His model included the following elements:

  1. Multiple pathways aligned to specific fields of study
  2. Acceleration that allows students to complete a college-level math course in one year 
  3. Intentional use of strategies to help students develop skills as learners directly linked to their courses 
  4.  Curriculum design and pedagogy based on proven practice coupled with a context sensitive improvement strategy.

MMRI Steering Committee 
Shortly after the conference, MMRI was formed and co-chaired by Chancellor Brit Kirwan, University System of Maryland; State Superintendent Lillian Lowery, Maryland State Board of Education, and Bernard Sadusky, Executive Director of Maryland Association Community Colleges.  On December 1, 2014, the steering committee directed a workgroup of faculty from two-year and four year institutions to revise the COMAR language to reflect a new understanding of quantitative literacy and allow for alternative pathways of mathematical education, and to develop a charge for workgroups to develop a charge to cross-segmental curriculum committees to develop multiple pathways to quantitative literacy in college.  

MMRI Workgroup
The MMRI Steering Committee charged an MMRI Workgroup of mathematics leaders to revise the current regulatory language with respect to General Education Mathematics that would allow for multiple institutionally-developed mathematics pathways that would be better aligned with student majors and careers.   The Workgroup studied national trends, current initiatives and available statewide and national data, as they considered the future of mathematics curricula in Maryland higher education. In addition, committee developed expectations and processes that could lead to Maryland every campus to offer pathways in mathematics that yield (a) increased success for students in the study of mathematics, (b) a higher percentage of students completing degree programs, and (c) effective transferability of credits for students moving from one institution to another. The Workgroup collaborated to create a recommended definition for general education mathematics, which was passed at the June 2015 meeting of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

The original COMAR (13B.06.01.03) language:

General education programs of public institutions shall require at least: (1) One course in each of two disciplines in arts and humanities; (2) One course in each of two disciplines in social and behavioral sciences; (3) Two science courses, at least one of which shall be a laboratory course; (4) One course in mathematics at or above the level of college algebra; and (5) One course in English composition. 

The revised COMAR language:

One course in mathematics, having performance expectations demonstrating a level of mathematical maturity beyond the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards in Mathematics (including problem-solving skills, and mathematical concepts and techniques that can be applied in the student’s program of study)  

MMRI Workgroup: New Pathways
The Workgroup reviewed the current developmental pathways to identify areas that may need to be revised, given the new (COMAR) regulatory language. Thus far, the Workgroup has developed the frameworks for two mathematics pathways: Statistics for non-STEM majors and Contemporary Topics in Mathematics for non-STEM majors. For further information please contact Dewayne Morgan.

First in the World-MMRI Grant - 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 and has received a four-year, $2.98 million grant to implement its Maryland Mathematics Reform Initiative (MMRI). This 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 their majors. 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. 

In 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.

The 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. The 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.  For further information please contact Nancy Shapiro.

Associate of Arts in Teaching Oversight Council- The Associate of Arts in Teaching-Secondary Education degree is designed to prepare students for transfer into a baccalaureate degree program in a designated content area. Upon graduation, and meeting Maryland qualifying scores on required Praxis II tests, these students will be eligible for state certification based on the approved program at the community college and on the successful completion of a Maryland approved certification program at the receiving institution. Expected outcomes of this initiative are: a higher number of baccalaureate degrees in secondary teacher education and more minority teachers in Maryland. In 2002 the K-16 Leadership Council established a Secondary AAT Oversight Council. This Oversight Council was charged with overseeing the development and implementation of the Secondary AAT. Members of this Oversight Council consist of: three arts and sciences deans or vice presidents and one education director from the Maryland Association of Directors of Teacher Education at Community Colleges (MADTECC) to represent the two-year public colleges; one provost, two arts and sciences deans and one education dean from the USM institutions; one provost or arts and sciences dean and the education dean from Morgan State University and from St. Mary's College of Maryland; one provost or arts and sciences dean and one education dean from an independent institution; four school/LEA-based K-12 curriculum specialists; and one representative from each of the following: the University System of Maryland (USM), the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC), the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA), the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), and the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). 
By December 2002, the Secondary AAT Oversight Council identified the membership of the Faculty Discipline Committees and convened these Committees to achieve a Secondary AAT program for the following discipline areas: biology, chemistry, computer science, earth and space sciences, English, mathematics, Spanish and physics. The Secondary AAT for these discipline areas is uniform in content at all community colleges. A report on the expected outcomes was submitted to the K-16 Leadership Council in June 2003; the expected outcomes are to: 

  • Expand and enhance to the extent necessary structure(s) for content area faculty to oversee development and implementation of the disciplinary aspect of the AAT secondary education degrees.
  • Expand and enhance to the extent necessary the group of both Arts and Sciences, TEAC members, and education faculty to work with the disciplinary bodies to oversee development and quality control of the AAT degree.
  • Implement fully articulated and seamless transfer programs without further review for community college students seeking secondary education degrees and credentials at four-year institutions.
  • Implement fully transferable courses and outcomes in each of the academic content areas.
  • Increase the potential supply of secondary education students and teachers.

Students earning the degree option would meet all requirements for transfer to the corresponding baccalaureate secondary teacher education program without further review by Maryland public and private four-year institutions. Without further review means that once a student is admitted, the receiving institution will not conduct course-by-course review since the approved outcomes for the AAT-Secondary Education degree are incorporated in the lower-division courses offered by the community college and aligned with the lower-division requirements at the four-year institution. Community college students would need to meet the same degree requirements as native students at the receiving institution; however, where possible, a transfer student would not be required to take more credits toward a particular degree than a native student. At least half of the credits for the degree will be taken at the four-year institution. 

In November of 2002, the K-16 Leadership Council (now the Governor's P-20 Council ) established and charged the Secondary AAT Oversight Council with maintaining an ongoing group of two-year and four-year discipline faculty in each Secondary AAT degree area to meet on a regular basis to make certain that in the future new courses or course changes remain consistent with the Secondary AAT expectations and commitments. The AAT Oversight Council meets four times a year to address any issues or changes with AAT degrees and to discuss possibilities for new AATs.  For further information please contact Dewayne Morgan.

For more information about AAT program outcomes, please click here.

USM/MICUA Ed Deans & Directors- The USM P-20 office convenes a meeting of all of the Education Deans and Directors from USM institutions and the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities (MICUA) four times a year. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss issues that are effecting the preparation and certification of teachers in the state of Maryland. For further information please contact Dewayne Morgan.