Each year, more than 30,000 of Utah’s high school juniors and seniors earn nearly 200,000 college credit hours by participating in the Concurrent Enrollment (CE) program, saving nearly $29 million in college tuition.
SB 196: Math Competency Initiative (Millner/Gibson), passed during the 2015 legislative session, encourages all college-going high school students to complete their college-level quantitative literacy (math) requirement during high school, either through the ACT, ACCUPLACER (placement test), Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB), or CE classes. Because of this bill, it is anticipated the demand for CE math classes will significantly increase in the coming years. For students who meet the entry requirements, CE Math 1030/1040/1050 are good classes to take after Secondary Math 3 as they satisfy the college-level quantitative literacy requirement and help students experience the rigor of a college-level class while in high school.
With this anticipated increase in demand for CE math courses throughout the state, Utah must be prepared with the appropriate simultaneous increase in secondary math teachers who are qualified to teach these college-level CE math classes. To ensure this, SB 196 called for the establishment of a consistent process for high school teachers to earn an upper-level math endorsement (Level IV), which qualifies them to teach CE math classes. HB 182: Concurrent Enrollment Education Amendments (Peterson/Millner, 2016 session) affirmed this requirement.
Chairs of Mathematics Departments across the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), representatives from the Utah State Office of Education, and USHE Chief Academic Officers were assembled to determine the best way to increase the number of teachers earning an upper-level math endorsement. These groups determined a grant program would be the best way for USHE institutions to develop these strategies.
While preparing CE math teachers is the overarching theme of the grant itself, the funded proposals must result in an increase in:
- The number of high school teachers eligible to teach CE classes;
- The number of sections of CE math classes meeting a quantitative literacy requirement offered; and
- The number of high school students who complete a quantitative literacy math requirement through CE.
Institutions awarded funding are required to provide a progress report in June of each year in order to receive additional funding for years two and three. In the report, sufficient progress and assessment must be shown to ensure the projects are meeting the three goals stated above. Once the project is considered a success, the funding will become ongoing.
Summary of Grant Projects
Southern Utah University: Quantitative Literacy Completion Project
This project will help teachers achieve a Level IV math endorsement through courses offered at SUU, as well as supports those who are going on to get a master’s degree.
- Outcomes: Increase number of CE Math teachers by 20, and increase participating HS students by 80 students/year.
- Timeline: Offer professional development opportunities Fall 2017 for those with a Level IV endorsement; offer undergraduate mathematics courses for Level IV endorsement to high school teachers Spring 2017; and support teachers who elect to pursue a master’s degree in mathematics in Spring 2017.
Weber State University: Improving the Odds Partnership
This partnership will increase the number of Level IV teachers by providing professional development in order to bridge pedagogy and content. This project builds and maintains levels of rigor appropriate to each CE course and empowers secondary partners to take ownership of their course. Ongoing professional development also aligns with new Level IV standards. Once instructors undergo the professional development, they will be certified to be CE instructors of record.
- Outcomes: Increase CE Math course offerings and increase the number of CE Math teachers; expecting a cohort from between 50-80 new teachers. A common assessment and grading rubric will also be developed.
- Timeline: Professional development courses will be developed in 2016 with the first cohort beginning in the summer of 2017.
Utah Valley University: UVU-Public School Partnership to Enrich and Expand Mathematics CE
This project will provide ongoing flexible graduate study that leads to a UVU certificate in mathematics, which qualifies instructors for UVU CE instruction. This certificate also prepares teachers for a master’s program. Eligible teachers are those with a Level IV endorsement.
- Outcomes: Provide graduate professional development courses serving 15 grad student FTE (approximately 60 teachers) on an ongoing basis. Approximately 4,800-6,000 high school students will be served annually due to 80-100 qualified CE Math teachers.
- Timeline: First courses will be available Fall 2016.
Utah State University: Increasing Student Access to CE STAT 1040 (QL) through Training of HS Mathematics Teachers
This project will deliver advanced statistics course work (two classes) to better prepare instructors with a Level IV endorsement to teach STAT 1040. Instructors who have already had advanced statistic work will take a workshop explaining the pedagogy for USU’s STAT 1040 courses.
- Outcomes: Train 45 high school teachers in STAT 1040 CE. Estimate having 56 classes per high school with 25 students/class for a total of 1,400 students reached.
- Timeline: First STAT grad courses to be offered in Fall 2016 via IVC broadcast; STAT 1040 pedagogy workshop will first be offered in Fall of 2016.