Legislative math initiative increases college math completion in high school by 28%
SB 196 Math Competency Initiative (Millner/Gibson), passed during the 2015 Utah legislative session, encourages high school students to complete a higher education math, or Quantitative Literacy (QL), requirement prior to graduating from high school. A new issue brief from the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education illustrates the impact of the legislation and the impact of the partnership of the State Board of Regents and the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) in setting qualifying scores on national exams for math competency, creating math pathways for concurrent enrollment (CE), and increasing the types and availability of concurrent enrollment math courses offered.
The Utah State Board of Regents has focused its effort on helping students complete their general education college math requirement (QL) while in high school through concurrent enrollment. In the last 18 months, with the help of various committees including representatives from institutions within the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), USBE, and Local Education Agencies (LEAs), the Board has implemented a multi-faceted strategy to increase student completion of general education math in high school including:
- Exploratory Majors Pathways
- Math Teacher Preparation Grants
- Math Incentive for high schools to increase CE QL offerings
- Launched a CE Math Recruitment Pilot program.
Concurrent enrollment data from the 2016-17 academic year shows that the effort has been successful: Utah is starting to move the needle on math completion: 28% more students met their QL requirement through CE from 2015-16 to 2016-17. Additional information on this initiative is available in the accompanying issue brief.