AN INNOVATIVE AND COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND HIGH SCHOOL ALGEBRA PROJECT: CONTEXTUALIZING CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE) IN MATH
Rogue Community College (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
An Oregon Community College (CC) received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant (2010-12) to transform Algebra I (MTH60) into a revised MTH 63 curriculum that it is entirely contextual-based, using examples from at least five CTE (Career Technical Education) disciplines. Math and Pathways faculty wrote a textbook and facilitated a Summer Math Institute where 24 high school and community college math teachers learned how to use the curriculum through actual math applications in CC’s CTE labs. The course was piloted this spring (2011) and the student outcomes were very positive in both critical thinking advancement and achievement of credit. The overall goal of this project is to improve pedagogical approaches, course design, and course articulation to improve students’ math skills so that they are better prepared for their post-secondary education and, ultimately, for work as CTE technicians in the workforce. The Co-Principal Investigators propose to present the project status and findings from the first year (pilot course and Summer Math Institute evaluation and subsequent curriculum adoption.)
This project is grounded in NSF funded work by Harold L. Schoen and Christian R. Hirsch, and Sol Garfunkel; and by the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE). According to Dr. Stone, NRCCTE Director, the project distinguishes itself by wholly adopting a contextual math-in-CTE curriculum mode, and advances the President’s American Graduation Initiative—“transitioning youth to a successful community college experience.” CC’s Instructional Division will use the new course as a prerequisite for CTE programs, and as a dual credit course for high school students. The project hypothesis, tested by a comprehensive outcome assessment plan, is that if requisite mathematical skills in industry dictate the curriculum that students will more quickly and successfully complete courses, and improve their readiness to apply math in CTE areas. The project will aid in transforming how the traditional math sequence leading to college algebra math is taught in high school and at the community college as an integral part of career preparation.
This grant uses an interdisciplinary approach to develop math curriculum necessary for competence in five (5) community college CTE programs of study (Diesel, Welding, Manufacturing, Electronics, and Construction Technologies). At CC, over 90% of students, including first-generation, female and minority students, place into developmental math on the college’s placement test. Since this lack of math success is a universal problem in the U.S., creating math curriculum that is industry-driven and focused on CTE programs is a promising practice model. Project evaluation will determine if contextualizing lessons in math curriculum increases content relevance, and boosts course retention and academic progress.
The broader impacts of the project go beyond the region. As Oregon begins to require a third year of math to graduate, project investigators will promote course effectiveness as an eligible high school diploma requirement. CC is also part of a State of Oregon initiative to collect and adopt math outcomes that will serve as the basis for math alignment between high school and community college.
Keywords: Contextualize Math Curriculum, Innovation in Math Education, Career Technical Education (CTE) and Math, Secondary to Post-Secondary Alignment, Vocational Math.