Florida College Access Network hosted a webinar on Thursday, October 26, 2023 focused on how the new Florida Math Pathways being piloted this school year will put students at the center when fully implemented during the 2024-25 academic year.
Keynote speaker, Kiaira McCoy, director of the Florida Student Success Center, gave an overview of the Florida Math Pathways redesign, which resulted in 11 recommendations for state policy, institutional decision-making, and evidence-based practices designed for scale. The committee took an approach that focused on the specific skills that students need to be exposed to in order to be successful in their academic programs and eventual careers, and tapped disciplinary and subject-matter experts in the field to disseminate a survey to the state university system and the Florida College System.
The committee’s work on redesigning math pathways was driven by a desire to address the challenges students face in math courses and put students at the center of the process. The implementation of three pathways was seen as the most impactful step toward achieving this goal, with the new courses designed to give students the mathematical skills they need for their programs and chosen careers.
The webinar delved into the challenges and opportunities of redesigning math education for real-life applications. Speakers emphasized the need to open gates for students of different abilities and integrate technology like Excel and AI into math education.
The intensive, years-long work of the Math Pathways Committee centered on the prerequisites and placement mechanisms for college algebra and gateway courses. The committee recommended that colleges should have the freedom to set their own cutoff scores for college algebra on placement tests. They also suggested that colleges should consider co-requisite models for college algebra to help students get up to speed in the course.
- How does Intermediate Algebra fit into the new Math Pathways framework?
- Is there a date when the state expects to send out the recommended courses for programs?
- Is there any state guidance on building equivalencies between the new courses and MGF 1106 and 1107?
- When will the open educational resources for MGF courses be available for institutions to review?
During Q&A, our speakers answered these questions and more, providing updates on math courses and resources, while highlighting the success of a course that allows students to engage immediately in college algebra levels while reinforcing baseline skills.
The state is expected to send out recommended courses for programs soon. Math course shells, a collection of teaching and learning resources that support students and instructors, will be developed for building equivalencies between new courses, MGF 1106, and MGF 1107. These course shells are currently being piloted by subject-matter experts and instructional designers. Our panelists also discussed institutional decisions regarding placement testing requirements and prerequisites for gateway courses, emphasizing that these decisions are up to individual institutions.
To find out more about the new Math Pathways, take advantage of these resources:
Keynote and Panel Emcee: Kiaira D. McCoy, Director, Florida Student Success Center at the Florida College System
- Dr. Megan Cavanah, Professor of Mathematics at Polk State College
- Andrew Kennon, Professor of Mathematics at Florida State College at Jacksonville
- Dr. Tommy Minton, Dean of Mathematics at Seminole State College of Florida
- Michal Paul, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Tallahassee Community College