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  • 1.  IMPACTful Discussions: How has the changing context of Quantitative Reasoning and similar courses affected your teaching?

    Posted 03-08-2024 22:52:00
    Edited by Jillian Miller 03-08-2024 23:08:05

    Recently, our ANET group had a name change from "Math for Liberal Arts" to "Quantitative Reasoning" (QR). One of our areas of focus is on the specific course recognized as the capstone of one of the three mathematical pathways, along with college algebra and statistics. In our blog post this month, Dr. Gerber described it as a "general-education gateway course," known by whatever title at your school.

    For a topic of discussion, I'm interested in the changing perspectives among different stakeholders regarding that QR course, both within your institution (math department, administration, advisors, student support) and beyond (K12, transfer schools, employers). Especially, how have these changes recently affected the educational processes in your school?  Specific examples are welcome.



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    Rick Powers
    Instructor
    Western Technical College
    La Crosse WI
    powersr@westerntc.edu
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  • 2.  RE: IMPACTful Discussions: How has the changing context of Quantitative Reasoning and similar courses affected your teaching?

    Posted 30 days ago

    We don't have a Quantitative Reasoning course per se at our institution, so unfortunately I don't have any perspective to offer.  But I do have a question related to QR.  I am really curious how a Quantitative Reasoning course came into being at your institution.  Was it a result of implementing a pathways model, or was it implemented by another process?  Do you know of institutions who have QR course offerings but hadn't implemented pathways model?  Or perhaps QR courses goes by alternative names across United States community colleges, and I am simply unaware those the QR courses we are looking at.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.



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    Frank Marfai, Ph.D.
    Phoenix College
    MARICOPA COMMUNITY COLLEGES
    Mathematics Faculty | Mathematics
    President | Arizona Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges
    1202 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013
    frank.marfai@phoenixcollege.edu
    https://www.phoenixcollege.edu/
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  • 3.  RE: IMPACTful Discussions: How has the changing context of Quantitative Reasoning and similar courses affected your teaching?

    Posted 29 days ago

    Hi Frank:

    Thanks much for your response.  It certainly is an issue for many schools, regarding the roles and policies that a QR course fulfills.

    In my case, a local four-year university (UW-La Crosse) began to emphasize the QR course as a means of fulfilling their degree requirements, as an alternative to college algebra. That prompted our institution to develop a QR course that mirrored theirs, to use as a transfer course.  This is the conventional role of a QR course: fulfilling the math requirements of a four-year school, but not college algebra or statistics.  That represents one interpretation of "pathways."

    There are also various courses designated as "general math education" for non-science programs. Some of those may have a QR focus, without the name.  The culture and history of an institution will affect those approaches for specific programs. 

    There is also the specific structure of the Carnegie Math Pathways curriculum.  Our school has not used it, so that has not been a factor in our curriculum decisions.  But I know that others have had success with it -- and now that Carnegie is offering OER resources, it may be even more attractive for general math education for many programs.

    I hope this info is helpful for you.  I would encourage others to share their perspectives on this question.



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    Rick Powers
    Instructor
    Western Technical College
    La Crosse WI
    powersr@westerntc.edu
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  • 4.  RE: IMPACTful Discussions: How has the changing context of Quantitative Reasoning and similar courses affected your teaching?

    Posted 28 days ago

    Hello Frank,

    I teach in North Carolina. Quantitative Literacy came in to being here about 2012 with our Math CIP (Curriculum Improvement Program). Part of the purpose with the CIP was to streamline the pathways available to students in Mathematics. We had somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 "gateway" courses (courses with didn't have another curriculum level course as a prerequisite), many almost tailored to specific programs. The CIP was able to cut that down to 5: A terminal for non-STEM AAS degrees, a terminal course for AA degrees (this became our Quantitative Literacy, completely replacing College Algebra which was removed from our curriculum), an introductory statistics course, a technical mathematics course and precalculus. One of the unexpected boons of this CIP is that our Comprehensive Articulation Agreement with the state universities was also up for renewal, and we convinced them that a Quantitative Reasoning course was better for non-STEM students than a college algebra course, and it was written in the agreement that the universities would accept our Quant. Lit course to fulfill the core mathematics requirement for those programs that didn't require calculus. It has become one of the more popular programs, requiring basically only Algebra 2 as a prerequisite and provided a financial literacy and statistical literacy components. It has been a really good chance for those students.



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    John Bennett
    Mathematics Instructor
    Robeson CC
    Lumberton, NC
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