@Stella Wilcox:

I am not familiar with requirements of other states, but am aware that a Texas statues that went into effect several years ago has very much affected enrollment in freshman and sophomore level courses. The requirement is that school districts make available to students the opportunity to complete 21 hours of college credits while in high school.

Due to the age of the City of San Antonio (officially 306 years in 2024) there are many more school districts than in other comparable size cities, as the central districts have been around since before motorized transportation. And so we can see the diverse effects of the Texas statues in the local districts. First, some districts do not offer the classes themselves but send students to two-year colleges to take a few courses. Some districts--often the same ones that send students to college--do not offer calculus, statistics, even though a decade ago the mathematics requirement to complete high school was increased from 4 to 4 years of mathematics.

Many districts choose to offer dual credit courses so that students can get the College credit while completing high school requirements. This is where inequality between districts is most apparent. Some districts offer only 21 credit hours of dual credit, and often for courses that students could have placed out of in college with exam scores rather taking the courses; freshman English and other introductory courses which existing faculty can readily teach.

In other districts, they focus on trying to get students to complete an associates degree by high school graduation by offering diverse dual credit courses. These districts are often the only ones to offer courses such as Calculus B, Physics...

So the students who already have more family academic support graduate ready to enroll in engineering or junior-level science courses; while students from other districts would have to take 2 years of mathematics in college before meeting the requirements for beginning courses for careers in science.

As so often happens in our state, the effects of laws written by attorneys and businessmen does not translate well into the reality of public education!

I cannot help but wonder why we have both high school and college if students can graduate from both by taking the same courses.

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Rachel Cywinski

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Original Message:

Sent: 01-22-2024 02:41:05

From: Stella Wilcox

Subject: IMPACTful Discussion - Discrete Mathematics

As a current 2 year college student I am directly involved with this topic. I feel extremely fortunate that my college is not one of the schools that fall victim to this issue. Oakton college has opportunities for student interested in discrete mathematics, and for that I am incredibly grateful.

However, that is not to say that this is not an issue of concern in our nation. It certainly is, equal opportunities in mathematics for us all is crucial. I wonder if this could be a reflection of the lower graduation rates that are prevalent within two year colleges--maybe it is the result of supply and demand. The limited offerings of discrete mathematics courses in two-year colleges could have something to do with a lack of faculty expertise, or maybe even a curriculum focus on general education. To overcome these barriers, colleges must invest in faculty development, and integrate discrete mathematics into relevant programs, in addition to raising student awareness of its value.

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Stella Wilcox

Student

Oakton College

Skokie IL

Original Message:

Sent: 01-19-2024 14:15:17

From: Robert Cappetta

Subject: IMPACTful Discussion - Discrete Mathematics

Relatively few two-year colleges offer discrete mathematics. What are the barriers to colleges offering this course, and what could be done to overcome them?

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Robert Cappetta

Florida SouthWestern State College

FL

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