Document 11663607

Dana Center Terminology
for College Mathematics Reform
One difficulty of communicating complex ideas related to college mathematics reform is that much of
the language is inexact and often used differently by various groups. The Dana Center thinks it is
important to establish some clarity about what we mean by the terminology used in the New Mathways
Project (NMP). This glossary attempts to do this.
Many of the following terms are widely used in the field. We do not imply that our definitions are the only
correct interpretations. The Dana Center does not expect the field to adopt common terminology;
however, we suggest that the field would benefit if groups using general terminology in a specialized way
would define their terms as we do here.
accelerated course structure: In general, this term can refer to any structure that
accelerates the progress of students from developmental math through collegelevel math in comparison to the traditional sequence which typically has at least
three levels: Beginning Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, and College Algebra.
co-requisite: Used in its most literal sense, this term refers to linked courses that
take concurrently. In the NMP model, the first mathematics course, Foundations of
Mathematical Reasoning, has a co-requisite student success course, Frameworks
for Mathematics and Collegiate Learning.
co-requisite model: People use this terminology to mean several different types of
intervention in which developmental and college level course content are offered
concurrently to accelerate developmental students taking college-level courses.
The type of course content paired with the college-level course content varies
widely. See the June 2012 Dana Center Issue Brief on the co-requisite model for
more information.
degree and certificate of value: These terms generally refer to postsecondary
credentials that are in demand in the workforce and lead to opportunities for jobs
and for further education and training.
gateway course: This is the first course that provides transferable, college-level
credit allowing students to progress in their program of study. College Algebra is
currently the most common gateway course in mathematics. The NMP is based on
the principle that either Statistics or Quantitative Literacy should be accepted as
the gateway mathematics course for many programs of study.
learning frameworks course: This term refers to a college-level course focused
around applied learning, cognition, and motivation and designed to teach
students general skills and concepts that support learning, persistence, and
completion of a certificate or degree. The goal of this type of course is to help
students be more successful in other college courses. The NMP learning frameworks
course, Frameworks for Mathematics and Collegiate Learning, provides curriculum
and instruction based on content and strategies proven to be effective in research
and practice. The content will include the following:
learning frameworks material to support students in being responsible,
engaged, self-regulated learners, including material specifically related to
learning mathematics;
academic and career goal setting and planning; and
institutional knowledge and connections.
The NMP mathematics and learning frameworks courses are designed to reinforce
each other.
pathway: The word pathway is used in multiple ways in education. Sometimes it
refers to pathways from K–12 to higher education. It can also refer to program or
career pathways. In the context of developmental mathematics reform, it refers to
course sequences that allow developmental students to take mathematics courses
with content aligned to different programs of study. The NMP has three pathways:
Statistics, Quantitative Literacy, and STEM Prep. In the NMP, the term pathway also
refers to the development of the curricular materials based on common design
principles, structures, and organization. Consistent expectations, use of
terminology, and integration of student success strategies create a coherent and
consistent experience for students as they move through a sequence of courses.
See also to and through.
program of study: This is the set of courses, learning experiences, and learning
outcomes required for a credential. Departments within colleges and universities
define programs of study.
quantitative literacy: This term refers to the skills and concepts necessary to
understand, use, and communicate the quantitative information presented to
citizens and consumers in today’s society. The Dana Center considers the terms
quantitative literacy and quantitative reasoning to be generally synonymous in
relation to their usage in describing a field of study.
StatwayTM, QuantwayTM: These courses were created by the Dana Center under
sponsorship of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. These
two organizations jointly own these materials, and each has full rights to use them
for further development. The names Statway and Quantway are trademarks of the
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
student success course: This is an umbrella term widely used to refer to any number
of study skills-type courses. These courses may be college level or non-college
level. There is wide variation in the content, design, and quality of these courses
currently offered at higher education institutions. The NMP student success course is
a college-level course in applied learning, cognition, and motivation. See the
learning frameworks entry for more information about the NMP student success
The New Mathways Project
Dana Center Terminology
to and through: This term is often used to refocus the goal of reform away from
successful completion of a developmental course to successful completion of a
college-level course. In other words, the goal is to get developmental students to
and through a college-level course. At the Dana Center, we use the term even
more specifically to refer to a clear linkage between developmental and collegelevel courses. In a “to-and-through” structure, a student taking two courses
(developmental and college level) experiences those courses as a cohesive and
coherent experience that includes a clear alignment of content, consistent policies
and instructional design, a common online platform (if applicable), and similar
support services. See also pathway.
The New Mathways Project
Dana Center Terminology