Greater Texas Foundation (GTF) announces a grant in the amount of $1,225,158 to the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin to help school districts and institutions of higher education in West Texas improve developmental and gateway math education pathways for students. The three-year project will increase the number of West Texas students who enroll in and complete an entry-level college math course and declare a program of study by the end of their first year.
GTF President and CEO Sue McMillin states, “Our foundation is focused on improving postsecondary outcomes for Texas students. We have been a long-time partner of The Dana Center and appreciate their leadership in rethinking mathematics pathways for Texas students,” McMillin continues. “We are especially pleased to support this work in an important and rural region of the state.”
“West Texas is a region critical to the continued economic growth of Texas and our nation as a whole. As a hub for energy production, agriculture, and industry, the future careers of students in West Texas depend on their being strongly prepared in math and science,” said Martha M. Ellis, Ph.D., the Dana Center’s Director of Higher Education Strategy, Policy, and Services. “By providing students with mathematics preparation more closely-aligned not only to their chosen college degrees but also to the needs of their industry, we can help to ensure that growth in the future.”
Specifically, the grant will support the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways (DCMP). The Center’s long experience and research reveal that thousands of students fail higher education mathematics courses every year. A growing body of evidence identifies traditional postsecondary mathematics as a primary obstacle to degree completion and equitable outcomes for millions of students.
DCMP replaces the single pathway through College Algebra with multiple pathways through statistics, quantitative reasoning, and mathematical modeling and analysis. The Dana Center will provide professional learning experiences to the region’s campus leadership and faculty, facilitate policy discussions, develop resources, and foster collaboration among school districts to create more viable pathways students can follow to learn math skills relevant to their career goals, complete a credential with labor market value, and secure employment.