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Math Pathways Information for WCU Faculty

Welcome, WCU Faculty!  This page is designed to give you a brief overview of the Math Pathways initiative at WCU, as well as provide information to you about our UNC System Office's Math Pathways initiative and the UT Dana Center Math Pathways resources, and try to answer frequently asked questions.

Problems with the Current Model:

Current mathematics courses are one of the biggest barriers to college graduation. This affects economic growth and prosperity at all levels—individual, state, and national.

-Mathematical Association of America 2015 CUPM Curriculum Guide

Disconnect Between Math Courses and Careers

  • Traditional entry-level math courses have focused on procedural fluency and abstract math with little input from partner disciplines or needs of majors. 
  • Students don’t see relevance of abstract and theoretical math courses or the connections to real-world applications in their majors. 
  • College algebra is a poor fit for many majors and career fields.
  • Twenty-first century mathematical competencies also need to include modeling, problem-solving, data analysis, strategic reasoning, and conceptual understanding.

College Algebra Problems

  • 34% of students who take MATH 130 College Algebra at WCU fail it.  About 50% receive a D, F, or W which does not adequately prepare them to advance. 
  • 81% of students do eventually pass it which means many students repeat the course at least one time.
  • Less than 10% of students who take MATH 130 go on to take MATH 153: Calculus I. Some students leave STEM majors after having not done well in College Algebra.  Many students taking College Algebra don’t need to take Calculus.
  • Only 24% of students who take MATH 130 go on to take MATH 146: Precalculus. For the other 76%, College Algebra is a terminal course or they take more courses at another institution. College Algebra isn’t serving its primary purpose of preparing students to take Calculus.
  • Many students in Precalculus and Calculus are algebraically underprepared to succeed. This contributes to a 41% DFW rate in Calculus II. 

UNC System Math Pathways Recommendations

Read the Task Force Recommendations

The Dana Center Math Pathways Model

Learn about the Dana Center Model

The Dana Center Model's Impact

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