State Level - Getting Started

Who should lead?

A state agency or cross-institutional organization usually initiates the process. This agency or organization needs the authority or legitimacy to work across 2- and 4-year institutions, policy, and a variety of stakeholder groups, such as presidents, administrators, and student affairs personnel. In some cases, the lead agency will need to form partnerships to ensure this wide reach. Examples of organizations that have acted as lead agencies include the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, the Missouri Department of Higher Education, and the Arkansas Department of Education acting in partnership with the Arkansas Center for Student Success.

What does it take? 

The lead agency must commit to being the “hub” for the math pathways work over a period of years. In general, we recommend allocating the equivalent of 25% - 50% of a staff member’s time to support this work in the first three years with an on-going commitment of 10% - 25% beyond that. Part of this time will be devoted to establishing and maintaining an information hub for the work.

The lead agency will need to devote staff time to data collection or establish partnerships that enable data collection. Other commitments include providing funding for activities and communication efforts and integrating math pathways into the overall strategic priorities of the organization.

books and chalkboard

3 Suggested Steps and Resources

  • Step 1

    Learn about mathematics pathways.

  • Step 2

    Gather information and data.

  • Step 3

    Establish a math task force.

Review research, professional association reports, and briefs on the case for acceleration, alignment of math content to programs of study, and results from implementation.

Learn about similar work in other states.

Gather information and data to help determine a baseline, assess readiness, and communicate information about your system.

Dana Center Mathematics Pathways Math Task Force Toolkit

We recommend establishing a small leadership team with two faculty co-chairs, each representing the 2-year and 4-year sectors and then a facilitator from the lead agency to lead the task force. Guidance on the roles and responsibilities and how to select task force members is provided in the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways Math Task Force Toolkit.

Dana Center Mathematics Pathways Math Task Force Toolkit

Robert Mokwa
Pathways to Success
“Where our task force really started getting traction was when all the institutions started working together and could see that there are problems across the sectors [2 and 4-year institutions and policy] and that there are solutions available if we work together"
Member of Montana Math Task Force committee
February 2016