Continuous Improvement

Assessing implementation progress and learning from changes to scale mathematics pathways

In the Continuous Improvement stage, the leadership team uses data-informed evidence to engage in an institutional effectiveness process that informs and guides changes in institutional structures, policies, and processes.

Implementing systemic, scaled change towards mathematics pathways is not an easy endeavor. It requires deeply embedding mathematics pathways into the culture and practice of institutions to ensure equitable access, experiences, and outcomes for every student—especially for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students and students from low-income communities. Only with faithful, targeted data collection, analyses, and sensemaking strategies can equity be advanced.

The DCMP Continuous Improvement Process to Scale Mathematics Pathways graphic encapsulates the holistic and ongoing efforts within institutions. This process reflects initial institutional implementation efforts to understand the current context and to proceed to:

  • Understand the current context,
  • Develop goals and outcomes for change,
  • Plan for change,
  • Implement change, and
  • Use data to learn from change.

As institutions learn from their data and experiences, they critically assess and adjust their structures, policies, and processes. By understanding their institutional context and learnings from the initial implementation efforts, institutions can transition to subsequent cycles of continuous improvement to scale mathematics pathways to normative practice.

The DCMP Continuous Improvement Process to Scale Mathematics Pathways is an iterative approach for learning and improvement of mathematics pathways. This process acknowledges initial implementation actions by the institutional leadership team, accounts for learnings and change that shift structures, policies, processes, and practices, and uses such learnings and the new institutional context to transition to a subsequent cycle of the continuous improvement process to scale mathematics pathways and advance equitable access, learning, and outcomes.

Making the DCMP continuous improvement process an integral part of an institution’s culture of inquiry and evidence, stakeholders must ask difficult questions, ensure fidelity of implementation, and influence change to increase standards for learning, embrace equity-mindedness, and ensure every student is successful (IRINSTITUTES, 2017).

Institutional stakeholder involvement ranges across the various steps in Stage 4. Look for stakeholder-relevant icons that identify high-level engagement.

Institutional Stakeholder Groups Involved in Stage 4 Essential Actions and Steps
  • High-level administrators (e.g., presidents, provosts, vice presidents)
  • Departmental leadership (e.g., deans, department heads)
  • Faculty (e.g., mathematics faculty, developmental education faculty, partner discipline faculty)
  • Student supports (e.g., advisors, tutoring, first-year experience)
  • Institutional researchers

Resources to support Stage 4, its essential action, and steps are provided throughout the guide.