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Transitioning Learners to Calculus in Community Colleges (TLC3): Advancing Strategies for Success in STEM

Primary Investigator(s): Vilma Mesa

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation

Period: 9/15/2016 - 9/1/2019

In this collaborative project between Highline College, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaigne, San Diego State University, and the University of Michigan, we seek to transform institutional approaches to identifying and remedying barriers that impede student progress to and through Calculus II in community colleges, focusing on historically underserved students, particularly underrepresented racial minority (URM) students. The broader goal of the study is to build and test theoretical models that predict STEM underrepresented minority student success in the Developmental to Pre-calculus to Calculus II sequence based on programs, structures, and instructional strategies in successful programs. We will examine student progression toward higher-level math by identifying factors contributing to URMs success at different levels of the sequence, understanding the various transition points within DPC2, and the features of the community college environment that impact these transitions.

These models will inform the development of a change tool, the institutional self-assessment, which examines institutional readiness to facilitate successful outcomes for under-represented minority students in the sequence. We will build a networked community (minimum of 50 colleges) through intensive dissemination efforts throughout the grant. The models and self-assessment tool will be tested on five institutions (four Minority Serving Institutions and one non-Minority Serving Institutions) selected from the networked community.