IR Data Series #3 – Guided Pathways Scorecard: College-Level Math

Greeting EvCC community and beyond! Last fall, I wrote a couple of blogs about our efforts related to data and tracking our progress with Guided Pathways (refresh your memory here and here). I had planned to post throughout the fall quarter about different aspects of our baseline data for Guided Pathways. It turns out that my ability to remember to write blog posts is not that great. Nevertheless, here I am, jumping back on the horse with the first of a few posts examining different data points.

Before I review the first measure (earning college-level math credit in the first year), I want to point out that nearly all of the data I am examining through these posts is available on Tableau, which is a data visualization platform that allows users to drill down into data to answer questions related to the data. To date, 90 faculty and staff members at EvCC have been trained and have access to the Tableau dashboards that IR has designed in our attempt to democratize data. In order to gain access, EvCC employees must attend a training session to learn the ins and outs of the software and how to use it. Please reach out to me if you have not yet been trained and would like to gain access to these dashboards. Now, onto baseline measures.

College-level Math and English are key gatekeeper courses for students to earn a degree from EvCC. I focus specifically on college-level Math for this post. By college-level Math, I am referring to any math course over 100-level, as well as Philosophy 120: Introduction to Logic, which counts toward the Basic Quantitative Skills requirement. One of our baseline measures for tracking progress with Guided Pathways is the percentage of new students who complete a college-level math course within their first year. A substantial portion of our new students place below college-level math, and these students can spend a lot of time and potentially financial aid dollars trying to complete these courses and earn their college-level math credit. Part of our Guided Pathways efforts include a curricular redesign to facilitate these students in particular reaching and completing these courses sooner.

At the data summit this past summer, I shared that only 23% of our new degree-seeking students from 2011-2017 passed college-level math within their first year. This in and of itself points to a need to improve and facilitate student success in math. However, our disaggregated data reveal equity gaps that are potentially more troubling. Specifically, compared to the college-wide average, we find that students from historically underrepresented groups pass at much lower rates within their first year; 19% of Pacific Islander, 17% of Latinx, 11% of Black, and 8% of Native American students passed college-level math within that first year. Additionally, only 12% of our Pell-eligible students earned these credits within their first year. We exhibit clear inequities in supporting our students in earning this credit. Guided Pathways in and of itself is a means for improving these numbers but will also necessitate targeted interventions and support to try to close these gaps.

In addition to the information from the data summit, we recently performed an analysis in preparation for the upcoming Guided Pathways winter retreat examining student pass rates based on where they placed for their initial placements in math. Not surprisingly, students are more likely to pass college-level math if they place into college-level math; only 14% of students who place into pre-college-level math earn college-level credit within one year compared to 64% of students who place directly into college-level math. When we extend out to three years, only 32% of pre-college-placed students have earned that math credit, while 73% of those who place into college-level math have earned it. Again, our curricular redesign of our pre-college math sequences is intended to facilitate students moving to college-level math sooner, hopefully contributing to improvements in these rates.

Exploring the EvCC Guided Pathways Scorecard dashboard can help you identify other trends in our students’ pass-rates of college-level math within their first year. What do you see in the data? What do you think we can do to improve these rates and better serve our students?

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