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Math Transition Courses in Context: Preparing Students for College Success

By Elisabeth A. Barnett, Octaviano Chavarín & Sarah Griffin
Math Transition Courses in Context: Preparing Students for College Success

Increasingly, state departments of education, school districts, and high schools are recognizing that many students graduate from high school underprepared for college-level coursework in mathematics. Many are referred to remedial education when they arrive at college. To help students become better prepared for college and avoid remedial courses upon college entry, states and localities have begun to offer high school transition curricula to targeted students. These courses, learning modules, and online tutorials are developed by secondary and postsecondary faculty and offered to high school students at risk of being placed into remedial math in college.

Drawing on data from several sources, including interviews from persons involved in the development of transition curricula in 11 states, this brief describes the design, implementation, and effectiveness of math transition curricula and how they fit into the current educational reform landscape. It identifies key trends and factors involved in the development of the curricula. Some transition curricula are aligned with math pathways options and may incorporate contextualized learning. And in some cases, transition curricula may also be used along with other college readiness interventions, such as dual enrollment programs.