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A male African-American student studies at a table in a brightly-lit campus room.

Dana Center to Develop Corequisite Toolkit

July 13, 2020|By Dana Center Communications

Project supports college and university faculty in creating innovative approaches to “remedial” math education.

The Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin will create a wide-ranging toolkit of resources and activities to support the design and implementation of corequisite mathematics courses in institutions of higher education. While the toolkit is scheduled for completion in Spring 2021, the Dana Center has taken initial steps in its development by offering a series of no-cost webinars this summer to higher ed mathematics faculty who are designing effective corequisite courses in the online environment. Development of the DCMP Corequisite Toolkit is supported by a grant from Strong Start to Finish.

Produced through the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways (DCMP) initiative, and building on years of research and activity supporting mathematics educators in higher education systems and institutions nationwide, the toolkit will focus on entry-level college mathematics courses taught with corequisite supports. Although introductory math courses are a critical milestone in degree or certificate completion, national data show that less than 10 percent of students complete a college mathematics course within the first two years of college.

The logo of Strong Start to Finish. In most traditional remediation models, students are asked to take one or more non-credit bearing math courses before enrolling in the college-level course they need. In contrast, corequisite models enable students to enter directly into college-level math while accessing additional academic and related supports through “a corequisite,” such as a concurrent course or lab. Corequisite courses are showing increasingly better success for students than the familiar “remedial” or “prerequisite” approach to developmental education. New data from California colleges show significant gains for Latinx and Black students, including increased numbers of students taking higher-level math and science courses.

“Corequisites, when coupled with math pathways aligned to students’ goals, have been shown to increase the number and diversity of students succeeding in college-level math, participation in science courses, and overall completion of a degree,” said Amy Getz, manager of systems implementation for higher education at the Dana Center. “This combined strategy is now an essential component of a student success agenda in higher education.”

In addition to this summer’s webinar series, the DCMP Corequisite Toolkit will include:

  • State and local policy rubrics to help state agencies, colleges, and universities create conditions that support effective implementation
  • Tools to help institutions make critical decisions in the implementation process
  • Key performance indicators to help institutions assess success and make improvements
  • Profiles of effective practices at diverse institutions

A national advisory group of representatives from nationally recognized organizations, including the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC), Columbia University’s Community College Research Center (CCRC), Carnegie Math Pathways / WestEd, the Dana Center, and other leaders, is guiding the development of this toolkit. The role of the national advisory group is to establish consensus on research-based design principles for implementing corequisite models.

“We appreciate the Charles A. Dana Center’s great work to date to implement corequisite supports for entry-level college mathematics,” said Christopher M. Mullin, Ph.D., director of Strong Start to Finish. “Given their success, we know this toolkit will be a valuable resource and guide for best practices for institutions looking to make meaningful changes with respect to remedial education. We must act on what we know to be true – that reforms work – and this round of funding is helping us realize that work at a much larger scale.”

Strong Start to finish is an initiative of the Education Commission of the States that aims to significantly increase the number and proportion of low-income students, students of color and returning adults who succeed in college math and English in their first year. The grant is part of a larger round of funding, more than $5.3 million, to advance developmental education reforms across the country.

Download this press release (PDF).

For more information, please contact:

Erich Pelletier, Communications
The Charles A. Dana Center
The University of Texas at Austin

About the Charles A. Dana Center

The Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin works with our nation’s education systems to ensure that every student leaves school prepared for success in postsecondary education and the contemporary workplace. The Center’s work, based on research and nearly three decades of experience, focuses on K–14 mathematics and science education with an emphasis on strategies for improving student engagement, motivation, persistence, and achievement. We develop innovative curricula, tools, protocols, and instructional supports and deliver powerful instructional and leadership development. 

About Strong Start to Finish

Strong Start to Finish is a network of like-minded individuals and organizations from the policy, research and practice spaces who’ve come together for one reason – to help all students, not just the select few, find success in postsecondary education. SSTF is an initiative supported by Education Commission of the States, a nonpartisan organization that conducts research, delivers reports, provides expert counsel on the full spectrum of education policy issues, and convenes education leaders across the 50 states to learn from each other. For more information on Strong Start to Finish, please visit or call (303) 299-3683.