The Southern California Institute, held on June 14-16 in Rancho Cucamonga, California, brought together attendees from 13 colleges and 3 high schools, and trained over 40 new faculty to teach Statway and Quantway this coming academic year.

The event also included a Pathways orientation and new sessions and workshops, such as our new dual enrollment workshop led by Carnegie Math Pathways and the WestEd Higher Aims team, a partnership to support Statway dual enrollment implementation in California. These sessions facilitated sharing across institutions and provided focused time for teams to build on the work from the first year of implementation and plan for improvements for next year.

As part of the professional learning and enrichment for network members, Carnegie Math Pathways also designed new workshop sessions on collaborative learning strategies and a refresher on productive persistence. The collaborative learning workshop focused on sharing ideas, building comfort and confidence among instructors, and illuminating the benefits of this instructional approach for students.

We also provided an introduction to A3 Thinking—a structured, continuous improvement approach that leads to systemic problem-solving—to support schools tackling institution-wide challenges. During this workshop, we walked administrators and instructors through a strategic assessment exercise to address a particular institutional challenge that teams identified.

The final highlight of the event was our student keynote, Yvonne Chamberlain, who the day of her speech had completed her last final before her graduation from Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC). Yvonne overcame a number of personal struggles, including a difficult childhood and a serious medical condition in adulthood, before returning to college. She’d seen many of her friends earn their degrees and pursue careers, but it didn’t seem attainable for her.

After the birth of her daughter, Yvonne was determined to make a positive change in her life and she enrolled at Mt. SAC. There, Yvonne found her passion in studying history and decided to make it her focus. Yet, to move on to a university, she would need to pass math. She placed into pre-algebra and was advised to consider Statway as an alternative.

Statway proved to be critical not only to helping Yvonne meet her math requirement, but she gained knowledge and understanding meaningful for her field of study.

“I started to make connections between what I was learning in the history program to the analysis of statistical information,” Yvonne said.

Yvonne applied what she learned in Statway to her research on women’s mass incarceration, Native American studies, and education, which inspired her to start a book drive for a local women’s prison in her community. After this project, Yvonne realized that she wanted to minor in Statistics. She feels strongly that “the integrated use of statistical data will help the field of history [be] stronger and help us, as citizens, understand the past better to preserve our future.”

Statway played a vital role in enriching Yvonne’s studies and in her ability to enact change in her community, and she’ll take that with her as she continues her studies at the University of California- Riverside this fall.