In just a few weeks, Carnegie Math Pathways will release our Quantway and Statway courses as Open Educational Resources (OER). This means that students and instructors will have free access to high-quality mathematics curricula proven to support students for success. It also means low-cost access to printed materials and the learning platform to enhance delivery of the curricula. Carnegie Math Pathways’ transition to open and affordable access marks a significant step in our commitment to create a more equitable system of mathematics education that empowers all students to succeed and advance toward their personal and professional goals.
Impactful Courses With an Equity-Centered Design
For more than a decade, Carnegie Math Pathways has been dedicated to improving outcomes and closing equity gaps in mathematics. Working alongside educators, we’ve helped shift the field to more inclusively see and value all learners and provide the support needed for them to succeed. Since their creation in 2011, Quantway and Statway course solutions have given institutions new mathematics options that provide meaningful and equitable paths for students to excel in math, graduate on time, and go on to achieve their career goals.
With more than 100,000 students and more than 140 institutions served, the solutions have proven remarkably effective, with students consistently succeeding at 3 to 4 times the rate of their peers in traditional developmental math sequences and in half the time or less. These rates have held year after year across sex, race, and ethnicity, even as Pathways course enrollments have grown tenfold.
Getting Closer to an Equity Vision for Math Teaching and Learning Through Open Educational Resources
Math is an essential skill that benefits the lives and livelihoods of every learner. While the field has made important progress in adopting inclusive practices and pathways to support diverse learners in mathematics, equity gaps persist.
For us, a more equitable system of math education would be one that
- ensures that all students have access to a high-quality mathematics curriculum that is relevant to their lives and propels them toward their academic and career goals,
- creates learning experiences that meet students where they are and allow for equitable ways for students to engage, and
- supports and empowers faculty to make curricular and instructional decisions that best meet their students’ needs.
A move to OER gets us closer to our vision in the following ways:
It eliminates cost as a barrier to high-quality math education. Equity gaps can’t be addressed as long as high-quality education resources are accessible only to those who can afford them. By making our course curricula freely available and our print materials and learning platform available at much lower cost, we’re creating a way for more students both in the United States and globally to access and benefit from a proven curriculum. For institutions and instructors seeking opportunities to reduce student costs while maintaining a quality learning experience, Quantway and Statway OER provide them with tried and trusted, ready-made course solutions that remove the pressure to build a course from scratch, giving instructors the time and flexibility to focus on instruction and engage with their students.
At LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), where Statway pass rates consistently average 70% compared to traditional courses where fewer than half of students pass, having an OER option is key to equitably serving students with an already effective course solution. A math faculty member at LAGCC notes, “Making the high-quality Statway math curriculum openly available increases access to this proven pathway and removes financial anxiety for students enrolled in this course. And the downstream benefits are immense – higher graduation rates lead to higher incomes, better health, and generational uplift.”
Access to knowledge and education is priceless. The shift to OER enables us to live our ideals of ensuring that high quality proven curriculum and instructional materials are available to everyone.
It grants educators open access to an impactful approach that supports diverse learners. With the right set of supports, every student is capable of learning math. By shifting to an OER model, we open access for educators to use research-based curricula that have demonstrated impressive outcomes year after year, boosting student confidence in their math abilities and helping more students succeed in entry-level college math.
Quantway and Statway are deliberately designed to engage and support learners who have previously struggled with math and to enable them to deeply understand and even love the subject. With relevant, contextualized curricula that are scaffolded to help students build and practice deepening their skills across concepts and targeted activities that address math anxiety and nurture a sense of belonging, the comprehensive curricula offer educators valuable tools to create a math learning environment that is safe and supportive for their students to grow as math learners.
As a math faculty member from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee notes, using Quantway’s curriculum with its embedded student supports has benefited so many of their students and helped reduce equity gaps: “[With the adoption of Quantway College and￼Corequisite], we’ve narrowed a 32 percentage point gap in success rates between Black and White students to just 5 points. Using Quantway Coreq has enabled us to give all students more equitable access to college math and a better chance at success in college, career, and beyond.”
It gives instructors flexibility to meet their students’ needs. Oftentimes, curriculum materials are context agnostic and culturally biased. Yet, we know that when a student can relate to what they are learning, it can transform their experience in the classroom and with a subject. Through partnerships with tribal colleges and universities in the United States and the University of the Free State in South Africa, we’ve witnessed the impact of empowering instructors to adapt and innovate lesson contexts, assessments, and student supports to reflect their students’ lives, cultures, and communities. For Indigenous students who regularly experience a sense of alienation from what they read and see in their textbooks, to see themselves in culturally adapted Statway and Quantway lessons was notable, as a math instructor from the College of Menominee Nation reports: “[Tribal college] students know that they’re not represented in the textbooks, and they’ve known it all along. But when they see themselves represented, you can’t imagine what an impact that has.”
Giving instructors license to modify, mix, and build upon the curriculum creates opportunities to elevate new and different perspectives into the course, including those of traditionally marginalized communities or underrepresented scholarship that may better resonate with and reflect students’ backgrounds. And, as was noted above, when students feel seen, it has an impact on their engagement, sense of belonging, and motivation to persist in the course.
Our Learning Has Led Us to This Point
Working with educators for more than a decade to test, improve, and continue to innovate Quantway and Statway, we’ve learned that transforming math education to support all learners takes a holistic approach—one that values the potential of every student to succeed in math and that empowers instructors with the flexibility and resources to meet the needs of their students. Our transition to OER gives us a chance to broaden access to our impactful curricula and approach, supporting educational communities everywhere to bring meaningful math pathway options to more students.
As we progress on our journey toward a more equitable system of mathematics education, we look forward to continuing to learn together how we can best support and serve students.