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'Math Pathways' looking at rethinking college math requirements

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DCB
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North Dakota colleges are rethinking mathematics requirements.

"For someone majoring in business, is college algebra a requirement?" said Dakota College at Bottineau dean Dr. Jerry Migler. "If somebody is going into secondary education, is college algebra the skill set that's needed, or would statistics perhaps be a bit better?"

Migler said college algebra is a requirement for many of the majors – but it may not be the best fit.

"Is it prohibiting students from completing their degree requirements?" Migler said. "If there is another math requirement that is a better fit, could that help increase retention and program success and completion?"

Migler and Valley City State University President Alan LaFave are part of an effort dubbed “Math Pathways,” that’s designed to look at the math requirements, as well as the success rates the colleges are seeing. He said the project will involve a lot of faculty and staff across the campuses, to answer this question.

"Are we structured in a way that is offering the appropriate level of math requirements by program, and how do we help?" Migler said. "Are there support mechanisms that are needed to help students achieve success?"