Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) has received a $53,000 grant from The Teagle Foundation to support the college’s three-year Project for Relevant and Improved Mathematics Education (PRIME). The grant-funded program begins in July 2016.
BMCC was one of three CUNY community colleges chosen to receive the PRIME project funds from the Teagle Foundation.
BMCC Provost and Vice President Karrin Wilks said “Improving outcomes in remedial mathematics is one of the most vexing problems facing community colleges today.”
Wilks said the PRIME project provides support for BMCC faculty to redesign mathematical course sequences, including remedial courses and college-level general education courses, with the ultimate goal of improving retention and graduation rates.
Specifically, PRIME allows the participating faculty from all three colleges to implement a placement policy and curricular streamlining strategy for developmental mathematics.
BMCC has four goals to achieve says Mathematics Professor Susan Licwinko who is BMCC campus director for the project.
Among them, BMCC plans to expand the number of sections it offers in quantitative reasoning courses (Quantway and credit-bearing Quantitative Reasoning) for non-STEM students requiring remediation.
Over the three years of the project, BMCC will offer increased numbers of sections of credit bearing statistics courses, and will permit students with greater remedial need to take the class.
“The college will also pilot the combining of its elementary and intermediate algebra courses. BMCC is currently the only one of the three PRIME project colleges that offers three levels of remedial mathematics (arithmetic, elementary algebra, and intermediate algebra),” said Licwinko.
Licwinko said if the pilot is successful, BMCC may scale down its remedial mathematics offerings to two (arithmetic and algebra), which she says is similar to the course offerings at other colleges.
Finally, over the course of the first year of the PRIME project, BMCC will determine what the needs are for quantitative skills non-STEM college-level gateway courses are, and will then redesign the remedial and partially remedial mathematics courses accordingly.
Licwinko says all of BMCC's goals involve placing students into courses containing streamlined, aligned, quantitative material.