Math Dept meeting
September 18, 2012
1200--1250
M-303
Present: Syda, Davidson, Vaughan, Stemmann, Kovacs, Thoo, Papin (via telephone)
Also: Fatima Ruiz, Erik Cooper, Armand Brunhoeber
Minutes
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0. Thoo reminded everyone about the CMC3 conference in Monterey in December. He announced that conference hotel registration is open ($135 per night). A link to make reservations is on the CMC3 website ; click on the Conferences link.
1. Fatima Ruiz informed us about a summer bridge program that seeks to help incoming high school students transition to Yuba. She is interested in piloting a workshop for students to review their mathematics (and English) before taking the placement test. This would be particularly useful for those students who may not have taken a mathematics course recently and need a brush up before taking the placement test, so that they place correctly. It is not intended to coach students to place them higher than they should be for future success.
There would be a cohort of about 50 students. The idea is for a mathematics faculty member to meet them for 4 hours of review over 4 days in the summer before the students take the placement test. Tentatively, this would be June 17--21, 2013. Fatima asks if the Mathematics Department (MD) thinks this may be a good idea and, if we do, who would be willing to review with the students in the summer.
Thoo told Fatima that the MD would discuss the idea and respond to her in a week.
Fatima received a few specific suggestions.
a) Armand said that his office has a diagnostic test that can be used to determine the specific areas that students are deficient.
b) Roger suggested that BSI funds be used to obtain MyMathLab for the students to use extensively in addition to the 4 hours of review with a faculty member.
c) Erik suggested piloting the idea and tracking the cohort of students in their classes to see if the review workshop helped to place them better. He also suggested that he could compare the cohort with another group that has similar characteristics, but who did not have the mathematics review workshop before taking the placement test, to help determine the efficacy of the workshop.
2. Erik and Armand recently uncovered an unintended consequence of Colleague's handling of placement test cut scores. In short, the problem is that prerequisites trump cut scores in Colleague. For example, currently we have
*College Level Math Score*
62--75 ....... 2006 ....... Math 10, 15, 25, Stat 1
76--88 ....... 2007 ....... Math 21
88--103 ...... 2008 ....... Math 7, 9
104--120 ..... 2009 ....... Math 1A
But because all of the courses in levels 2006 and 2007 have the same prerequisite, viz., Math 52, Colleague will let a student who scores from 62 to 75 (Math 10, 15, 25, Stat 1) to enroll in Math 21, so that effectively Math 21 does not have a higher cut score; and the same for Math 9, which has for prereq Math 52 also, but has an even higher cut score than 21.
Similarly, Colleague will allow a student who scores into Math 7 to enroll
in Math 1A because 7 and 1A have the same prerequisite, viz., Math 21, even
though 1A has a higher cut score than 7.
A lengthy discussion ensued. Lauren told us that the higher cut score for Math 21 (vs. Math 10, &c.) was because it was believed then that Math 21 students need to be better prepared in algebra than Math 10, &c. No one disputed this. The question Erik asked was, Is it appropriate for there to be 2 levels of placement (actually 3 levels) when the courses in both (actually all 3) levels have the same prerequisite?
In an email exchange prior to today's meeting, Thoo had floated the idea perhaps that we should have something like
- Math 10, 15, 25, Stat 1
Prerequisite: Math 52 OR
a satisfactory score on the mathematics placement test.
- Math 21
Prerequisite: Math 52 with a grade of B or better OR
Math 20 OR
a satisfactory score on the mathematics placement test.
- Math 9
Prerequisite: Math 20 OR
a satisfactory score on the mathematics placement test.
Lauren asked if it is permitted to impose a prerequisite with a grade stipulation. Erik said that he would check.
[Later in the day Erik informed Thoo that it is not permitted, citing
Guidelines for Title 5 Regulations
Section 55003
Policies for Prerequisites, Corequisites and Advisories on Recommended Preparation
Adopted by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors March 2011
Chancellorâ€™s Office, California Community Colleges February 3, 2012
URL:
16. Can a college require a grade of "B" or better as the standard for successful completion of a prerequisite course?
No, it cannot. Title 5, section 55023 defines "satisfactory grade" as A, B, C, or P. Therefore, since "C" is a satisfactory grade, a college should not establish "B" as the lowest grade for determining satisfactory completion of a course serving as a prerequisite. This standard applies to courses that do not function as prerequisites as well. If faculty members suspect that students who receive a "C" are less prepared to do well in a succeeding course, then a solution would appear to be that faculty re-examine the academic rigor and standards of the prerequisite course(s) as well as the exit skills and knowledge they maintain to be necessary to ensure student success in the "target" course(s).
But other considerations are in play here too. Section 55040 discusses course repetition and permits students to repeat only courses for which a "substandard" grade of "D," "F," or "NP" has been recorded. Consequently, if the grade of "B" is established as a prerequisite, a student with a "C" could not progress further in the respective course sequence because the "C" grade would not allow repetition of the course, so there would be no way for the student to meet the prerequisite.]
There was also some discussion of how to set the placement test cut score for Math 20 (College Algebra; a new course that is being proposed, and would with Math 21 be co-prerequisites for Math 1A). Currently, Accuplacer cannot determine if a student would need to take either Math 20 or 21 or both. This ability to distinguish may be available later next year.
No conclusion on how to fix the cut score inconsistencies or how to set the cut score for Math 20 was reached.
******* end of the meeting *******