LBWCC receives $40K for math program

Published 12:02 am Saturday, October 23, 2010

LBW Community College has been chosen as one of 38 two-year colleges in the nation to receive a $40,000 grant supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foun-dation.

The grant, which is from the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT), will be used to redesign the way students learn remedial and developmental math, said LBWCC President Dr. Herbert H.J. Riedel Friday.

LBWCC and the other 37 two-year institutions nationwide were chosen to participate in Changing the Equation, the new program that is supported by a $2.3 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Institutions will use the funding to improve student learning outcomes while reducing costs for both students and institutions using NCAT’s proven redesign methodology. In contrast to traditional courses where each instructor typically does his or her own thing, redesigned courses are consistent in content, in coverage and in assessment across all sections of the course.

Collectively, these 38 institutions will impact more than 100,000 students annually.

“This grant will allow us to redesign the entire developmental math sequence for all sections of courses offered,” Riedel said. “We are using the proven Emporium Model with instructional software.”

The new computer-based modules allow students to progress through the developmental course sequence at a faster pace if possible, or slower pace if necessary, spending the amount of time individually needed to master the course content, he said.

“We are fortunate to be considered for this grant. LBW was one of only two in Alabama chosen,” he said. “This program will totally change the way students learn developmental math.”

Changing the Equation builds on NCAT’s 10 years of experience in conducting large-scale course redesign programs that improve learning while reducing costs. Math redesigns at NCAT partner institutions have:

• Increased the percentage of students successfully completing a developmental math course by 51 percent on average, while reducing the cost of instruction by 30 percent on average (ranging from 12-52 percent); and

• Increased the percentage of students successfully completing a college-level math course by 25 percent on average, while reducing the cost of instruction by 37 percent on average.