Impactful legislation is focus of two math convenings
as community colleges prep for deadlines
With two convenings this month, the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium Math Task Force is tackling questions regarding California Assembly Bill 1705 requiring that California’s community colleges expand their efforts to enroll and support students in transfer-level math courses.
In partnership with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin, CVHEC presented the first session via zoom Oct. 6 (see recording) and the second will be an in-person convening Friday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fresno Convention Center – Valdez Hall (702 M Street).
Registration is still being accepted for the free all-day session which includes a lunch.
Titled, “AB1705 Student Success Workshop,” the Fresno convening will explore how to best support students within the framework of AB1705 — a follow up to AB 705, previous legislation that fundamentally reshaped placement and remediation at the community colleges.
Dana Center representatives will be present to facilitate the development of materials and strategies that promote student success in the quantitative reasoning, statistics and BSTEM pathways.
“Additionally, we will explore the skills and andragogy (pedagogy) needed for the modern calculus course,” said Dr. Benjamín Durán, CVHEC executive director.
The 18-member CVHEC Math Task Force consists of math educators and administrators representing CVHEC’s 15 community college member institutions (total 28 CVHEC members with CSU, UC and private colleges in the nine-county region).
Central Valley Math faculty, chairs and deans are invited and encouraged to attend the Oct. 13 convening, said Dr. Durán. (See registration information below).
“Throughout California, there is varied understanding of the impacts of this assembly bill on college structures and on math educators,” said Dr. Durán. “These convenings provide the opportunity for our region’s community college math educators and administrators to strategize on paths to effective implementation.”
He said this is especially critical now given the deadlines next July that were discussed in the first session last week calling for colleges to validate the effectiveness of the transfer level prerequisites to gateway STEM calculus by July 1, 2024.
That was one of the areas covered by Dr. Erik Cooper, CCC assistant vice chancellor for Data, Visualization and Research, at the first session Oct. 6 in an hour-and-half virtual meeting entitled “AB 1705 in the Central Valley.”
Cooper addressed areas of confusion regarding the bill and its implementation with 44 math educators and administrators representing most of CVHEC’s 15 community college members.
Participants were asked to review the AB1705 FAQ prior to the virtual session and submit additional questions which Dr. Cooper addressed during the Oct. 6 meeting.
Passed in 2022 for implementation July 1, 2024, AB 1705 expands the provisions established in AB 705 (2017) by explicitly requiring community colleges not only to place students directly into transfer-level English and math courses but also to ensure that students actually enroll in those courses.
The recent legislation also establishes that for students who need or desire extra academic support, community colleges shall provide access to such support. The new law clarifies that a community college can require students to enroll in additional concurrent support if it is determined that the support will increase the student’s likelihood of passing transfer-level English or math.
Cooper’s presentation included a briefing on remedial education reform; multiple measures and prerequisites; throughput (successful completion of the gateway course in the discipline ); resources for implementation of the $65 million allocation and its impact on college plans; the AB 1705 Implementation Guide and AB 1705 FAQs; transferability; using data and using data locally; prerequisite validation; course success and its potential impact on prerequisite validation; meeting deadlines and matching majors; modalities; and limitations.
For deadlines, he explained that the Implementation Guide spells out that non-STEM programs were to validate transfer-level prerequisites to gateway English and math/quantitative reasoning courses by July 1, 2023 and make changes if necessary by July 1, 2024.
“STEM programs are limited to two transfer-level prerequisites prior to gateway STEM calculus after July 1, 2024,” Cooper emphasized. “The college must validate the effectiveness of the transfer level prerequisites to gateway STEM calculus as described by July 1, 2024 and make changes if necessary by July 1, 2025.”
Dr. John Spevak, Merced College vice president-emeritus who now coordinates CVHEC’s math and English task forces, noted that decisions need to be made by this fall and that many colleges have deadlines in early 2024 if not sooner for fall 2024 catalog course listings.
“The Math Task Force is using these fall sessions to get ahead of such deadlines,” Spevak said and noting that a possible third session may be discussed at Friday’s meeting.
For more information: Angel Ramirez, CVHEC finance operations manager, firstname.lastname@example.org. (For media inquiries, contact Tom Uribes at email@example.com).
(Those unable to attend the Oct. 6 virtual meeting are asked to view the recording of that session prior to the Oct. 13 meeting. The recording link will be available Oct. 7 at the CVHEC website).
• Original Math Task Force fall convenings news release online
After a review of AB 1705 via Zoom Oct. 6, the CVHEC Math Task Force will convene in person Oct. 13 in Fresno with other valley math educators and administrators to map out strategies for student success in the law’s new environment. Registration is still available,