How Does the Dana Center Math Pathways Improve Students’ Success in Math?


Too many community college students get stuck in multi-semester developmental math sequences and never progress to or complete college-level courses. To meet this challenge, the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin developed the Dana Center Math Pathways (DCMP), which diversifies the math course content that students take so it better aligns with their career interests. The curriculum also encourages student-centered learning in small group formats.

Researchers from the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness — a partnership between MDRC and the Community College Research Center — recently published an evaluation of DCMP in Texas. After three semesters, the study found that the DCMP had a positive impact on students’ completion of the developmental math sequence, increasing their likelihood of taking and passing college-level math and the number of math credits earned. Researchers also saw a small impact on early cohorts’ attainment of a certificate. 

To learn more about these encouraging results and what they mean for the field, Katie Beal spoke with Elizabeth Zachry Rutschow, a senior associate at MDRC and lead author of the study.

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