Leading the Way

By: CAP Central Staff
September 2017

Cuyamaca College Transforms Math Remediation

Cuyamaca College is the first community college in California to completely transform math remediation–from how it assesses and places students into math courses, to the courses it offers, to what happens in the classroom. Most students at Cuyamaca can now complete their math requirements in one semester. Students in math-intensive majors take no more than one semester of math that doesn’t count toward a bachelor’s degree. And math faculty are teaching with “brains-on” activities and collaborative pedagogy. 

The result? Completion of transferable, college-level math has increased nearly sevenfold among students who would have previously taken remedial courses, with dramatic gains for all racial and ethnic groups. Cuyamaca’s experience points the way for the rest of the state, revealing what’s possible when colleges step up to transform their systems on behalf of students. This new publication from the California Acceleration Project provides a window into Cuyamaca’s transformation, including data from the first year, classroom illustrations, and reflections from students and teachers in the program.

“The data is clear that traditional placement and remediation strategies are failing the vast majority of California community college students. Through courageous conversations and leadership, Cuyamaca College transformed a challenging problem into meaningful action. The early results from this model provide a strong endorsement for implementing these and similar reforms across the system.”  — Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor, California Community Colleges