Closing the equity gap in calculus is critical because calculus functions as a gatekeeper for students interested in pursuing STEM majors and careers. Women and students from historically underrepresented groups are disproportionately impacted by the calculus barrier. Researchers have found that of women and historically underrepresented students who entered postsecondary institutions with an interest in STEM, 20 percent successfully completed STEM degrees, compared with a 40 percent completion rate among all students who entered with interest in STEM. This pattern is further evidenced in the report recently published by Learning Lab in partnership with Just Equations, “Charting a New Course: Investigating Barriers on the Calculus Pathway to STEM”, which demonstrates that the introductory calculus sequence continues to be a significant barrier to persistence in STEM pathways.
Theories explaining such disparities range from differential access to K-12 preparation to challenges related to postsecondary math placement, curriculum, and grading practices. Meanwhile, a growing body of research identifies the ways in which calculus is not working for many students, and, increasingly, identifies promising strategies for improving student learning and faculty instruction in calculus course sequences.
Based upon this research and guided by Learning Lab’s approach to systemic change, this RFP, “Seeding Strategies (I) to Close the Calculus Equity Gap”, is designed as a department-level funding opportunity to encourage the implementation of select promising curricular and pedagogical strategies to close equity gaps in calculus course sequences. Through this RFP, Learning Lab intends to award 30-35 grants of up to $100,000 per awardee for up to two years. Approximately $2.5 million will be awarded to California Community Colleges (up to 25 grants), and approximately $1 million combined will be awarded to California State University and University of California campuses (up to 10 grants, combined).
THE APPLICATION PERIOD FOR THIS GRANT OPPORTUNITY HAS EXPIRED. Below for reference, you can view the details of the Seeding Calculus Strategies (I) RFP. If you are interested in applying for future Learning Lab grants or participating in future Learning Lab events, please join our Listserv to receive announcements. Please consult the full Request for Proposals for post-award agreement and deliverables.
WHILE THE APPLICATION DEADLINE HAS PASSED, WE PLAN TO FOLLOW UP THIS OPPORTUNITY WITH ANOTHER ROUND OF SEEDING CALCULUS STRATEGIES (I) FUNDING, SO STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFORMATION!
The California Education Learning Lab (Learning Lab) announced that it is awarding 15 grants in response to Learning Lab’s funding opportunity Seeding Strategies to Close the Calculus Equity Gap. Grants awarded will support STEM departments within the California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California to test the implementation of select promising curricular and pedagogical strategies to close equity gaps in calculus course sequences within STEM disciplines.
Scroll to the bottom to view the funded proposals.
The awards were based on recommendations from Learning Lab’s 2022 Selection Committee for Seeding Calculus Strategies and were approved by Samuel Assefa, Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
Seeding Calculus Strategies attracted interest from 30 California public higher education institutions from across the state. Of these, 21 institutions submitted proposals, and 15 distinct institutions were included in the awards, including eight California Community Colleges, five California State Universities, and two University of California campuses. Projects will commence upon final agreement between the awarded institutions (listed below) and the Foundation for California Community Colleges, which administers the grants on behalf of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
|Humboldt Stretch Calculus Course Pilot||Cal Poly Humboldt|
|Increasing Student Success Through Faculty Engagement and Sustainable Professional Development||CSU Monterey Bay|
|Effective and Equitable Mathematics Pathways in the STEM Curriculum||CSU San Marcos|
|Equity-Minded Calculus Redesign||Cuyamaca College|
|Cypress College Calculus: A New Equitable Direction||Cypress College|
|Innovations Around Interview Exams||Hartnell College|
|Closing Equity Gaps in Calculus through Equitable Grading Strategies||Laney College|
|Calculus Pathway Innovations for Equity||Modesto Junior College|
|SBVC Calculus Pathways||San Bernardino Valley College|
|Calculus in Action||San Diego Miramar College|
|Holistic Approach for Closing Equity Gaps in Precalculus and Calculus||San Diego State University|
|College Algebra: A Mastery-Based Grading Approach||Stanislaus State|
|Calculus for Data-Driven Applications||UC Davis|
|Improving Calculus Learning Outcomes for Student Success in Engineering||UC Santa Cruz|
|Confronting Structural Inequities Impacting STEM Mathematics at West LA College||West Los Angeles College|
To apply for a “Seeding Strategies to Close the Calculus Equity Gap” grant, applicants must:
This opportunity prioritizes funding colleges and universities that experience equity gaps in calculus access and success. Applicants must provide data regarding existing equity gaps on their campuses. Moreover, proposed projects must have potential to improve learning outcomes and close equity gaps for undergraduate STEM students.
Applicants are requested to read Charting a New Course and required to propose implementation of one or more of the following curricular or pedagogical strategies in the Calculus at their respective institutions:
“Course” in the above strategies refers to any of the college-level courses within the calculus sequence at the respective institution (not to include remedial courses) .
To be considered for funding, applicants must file a Statement of Intent that identifies the institution (and any partnering institutions through a consultation model or parallel implementation model, if applicable), and provides the names of PIs/co-PIs and a brief project summary. The Statement of Intent must be submitted through Learning Lab’s Application Portal by 5:00pm PT on Tuesday, February 22, 2022.
Applicants must submit all required materials through Learning Lab’s Application Portal by 5:00pm PT on Monday, March 7, 2022.
Within the application portal, applicants will be required to confirm the institution (and any partnering institutions through a consultation model or parallel implementation model, if applicable), STEM courses impacted, and the names of PIs/Co-PIs.
Applicants will also be required to upload two documents. The first upload will be a single PDF document that will include the Institutional Cover Letter and Project Narrative. The second upload will include the Detailed Budget in Excel.
The documents within this section are intended to be helpful resources as your project team develops a proposal. There is no requirement for their use (with the exception of the Budget Template). Click on the buttons below to download.
Naneh Apkarian, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, Arizona State University
Dr. Naneh Apkarian is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education within the School of Mathematics and Statistical Sciences at Arizona State University. Apkarian holds experience with a variety of research projects and methods ranging from individual interviews aimed at exploring students’ thinking to classroom design experiments and the roles of classroom discourse to national surveys. Current major interests include investigations of the social context of STEM departments and how that relates to institutional change, with emphasis on change related to pedagogy and inclusive practices. Apkarian has been part of several mixed-methods national studies of precalculus and calculus education, utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods to produce national portraits and in-depth case studies. Additionally, she has conducted studies of undergraduate mathematics classrooms to better understand individual and collective learning processes. Apkarian holds a doctorate degree in Mathematics and Science Education from San Diego State University and University of California San Diego, a Master of Arts in Mathematics from the University of California San Diego, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Pomona College.
Concha Gómez, Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics, Diablo Valley College
Concha Gómez is currently a Professor of Mathematics at Diablo Valley College. Gómez has been a mathematics instructor for over two decades with experience teaching and leading equity efforts within the California Community College, California State University, and University of California systems, in addition to having taught at several private universities including Middlebury College and Holy Names University. She is an advocate for diversity in STEM fields and worked as the Director of Retention and Equity for the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at San Francisco State University, as well as Director of the Wisconsin Emerging Scholars Program, a multicultural learning community at the University of Wisconsin. Gómez is also known for co-founding the women’s organization, The Noetherian Ring, at the University of California Berkeley in 1991 while attending as a doctoral student.
Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Ph.D.
Managing Director, The University of Texas at Austin, Charles A. Dana Center
Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga is the Managing Director of the Charles A. Dana Center. She previously served as the executive director of The Education Trust-West, the California branch of a national research and advocacy nonprofit organization committed to educational justice for students of color, students from low-income communities, and English learners. Smith Arrillaga is fiercely committed to increasing opportunities in STEM for students of color. She has taught subjects ranging from statistics to writing and research methods at the K–12 and postsecondary levels. Throughout her more than 20 years of research and advocacy, Smith Arrillaga has worked for and partnered with many organizations, including the Career Ladders Project, the Hewlett Foundation, First 5 Los Angeles, Mathematica Policy Research, and College Bound. She serves on numerous committees, boards, and taskforces—among them Google’s Equitable Artificial Intelligence Research Roundtable, University of California’s Provost Advisory Council on Educational Equity, California State University’s Steering Committee on Academic Preparation and Quantitative Reasoning, University of California’s Test Feasibility Steering Committee, and the Dana Center’s Launch Years Consensus Panel. She was also appointed as cochair of the California Department of Education’s Closing the Achievement Gap Taskforce. She has authored dozens of publications and is frequently interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Ed Source, and Los Angeles Times. She holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Smith College and an M.S. in Survey Methodology from the University of Maryland at College Park. She was the third Black person to graduate with a Ph.D. from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.