Modesto Junior College (MJC) has identified significant equity gaps across both gender and ethnicity in the Calculus pathway causing a barrier for students pursuing majors and careers in STEM. The Calculus Pathway Innovations for Equity Project encompasses supplemental enrichment programs and curricular innovations that will integrate active learning and student engagement in the learning of STEM topics, including Calculus. Group and affective domain activities, that promote positive identity, have shown considerable success for statistics, liberal arts and algebra courses at MJC and these techniques will be adapted to be used in Calculus and other STEM courses.
This project focuses on integrating active-learning activities through “MJC Math Jam” workshops to reinforce mathematical skills needed for success on the calculus pathway and in college, and provide opportunities for students to connect and increase engagement. In order to maintain communication and deepen professional learning between the various projects, Modesto Junior College will nurture faculty to create a culture of equity mindset, and improving the student experience with a more humanized and equitable classroom environment. Faculty participating in the project will also explore the flipped classroom model and develop materials to be used during class time, including a catalog of Open Education Resources (OER), with an emphasis on homework problems.
Assessment of practices and equity gaps will be ongoing; any successful strategies will be further developed and adapted. Sustainable practices that show promise in decreasing equity gaps will be key in fostering the talents and abilities of underrepresented students, creating an equitable environment and ultimately benefiting the community.