Mathematics Persistence Through Inquiry and Equity (MPIE)

PI: Mary Pilgrim
Co-PIs: Bill Zahner and Dan Reinholz
Institutional Partner: Southwestern College

Funder: National Science Foundation
Dates: 2020-2025
Total Funded at SDSU: $1,272,000

Pi pie. Source Shisma, CC BY 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia CommonsWith support from the National Science Foundation's Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program, this Track 1 project will study the major reform efforts designed to improve student success in gateway mathematics at a two-year HSI and develop inquiry-based and equity-driven interventions to support STEM achievement. Gateway mathematics courses are the first transfer-level mathematics course taken by most students intending to pursue a STEM major. These courses traditionally have a high failure rate, and are a common barrier for STEM-intending students from historically underserved communities. In addition, these courses are undergoing a shift as state law is impacting policies related to student placement. With this project, a collaborative team from a two-year institution and a four-year institution will analyze trends in student success, develop classroom-based interventions and professional development for instructors of gateway mathematics courses, study the impacts of the interventions, and examine the sustainability of change efforts. This work will have an impact locally by transforming gateway mathematics courses enrolling up to 10,000 students across the life of the project. By improving gateway mathematics courses, this project will contribute to the societal benefit of broadening participation in STEM majors and careers. This effort will also result in generalizable knowledge about institutional change in STEM departments at two-year HSIs, and the results will be disseminated through research publications, workshops, network improvement communities, and professional development conferences.