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Two RCC Professors Leading the Way on Developmental Math

Two RCC Professors Leading the Way on Developmental Math

Dr. Kris Baker and Eric Magaram both joined the Carnegie National Faculty this year.

DATE: August 7, 2017
CONTACT: Paul Mencher
845-574-4549
pmencher@sunyrockland.edu

Two RCC Professors Leading the Way on Developmental Math
Magaram, Baker named Carnegie National Faculty

RAMAPO – A pair of Rockland Community College professors recently earned recognition for their key role in reshaping the way community colleges teach developmental mathematics. Eric Magaram and Dr. Kristopher Baker were both invited to join the Carnegie National Faculty, a prestigious group currently consisting of just 23 members nationwide.

“I was surprised and honored to be given this role,” said Magaram, an Assistant Professor at RCC and Chair of Mathematics.

“I’m not a mathematician by training, so being chosen as Carnegie National Faculty is truly an honor,” said Dr. Baker. He is an Associate Professor of Biology and Executive Director of RCC’s Technology Innovation Center.

The two men led the effort for RCC to join the Carnegie Math Pathways program in 2014, to better assist students beginning at the developmental level in college math. Carnegie’s Pathways alternative system, made up of Quantway and Statway, has shown remarkable success nationally. More than 70% of RCC students taking the Quantitative Literacy class are now able to complete the course in one semester. Traditional remedial math programs only saw about one-quarter of RCC students completing in the same span.

“Quantway goes to the core issues of why students struggle with math,” Magaram said.

This program’s success has significant consequences. Dr. Baker said many more students can now obtain their associate’s degrees quicker and can move past developmental math to complete their general education math requirements.  “Students have increased confidence and have gained a transferable skill set that has made them better students in other courses,” he added.

Seeing this remarkable progress at RCC, Baker and Magaram believed students elsewhere should have the same opportunity. “We really became involved in helping expand the system within SUNY,” Magaram said. Their efforts included an invitation to faculty from Suffolk County Community College to observe Quantway instruction at RCC. Suffolk soon joined the program and has now become a major champion of the initiative. Currently, 21 community colleges in the SUNY system are Pathways members.

The National Faculty serve as an advisory council to the Carnegie Foundation staff who administer Pathways, meaning these two RCC professors will have the opportunity to influence its future growth and development. As only a handful of new members are added each year this is a distinct honor.

To learn more about the Carnegie Math Pathways, visit www.carnegiefoundation.org/in-action/carnegie-math-pathways.