Inquiry: The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges

Author Bio(s)

Patricia Parker works with both the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to lead one of the largest and most collaborative higher education initiatives in the Commonwealth, Transfer Virginia. Prior to beginning this work in the fall of 2018, Patricia taught mathematics in Virginia’s K-12 and community college classrooms for 28 years and served as the VCCS Mathematics Pathways Project Manager since 2015. She also values her prior role as a Developmental Mathematics Chair. Her work with Virginia’s 2012 Redesign of Developmental Mathematics, 2015 Mathematics Pathways Project, and her current work on transfer have proven to be the most exhilarating and challenging aspects of her 28-year teaching experience. She has great passion for engaging others in positive change.


The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) embarked on a comprehensive mathematics pathways project in October 2015 with a move from design to implementation in spring 2017. The VCCS Mathematics Pathways Project (VMPP) aimed not only to develop strategies to improve retention and completion, but also to address foundational barriers to students’ success. This grassroots effort involved collaboration among all 23 community colleges, over 200 mathematics faculty, and staff from career and technical support departments. Collaboration extended to the K–12 and university sectors, professional organizations, publishers, and foundations. VMPP goals focused on creating structured mathematics pathway courses for all program levels, implementing co-requisite opportunities for students, collaborating with K–12 and four-year institutions regarding mathematics readiness, developing multiple measures of placement, and improving Virginia’s placement instruments. While the decisions made throughout this project were informed by research, how Virginia’s organization, processes, stakeholder collaboration, and communication laid the foundation to successfully implement this comprehensive project at scale is the focus of this discussion.



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