Redefining Success: A Multifaceted Approach to Assessing Departmental Change in First-year Mathematics/Statistics

Judith Canner, Jennifer Clinkenbeard, Steven Kim, Alison G Lynch, Peri Shereen, Alana Unfried, Jeffrey O. Wand

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In 2018, the faculty in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics redesigned all general education courses and implemented support structures to increase student success. To assess whether these changes created equitable learning outcomes for our students, we worked with the Office of Institutional Assessment and Research to obtain the data on student grades in our general education and corequisite mathematics and statistics courses and associated demographic data. We also conducted surveys and focus groups to determine how both corequisite courses and our pedagogical practices impacted the attitudes of students towards mathematics/statistics, students’ identity as mathematicians/statisticians, and their sense of belonging. While we observed no difference in GPA performance between first-generation students and others, we did observe ongoing equity gaps in student performance by gender, Pell eligibility, and race/ethnicity. The data collected on attitudes and experiences through surveys and focus groups allowed us to identify areas of improvement in our general education courses as we work to eliminate the observed gaps in equity.  
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationJustice Through the Lens of Calculus: Framing New Possibilities for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
StatePublished - 2023


  • assessment
  • data
  • corequisites
  • student success


  • Higher Education
  • Science and Mathematics Education

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