Students' math course success varies among California's community colleges
EdSource's 2012 brief, Passing When It Counts, presents data on the success of California community college students in passing mathematics courses that count toward an associate degree. The brief includes discussion of how the rates at which students pass these math courses during the term can vary among community colleges.
The map below provides more information by presenting the respective success rate of each community college, for students who enrolled during fall 2010 in math courses that count toward an associate degree.
These courses include:
- Courses that provide transfer credit to the University of California or the California State University, such as Calculus.
- Courses that count toward an associate degree but do not provide transfer credit - most importantly Intermediate Algebra,* but sometimes (depending on the college) also including courses like Elementary Algebra.
You can view the data for any particular community college by clicking the college's red balloon in the map below. You can also download these data as an Excel spreadsheet.
Data: California Community Colleges Chancellor's
Office Data Mart, accessed July 2011 and November 2011.
Notes: The data above are limited to courses coded as "Credit-Degree Applicable" and "Mathematics, General (1701)."
The math course success rates shown here reflect data reported to the state by the colleges. EdSource did not independently verify their accuracy. The vast majority of the math course success rates shown were downloaded in July 2011; updated data from November 2011 was used for two colleges, Glendale College and Napa Valley College, for which EdSource confirmed errors in the July data.
These data exclude Los Angeles Community College District's Instructional Television program, which Data Mart includes as a separate institution.
* Note: Students must demonstrate competency in mathematics at least at the level of Intermediate Algebra to fulfill the minimum competency requirement in mathematics for an associate degree from a California community college. Students do this by passing a course in Intermediate Algebra (or a local equivalent) or by "placing out" of the course through assessment (such as by scoring highly on a placement test). However, according to California's Basic Skills Accountability report (see Table C1), about 85% of community colleges students who take a placement test in math do not place out of Intermediate Algebra, meaning they must pass the course to earn a degree.