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Statistics/Data Science Pathway FAQs

MATH/STAT 1401 Course Outline  Submit a question/comment

Notification of Course Offering

Institutions who are offering MATH/STAT 1401 this term or in spring 2020 are asked to notify the General Education Council, President (of East Georgia State College) Bob Boehmer (bboehmer@ega.edu) with a copy to Council Liaison Barbara Brown (Barbara.brown@usg.edu), using the letter template provided (Word file).  Institutions seeking to add courses to Area D related to this pathway should submit their proposals  to the Council on General Education by @@ DATE in order to be on the agenda for the Council’s next meeting.

What is the Statistics/Data Science Pathway?

The USG has invited institutions to offer statistics as an Area A2 math without prerequisite as the starting point for a statistics/data science pathway. A statistics/data science pathway is loosely understood as a program of study that develops quantitative understandings though a statistical and data lens. 

One way this might work out is for a student to take MATH 1401 in Area A2 and an advance statistics course in Area D with 1401 as a prerequisite.  While this contradicts current prerequisite rules, institutions wishing to advance this pathway should apply to the Council on General Education for a waiver. Statistics as a math course may also be a useful starting point for a number of other options in Area D, including data science, computer science, and geographic information systems.  OF NOTE: The USG is NOT recommending that MATH 1401 be MOVED from Area D to Area A2.  The pathway indicates that it be offered in both areas. Some students may opt to begin in another Area A2 math and then take statistics.

What is involved?

Participating institutions have agreed to make the changes to be able to offer MATH 1401 Elementary Statistics in Area A2 by fall 2020.  The requirements for this are:

  • MATH 1401 can have no collegiate prerequisites.
  • MATH 1401 satisfies a student’s Area A2 math requirement
  • Institutions that accept students requiring Learning Support must have developed a corequisite Learning Support course (MATH 0996) to support students in MATH 1401.
  • Criteria to exempt Learning Support for MATH 1401 are to be the same as those to exempt Learning Support for MATH 1001 and 1101.
  • Develop Area D options to create a real math pathway for students who take MATH 1401 in Area A2.

Timing

  • The Goal is for institutions to be ready to offer MATH 1401 in Area A2 with Learning Support (if necessary) by fall 2020
  • Institutions may offer MATH 1401 in Area A2 as sooner, but not for Learning Support students. If institutions are offering MATH 1401 in Area A2 currently or in the fall, we ask that they notify  the Council on General Education and the System Office.
  • Institutions that accept students requiring Learning Support may pilot offering MATH 1401 in Area A2 without Learning Support in spring 2020, but may not place students requiring Learning Support in MATH 1401.
  • Some institutions may be planning to pilot MATH 0996 (Corequisite Support for Elementary Statistics) in spring 2020.

Logistics

Institutions that want to offer MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2 must:

  • Notify the Chair of the Council on General Education, President (of East Georgia State College) Bob Boehmer (bboehmer@ega.edu) with a copy to Council Liaison Barbara Brown (Barbara.brown@usg.edu) prior to offering MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2. (Not an approval process; just a notification process.)
  • Remove collegiate prerequisites to MATH/STAT 1401 in Banner (will apply for ALL MATH/STAT 1401 sections to be offered).
  • Scribe DegreeWorks so that MATH/STAT 1401 may count in Area A2.
  • Update program maps to include MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2.
  • Decide on appropriate technology to support MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2 and MATH 0996 corequisite.  This may require some thought. When MATH 1001, 1101 or 1111 were prerequisite to MATH/STAT 1401, students may have purchased programmable calculators for the prerequisite courses, so using these devices in MATH/STAT 1401 would not have been an additional cost. Offering MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2 with no collegiate prerequisite may change the cost of acquiring these devices.  Institutions need to make decisions about the “best available technology” to support MATH/STAT 1401 and MATH 0996.
  • Decide what MATH/STAT 1401 course topics and Learning Outcomes they will cover in their courses.
  • Identify programs for which the Statistics Pathway may be appropriate.
  • (for those institutions that accept students requiring Learning Support) Develop a corequisite Learning Support course (MATH 0996) for students enrolling in MATH/STAT 1401. USG prototype institutions are working with the University of Texas Dana Center on this. This work involves deciding:
    • Course topics and Learning Outcomes to be covered in MATH/STAT 1401 and MATH 0996.
    • The model they will use for MATH/STAT 1401 and MATH 0996: Cohort versus comingled?
    • Coordination of coverage in MATH/STAT 1401 and MATH 0996: One instructor for both; different instructors for both; one-to-one coordination; one-to-many coordination; many-to-one coordination; shared calendar approach.
  • Institutions that want to develop new courses to be offered in Area D or move existing courses (including MATH 1401, if not already included) into Area D must take them through the institutional approval processes and submit them to the Council on General Education.
    • The Council on General Education has scheduled the meetings listed below for the remainder of the 2019 – 2020 academic year.
      • December 6, 2019  - Proposal submission deadline to guarantee consideration at this meeting is November 1, 2019
      • February 28, 2020  - Proposal submission deadline to guarantee consideration at this meeting is January 24, 2020
      • May 15, 2020   - Proposal submission deadline to guarantee consideration at this meeting is April 10, 2020
      • Meeting dates for fall 2020 and beyond have not yet been announced.

Qualifications for teaching elementary statistics

This resource from the American Statistical Association provides some guidance on the training and experience necessary to teach the elementary statistics.  Note: this is not an accreditation document but a guidance document.

What other institutions are in the prototype group?

  • Augusta University
  • College of Coastal Georgia
  • Columbus State University
  • Dalton State College
  • Fort Valley State University
  • Georgia Gwinnett College
  • Georgia Highlands College
  • Georgia Southern University
  • Georgia Southwestern State University
  • Georgia State University
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Middle Georgia State University
  • Savannah State University
  • University of West Georgia
  • Valdosta State University

What is the System working on now?

  • Providing support for institutions in doing this work.
  • Facilitating the discussion of Area D options in the STATs pathway.
  • Working with GeorgiaBEST to advise institutions on how to make changes to the Banner Enhancements for Learning Support placement that were just completed, to include placement into or out of Corequisite Support for Elementary Algebra.

As instituions work through this process, please let us know your questions and challenges so we can support other institutions in the System.  We appreciate your work and commitment to this project.

Content and Learning Outcomes for MATH/STAT 1401 and the Corequisite Support Course, MATH/STAT 0996:

As with all Corequisite Learning Support Courses, the goal of MATH/STAT 0996 will be to help students master the skills and knowledge required for success in the linked college-level course, in this case, MATH/STAT 1401.  The MATH/STAT 1401 and MATH/STAT 0996 sections must be carefully coordinated. In particular, the college-level and Corequisite Learning Support sections must cover the same topics in the same order at the same time.

The content for MATH/STAT 1401 has been defined by the system-wide Advisory Committee on Mathematical Subjects (aka the ACMS). This course outline is available here. Institutions are free to create Learning Outcomes that will be supported by this content, as well as to develop additional Learning Outcomes.

It is important to note that the expectation is that the “Uniform Requirements” are topics that will be covered in EVERY section of this course offered at EVERY USG institution.  Equally important: the “Uniform Requirements” are only expected to account for 60–80% of the course content. If you are only covering the “Uniform Requirements,” you are not fulfilling the goals envisioned for this course. Institutions may select from the list of Additional Topics, expected to account for 20-40% of class time. This means that institutions should probably cover 2-4 of the topics on the list of “Additional Topics.” While it is theoretically possible that “Additional Topics” could be selected at the instructor level, it is recommended that the “Additional Topics” to be covered be selected at the institution level.

Institutions may also wish to further flesh out the subtopics that are expected to be covered under the Required Topics and the Additional Topics and are encouraged to consult with “partner disciplines” to determine the content that is most important to cover.

Learning Support Exemption Criteria

For institutions that admit students requiring Learning Support, exemption requirements from Learning Support for MATH/STAT 1401 Elementary Statistics must be the same as those for MATH 1001 Quantitative Reasoning or MATH 1101 Introduction to Math Modeling. Institutions may not make their exemption requirements for MATH/STAT 1401 match those for MATH 1111 unless their exemption requirements for MATH 1001 and 1101 also match those for MATH 1111.

Hours for the MATH/STAT 0996

As with MATH 0997, 0998, and 0999, institutions have flexibility in the number of hours for the MATH 0996 course, and are allowed to provide varying levels of credit based on students’ needs.  Allowable credits for MATH/STAT 0096 vary from 1-3. While a one credit hour course may suffice for reasonably well-prepared students who are close to the cut-scores for collegiate placement, institutions are urged to offer a three-credit version for students who are the least well-prepared.

Who Should Take MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2?

The USG has already defined which majors need to take MATH 1111 College Algebra in Area A2, versus which majors can use MATH 1001 Quantitative Reasoning or MATH 1101 Introduction to Mathematical Modeling. We have reached out to all of the non-STEM Regents Advisory Committees (RACs) to get their discipline-specific recommendations.  These recommendations are summarized at: http://completecollegegeorgia.org/math-recommendations. It is assumed that majors for whom MATH/STAT 1401 is an appropriate Area A2 course will be a subpopulation of those for which MATH 1001 Quantitative Reasoning or MATH 1101 Introduction to Mathematical Modeling was recommended. As noted in the webinar, the RACs for each non-STEM discipline were asked for their input on whether Elementary Statistics is an acceptable first math for students pursuing degrees in their areas.  The recommendations are now included on the Math Pathways” website referenced above.

Transferability

When offered in Area A2 or Area D, MATH/STAT 1401 will transfer as do all other core courses. MATH/STAT 0996, of course, will not transfer.

Timeline

The requirement for the pilot/prototype institutions is that they be ready to offer MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2 without any collegiate prerequisites by fall 2020.  For institutions that accept students requiring Learning Support, they must also have a corequisite Learning Support course (MATH/STAT 1401) in place by fall 2020.

Institutions that do not accept students requiring Learning Support may offer MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2 as early as fall 2019.  Institutions that do accept students requiring Learning Support may also offer MATH/STAT 1401 as early as fall 2019, but they may not allow students who do not exempt Learning Support placement to register for this course.

Only institutions that wish to participate in the pilot are required to offer MATH/STAT 1401 and MATH/STAT 0996 in Area A2 by fall 2020.  No institutions are required to offer MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2 or to have MATH/STAT 0996 available prior to that time.

Institutions that do not plan to offer MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2 are not currently required to develop MATH/STAT 0996 as a corequisite Learning Support course.

Area D Courses and the Notion of a STATISTICS PATHWAY

Many institutions already offer MATH/STAT 1401 as an option in Area D.  These institutions should continue to offer this course in Area D (while also offering it as an Area A1 option), as it will remain an appropriate follow-on course for many students who take MATH 1001, 1101, or 1111 in Area A2.

For students who take MATH/STAT 1401 as an entry-level mathematics course in Area A1, however, the question arises as to what is a suitable follow-on course in Area D.  Most USG institutions require two science courses in Area D, plus an additional course that may be a third science course, a higher-level mathematics course, or a computer-science course.  We don’t want a third science course to be the only Area D option for students who have taken MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2.  The higher-level mathematics courses currently offered in Area D (precalculus, calculus) are probably not appropriate options for students who have taken MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2.  Computer-science courses may be a good Area D option for some students, provided that the courses offered are appropriate for students with a statistics background who are not majoring in computer-science.

We are asking all institutions to look at their already-approved Area D options that might be appropriate for students who take MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2. Institutions that offer MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2 must be able to specify an appropriate third (non-science) course in Area D to effectively create a “Statistics Pathway” for their students.

Appropriate “follow-on” courses in Area D might include advanced statistics courses, or courses in data science, “Big Data,” data analytics, computer programming, or geographic information systems. Institutions should reach out the departments/disciplines that have recommended MATH/STAT 1401 as an Area A2 course to see what they see as appropriate/desirable follow-on courses.

Some institutions that do not currently have natural “follow-on” courses in Area D may have courses that exist outside of the core that could be moved into Area D. This would have to be approved at the institutional level as well as by the system-wide Council on General Education. Since proposals to be reviewed by the Council on General Education must first have gone through all of the institutional curricular review processes, and must be received by the Council five weeks ahead of a meeting, institutions that wish to move courses into Area D should start on this process as soon as possible.

Institutions that do not have logical “follow-on” courses inside or outside of their approved cores may wish to develop new courses. This will require time to develop the new course(s), put them through the institutional approval processes, and submit to the Council on General Education. It is also possible that the System may work to develop one or more common-numbered courses that would be appropriate “follow-on” courses in a statistics pathway. (Will still require institutional and Council on General Education approval.)

Curricular Review

Institutions wishing to participate in the pilot/prototype offering of MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A1 must meet the conditions for participation set out by the System Office, and must notify the Chair of the Council on General Education (President Robert Boehmer from East Georgia State College, bboehmer@ega.edu) of their intent to offer MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2.

MATH/STAT 0996 will be a new course at all institutions. As such, it needs to go through all appropriate curriculum review processes. However, Learning Support courses do not require review by the Council on General Education.

November 12 Program Submissions

Institutions are asked to submit the programs for which statistics in Area A1 is the start of the recommended mathematics pathway to the System office. The Statistics Pathways should also include suggested Area D (non-science) courses appropriate to disciplines that have recommended MATH/STAT 1401 in Area A2. Prior to November 12, we encourage math department leadership and faculty to engage in conversations with partner disciplines about the content for the elementary statistics course and logical follow-up courses in Area D. 

Institutions should also describe plans for engaging with Academic Advisors and the Registrar’s Office to ensure smooth implementation.