Regents to recognize Cleveland State's math redesign

Regents to recognize Cleveland State's math redesign

September 20th, 2011 by Randall Higgins in News

Dr. Carl Hite, President of Cleveland State Community College

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Cleveland State Community College will be recognized at a Tennessee Board of Regents meeting Thursday for a mathematics program that attracted President Barack Obama's attention a year ago.

"The Carnegie Foundation made a comment that the biggest problem facing community colleges in this country is developmental math," Cleveland State President Carl Hite told members of MainStreet Cleveland on Monday. "We are not getting students out of developmental math. That's what has to be fixed. We came up with a fix.

"We redesigned the math curriculum," Hite said. "We are doing it better. We are doing it with more students. And it's saving money."

Hite said the first reaction to Cleveland State's fix was that standards must have been lowered.

"Actually we did the opposite," he said. "We raised the standards."

The college now is considering redesigning its entire curriculum, he said.

"I don't think in my tenure there has ever been so much going on in higher education for the good," Hite said.

More high school students are being prepared for higher education, Hite said, through programs such as the Tennessee Diploma Project, a nonprofit effort to help raise standards. This year's high school juniors are the first wave of those taking more mathematics and English courses to meet the diploma requirement.

Hite applauded businessman and philanthropist Allan Jones for his funding of tnAchieves for Bradley County high school students going to Cleveland State. Jones will cover any gap between the cost of attendance and the student's ability to pay with grants, scholarships and their own money.

In other MainStreet Cleveland business, Executive Director Sharon Marr reminded members that one of the group's biggest events of the year, the Halloween Block Party, is only six weeks away.

The Regents' quarterly meeting is Thursday and Friday at Roane State Community College.

Contact Randall Higgins at rhiggins@timesfreepress.com or 423-314-1029.