National Numeracy Network > QRurrent Events > Past Events > NSF Numeracy Projects Supporting QL in Education > NSF-Supported Project Profiles > Mathematics Across the Community College Curriculum (MAC^3)

Mathematics Across the Community College Curriculum (MAC^3)

MAC3 logo

Christie Gilliland (PI)
Green River Community College

Deann Leoni (co-PI)
Edmonds Community College

Rebecca Hartzler (co-PI)
Edmonds Community College (formerly of Seattle Central Community College)

Jim Roznowski (co-PI)
Delta College

Funding provided by NSF National Dissemination grant (0442439) for the project period May 2005 - April 2010. Funding also provided by Department of Education grant (P116Z050012) for the period May 2005 - October 2006.

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The American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC), in partnership with Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, WA, Seattle Central Community College in Seattle, WA, and Miami Dade College in Miami, FL, implements a national dissemination project to make mathematical literacy a more welcome and indispensable part of the two-year college curriculum in the United States. Building on a successful four-year "Mathematics Across the Curriculum" project at Edmonds Community College, this NSF-funded initiative will be achieved through a nationwide faculty development project coordinated by AMATYC.

The goal of Mathematics Across the Community College Curriculum (MAC3) is to create a mathematically literate society that ensures a workforce equipped to compete in a technologically advanced global economy. This goal will be accomplished by training faculty across the disciplines and geographic regions to create, evaluate, and modify projects that incorporate mathematics. As a result, community college students throughout the nation will be offered opportunities to deepen and reinforce the mathematics they have learned in their math classes as well as understand its greater importance and application in their lives.

Project Goals

The MAC3 project continues and expands AMATYC's existing commitment to quantitative literacy and creates a national dialogue on integrating mathematics into other disciplines among all two-year college faculty as demonstrated by the following goals:

  • Increase awareness among two-year college mathematics faculty of the important role two-year colleges play in creating a numerate society.
  • Support faculty in creating exemplary projects and/or courses that integrate mathematics into all disciplines, such as humanities, social science, natural science, business, health & human services and technology.
  • Support institutions establishing college-wide initiatives integrating math across the curriculum by providing sets of materials and guidance.
  • Make the methods and materials designed by these faculty available to, accessible by, and approachable to other faculty nationwide.
  • Form a nationwide network of faculty and institutions engaged in integrating mathematics across the disciplines and improving quantitative literacy.
  • Create a mathematically literate society that ensures a workforce equipped to compete in a technologically advanced global economy.
  • Create a sustainable support network utilizing the Traveling Workshop and Summer Institute AMATYC structures.

Project Design/Elements

The Mathematics Across the Community College Curriculum (MAC3) project is nationally disseminating curriculum and tested methods of curriculum development and implementation to faculty of all disciplines. Project implementation has been conducted in the following three avenues:

  1. Offering four-day in-depth institutes over the first three years to support interdisciplinary teams of faculty in curriculum adaptation and development. Three of the institutes were hosted in the summers by Edmonds Community College in Washington State and two of the institutes were hosted in the winters by Miami Dade College in Florida. Each institute supported approximately forty faculty members from around the country.
  2. Developing and implementing traveling workshops through the current AMATYC Traveling Workshop structure. This included identifying and training traveling workshop facilitators as well as developing the workshop materials. This also has included funding five to ten MAC3 Traveling Workshops around the country.
  3. Publishing curriculum and evaluation results on the MAC3 website. Curriculum integrating mathematics into thirty-eight other disciplines is currently available on the webpage.

Evaluation and Assessment Strategies

The evaluation plan was developed by the MAC3 evaluator, Dr. Jane Korey, in collaboration with the project team of PIs and CoPIs. It focuses on the project's two major goals: 1) the continuous improvement of student learning which promotes increased mathematical literacy nationwide, and 2) the faculty development which enables that learning. In addition, the evaluation has tracked the accumulation and use of materials and resources for interdisciplinary mathematics teaching and the proliferation of the network faculty engaged in it. The most recent evaluation report is available at the MAC3 website at

(1) Faculty Development Changes in faculty awareness of the need to promote numeracy, and changes in the skills and understandings that will help them do so, has been tracked through a combination of quantitative surveys and telephone interviews. To extend the understanding of the role of mathematics at two-year colleges (information which will help us refine our program), participants were asked at the institutes to complete a short pre-survey about the social and academic role of mathematics and their own math background and interest. To assess the effectiveness in changing faculty attitudes, those participants were asked to complete the same survey by email six months after their institute. At the same time, they have been asked to describe briefly any curricular modifications they may have made and their apparent outcomes. A sample of interdisciplinary teams were selected for in-depth telephone interviews to probe their attitude and behavior changes more deeply, detail curricular modifications, and explore the impact of MAC3 activities on their colleagues within their own departments and colleges and in other institutions.

(2) Student Learning The change in student learning and attitudes was measured with a pre-post instrument designed for the MAC3 project. Using the Dartmouth Mathematics Survey as both process and object model, the evaluator worked with the MAC3 Steering Committee to develop the survey instrument. The evaluator also developed instructional materials to guide participating faculty in creating a short list of course-specific content learning items, which were appended to the student post-survey, allowing students in each course to assess their own mathematics learning gains. All students in courses developed at MAC3 institutes completed the machine-scorable pre- and post-survey, which will thus constitute a large, nationwide database about the mathematics attitudes and learning of two-year college students. Analysis of these data will reveal whether these interdisciplinary curricular changes lead to improved student learning, more mature mathematical attitudes, and greater interest and confidence in doing mathematics.

Products, Key Findings, Publications

Current Practices in Quantitative Literacy. Edited by Rick Gillman. The Mathematical Association of America. 2006.