Published Monday, April 23, 2018
A new grant will help Renton Technical College redesign its math curriculum to ensure more students graduate with associate degrees.
College Spark awarded RTC $50,000 for a project to move students to degree-level math in less time. RTC was one of 12 grantees selected by College Spark to implement programs that help low-income students be successful in college.
RTC has the state’s highest three-year completion rate among community and technical colleges – 63 percent – but the College intends to increase that, especially among underrepresented groups. The College also strives to increase the number of students graduating with associate degrees, and the number of students transitioning from adult basic education to career programs.
One of the primary barriers for students who might consider completing a degree is getting through the college-level math sequence. RTC will use the funding to plan for two new math courses (MATH 175 and 190) to better serve as a bridge to college-level courses. The changes mean students could complete their math requirements in less time. Last year, the College received a College Spark grant to strengthen the English courses required for an associate’s degree.
Graduates with associate degrees earn an average of $6,000 more per year and have a 5 percent higher job placement rate than those without. That’s why RTC wants to double the number of students completing associate degrees.
“This College Spark funding will provide critical resources to streamline the math sequence and increase the percentage of students who earn their first college-level credits in English or math,” said RTC President Kevin McCarthy. “This aligns closely with our Guided Pathways work and our Strategic Plan.”
RTC is one of five colleges to receive a five-year, $500,000 grant from College Spark earlier this year to implement Guided Pathways.