Four high schools chosen to pilot new math proficiency course

Successful completion of ‘EMC2’ qualifies students for college-level math courses

WINOOSKI (February 6, 2019) – Four high schools have been chosen to pilot a new, much-anticipated course to strengthen math proficiencies in high school students before they graduate. 

Beginning with the 2019-20 academic year, the course, Essential Math for College and Careers, or EMC2, will be offered at Green Mountain Union High School, Richford Junior/Senior High School, Springfield High School and Stowe High School. 

Vermont Student Assistance Corp., the Vermont State Colleges System and the Vermont Agency of Education have teamed up to create the new math course so that students will leave high school with the math skills to begin college and career training programs. It will eventually be made available to all high schools in Vermont.

VSAC research has shown that students with higher-level math skills are more likely to enroll – and successfully complete – college and career training. Without the requisite math skills, students are far less likely to continue their education and if they do, they are often required to take remedial courses, incurring an extra cost while not earning credit.

“We all want to see our students be successful as they take the next step in their education futures,” said Scott Giles, president and CEO of VSAC. “Being proficient in math removes one of the challenges students face in their college and career transitions after high school.”

The course is being built from a framework of open education source materials collected and used by 13 states who are trying to address similar challenges.

“In Vermont, we have identified 16 Essential Concepts for EMC2, which can easily translate into a local high school’s graduation proficiencies. This project represents an excellent collaborative effort across three state agencies and local education systems, and I’m looking forward to next steps in implementation.” said Heather Bouchey, deputy secretary of the Agency of Education.

Students who successfully complete EMC2 can enroll in college-level math courses at any of the Vermont State Colleges and Community College of Vermont without the need for remediation or an Accuplacer test score in math.

“This innovative high school math course builds bridges to continued education after high school by improving students’ math confidence,” said Yasmine Ziesler, chief academic officer at the Vermont State Colleges System. “The course encourages students to explore mathematical tasks and work to explain their thinking and understanding to each other. Student ownership and student voice are essential elements of success in this course and in their education and training after graduation.”

Students who are interested in taking the course should contact their school counselor to learn more about registration requirements. The partnership and curriculum development are funded by VSAC through a federal GEAR UP grant.

About VSAC – Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships for Vermont students, and also administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. Share your VSAC story by email to myVSACstory@vsac.org or submit a video to YouTube. Find us at www.vsac.org or check in on Facebook and Twitter. #changing lives