Hybrid Model Resources Repository



Participating Campuses

CSU Northridge | Cal Poly Pomona | CSU Channel Islands | CSU Dominguez Hills | CSU Long Beach | CSU Los Angeles | CSU Monterey Bay | Humboldt State | Long Beach City College | Moorpark College | Pasadena City College | Pierce College | San Francisco State University


Higher education in the United States is facing a failure-rate crisis in entry-level mathematics courses. Influential reports published during the past decade have presented evidence that the number of U.S. graduates in natural science and engineering fields will fall far short of the trained professionals needed to replace the large number of projected retirees over the next 20 years. In efforts to create systems change, the CSU-Consortium has developed an innovative, technology-enhanced hybrid course model that has significantly improved course completion and content mastery outcomes in entry-level mathematics courses. The model relies on five primary components that are carefully articulated to create a reliable “flow of learning” for students. The approach has proven both cost effective and scalable to other courses and institutions. It targets high failure rate, multi-section, gateway courses in which prerequisite knowledge is a key to success. To date applications have been in math, but in Phase II we expand to chemistry and will be looking for other subject areas that fit the above criterion.


Over the course of the next five years, the CSU-Consortium will seek to scale the model to reach students in entry-level math and “gateway” science courses at 80% of the CSU campuses and at 40% of the Los Angeles-area community colleges. This will be accomplished via a partnership of the CSU Chancellor’s Office, the CSU Council of Math Chairs and the Faculty Inquiry Team (FIT) of the California Community Colleges System (CCCS).


The project has three phases:

  • Phase I was funded by the Wave I NGLC grant during the academic year 2011-2012 and is completed. It expanded the model beyond CSU Northridge (CSUN) to three other collaborating campuses.
  • Phase II is funded by a follow-on NGLC grant for the period between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014. It will expand the model from the core consortium campuses to a quarter of the CSU campuses and 15% of the L.A. County community colleges.
  • Phase III will seek to complete the goal stated above during the academic years 2015-2017, transferring “ownership” of the project from the campuses to the systems. The CSU has 420,000 students enrolled on its 23 campuses statewide, and the CCCS has nine campuses in the L.A. district enrolling 250,000 students. A successful follow-on project will have an impact on approximately 68,000 students annually in the CSU and 20,000 students annually in the CCCS.

With NGLC follow-on funding for Phase II, the CSU-Consortium will employ a two-pronged strategy to expand and amplify the accomplishments begun in Phase I under the Wave I grant: (1) by scaling out our Hybrid Model to other CSU and CCCS; and (2) increasing the Hybrid Model’s positive impact on student success and persistence by adding more courses (including courses in chemistry and other sciences); providing more instructor training and more classroom facilities; improving assessment; providing professional and student staff salaries; and improving data collection and analysis.

    Activities are be focused on:
  • Implementing the Hybrid Model at all consortium campuses.
  • Recruiting new consortium member campuses from within the CSU and CCCS by leveraging the influence of the chancellors’ offices and the Council of Math Chairs. This will build upon the community of professionals established in Wave I that is dedicated to improving student learning in entry-level math and science by sharing and improving the model’s components.
  • Creation of the Hybrid Model Resources Repository (HMRR), containing:
    • Class Materials - Developmental Math, College Algebra, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus and Chemistry.
    • Training Tools - Coordinators, instructors, staff, graduate students and tutors.
    • Assessment Tools - Data management tools to collect and compare: final grades in past, current, and subsequent courses; scores on exams, homework, and remediation; and student background information (ethnicity, economic status, first-generation college student).

The Hybrid Model

The CSU Chancellor’s office believes that propagating the hybrid model to other CSU campuses will help solve a chronic problem with gateway and bottleneck courses, that is, those that are: high volume, multi-section, high failure rate courses.

    Levers the system office will use to promote this will include:
  • Promoting the expansion of the Hybrid Model in business math classes across the CSU by presenting it to a meeting at the Council of Business Deans.
  • Beginning advocacy and recruitment at the fall meetings of presidents and provosts.
  • Using the hybrid model as the tool of “best practice” when addressing the growing state concern over cost of instruction and student graduation rates.

Through Access to Success (locally branded as the “Graduation Initiative”) the central office is in regular contact with all CSU campuses, and will explore the hybrid model with those that have the most to gain.

In the CCCS, the recruitment of additional campuses will be focused on the L.A. Community College District. A Faculty Inquiry Team (FIT), composed of representatives from each L.A. community college, will manage this activity. FIT was established under the leadership of Vice Chancellor Yasmin Delahoussaye and has the goal of improving the developmental math program. LAPC campus lead Katherine Yoshiwara is on this team and will lead recruitment in coordination with FIT.

Impact & Reach

Our proposed additional work will vastly expand the scale of our innovation to realize NGLC’s goals. Students in our publicly funded consortium campuses are diverse and are often the first in their families to attend college. All of our original and expansion campuses are federally classified as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), a designation that also indicates the high financial needs of most students. Students enrolled in our consortium campuses who enter with math learning deficits will spend less time in remediation, and progress rapidly to meeting degree requirements. These students will graduate sooner, lowering total educational costs to themselves and to their financially stressed families. Our Hybrid Model course offerings are also cost-efficient for educational providers: increased student success in these courses reduces the number of students repeating classes, realizing substantial institutional savings from offering fewer course sections. Such savings will contribute to the sustainability of the Hybrid Model and incentivize further scaling up by lowering the number of math courses that institutions need to offer for remediation. Thereby institutional funds are freed up for implementation of more Hybrid Model courses, without recourse to external grant awards.

Two of our campuses, CSUCI and CSUMB, are making the systemic changes that foster successful scale-ups of the hybrid lab model, and later to CCCS through outreach activities. The CSUCI Math Department has experimented with adding lab sections for some courses to improve student success. CSUCI has received major Department of Education (VISTA HIS, ACCESO HIS STEM) grants targeting low-income and minority students on its campus, in local high schools and community colleges that aim to attract, prepare and academically support them, especially in STEM disciplines. CSUMB, too, is well positioned as a successful scale-up site for the hybrid lab model. It has received grants from the Lumina Foundation and from the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ national effort (“Give Students a Compass”) linking universities with community college partners that strive to decrease time spent in remediation classes by underserved students through employing engaging educational activities combining English composition and Pre-Calculus.


Prof. K. F. Stevenson
Director, Developmental Mathematics
California State University, Northridge
Northridge, CA 91330-8358
Phone: 818-677-5073
Email: katherine.stevenson@csun.edu

More about the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) Grant Award


Department of Mathematics
California State University,
18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330
Phone: 818-677-2721
Fax: 818-677-3634
Email: mathhtml@csun.edu

More about CSUN Mathematics Department


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