Skip to content

Launch Years Initiative

Home » Complete College America » Launch Years Initiative

Oklahoma was recently selected to join 19 other states as participants in the Launch Years Initiative, which supports the scaling of mathematics pathways from high school through postsecondary education and into the workplace, aligned to students’ goals and aspirations. Other states joining the Launch Years Initiative are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

States will focus on different areas, including designing and implementing postsecondary and high school mathematics pathways, modern math courses and content, equitable impact, and advising practices. One of the most urgent education issues is ensuring access to an excellent, more advanced mathematics education for all students. As workforce needs continue to evolve and rely on advancing technology, mathematics education must meet the demands for mathematical knowledge and skills.

Mathematics education, particularly in the transition from high school into postsecondary opportunities, can serve as a barrier to students’ success and limit their opportunities. Three major barriers impede students during this transition:

  1. All students need access to excellent math learning resources. Access to high-quality materials, advanced courses and effective instruction is too often limited for some students.
  2. Many colleges and universities use math as an admissions gatekeeper. Requirements that prioritize algebraic courses over other rigorous pathways such as statistics have little to no relation to students’ readiness to succeed in courses that may be more relevant to their career aspirations.
  3. The definition of postsecondary readiness varies across K–12 and higher education, leading to a wide variety of course requirements. How postsecondary readiness is defined often determines whether a student will be required to repeat courses or be placed in non-college-credit remedial courses.

By addressing these three barriers, the Launch Years Initiative will help students gain access to multiple mathematics pathways in high school that are aligned to postsecondary education options and relevant to their future aspirations. States will be working together, learning with and from one another over the next three years. Along with these 20 states, leaders from major national mathematics organizations are collaborating to strengthen and advocate for work that improves the experiences and outcomes for students transitioning from high school into postsecondary education. Members of the Launch Years organizational leadership network include the Alliance of Indigenous Math Circles, American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, American Statistical Association, Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, Benjamin Banneker Association, Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences, Mathematical Association of America, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, NCSM: Leadership in Mathematics Education, and TODOS: Mathematics for ALL. The Launch Years Initiative is led by the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Austin, in partnership with Education Strategy Group, Parent Institute for Quality Engagement, and Texas Advanced Computing Center.