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Curriculum Renewal Across the First Two Years (CRAFTY)

CRAFTY is a subcommittee of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics (CUPM) and is charged with monitoring ongoing developments with the intention of eventually making general recommendations concerning the first two years of collegiate mathematics.

CRAFTY leads national initiatives to renew mathematics course work and instruction offered for students in their first two years of college. In making decisions about timely renewal efforts concerning lower level courses and programs, CRAFTY considers CUPM recommendations including the CUPM Curriculum Guide and information obtained from representatives of employers and of partner disciplines. In undertaking its initiatives CRAFTY collaborates with CUPM and CRAFTY’s sister CUPM subcommittees as well as with other MAA committees and special interest groups.

Recent Focus of CRAFTY

The recent focus of CRAFTY has been on determining the mathematical needs of partner disciplines and on the College Algebra course. The CUPM Curriculum Guide 2004 states that “Unfortunately, there is often a serious mismatch between the original rationale for a college algebra requirement and the actual needs of the students who take the course. A critically important task for mathematical sciences departments at institutions with college algebra requirements is to clarify the rationale for the requirements, determine the needs of the students who take college algebra, and ensure that the department’s courses are aligned with these findings.” In parallel with and in response to this charge from its parent committee, CRAFTY has been focusing its work on two related areas:

  • Determining the mathematical needs and priorities of our partner disciplines by convening a total of 22 weekend workshops of representatives of these disciplines.
  • Supporting efforts of mathematics departments to develop and offer an engaging and appropriate College Algebra course.

These efforts have culminated in the publication by the MAA of Partner Discipline Recommendations for Introductory College Mathematics and the Implications for College Algebra.

The volume begins with reports from participants in five disciplinary Curriculum Foundation II Workshops (Agriculture, Arts, Economics, Meteorology and Social Science) and a summary of the recommendations of the overall Curriculum Foundations project. It continues with the College Algebra Guidelines developed by CRAFTY and endorsed by CUPM, reports from a NSF supported college algebra project, and includes papers describing the results of efforts led by four different members of CRAFTY to improve college algebra, three at their home institutions and one with a consortium of HBCUs. Finally a set of recommendations for departments that are considering revitalizing college algebra are outlined. Revitalizing our introductory courses as proposed in the CUPM Curriculum Guide is not an easy task. The papers in this volume do not gloss over the difficulties, but instead are honest descriptions of efforts at a number of institutions and feature the ups and down of curricular development. CRAFTY believes that the volume will be a valuable tool for departments taking on this challenge.

Purchase a copy of Partner Discipline Recommendations for Introductory College Mathematics and the Implications for College Algebra or download a PDF copy.

This volume is a companion to Curriculum Foundations Project: Voices of the Partner Disciplines. It contains reports from the first series of disciplinary workshops organized by the Curriculum Renewal Across the First Two Years subcommittee of the Committee for the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics (CUPM).