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MAA National Studies of College Calculus


Insights and Recommendations from the MAA National Study of College Calculus

Insights and Recommendations from the MAA National Study of College Calculus (2015), edited by David Bressoud, Vilma Mesa, and Chris Rasmussen. This summary of results from the NSF-sponsored project, Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus, is available for free download as a PDF file.






The second project, begun in 2015, is Progress through Calculus (PtC, NSF DUE #1430540). This project broadens our study to the entire Precalculus through Calculus II sequence while focusing on cataloging the efforts currently underway to improve student success through this sequence and documenting what does and does not work in the actual implementation of these efforts.



University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, Minnesota, June 16–20, 2016

This conference shared insights gained from the MAA studies of calculus instruction, highlighted some of the many innovations now underway around the country, and facilitated networking of peer institutions that are seeking to improve student successes in precalculus and calculus. Materials from this conference, including presentation slides and a variety of resources can be found here

The networking of peer institutions is being facilitated through AAAS's Trellis. To get access to this network, please send a request to David Bressoud at



Beginning in 2009, the MAA, with support from the National Science Foundation, has undertaken a series of studies of college calculus. The first of these was Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus (CSPCC, NSF DRL #0910240) which undertook a national survey of Calculus I instruction and conducted multi-day case study visits to 20 colleges and universities with interesting and, in most cases, successful calculus programs.


Current and Former Principal Investigators and Senior Personnel:

  • Linda Braddy, Tarrant County College
  • David BressoudMacalester College
  • Marilyn Carlson, Arizona State University
  • Jessica Ellis, Colorado State University
  • Eric Hsu, San Francisco State University
  • Estrella Johnson, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  • Sean Larsen, Portland State University
  • Vilma Mesa, University of Michigan
  • Michael Pearson, Mathematical Association of America
  • Chris Rasmussen, San Diego State University

For more information, please contact David Bressoud, Project Director at

Support for this MAA program is provided by the National Science Foundation (grant DRL-0910240).