Cleveland State and Chattanooga State Recipients of the First Bellwether Legacy Award

Posted on February 04, 2014

CLEVELAND,  Tenn. – Cleveland State Community College and Chattanooga State Technical Community College were recently awarded the first-ever Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) sponsored Futures Assembly Legacy Award for their joint program, Do the Math: Solving the Nation’ Math Problems. This was announced Wednesday during the 20th Anniversary Community College Futures Assembly, held at the Lake Buena Vista Hilton in Orlando, Florida. The Do the Math program was selected in part because of its acceptance and adoption as a viable model at other community college campuses throughout the country.
  Past Bellwether Award winners were invited to self-nominate for Legacy Award consideration based upon at least five years of demonstrated success of the previously recognized program. (Cleveland State won the 2009 Bellwether Award in Instructional Programs and Services.)
  Legacy Award nominees were asked to address the following criteria:
  1. Identify the issue or challenge that this leading edge program or activity was designed   to address.
  2. Describe the process, timeline, participants, and resources required to implement the program or activity.
  3. Specify the results and/or impact.
  4. Elaborate on lessons learned for colleges considering a replication of this initiative.

    Karen Wyrick, Cleveland State Math Department Chair, said, “We were really excited about this. We all realize what a great program this is and now we have been recognized for its success.  Also, this is a great way for Dr. Hite to end his career at Cleveland State. He has always supported the Math Department and this redesign, so I was especially happy that we won this while he was able to be a part of it.”
  In Spring 2008, Cleveland State Community College implemented Do the Math by redesigning its developmental math courses as part of a Tennessee Board of Regents developmental studies redesign initiative.  However, the college math department did not stop with the developmental math courses. They proceeded to redesign college math courses as well, including College Algebra, Finite Math, and Statistics in Fall 2008, and Precalculus I & II, Business Calculus, and Applied Trigonometry in Spring 2009. The initial results, which have been sustained for over five years and verified by external studies, were impressive enough to merit the 2009 Bellwether Award in Instructional Programs and Services. 
  In Fall 2009, Math Chair John Squires moved to Chattanooga State Community College as Math Department Head, where he immediately implemented Do the Math.  The impact of Do the Math at both Cleveland State and Chattanooga State has been impressive.  At Cleveland State, developmental math success rates went from 51% to 70%, and college math success rates went from 71% to 76%.  At Chattanooga State, developmental math success rates went from 48% to 65% and college math success rates went from 66% to 74%.  Both colleges now have more students enrolled in college math than in developmental math, and that was not the case before the redesign project began.
  John Squires, Chattanooga State Math Department Head, said, “It’s a great honor to receive the Bellwether Legacy Award.  We started Do the Math at Cleveland State, have now implemented it at Chattanooga State, and it has been replicated at colleges around the nation as well.  The positive impact the program has made on students has been great to see.”
  Do the Math has become one of the most recognized math redesign programs in the nation.  It has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, cited by President Obama in a speech on higher education, and mentioned in blogs and articles from several national organizations such as The Education Commission for the States.
  Dr. Bill Seymour, Cleveland State President, said, “I am very proud of my colleagues at Cleveland State for obtaining such a prestigious honor. The Legacy Award is a testament to the commitment our faculty and staff have to providing a quality educational experience and supporting Governor Haslam's Drive to 55 initiative.”
  Do the Math is now being implemented in high schools throughout Tennessee. Initially, Chattanooga State received a TBR Grant of $117,000 and Cleveland State received a $40,000 TCASN Grant to work with their local high schools to introduce the developmental math redesign in the senior year of high school.  This was then followed by a $1.1 million grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to spread the program statewide.  In its first year this project, known as SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support), is impacting 114 high schools and over 6,000 students.  This project was featured in Inside Higher Education in Fall 2013 and is already gaining national attention and garnering interest for replication.
  For more information on the Legacy and Bellwether Awards programs, visit
. About ACCT
Founded in 1972, the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is the nonprofit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees of community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. ACCT's purpose is to strengthen the capacity of community, technical, and junior colleges and to foster the realization of their missions through effective board leadership at local, state, and national levels. For more information, visit Follo.w ACCT on Twitter at
About the Community College Futures Assembly
The Community College Futures Assembly has been held annually in Lake Buena Vista, Florida at the Hilton Hotel and serves as an independent policy summit, to identify the critical issues facing community college leaders. For 20 years, the Community College Futures Assembly has recognized and promoted cutting-edge, trendsetting programs that other colleges might find worthy of replicating.

Noah Brown, ACCT President and CEO; Dr. Carl Hite, former President, Cleveland State Community College; Karen Wyrick, Math Department Chair, Cleveland State; John Squires, Math Department Head; Chattanooga State Technical Community College; and Dale Campbell, Director of CCFA.