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Transitional Math Resources for Educators

ECC works with the local school districts to provide high school seniors with the opportunity to increase their college and career readiness while in high school. Students who receive a C or better may enroll in a college-level math class when entering any Illinois community college or participating four-year post-secondary institution.

High school students who have not demonstrated college-level readiness as of their junior year can enroll in these courses during their senior year to strengthen their college preparation skills and future careers.

Need District 509 Resources?

Educators needing access to District 509 shared resources should contact the Dean’s office (see sidebar) to access the shared Transitional Math course resources.

According to district policies, instructors for transitional mathematics courses are high school math faculty assigned to teach Transitional Math. Illinois state guidelines require that transitional math instructors be qualified to teach high school mathematics through Illinois teacher credentials. However, teachers of transitional mathematics are provided with the following additional professional development opportunities:

  • Initial Transitional Math Teacher Orientation: Provided during the summer before teaching the course, this professional development session gives instructors an overview of the goals and purposes of transitional mathematics and opportunities to review collaboratively developed curricula and resources.
  • Ongoing Transitional Math Teacher Support: Both district-level math coordinators and college-level math professors provide ongoing support for transitional math teachers by reviewing course syllabi, district and school-level meetings, and other virtual supports.
  • Mid-Year and Year-End Transitional Math Teacher Professional Development Sessions: In January and May/June, transitional math teachers gather to review student success data and discuss successes and challenges with the transitional courses they teach. Through these sessions, educators collaborate to make needed course corrections and support teachers' development of additional resources.

Illinois PWR transitional math resources

Curriculum Resources

District 509, Transitional Math Resources

  • Through collaboration between Elgin Community College and school districts 300, 301, 303, and U-46, District 509 has created shared resources for Transitional Math teachers. These include:
    • Sample ECC and NIU course syllabi.
    • Information about math placement and course prerequisites at ECC.
    • Curriculum and course materials for each course.
  • Transitional Math teachers needing access to these resources can contact the Dean’s office (see sidebar).

"Portability" guarantees that students' college-readiness determination from successfully completing a transitional math course is equally valid at any community college in Illinois and participating four-year institutions. To maintain the benefit of portability for District 509 students, each transitional math course must:

  • Meet and maintain the PWR guidelines for the course.
  • Pass review by the District 509 Transitional Math Local Advisory Panel.
  • Pass review by the State Portability Panel (on first submission and every 5 years after that).

The District 509 Local Advisory Panel meets on an as-needed basis to review transitional math course materials to ensure ongoing portability. The LAP consists of representatives from ECC and its secondary partners in District 509 with representatives from the following institutions:

  • Elgin Community College
  • District U-46
  • District 300
  • District 301
  • District 303

Lessons Learned

  1. Postsecondary and secondary curriculum development processes differ in ways that can make collaboration challenging.
    1. At the high school level, teachers, curriculum specialists, and administrators are responsible for designing the curriculum and deploying it to teachers.
    2. At the postsecondary level, faculty are responsible for this work and move the new curriculum through the approval process.
    3. Secondary curriculum approval processes can take as long as two years, whereas college timelines are somewhat shorter.
  2. Developing consistent assessments across four school districts requires ongoing collaboration, trust-building, and honest discussions.
    1. We needed to make adjustments to the midterm and final assessments after the first administration.
    2. We needed to make adjustments to the answer keys and rubrics after the first administration of the midterm and final assessments.
    3. We needed to develop clearer expectations for consistency in the use of the rubric.
  3. Instructors benefit greatly from collaborating with one another to share ideas and solve problems.
    1. Transitional math teachers across school districts and community college math faculty learned from one another through new instructor training and ongoing professional development sessions.
    2. Instructors, like students, may not engage in optional training. If the collaboration and/or learning matters, make it required
    3. Labor agreement stipulations may require professional development opportunities to be planned a year or more in advance.

Transitional Math Courses Offered by District

The public education partners in Community College District 509 have collaborated to develop these three transitional math courses currently offered, as noted below, in all high school districts.

Current transitional math courses

  • Transition to College Algebra
  • Transition to Qualitative Literacy and Statistics
  • Transition to Technical Math


Amy Ingente

Current transitional math courses

  • Transition to College Algebra
  • Transition to Qualitative Literacy and Statistics


Jacquie Duginske

Current transitional math courses

  • Transition to College Algebra


AJ Piehl

Transitional math courses currently offered:

  • Transition to College Algebra
  • Transition to Qualitative Literacy and Statistics


Tina King

Shared Resources for Educators

Need District 509 resources? Educators needing access to shared resources can contact the Dean’s office (see sidebar).


Dean of College Transitions and Secondary Partnerships

Building G, Room G219