A streamlined pathway to college
Few make it thorugh the conventional path
Before Excel Together West Virginia, the road to a college degree was daunting for many West Virginians, and especially scary was the general education college math requirement. Looking at the diagram, to fulfill the requirement, a high school dropout with 4th to 6th grade math skills would need to:
- take a HiSET (high school equivalency / WV's GED) course, and then take the HiSET test -- most will fail the first time and have to take the course multiple times,
- then take the ACCUPLACER or ACT college placement test -- most will place into developmental education,
- then take multiple semesters of developmental education,
- then take the required college math course - about half would fail, and need to retake the course
Only after all of this would they be ready to take the healthcare or IT courses that they came to college for! Just a few percent of students ever will complete these hurdles.
Note that nearly half of high school graduates have 4th to 6th grade math skills, who then have to face all of these hurdles except for the HISET test.
CSM's streamlined path eliminates these hurdles
With Excel Together West Virginia, anyone can fulfill their college math requirement at many colleges simply by taking CSM! All colleges in the West Virginia Community and Technical College System and West Virginia University (WVU) accept the CSM Certificate as math credit that satisfies the general education math requirement for an associate or bachelor's degree. CSM is designed with built-in deep remediation and is extraordinarily supportive. This transforms college access and completion for both students and adults across the state.
And while dual credit is a powerful means of opening college for high school students, it is unavailable where schools/parents can't afford the cost for college credits, where there is no instructor who is college-qualified instructor, or where the students haven't placed into college. CSM circumvents these issues, opening to more high schools and adult education and workforce programs the opportunity of offering a college math course.
Excel Together West Virginia is a single initiative that rallies the community in shared purpose, commitment, effort and accomplishment.
Whether you're a local non-profit, a school district, a 4-year college, a city or county government, an employer, or other, there are ways to participate, with benefits for the organization, for its employees or the people that it serves, and for its community.
- High schools can incorporate CSM into their curriculum so their students graduate with college math credit that will vastly increase their chances of college success (and save hundreds of dollars) and a certificate that excites employers. Schools can use CSM as class for the 4th year of mathematics (satisfying the high school graduation requirements), as a college-prep class, for students in credit recovery, as a CTE class, in an after-school or summer program, etc.
- Employers can recognize the value of the CSM Certificate in hiring to gain access to a higher quality workforce, or as a workforce development strategy in partnership with schools, adult education, or local nonprofits. Additionally, the the CSM Course can be used internally for employee upskilling, as preparation for rigorous training programs, for promotion transitions, or as part of tuition assistance programs.
- Colleges can articulate CSM for college math credit, opening a pathway from adult education and schools. Colleges can also use CSM as a pre-college bridge course, as a regular math course/curriculum, as a course for students on probation, as a college stop-out recovery program, and more.
- Community organizations can use CSM for postsecondary transition, HiSET preparation, as a bridge to rigorous workforce training programs (including technical apprenticeships), as an employability skills workforce course, as a skills program for formerly incarcerated, as part of a drug rehabilitation program, as an afterschool or summer youth college and career readiness program, etc.
- City / county governments can use CSM as a combined workforce and economic development program, as a summer youth program, as a community uplift program, and to locally coordinate all of the activities in this section.