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REL Pacific
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Mathematics Transition Course Trainings in the CNMI


REL Pacific is working collaboratively with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Alliance for College and Career Readiness and Success to design and implement a mathematics transition course intended to help prepare students in the CNMI to enter and pass credit-bearing math courses at the college level.

The partnership is concerned that many students in the Pacific complete the requirements for high school graduation but are deemed unprepared for credit-bearing courses upon entry to college and are instead placed into developmental courses. A recent REL Pacific study indicated that more than 90 percent of recent CNMI high school graduates were placed into developmental math courses instead of credit-bearing courses, which can prolong the amount of time spent in postsecondary education and lead to lower retention and graduation rates. When students are placed into credit-bearing courses rather than developmental or remedial courses, on the other hand, they are more likely to persist through college and graduate on time.

During trainings and coaching in the CNMI, REL Pacific provides participants with information regarding evidence-based math transition course design approaches and helps build their understanding of design principles for transition courses, plan a continuous-improvement approach to course design, and design effective transition course materials.

REL Pacific has completed several trainings to date in the CNMI, with more to come. Participants in the training sessions include representatives from the CNMI Public School System (PSS), Northern Marianas College (NMC), and Mount Carmel private school, as well as the Commissioner of Education and the NMC Vice President of Learning and Student Success.


Max Altman

Max Altman, managing researcher, provides research and consultation support for a variety of projects under the REL Pacific contract, primarily in the areas of early literacy and college and career readiness and success. Max holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Secondary Education/Mathematics from Vanderbilt University. Contact Max at or call 1.808.664.8179.

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