Co-Requisite at Scale Institute

Rhode Island has joined 15 states in committing to scale corequisite remediation by spring 2018. The Co-Requisite Remediation-at-Scale Institute will officially launch this initiative in which leading content experts will work one-on-one with faculty, staff, and administrators to develop goals and formulate an organized, manageable work plan on how we scale corequisite remediation and engage key stakeholders. 

CCA logoThursday, January 12, 2017
Community College of Rhode Island
Knight Campus, Room 4080
400 East Avenue, Warwick, RI


Co-requisite agenda


Content Expert Biographies

Bruce Vandal

As Senior Vice President for Results, Bruce Vandal directs the co-requisite remedial education reform strategy and provides key policy leadership on CCA’s completion agenda. Bruce directs several projects related to co-requisite remedial education reform and math pathways. Among them is the Scaling Co-Requisite Initiative funded by the Lumina Foundation and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation that is working with 15 states on efforts to scale co-requisite support for the vast majority of students who would otherwise be enrolled in traditional remediation.

Bruce also directs the Building Math Pathways into Programs of Study project, which is funded by the Lumina Foundation. The math pathways project is a collaboration with the Charles A. Dana Center that is working in six states to build differentiated math pathways that are fully transferable and apply to program requirements at all public postsecondary institutions in the participating states.

Before CCA, Bruce was the Vice President of Development and Outreach as well as the Director of the Postsecondary Education and Workforce Development Institute at the Education Commission of the States. Vandal directed Getting Past Go, a Lumina Foundation project that leveraged investments in remedial and developmental education to increase college attainment. He was the co-director of the Tennessee Developmental Studies Redesign Initiative, which was a partnership with the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) to reform developmental education courses at TBR institutions funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. He earned his Ph.D. in Education Policy and Administration with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration from the University of Minnesota.


Saundra King

As Assistant Vice President of Remediation and Innovation, Saundra King leads the remedial redesign effort, which includes the state-wide scale of co-requisite, custom assessment, and reform of math pathways. Ms. King has over 25 years of higher education experience, which has included assessment, advising, and curriculum development. Prior to Ivy Tech, she was the Director of Developmental Studies at Chattanooga State Community College, and served on the Tennessee Board of Regents Developmental Studies Redesign Task Force.

Teams will find Ms. King’s expertise helpful in:
• How to develop and guide a system wide reform process.
• How to create a systemic system for increasing gateway course success to include managing both the implementation of co-requisite models and differentiated math pathways.
• Reducing and aligning remedial sequences.
• Delivering and scaling co-requisite English and math.
• Building accountability and performance benchmarks for institutional assessment and evaluation.
• Providing professional development for faculty.
• Faculty involvement in statewide reform.
• Responding to legislative interest and action on remedial education reform.


Heidi Estrem

Heidi Estrem is professor of English and director of the first-year writing program at Boise State University. She also coordinates writing across the curriculum initiatives at her institution. Her research interests in first-year writing pedagogy, writing program administration, assessment, and instructor development and support have led to publications in Writing Program Administration, Rhetoric Review, Composition Studies, and several edited collections. Her forthcoming edited collection Retention and Persistence in Writing Programs (co-edited with Todd Ruecker, Dawn Shepherd, and Beth Brunk-Chavez) offers a variety of research-based perspectives on programs and initiatives designed to better support students in their initial college writing courses.

In the past four years, she and her colleagues from across Idaho have collaborated to implement co-requisite first-year writing courses and to reconsider writing placement processes at every institution in the state. Now, only one institution has a non-credit-bearing writing course. Most campuses have implemented or are implementing multiple-measures-based approaches to writing placement through customizing The Write Class for their campus. These two changes have resulted in increased student confidence and persistence as more students have immediate success in a critical gateway course.

Teams will find Dr. Estrem’s experience helpful in understanding:
• Implementation of a co-requisite English composition course at a 4-year institution.
• Use of the “101+” model for adding a credit on to a college-level course for those in need of additional support.
• How to build faculty buy-in for co-requisites.
• How to design a multi-measure self-placement system for students.
• How to build a grassroots movement for both placement and co-requisite support.

Michael Oehrtman


Michael Oehrtman is associate professor of mathematics and Noble Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning in Mathematics at Oklahoma State University, where he conducts research on teaching and learning in undergraduate mathematics. He collaborated on the development and validation of the Precalculus Concept Assessment (PCA) that is now used for research and evaluation purposes by hundreds of projects nationwide and served as the model for the current MAA Calculus Concepts Readiness Exam. His research on calculus students’ reasoning formed the foundation of Project CLEAR Calculus, which provides instructional materials and supports for coherent active learning in calculus. Dr. Oehrtman has served in numerous national leadership positions over the past decade and currently serves on the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Committee on the Teaching of Undergraduate Mathematics, which is developing an Instructional Practices Guide to disseminate research-based pedagogy in undergraduate mathematics. Dr. Oehrtman was co-PI for Project Pathways, an NSF Math and Science Partnership to develop and implement research-based support for secondary mathematics and science teachers, resulting in online textbooks, interactive materials, and teacher resources for college algebra and precalculus. He continues research on teacher professional development as PI on Project INFORMS MKT to study the mathematical knowledge teachers use throughout the planning, implementation, and assessment of their instruction. Dr. Oehrtman served as a consultant to the Charles A. Dana Center in their development of content guidelines for the STEM-Prep Pathway of the New Mathways Project. He is co-Chair of the Oklahoma Co-requisite Remediation Task Force and a member of the Executive Committee of the State Math Pathways Task Force.

Teams will find Dr. Oehrtman’s expertise helpful in understanding:
• Research foundations of new directions in curriculum and instruction for Algebra and Precalculus.
• Mathematical content needs for various math pathways.
• Building faculty consensus for a systemic approach to college mathematics reform.
• Collaboration with faculty across client disciplines to modify degree mathematics requirements.
• Working with advisors and administrators to build support for math pathways and co-requisite remediation.
• Use of data to drive decision-making in institutional and state planning processes.


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