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Funding looks to close the 'math gap' for Central Valley colleges

23ABC's Ava Kershner looked into what schools in Kern are amping up their resources to help high school students learn college math.
Taft College (FILE)
Posted at 9:11 AM, Mar 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-09 12:11:54-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Taft, Ridgecrest, Tehachapi, and the Kern River Valley. These are some of the areas targeted in a dual enrollment math project aimed to connect what community college staff say is a gap.

“So there is a huge gap for the math, specifically for the underrepresented groups like Black, African American, and Latinos,” explained Armin Rashvand, the Taft College dean of instruction.

The community colleges involved in the program also include Madera, Reedley, West Hills, Columbia, and in Kern, Taft, and Cerro Coso. These areas are still feeling the impact of pandemic enrollment decreases.

Armin Rashvand, Taft College Dean of Instruction (FILE)

“After COVID hits, our number of enrollments lost especially for those smaller colleges. We are one of the smaller colleges in the area,” said Rashvand.

There are multiple ways to receive college credits in high school, including dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment.

Dual enrollment includes the college classes being brought to the high school while concurrent involves the high school student going to the campus or taking the college level education online.

Director of the College Bridge Program, Lynn Cevallos says that either way they get credits.

Bringing math up to a higher priority is important, especially for those at the high school level.

Lynn Cevallos, Director of the College Bridge Program

“As a community, as a country, we just all hear people say 'oh I wasn't good at math, I’m bad at math' and we just say that’s just acceptable for some reason in our society. To just be like 'oh ya math.'”

The high schools participating in the dual enrollment math bridge project will be published in May.