Quantitative Literacy Program
In this current environment, quantitative reasoning skills are essential for all citizens to help them understand and critically evaluate information to make better-informed decisions. UTSA’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP): Quantitative Scholarship: From Literacy to Mastery addresses this critical need by providing students with quantitative skills through an enhanced curriculum through the Quantitative Literacy Program, which focuses on contextual learning that will help students succeed in this data-rich environment.
The mission and goals of the QLP are aligned with UTSA’s Strategic Plan and directly support the University’s first strategic initiative to be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing students to become citizen leaders for the global environment. The QLP also provides a structured framework within which to implement the recommendations of the UTSA Blue Ribbon Committee on the Undergraduate Experience that was charged with identifying the knowledge and skills that all UTSA undergraduates should have upon graduation.
The student learning goals of the QLP will help undergraduate students:
(a) Acquire basic quantitative literacy and numeracy skills
(b) Effectively communicate the results of their quantitative analysis
(c) Acquire discipline-specific advanced quantitative skills
The primary focus of enhancing student learning to develop quantitatively trained graduates is achieved through a well-designed curriculum that seamlessly integrates these skills in courses across the undergraduate curriculum. The curriculum redesign will adopt existing best practices for teaching and learning quantitative skills.
The first phase of the curriculum redesign plan will focus on courses in the University’s core curriculum. All first-time fulltime undergraduates at UTSA must complete forty two hours of core curriculum, therefore have the opportunity to see multiple applications of quantitative skills in a variety of different contexts. The second phase of the curriculum redesign will focus on courses at the upper-division level in disciplines where advanced mathematical, statistical, and computational tools are essential. Transfer students will have the opportunity to enroll in these upper-division courses or complete mandatory quantitative literacy workshops.
The implementation plan includes an intensive training program for faculty to help with course redesign and assessment. Faculty members participating in the QLP will receive summer support in the form of course development grants. The QLP also includes a detailed program of assessment and evaluation to ensure progress toward the vision and goals. The results of the assessments will be used to monitor the progress of the plan and make continuous improvements as needed.
The QLP has broad-based support across the University and represents a truly collaborative effort to increase the quality of the undergraduate education at UTSA. The University has committed $4 million of new funds over the five-year period, with a majority of the budget allocated for instructional support including faculty stipends and funds for Teaching Assistants. The administrative oversight will be provided by the Associate Vice-Provost for the QLP and the Core Curriculum, and the responsibility for the overall implementation will rest with the QLP Project Director. Over the next five years, the QLP will provide the organizational framework and resources for an institutional transformation to graduate a quantitative, informed citizenry consistent with the mission and vision of the University. The QLP envisions the creation of an exemplary program that will transform the campus environment to one where quantitative reasoning skills are ingrained in not only the curriculum, but also the culture of UTSA.