quantitative literacy

Quantitative Literacy Across the Curriculum

Our program to expand QL across the curriculum is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, DUE # 0633133. This grant, running from 2007-2009, funds development of new courses, design of an assessment plan, travel to conferences for dissemination, but primarily faculty development. The core of faculty development is two summer workshops in which Colby-Sawyer faculty, plus several visitors from local colleges and universities, produced QL materials to be used in classes. The 2007 workshop included 24 participants representing 13 different disciplines who produced a variety of classroom projects that are available for use by other instructors.

Quantitative Literacy Resources

Collaborations in Quantitative Literacy

Three interrelated quantitative literacy events hosted by Colby-Sawyer College in 2008, including the National Numeracy Network's 4th Annual Meeting, brought educators and business representatives together to explore the current research and practices related to issues around students' QL skills. Read more about these events.

Curriculum Changes

In 2007-08, MAT 122 Liberal Arts math was converted into a QL course which emphasizes using mathematical skills in context. During Spring 2008, MAT 123 College Algebra, is being adapted to include more QL content.


To evaluate student progress in QL, we have designed three instruments: a quantitative skills test, a quantitative literacy skills test, and an attitude survey. These are administered in Pathway First Year Seminars, at the discretion of individual instructors, and again to seniors in their capstone courses, again when individual instructors are wiling to include it. In Fall 2007 about one third of our first-year students took the three tests.

We are also developing a QL component to be included in students' electronic portfolios that evaluates growth over students' college careers. The task is for students to identify an issue that affects us and collect data that describes the problem and potential solutions. The expectation is that in each year students would add a more sophisticated piece. This has been piloted in two of the mathematics courses in 2007-08.