New math classes may offer options

Derek Lenehan

Two new algebra Liberal Education Requirements will likely be available to students for Fall 2007, upon approval by the Board of Trustees.

The two courses, Modeling Algebra and Algebra for Calculus, are being offered as alternatives to College Algebra.

Larry Andrews, dean of the Honors College, proposed the change to Faculty Senate on Monday, where it was passed by a large majority.

“The problem we’re trying to solve is normally there is a pre-calc component in College Algebra, which some students struggle with,” he said.

Andrews said that College Algebra will still be offered, as some major programs still require it.

“Though, it might be phased out in the future,” he said.

Modeling Algebra is to focus more on practical applications of algebra, for students who need to fill an algebra requirement for their major. Algebra for Calculus is meant to prepare students for higher courses in Calculus.

Beverly Reed, mathematics lecturer, said that the idea of providing the new courses is not a new one.

“We’ve been toying with the idea for a long time, knowing the majority of our students don’t continue on to Intuitive Calc,” she said.

Reed also said that the mathematics department has been experimenting with the change for six semesters, with both faculty and students, though it has been more of a faculty-driven change.

Donald White, associate professor of mathematics, also said the change has been considered in the past.

“It’s been an issue for a while. Two-thirds of people in 11011 were not going on to Calculus,” he said, referring to College Algebra’s course code.

White said that there are similarities between Algebra for Calculus and College Algebra, though there is enough of a difference to warrant a new course.

“It’s really geared towards Pre-calc,” he said. “Though it’s not terribly different from 11011.”

Contact academic affairs reporter Derek Lenehan at [email protected]