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Course Syllabus

Course: MATH 1050

Division: Natural Science and Math
Department: Mathematics
Title: College Algebra

Semester Approved: Fall 2020
Five-Year Review Semester: Summer 2026
End Semester: Spring 2026

Catalog Description: College Algebra is designed to prepare students for trigonometry and calculus. In this course students will study several types of functions including polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions. Additional topics may include graphing technology, sequences and series, conic sections, matrices, modeling, and the binomial theorem.

General Education Requirements: Quantitative Literacy (MA)
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 4; Lecture: 4; Lab: 0

Prerequisites: MATH 1010 or equivalent with a C or better course grade, ACT Math score 23 or higher, or appropriate placement test score. Prerequisite score or class must have been completed within the last two years or student must (re-)take placement test.

Justification: Math 1050 is the college algebra course providing the material for many students in various STEM majors. It also accomplishes the objective sof the State of Utah Quantitative Literacy requirement for those seeking an AS degree. This course is similar to courses offered at other institutions in the state.

General Education Outcomes:
1: A student who completes the GE curriculum has a fundamental knowledge of human cultures and the natural world. Mathematics is the language used by many fields and almost every culture to communicate about events and processes that occur in the natural world. Much of this language is rooted in the topics covered in this course. Students will learn how apply the mathematics taught to explain and evaluate processes that occur in various fields such as biology, geology, chemistry and others. The application of mathematics to natural phenomenon will be assessed through the use of applying formulas to real world applications found in quizzes, homework, or exams.

2: A student who completes the GE curriculum can read and research effectively within disciplines. In the field of Mathematics, students must be able to carefully examine a given problem then determine and execute a plan for solving the problem. Often the information given is presented using symbols and variables the student must be able to read and interpret mathematically within the context of the given problem. In addition to learning new concepts, College Algebra students are taught ways to express their new understanding using various mathematical symbols. This ability to read, retrieve, evaluate, interpret, and deliver mathematical information will be evaluated using homework, quizzes, or exams.

3: A student who completes the GE curriculum can draw from multiple disciplines to address complex problems. In this course, students are expected to develop their ability to analyze a problem, determine an appropriate approach to solve the problem, and then apply their approach to reach a reasonable solution. As they learn new skills to solve mathematical problems, they are also shown how those skills can be used to solve real life problems through a variety of application problems (often called story problems). Exposure to these problems allows students to see how math plays a part in everyday life. The skills developed will be necessary for the students as they continue on in their studies of the sciences. This ability to apply a mathematical solving process to solve a real world application problem involving multiple disciplines will be assessed through quizzes, homework, or exams.

4: A student who completes the GE curriculum can reason analytically, critically, and creatively. To be able to solve a mathematical problem a student must first examine what information is given, determine what information is needed, decide what process will best fit the problem to arrive at a conclusion, and then finally decide if the answer reached is reasonable. Through this course students are taught to reason analytically, critically and creatively about different math processes and facts. This ability is assessed using quizzes, homework, or exams.

6: A student who completes the GE curriculum can reason quantitatively.  The ability to reason logically about quantitative values is important to this college algebra course. Students are taught to analyze the numerical results of the equations, inequalitites, and application problems they solve to decide if they violate any of the constraints of the problem as well as whether or not the answer is reasonably accurate in context of the application. The ability to reason logically about quantitative results will assessed through the use of homework, quizzes, or exams.

General Education Knowledge Area Outcomes:
1: Given graphs or equations representing real world information, students will be able to identify critical values such as zeros, intercepts, or maximum and minimum values and explain what they mean in terms of the situation given.This outcome will be assessed through homework, quizzes, or exams. Given graphs or equations representing real world information, students will be able to identify critical values such as zeros, intercepts, or maximum and minimum values and explain what they mean in terms of the situation given.This outcome will be assessed through homework, quizzes, or exams.

2: Convert relevant information into various mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, and tables). Students will be asked to make, recognize and write equations for graphs given. They will also be asked to identify properties of graphs given an equation or table. This outcome will be assessed through homework, quizzes, or exams.

3: Demonstrate the ability to successfully complete basic calculations to solve problems. Students will be given problems to complete that involve using calculations learned both in previous classes and in the current course as they apply to polynomial, rational, exponential,and logarithmic equations. The ability to solve problems using these calculations will be assessed through homework, quizzes, or exams.

4: Demonstrate the ability to problem solve using quantitative literacy across multiple disciplines. Make judgments and draw appropriate conclusions based on quantitative analysis of data, recognizing the limits of this analysis. Examples and applications used in this course will come from mulitple disciplines such as economics, nutrition, and various areas of science. Students are asked to analyze information from these areas using techniques taught in College Algebra. This outcome will be assessed through homework, quizzes, or exams.

5:  Students will demonstrate their ability to express quantitative evidence in support of their conclusions to questions presented in this class by showing their step-by-step calculations used to solve given problems. This outcome will be assessed through the grading of homework, quizzes, or exams.


Student Learning Outcomes:
Throughout mathematics, theorems are used to understand why a process will achieve the desired outcome. Students will learn various theorems as they go through this course and will learn new methods of solving problems that result.  As they understand these theorems and the solving methods, they will be able demonstrate their ability to solve problems using those methods on their homework, quizzes, or exams.

Students preparing to study calculus, or other classes requiring College Algebra as a prerequisite, will be expected to be familiar with many common functions as well as basic features of their graphs (such as polynomial, rational, exponential,and logarithmic functions).  The students' ability to graph and identify features of common functions will be demonstrated on homework, quizzes, or exams.

As students learn new mathematical skills, they will also be given opportunities to apply those skills to solve real world problems (often referred to as story problems).  This ability of students to apply mathematical skills learned in the course will be assessed using homework, quizzes, or exams.

As students continue to learn new mathematical concepts, they will also be expected to both understand and use the language of mathematics to communicate those concepts.  Students' ability to understand and use mathematics as a language to communicate will be demonstrated and assessed via quizzes, homework, or exams.

Students will be expected to use technology (most often in the form of graphing calculators) in order to deepen understanding and mastery of mathematical concepts.  The ability to explore and analyze mathematical concepts with the aid of appropriate technology will be assessed using homework, quizzes, or exams.


Content:
Through lecture, instruction, and various other methods, this course may include any of the following topics:
• polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions
• analyzing graphs
• solving polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic equations
• solving systems of equations and inequalities
• exploring the use of matrices
• graphing and analyzing conic sections
• using sequences and series
• introduction to the Binomial Theorem

Key Performance Indicators:
Student learning may be evaluated using:

Homework ( 5 - 25%) 5 to 25%

Quizzes (0 - 20%) 0 to 20%

Midterms or Chapter Tests (20 - 70%) 20 to 70%

Attendance and/or Participation (0 - 10%) 0 to 10%

Presentations/Projects (0 - 20%) 0 to 20%

Comprehensive Final Exam (20 - 35%) 20 to 35%


Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Miller/Gerken: College Algebra, current edition


Pedagogy Statement:
Course content will be taught through lecture and class discussion.

Instructional Mediums:
Lecture

IVC

Online

Maximum Class Size: 36
Optimum Class Size: 25