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College Algebra Syllabus

COURSE DESCRIPTION
Prerequisite: "C" grade or better in MTH 102 or MTH 103, or an approved score on a
departmental placement examination. Contents include the study of linear and quadratic
equations; inequalities, and their applications; polynomial, rational, exponential and logarithmic
functions; and systems of equations . A student who takes MTH 135 and MTH 138 receives
credit toward graduation for MTH 138 only. This course will not count toward a mathematics
major or minor. Assignment to the 3(3-0) version of the course is in the summer session only. A
grade of "C" or better is required in this course to take MTH 181, MTH 285, MTH 287. This
course may not be taken pass/not pass.

PHILOSOPHY OF THE COURSE
It is designed as a broad comprehensive overview of college algebra. Since the future needs of
students will vary, emphasis is placed on reasoning and problem solving.

PURPOSE OF THE COURSE
It is intended to satisfy the general education math requirement for degree seeking students, as
well as prepare students for subsequent courses such as MTH 181 (Trigonometry), MTH 285
(Calculus for Business and Social Sciences), and MTH 340 ( Statistical Methods ).

OUTCOMES OF THE COURSE
1. Use linear, rational, quadratic, and absolute value equations to solve word problems.

2. Use graphs to communicate solutions of both equations and inequalities – including linear,
quadratic, rational, and absolute value.

3. Understand the graphs of lines, circles, parabolas, rational functions , polynomial functions ,
absolute value functions , piecewise functions, exponential and logarithmic functions.

4. Work with functions – their domains, ranges and graphs – including composition of functions
and inverse functions.

5. Reason and communicate about exponential and logarithmic relationships while exploring
real work applications.

6. Solve systems of equations, both linear and nonlinear , in 2 or 3 variables.

7. Use knowledge of arithmetic and geometric sequences and series to interpret real world data.

8. Understand the Binomial Theorem and binomial expansions.

OUTLINE OF THE COURSE
Solving equations and inequalities, applications, functions and the difference quotient, equations
of lines and graphing linear equations, circles and parabolas , composition of functions and
inverse functions, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions and
equations, systems of equations and inequalities , arithmetic and geometric sequences and series,
binomial expansions.

Special Provisions on Dual Credit Classes

1. In order to enroll in MTH 135 College Algebra a student must meet one of the following
prerequisites: (a) receive an ACT Math score of 22 or higher; or (b) make an acceptable
score on the MSU Math Placement Test.

2. There will be a comprehensive two-hour final exam to be administered and graded by MSU
faculty. All students in a dual credit class must take the final exam. The final exam will be
counted as 25% of the course grade. At the same time, homework and quizzes should not
be counted for more than 15% toward the course grade. The remaining 60% (or more) will
be based on the regular tests given during the course.

3. The general grading scale is: A (90-100%); B (80-89%); C (70-79%); D (60-69%); F
(under 60%). The percentages refer to total points possible during the semester.

4. Since the comprehensive final is the only instrument used by the Mathematics Department
to measure a student’s overall understanding of the course material, the performance on
this exam should be reflected on the semester grade in a significant way . As a result, there
will be a minimum percentage required on the final exam to earn an appropriate MSU
semester grade. They are as follows.

Final grade in course Minimum grade on final
A 70%
B 60%
C 50%
D 40%

5. These minimum scores (in #4) are set reasonably low to avoid an adverse impact on
students. It must be emphasized that the minimum score requirement is in addition
to the usual 90%-80%-70%-60% scale mentioned above in determining an
appropriate MSU semester grade.

6. The Mathematics Department at MSU will monitor the final exam scores to ensure the
guidelines are followed. The Mathematics Head at MSU has the final authority for MSU
grades.

7. Scientific calculators will be allowed on the final. If it is desirable, a dual credit class may
request an alternate version of the final exam to allow the use of graphing calculators, with
the understanding that the memory of these graphing calculators must be cleared before the
final exam is administered. No TI 89/92 calculators or equivalent will be allowed.

8. The date for the final exam will be determined by the instructor and the MSU Mathematics
Department together.

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