College Algebra 1050

Text:   College Algebra 9th Ed., by Michael Sullivan, Addison Wesley, publisher

Introduction:   Welcome to College Algebra! Please read this syllabus carefully. We feel that it will answer most of the questions you may have about how MATH 1050 fits in with your goals as a student at Salt Lake Community College. Copies of a generic syllabus, homework exercises, course calendar, and lab assignments can be accessed at the Math Department home page. This course, along with MATH 1060, is intended to prepare students for a comprehensive course in Calculus and is required for a major in math, physics, chemistry, engineering, and computer science, as well as many of the life sciences.  MATH 1050 satisfies the QL graduation requirement in mathematics at SLCC.  MATH 1030 Quantitative Reasoning, MATH 1040 Statistics, and MATH 1090 College Algebra for Business Majors also satisfy QL graduation requirements. If you are not sure of the proper course for you, contact a representative in your major department at SLCC or your transfer institution.  If you have not chosen a major, contact your academic advisor.

Prerequisites:   This course is for students who have successfully completed an intermediate algebra course, such as MATH 1010, with a grade of C or better, or who otherwise qualify by virtue of acceptable CPT or ACT scores achieved within the past year. Substitutions for the intermediate algebra course include an ACT score of 23 or better, or a CPT score of at least 43 on the college algebra section.  If you do not have documentation for one of these prerequisites, you are advised to enroll in a math class more appropriate for your background.

Course Description: This course continues to explore, in greater depth, standard algebra topics many of which were addressed in MATH 1010.  Topics will include the following: 1) functions, including polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic; 2) systems of equations; matrices and determinants; partial fraction decomposition; 3) conics; and 4) sequences and series.


Course Objectives: The primary objective of College Algebra is for students to gain a theoretical and operational understanding of the college algebra topics listed above. Graphing technology, computers, and / or graphing calculators will be utilized to assist students in grasping these concepts. However, your performance will be measured primarily on your understanding of the concepts and your facility in doing symbolic operations rather than your ability to use technology to get answers.

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a theoretical understanding and manipulative facility of functions including polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic.
  • Apply algebraic skills to the formulation and solution of “real-world” application problems.
  • Represent equations and systems of equations graphically through the use of graphing technology, and to integrate the algebraic and graphic interpretation of these concepts.
  • Advance readily to higher-level math classes, Trigonometry and Calculus.


Student Code of Conduct: All students at SLCC must comply with the Student Code of Conduct:  In particular, note the Academic Standards on pages 38 and 39 with regards to cheating, misrepresentation, out-of-class work, and plagiarism. In compliance with this document, a student who is academically dishonest will receive an E for this course.  Also note the Disorderly Conduct sections on pages 16 and 17.

General Education Statement: This course fulfills the Quantitative Literacy (QL) requirement for the General Education Program at Salt Lake Community College. It is designed not only to teach the information and skills required by the discipline, but also to develop vital workplace skills and to teach strategies and skills that can be used for life-long learning. General Education courses teach basic skills as well as broaden a student’s knowledge of a wide range of subjects. Education is much more than the acquisition of facts; it is being able to use information in meaningful ways in order to enrich one’s life. While the subject of each course is important and useful, we become truly educated through making connections of such varied information with the different methods of organizing human experience that are practiced by different disciplines. Therefore, this course, when combined with other General Education courses, will enable you to develop broader perspectives and deeper understandings of your community and the world, as well as challenge previously held assumptions about the world and its inhabitants.

Withdrawal Policy:   Students may drop from the course through September 12, 2012. Students may withdraw from the course through October 26, 2012.  No withdrawals will be approved after that date.


Accommodations: Students with disabilities needing accommodations such as: accommodated testing, interpreting, note taking, taped textbooks, assistive technology, equipment, accessibility arrangements, etc., must contact the Disability Resource Center (Redwood College Center – Room 244 or South City Campus Room W138), 957-4659 (voice), 957-4646 (TTY), 957-4947 (FAX).


Attendance:  Class attendance is expected.  Regular attendance is essential to achieve satisfactory results.  It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of all material covered, tests dates, and assignment due dates.  Your instructor will outline specific attendance policies.


Class Schedule:  Attached is a schedule for this semester. This schedule will be followed as closely as possible.  However, some modifications may be necessary during the semester.  Your instructor will announce all modifications in class.


Materials:   A scientific calculator is allowed for the final.  You will do homework problems and project based labs, which require the use of graphing technology, whether web based or handheld.  Help in learning to use a graphing calculator (and some math software) is available in the math labs, which are located in SI 092 at Redwood, and W285 and N308 at South City Campus.  There is also “TI Graphing Calculator Help” linked to the department’s web page; click on “Resources for Student Success”.  In addition, your textbook has a graphing utilities appendix.

Calculators:   Scientific calculators with no more than a basic numeric store and recall memory are allowed on the final exam.

The following are prohibited on any in-class test, quiz, and the final exam:  graphing,  programmable, or calculators capable of symbolic manipulation, including the TI89, TI92, TI-Nspire, HP 48SX, HP 48GX, as well as other models and brands, computers, cell phones, and any other communication device that can connect to the internet.

Further, individual instructors may require that no calculator be used on all or a part of any in-class test or quiz.


Grading: The following standardized breakdown of weights used in the calculation of the course grade is a Math department policy.




A 100-93% C 76-73%



A- 92-90% C- 72-70%



B+ 89-87% D+ 69-67%

Final Exam


B 86-83% D 66-63%

For the exact distribution, consult your instructor.

B- 82-80% D- 62-60%


Exams: There will be four exams during the semester.  All exams after the first one will be on a cumulative basis. All examinations will be closed book and will be taken during a scheduled class period.  Full credit will be awarded on test problems only if your work can be readily followed and solutions are precise and clearly indicated.  No exam score will be dropped.


Homework:  Attached is a listing of practice exercises assigned for home study.  These exercises are considered the minimum required for a sufficient understanding of the material. Students are encouraged to work more exercises than those listed.  Regular practice is essential for success in mathematics; you should be prepared to spend at least two hours studying outside of class for each hour of class time. Homework problems are similar to the problems which will appear on course examinations and the final exam.


Project-Based Labs: The project-based labs will be made available by your instructor.  These projects are designed to allow the student to examine “real-world” applications using technology as a tool.  Your instructor is required to assign at least 2 specific projects.


General Education ePortfolio: Each student in General Education courses at SLCC will maintain a General Education ePortfolio. Instructors in every Gen Ed course will ask you to put at least one Project-Based Lab assignment from the course into your ePortfolio, and accompany it with reflective writing.  It is a requirement in this class for you to add to your ePortfolio.  Your ePortfolio will allow you to include your educational goals, describe your extracurricular activities, and post your resume.  When you finish your time at SLCC, your ePortfolio will then be a multi-media showcase of your educational experience.

For detailed information including a Student ePortfolio Handbook, video tutorials for each ePortfolio platform, classes, locations and times of free workshops and other in-person help, visit

Final Exam:  See the Fall 2012 Class Schedule for class final exam times. The final will be a standardized department examination emphasizing topics listed under the course objectives.  It is an SLCC Math Department policy that students attaining a score of less than 60% on the final shall receive a grade no higher than “D” for the course.


Additional Assignments:  Your instructor, throughout the course, may assign additional brief written assignments, group exercises, or computer projects.


Permanent Folder: To minimize the possibility of computer or human error all graded homework, bonus quizzes, and exams should be kept in a folder until you have received your final grade for the course.


Posting of Grades:  Grades will not be posted except through the Internet. Students who want early notification of their final grades should provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope or postcard at the end of the course.

Extra Help: College Algebra is a challenging course, but the methods for success are simple: read the text, participate in class, and keep up on assignments.  Many students find that forming study groups with other students is a very effective way for them to master mathematics.  If you need extra help, free tutoring is available in the Learning Centers (phone 957-4172) at Redwood TB-213, South N308, and Jordan Rm. 102. A list of private tutors who may be hired is available in the Learning Centers.  It is also recommended that students peruse the “Resources for Student Success” link from the math department web page.


Resources for Student Success:  Please visit the math department web site at: .  On the left of the screen, click on Resources for Student Success.  This page contains a wealth of valuable information!  Learn about workshops, tutoring, software, videos, and web sites that are all designed to help you succeed in MATH 1050.  Finally, read and be aware of the regulations set forth in the current Schedule and the SLCC college catalog.  Please see your instructor ASAP about any problems that are affecting your work in this class.

SLCC is committed to fostering and assessing the following student learning outcomes in its programs and courses:

Acquiring substantive knowledge in the field of their choice

Developing quantitative literacies

Developing the knowledge and skills to be civically engaged

Thinking critically

Communicating effectively

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