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Math Pathways Information

Purpose of Math Pathways

The purpose of Math Pathways is not to provide less math content, but to expose students to the branches of mathematics that will be most applicable to their degree.

College Algebra (Precalculus Algebra), which has been the math requirement regardless of intended major or program, does not introduce areas of mathematics such as geometry, statistics, probability, combinatorics, logic, or applied mathematics that students could find useful in their chosen careers.  The goal is to give students the opportunity to learn different branches of rigorous mathematics.  They will now have the choice of Precalculus Algebra, Statistics, and Quantitative Reasoning to help prepare them with the math required for their degree.

We at MACC know that the new math requirement options can be confusing and, in some cases, overwhelming. Read through this FAQ to learn more. Each student situation is unique and we are here to help you make the best decision - connect with an MACC advisor today to learn more about your next steps: http://www.macc.edu/academic-advising-m.

 

Frequently Asked Questions: (Click on question for answer)

Q: Why is the math requirement changing?

A:  As would be expected in today’s rapidly-changing world, faculty and staff involved in all levels of education engage in ongoing discussion and analysis related to the curriculum across all disciplines. Nationwide discussions about math have taken place over the last several years. These discussions have centered around ensuring that all students have access to rigorous math pathways that align with their chosen field.

Q: Is this change only for MACC students?

A:  Math faculty leaders around the nation agree that College Algebra has one purpose – to prepare students to take Calculus. In 2014, Missouri was one of six states selected to participate in “Building Math Pathways to Programs of Study.” Institutions throughout the state of Missouri are exploring and implementing math pathways to ensure that all students have access to math courses that are applicable to their chosen field.

Q: What degree goes to each pathway?

A: Your degree requirements will determine which math pathway course you will need to complete. Each Associate of Applied Science degree or Certificate program will have a specific math course requirement and this requirement will be noted on your academic map. The transfer degrees at MACC will also have specific requirements. For example:

Associate of Arts: While any pathway is acceptable for your AA degree, it will be important for you to research your transfer program’s requirements so you will not take unneeded courses; for example, the University of Missouri’s Psychology Department requires Precalculus Algebra (College Algebra) for the Bachelor of Science degree and Statistics for the Bachelor of Arts degree. It is anticipated that the following disciplines will require the indicated math pathway:

Precalculus Algebra (College Algebra): Business, Science, Technology, Math Elementary Statistics: Social Sciences (i.e., Psychology, Sociology, etc.) Quantitative Reasoning: Humanities (i.e., Art, Theatre, Philosophy, etc.)

Associate of Science: Pre-engineering students advance to Calculus I by completing Precalculus or Precalculus Algebra and Precalculus Trigonometry.

Associate of Arts in Teaching: Students pursuing a teaching degree are required to complete Precalculus Algebra.

Q: How do I know which math course I should take?

A:  Each student situation is unique. MACC’s academic advisors will help you to make sure you are taking the math class that is most appropriate for your degree path and your field of study. If you plan to transfer to complete your bachelor’s degree it will be important that you connect with your intended transfer institution to learn which math course is required for your major.

Q: What is Quantitative Reasoning?

A:  This course focuses on math literacy and problem solving skills. MACC’s Math Department faculty are currently developing this new course with plans to offer it for the first time in the Spring 2018 semester.

Q: Why is “College Algebra” changing to “Precalculus Algebra”?

A:  The name is changing to better fit the purpose of the course which is to prepare students for Calculus.

Q: When will each of the pathways be in place?

A:  Two of the pathways, College Algebra and Statistics, are currently offered at MACC; the name of College Algebra will change to Precalculus Algebra beginning with the Spring 2018 semester. Quantitative Reasoning will be offered for the first time in the Spring 2018 semester.

Q: What is a “corequisite” course?

A:  A corequisite course design enables students who do not place directly into Quantitative Reasoning or Statistics to enroll in these courses, while also enrolling in an accompanying corequisite course designed to help them develop the skills needed to be successful. For example, if your ACT or Accuplacer scores are just below the required score to enroll in Statistics, you can enroll in the Statistics Corequisite course AND the Statistics course during the same semester. This model enables you to complete your math requirement in one semester, rather than taking one semester to complete the prerequisite and a second semester to complete the required math pathway. The same faculty member teaches both the college-level course and the corresponding corequisite course. The corequisite course for Precalculus Algebra is currently offered, while corequisite courses for Statistics and Quantitative Reasoning will be first offered in Fall 2018.

Q: I attended MACC several years ago and would like to return now to complete my Associate of Arts degree. How do I know which math class to take?

A:  Any of the three pathways will satisfy the requirement for an Associate of Arts degree. If you plan to transfer to complete your bachelor’s degree it will be important that you connect with your intended transfer institution to learn which math course is required for your major.

Q: What if I have taken College Algebra a couple of times and failed it? Will these courses stay on my transcript even if I take another math pathway?

A:  Yes, but taking a different pathway may help you complete your degree program.