College Algebra

Course Details

Course Number: 1233  Section Number: 207

Spring 2012

Location: Bolin Hall

Classroom Number: 311

Days & Times:

MWF 2:00 - 3:20 p.m.

Course Attachments

Syllabus  Policies Richardson1233 Syllabus.pdf

Assignment Schedule  Assignment Calendar Richardson 1233-20120329-164916.pdf


A Graphical Approach to College Algebra
Hornsby Lial and Rockswold 5th edition. Hard copy optional; required MyMathLab includes e-copy access
MSU Faculty Member
Connie Richardson   
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Course Objectives

Goals for College Algebra

The main purpose of the College Algebra course (Math 1233) at Midwestern State University is to provide students with a solid foundation in algebra to adequately prepare them for future courses in mathematics, more precisely Plane Trigonometry or PreCalculus and subsequently Calculus I.  College Algebra is specifically designed for students seeking the Bachelor of Science degree, although some students in other fields take it as a terminal course.

 Goal 1: Problem solving

Students will further develop problem solving and logical reasoning skills through the investigation of real world situations, with an emphasis on model creation and interpretation.  This universal goal will be infused throughout the College Algebra curriculum.

 Goal 2: Functions and Equations

College Algebra will strengthen students’ mastery of algebraic and quantitative techniques necessary for problem solving and mathematical modeling in the study of other disciplines.

 Goal 3: Communication

College Algebra will improve students’ ability to communicate mathematical ideas clearly in oral and written form.

 Goal 4: Technology

College Algebra will develop students’ ability to use technology appropriately for understanding and doing mathematics.

 (The objectives for each goal are available upon request)

 These goals are modeled in part on the report from the Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics from the Mathematical Association of America.



Course Expectations


Email Policy:

A valid email account is required for the MML online homework program and for communications from the instructor.  You may use any personal email account or the account provided to you by MSU ( 



A graphing calculator is required for this course.  I will be using a TI-84Plus, however other brands or models are acceptable. MyMathLab is also a required portion of the course. 


Grading Standards


Homework is required and will be completed through MyMathLab (MML).  Your top 28 scores (out of 32 assignments) will be used in determining your homework percentage. This percentage will comprise 20% of your course grade.  Assignments must be submitted by 11:59 pm of the due date.  Any changes to the schedule will be announced in class and recorded on the MML website.  If there is a discrepancy between MML and the class calendar, the MML date is binding.

 There will be 4 exams, each worth 15% of your course grade, as well as a required comprehensive final exam worth 20%.  No make-up exams will be given.  Each student may replace the lowest exam grade with the earned percentage from the final exam.                        


% of points earned

Letter grade

90 – 100


80 – 89


70 – 79


60 – 69


Below 60


MyMathLab is installed in the computer labs in Bolin 103 and109, and in the Clark Student Center, Library, Dillard, and Bea Wood buildings.  You may also choose to use your personal computer; however, you will need to download (free) necessary plug-ins. Online homework problems may be printed, and the answers entered at a later time. Homework problems are also available from the book but these will not be graded.  The assigned problems represent a minimum number of problems to be worked.  You are strongly encouraged to work additional problems.

Final Exam5/9/2011  1:00 p.m.

Submission Format Policy

Tests:  Tests must be completed in class and within the time allotted.

HomeworkHomework must be completed online through the MyMathLab system. 

Free Math Help Sessions


Mondays through Thursdays 2-5 p.m. and Fridays 1-4 p.m.

Bolin Hall, Room 101

You can bring specific questions, or simply work on homework or reviews, asking questions as necessary.  This is also a good place for study groups to get together.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

TESTS:    The final exam (scaled appropriately) can be used to replace one low (or missed) test grade. 

HOMEWORK: Homework should be completed by the due date.  Homework completed after the due date, but prior to the test date, will earn no more than 70% credit.  The four lowest homework grades will be dropped and the remaining grades averaged to obtain a homework average.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements


You are expected to attend every class meeting, to be in your seat when class begins, and to remain (both physically and mentally) for the entire period.  If you miss a class, arrive late or leave early, please inform me of your need to do so.  A student who misses 4 classes may be dropped from this class with an “F”. 

Cell phones and pagers must be turned off and put away during class

Other Policies


Disability Policy:

In accordance with the law, MSU provides academic accommodations to students with documented disabilities.  Students with disabilities must be registered with Disability Support Services before classroom accommodations can be provided.  The DSS Office is located in Clark Student Center, Room 168, phone 397-4140.


Students should refer to the current MSU Student Handbook and Activities Calendar for university policies on academic dishonesty, class attendance, student rights and activities.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.