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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Computer and Mathematical Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: MATH 150
Course Title: College Algebra
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Fundamental algebraic concepts are examined in the context of real world applications. Linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic functions are explored with emphasis on their numerical, graphical, and algebraic properties. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in MATH 106 OR a score of 21 or higher on the math portion of the ACT (or if the ACT was taken before September 1989, a score of 20) OR a score of 500 or higher on the math portion of the SAT OR a passing score on the Columbia College math placement exam.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

Grade of C or higher in MATH 106 or a score of 21 or higher on the math portion of the ACT (or if the ACT was taken before September 1989, a score of 20) or  a score of 500 or higher on the math portion of the SAT or a passing score on the Columbia College math placement exam.

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall and Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

A TI-84 calculator is required for this course. This calculator will be allowed on most assessment opportunities in this course.

A variety of textbooks deal with the subject of college algebra. Most are satisfactory if they cover the areas under the Topical Outline and emphasize applications.  The Math faculty recommend:

College Algebra in Context
By Harshbarger and Yocco (Pearson)
Essentials of College Algebra with Modeling and Visualization
By Rockswold (Pearson)
Functions and Change
By Crauder (Cengage)
Course Objectives

  • To communicate mathematically in both written and verbal forms.
  • To reason with symbolic and graphical representations.
  • To use mathematics to solve real-world problems.
  • To use technology, such as graphing calculators and computers, to enhance mathematical understanding.
  • To understand intuitively and formally the mathematical idea of a function and its real world applications.

    Measurable Learning
    • Define functions as special types of relations.
    • Describe the concept of a function using numerical, graphical, verbal and symbolic perspectives.
    • Analyze characteristics of a function from its graph or table of values, such as long-term and extreme behavior.
    • Combine functions arithmetically and through composition.
    • Describe the fundamental concepts associated with inverse functions including the definition of one-to-one functions and the graphical interpretation of inverses.
    • Use technology to find lines of best fit and interpret the results.
    • Use lines and systems of linear equations to model real-world situations.
    • Solve systems of equations algebraically, graphically, and with technology.
    • Define exponential and logarithmic functions and use them to model real-world situations.
    • Solve equations with exponential and logarithmic expressions using properties of logarithms and technology.
    • Define polynomial functions and use them to model real-world situations.
    • Solve nonlinear equations using factoring and technology.
    • State the definition of complex numbers and their arithmetic rules.
    • Use technology to model data using quadratic regression.
    • Identify and interpret the vertex of a parabola using algebra and technology.
    • Define rational functions.
    • Identify and interpret the asymptotes of rational functions using algebra and technology.
    • Determine an appropriate function to model real world phenomena or events.
    • Interpret fundamental concepts of linear functions such as slope and intercepts.
    • Solve quadratic equations using factoring, the quadratic formula and technology.
    Topical Outline:
    • Connections to real-world applications should be incorporated throughout the coverage of the following topics:
    • Introduction to functions from numerical, graphical, symbolic and verbal perspectives
    • Functions as models for real-world phenomena
    • Analyzing graphs of functions
    • Algebra of functions
    • Composition of functions
    • Inverse functions
    • Lines and linear functions
    • Lines of best fit
    • Systems of equations
    • Exponential and logarithmic functions
    • Solving equations involving exponents and logs
    • Polynomials and polynomial functions
    • Finding zeros of polynomial functions using factoring and technology
    • Quadratic functions, equations and regression
    • Introduction to complex numbers
    • Rational functions and asymptotes

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Nataliya Latushkina Date: November 6, 2013
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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