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Basic Algebra Course Description

Approved Course Competencies:
Upon completion of this course, the student can:
1. Apply properties of real numbers.
2. Perform conversions within and between U.S. Customary and the International
System (SI-metric) of units.
3. Simplify and evaluate algebraic expressions using the order of operations.
4. Use the properties of integer exponents.
5. Perform operations with powers of 10, scientific and engineering notations, and
units of measurement.
6. Simplify and evaluate square and cube roots.
7. Add, subtract, and multiply polynomials.
8. Divide a polynomial by a monomial.
9. Solve linear equations and inequalities.
10. Solve literal equations for variables of power 1.
11. Solve problems using direct and inverse variations.
12. Plot points in the rectangular coordinate system and graph linear equations using
slope and y-intercept.
13. Calculate the third side of a right triangle using the Pythagorean Theorem.
14. Translate verbal statements into mathematical equations and solve.
15. Calculate and solve applied problems of the perimeter, circumference, area,
volume, and surface area.
16. Factor the greatest common factor from a polynomial; factor simple trinomial of
the form x^2 + bx + c; factor difference of two squares.
17. Solve applied problems using these competencies with real world

General Education Competencies:
I. Communicate Effectively
1. Read and listen with comprehension.
2. Speak and write clearly using standard English.
3. Interact cooperatively with others using both verbal and non-verbal means.
4. Demonstrate information processing through basic computer skills.

II. Think Critically
1. Make connections in learning across the disciplines and draw logical conclusions.
2. Demonstrate problem solving through interpreting, analyzing, summarizing, and/or
integrating a variety of materials.
3. Use mathematics to organize, analyze, and synthesize data to solve a problem.

III. Learn Independently
1. Use appropriate search strategies and resources to find, evaluate, and use
2. Make choices based upon awareness of ethics and differing perspectives/ideas.
3. Apply learning in academic, personal, and public situations.
4. Think creatively to develop new ideas, processes, or products.

V. Examine Relationships in Diverse and Complex Environments
1. Recognize the relationship of the individual to human heritage and culture.
2. Demonstrate an awareness of the relationship of the individual to the biological and
physical environment.
3. Develop an awareness of self as an individual member of a multicultural global

Class Objectives: To introduce the student to principles of algebra.
Course Outline:
Algebraic Expressions
Simplify expressions using properties of exponents.
Evaluate variable expressions.
Simplify variable expressions using the property of real numbers and the order of

Translate verbal expressions into variable expressions.

Solve linear equations in one variable.
Translate verbal problems into equations and solve.
Solve literal equations with variables of power 1.
Solve application problems using direct variation.
Solve application problems using inverse variation.
Solve applications of linear equations.

Polynomials and Exponents
Define and use properties of integral exponents.
. Add, subtract, and multiply polynomials.
Divide a polynomial by a monomial.

Factor the greatest common factor from a polynomial,.
Factor a simple trinomial of the form x^2 + bx + c.
Factor difference of two squares.

Different Notations
Perform arithmetic operations with powers of 10.
Write numbers in scientific and engineering notation.
Multiply and divide numbers in scientific and engineering notation.
Add, subtract, multiply, and divide numbers with measurements of units.

Simplify square roots.
Evaluate square roots.
Simplify and evaluate cube roots.
Calculate the third side of a right triangle using the Pythagorean Theorem.

Linear Inequalities
Solve linear inequalities in one variable.
Graph solutions.

Plot points in the plane.
Graph linear equations using the slope and y-intercept

Course Structure:
This course will consist of a lecture on each new topic, discussion of material
including questions from students and explanation from the instructor, homework
assignments, quizzes, three unit exams and a comprehensive final.

Technology/Media Component:
Videotapes are available in the library for students to check out. Students are also
encouraged to use the HM tutorial CD software included with the textbook. Simple
calculators are allowed, but not necessary.

Course Requirements & Evaluation/Grading Policy:
All homework assignments will be announced in class.
There is a direct correlation between the amount of time spent on homework and a
student’s success on the exams. Specific problems encountered by students in doing the
assignments will be discussed in class or during office hours.

Grading Policy:

Homework/Worksheets 10 %
Exam I 15 %
Exam II 15 %
Exam III 15 %
Exam IV 15 %
Final Exam 30 %

Your grade will be determined by four exams, each worth 15% of your final grade
and a comprehensive final worth 30%. In-class worksheets will be given and
collected for 10 %. NO worksheets will be collected later than one week from the
date on that worksheet. Extra credit projects will be available.

Missed Exams: If a student misses classes during regularly scheduled
exams the grade of zero will be assigned for that exam unless he or she can show
that the absence was the result of sickness, family emergency, or some other event
completely beyond their control. Makeup exams will be given only in these
circumstances, and no more than one week from the original test. No missed
worksheets will be made up.

Your grade will be determined by your points earned based on the
following percentage scale:
A = 90 - 100
B = 80 - 89
C = 70 - 79
MP = 60 - 69
E = 0 – 69
MP indicates ‘making progress’ and is not a passing grade for this class.