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Elementary Algebra
I. Basic Course Information
A. Course Number and Title :  MATH 020  Elementary Algebra 
B. New or Modified Course:  New 
C. Date of Proposal:  Fall, 2008 
D. Sponsoring Department:  Mathematics 
E. Semester Credit Hours:  4 NC 
F. Weekly Contact Hours:  Lecture: 3 Laboratory:1 
G. Prerequisites/Corequisites:  MATH 014 Arithmetic II:Proportional Reasoning or appropriate score on placement test 
H. Laboratory Fees:  None 
I. Name and Telephone Number or EMail Address of Department Chair: Patti Hulsen, phulsen@raritanval.edu 
II. Catalog Description
Prerequisite: MATH 014 Arithmetic II: Proportional Reasoning or appropriate
score on placement test. This course is designed to provide an introduction to
and
development of elementary algebra concepts. Topics include exponents,
polynomials, factoring, solving first degree equations and inequalities,
rational
and radical expressions , quadratic equations , techniques of graphing, systems of
equations and applications. Serves as a prerequisite for MATH 030, Intermediate
Algebra.
III. Statement of Course Need
Elementary Algebra serves as a prerequisite for college level math courses for
students who are in a nonmath intensive program.
IV. Place of Course in College Curriculum
This is a developmental course and carries no college credit.
V. Outline of Course Content
A. Real Numbers and Algebraic Expressions
1. Perform operations with real numbers
2. Exponents and order of operations
3. Simplify algebraic expressions
4. Translate verbal phrases into algebraic expressions
B. First Degree Equations and Inequalities
1. Types of equations
2. Use properties of equations to solve linear equations in one variable
3. Write and solve applications of linear equations
4. Solve inequalities and graph on the number line
5. Applications of linear inequalities
6. Solve a formula for one variable ( literal equations )
C. Graphing Straight Lines and Systems of Two Linear Equations
1. The rectangular coordinate system, plotting points
2. Graph equations of lines by table of values, x and yintercepts
3. Find the slope of a line using the slope formula, and using the equation
of the line
4. Applications of slope as a rate of change
5. Slopes of parallel and perpendicular lines
6. The slope intercept form of the equation of a line
7. Solve a system of two linear equations using graphical and algebraic
methods.
8. Application problems using a system of equations
D. Exponents, Polynomials and Factoring
1. Exponent rules (Integer exponents)
2. Simplify expressions containing integer exponents
3. Scientific Notation
4. Perform operations on polynomials in one or more variables
5. Factor out the GCF , factor trinomials , factor special polynomials
6. Solving quadratic equations by factoring
E. Rational Expressions and Equations
1. Identify rational expressions and any zeros of the denominator
2. Simplify rational expressions (reducing)
3. Add, subtract, multiply and divide rational expressions
4. Simplify complex rational expressions
5. Solve simple rational equations
6. Applications of rational expressions
F. Radical Expressions
1. Give the principal square root of a number
2. Simplify and combine radical expressions
3. Add, subtract, multiply and divide radical expressions
G. Quadratic Equations
1. Solve quadratic equations by taking roots
2. Solve quadratic equations by using the quadratic formula
3. Applications of quadratic equations
VI. Educational Goals and Learning Outcomes
A. Educational Goals
Students will:
1. Students will be able to produce works that demonstrate their ability to
move from the specific to the general, think abstractly about a situation,
and reconcile three different perspectives (symbolic, graphical, and
numerical) into a "connected whole." (G. E. 1)
2. Students will be able to demonstrate their ability to reason quantitatively
and symbolically to solve problems. (G. E. 7)
B. Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:
1. Perform basic operations on polynomials, rational expressions and on
square roots.
2. Solve first degree equations and inequalities.
3. Graph linear equations and inequalities in two variables.
4. Factor polynomials.
5. Solve quadratic equations by factoring, square roots and the quadratic
formula.
6. Solve equations involving rational expressions and square root
expressions.
7. Solve application problems.
VII. Modes of Teaching and Learning
A. lecture/discussion
B. small group /lab work
C. computerassisted instruction
VIII. Papers, Examinations, and other Assessment Instruments
A. laboratory products/homework/quizzes
B. chapter tests
C. departmental final exam
IX. Grade Determinants
A. chapter tests
B. departmental final exam
C. laboratory products/homework/quizzes
The departmental cumulative final exam will be used to assess all the
learning outcomes listed in Section VI, Part B.
X. Texts and Materials
Suggested Textbook: Understanding Elementary Algebra With Geometry, A
Course for College Students, 6^{th} Edition, by Lewis Hirsch and Arthur
Goodman, Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2006, ISBN 0534999727.
(Please Note: The course outline is intended only as a guide to course content
and
resources. Do not purchase textbooks based on this outline. The RVCC Bookstore
is the
sole resource for the most uptodate information about textbooks.)
XI. Resources
No specific resources are necessary.
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