. mathematics curriculum. Not until the late 1970s did Ricks College propose a mathematics requirement for graduation. At the time, only a handful of two-year colleges around the nation had such a requirement for graduation. In the fall of 1980, Math 100A, Arithmetic, became the graduation minimum for Ricks students. By the end of the decade, however, an accrediting team of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges challenged Ricks College to upgrade to a course that would be considered collegiate level. In response to that challenge, Math 101, Intermediate Algebra, was introduced in the fall of 1994 as the new mathematics graduation requirement. An ACT math score of 22 or better alternately filled the requirement. Throughout the remainder of the decade, these two options were available to students. Even as we tried to help students successfully make their way through a Math 101 experience, another kind of class emerged. Math 103, a course based on problem solving with only a little algebra emphasis, was modified in 1994 to meet the needs of students transferring to other Idaho institutions. It fulfilled the Idaho math core requirements and provided an alternative to Math 101. In the fall of 1998, however, our department voted to discontinue Math 103 and create a more rigorous quantitative reasoning course, to be numbered Math 108. We proposed that it be closer to a college algebra level of rigor but still approachable for general education students. At the conclusion of their ten-year accreditation visit in 1999, representatives of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges recommended “a review of what constitutes General Education classes— especially in regards to Math and Human Relations.”2 In response, Academic Council approved Math 108 as the new minimum graduation requirement for specialized, associate, and baccalaureate degrees at Brigham Young University–Idaho. This change took effect in fall semester 2001 coinciding with our transition from a two-year junior college to a four-year university. No longer would a certain ACT math score serve as a waiver from the quantitative reasoning course. Seven years later we have arrived at a new crossroads, where Math 108 needs to take a more robust role in the new Foundations program, not only by serving as the minimum requirement for graduation, but becoming the quantitative reasoning requirement for all students—whether they Seven years later we have arrived at a new crossroads.
a u t u m n 2 0 0 8 • 35 choose the classroom experience or the test-out option. The mathematics department will offer more advanced mathematics courses (such as calculus and statistics) that will pre-empt FDMAT 108 for students in some majors. Nonetheless, in the course of conversations with President Clark and other academic administrators, we decided that every student would have some form of quantitative reasoning experience, either in the classroom or by the individual test-out requirement.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 12 pages?
- Fall '11
- Statistics, Mathematics education, quantitative reasoning, MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT