If "algebra" means being able to factor a polynomial, or add two rational 
functions, or multiply two complex numbers, I agree with you -- these are 
skills which many college majors do not need to master.  On the other hand, 
I believe algebra also means things like:

(1) being able to model real-world situations and use those models to solve 
(relatively simple) real-world problems
(2) being able to read, interpret and compare graphs

These "algebra topics" are useful skills for any educated person and I 
believe we would be doing students a disservice by letting them complete 
high school - let along college -without these skills.

To answer your question, at my school we have a 4 credit terminal course 
(General Education Mathematics) for students who do not need **college** 
algebra.  However, in order to enroll in Gen Ed Math, a student must attain 
a certain score on the math placement exam or take developmental courses 
which include basic and intermediate algebra.  This latter route probably 
describes most of our students in this course.

Geoff Krader
Morton College
Cicero, IL

>From: Teresa Farnum <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals              
><[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Math for Liberal Arts  Majors
>Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007 12:33:52 -0700
>I am trying to accumulate a list of institutions that have wisely 
>that algebra is not a necessary requirement for numeracy and solid
>quantitative reasoning skills.
>If your general education requirement includes an option of "Mathematics 
>Liberal Arts Majors" or some similar title, does NOT have a prerequisite of
>algebra, and serves as the terminal math course for non-science majors, I
>would appreciate hearing from you.
>As a consultant working with colleges and universities to increase student
>learning, success, and satisfaction with an expected goal of increasing
>retention and graduation rates, it is clear to me--a former professor of
>mathematics--that we, in this country, are doing an incredible disservice 
>students who will not need algebra (which is simply a tool for more 
>mathematical study).  It is appalling to me the number of lives we impact
>negatively by requiring algebra of liberal arts majors.
>Please share success stories at your institutions.  Thank you!
>Teresa Farnum & Associates
>Your Change Agent to Recruit and Graduate Students
>Denver, Colorado
>Phone: 303-248-3011
>Fax:     303-248-3549
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