The University of St Thomas (St Paul, MN) does require an algebra based
course for all students - Finite Math or Mathematical Sampler. 

Interesting discussion on algebra but I fear we are not all clear on the
terminology. I doubt anyone would suggest that college students should not
be expected to know how to add or be able to graph a linear equation. 

At Wikipedia (
<>  you will see a long list of algebra
items including the basics of using symbols as place holders to solve
addition. X + 2 = 7 Students begin using a placeholder, often a line or a
box in the early elementary grades. 

Straight lines come in middle school yet I know some of my Finite Math
students struggle with creating graphs. Compound interest is even more
difficult but yet shouldn't college grads understand that if you buy a fast
food meal by credit card and not pay off your balance it's no bargain. 

If it is the ninth or higher order equations in some college algebra books
of which you refer when speaking of algebra, then I heartily concur. So
where are we? What level of algebra do you require? 

Brenda Tiefenbruck
Director, Mathematics Resource Center (MaRC)
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 962-5529

On 1/8/07 7:42 AM, "Robert Ciervo" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Any institution of higher learning that "wisely" recognizes that alegbra is 
not a necessary requirement for its students to master, is in my opinion 
doing a tremendous disservice to higher education and only adds fuel to the 
engine that is turning our country into a service economy and outsourcing 
employment opportunities that require any thought and logic overseas. 

Increasing retention by "dumbing down" the curriculum is not only 
ridiculous, but grossly negligent in my opinion and any "consultant" who 
makes this recommendation should be ignored. 

Robert L. Ciervo, Ph.D., Director 
Rutgers-Camden Learning Center 
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-Camden 
231 Armitage Hall 
311 N. Fifth Street 
Camden, NJ 08102 
(856) 225-2722 
(856) 225-6443 fax 
[log in to unmask] 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals 
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] <mailto:[log in to unmask]]>  On
Behalf Of Teresa Farnum 
Sent: Sunday, January 07, 2007 2:34 PM 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Math for Liberal Arts Majors 

I am trying to accumulate a list of institutions that have wisely recognized

that algebra is not a necessary requirement for numeracy and solid 
quantitative reasoning skills.  

If your general education requirement includes an option of "Mathematics for

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 to

students who will not need algebra (which is simply a tool for more advanced

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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