I. General Information
1. Course Title:
Introduction to College Algebra
2. Course Prefix & Number:
MATH 1520
3. Course Credits and Contact Hours:
Credits: 3
Lecture Hours: 3
4. Course Description:
This course will intensify the study of concepts first seen in Intermediate Algebra, as well as introduce topics that will be covered in College Algebra. A basic understanding of solving equations and using function notation will be expected, so that students can investigate solving systems of equations in three variables, systems of nonlinear equations, polynomial equations, and basic exponential and logarithmic equations. Additionally, function operations and graphing function transformations will be introduced and explored.
5. Placement Tests Required:
Accuplacer (specify test): 
College Level Math 
Score: 
35 
Other (specify test): 
Elementary Algebra 
Score: 
76

6. Prerequisite Courses:
MATH 1520  Introduction to College Algebra
Applies to all requirements
Accuplacer Arithmetic score of 76 or greater, Accuplacer College Math score of 35 or greater, or MATH 0820 Intermediate Algebra
7. Other Prerequisites
9. Corequisite Courses:
MATH 1520  Introduction to College Algebra
There are no corequisites for this course.
II. Transfer and Articulation
1. Course Equivalency  similar course from other regional institutions:
2. Transfer  regional institutions with which this course has a written articulation agreement:
III. Course Purpose
1. ProgramApplicable Courses – This course is required for the following program(s):
This course is intended for students who have completed Intermediate Algebra but are not fully prepared for College Algebra, or whose placement test score is in the top range for Intermediate Algebra. It includes introductory collegelevel topics, but not at the rigor, pace, and depth of College Algebra. Many of the topics from Intermediate Algebra are reviewed within the coverage of these collegelevel topics.
3. Other  If this course does NOT meet criteria for #1 or #2 above, it may be used for the purpose(s) selected below:
Liberal Arts Elective
IV. Learning Outcomes
1. CollegeWide Outcomes
CollegeWide Outcomes/Competencies 
Students will be able to: 
Analyze and follow a sequence of operations 
Determine the most appropriate method for solving an equation or system of equations, and apply the method. 
Apply abstract ideas to concrete situations 
Model a realworld situation using a system of equations, solve the system, and interpret the result. 
Utilize appropriate technology 
Use a graphing calculator to solve exponential and logarithmic equations and to graph function transformations. 
2. Course Specific Outcomes  Students will be able to achieve the following measurable goals upon completion of
the course:
 Perform operations on functions;
 Use composition of functions to demonstrate that two functions are inverses;
 Graph parent functions and transformations on functions;
 Solve polynomial equations by multiple means;
 Solve basic exponential and logarithmic equations;
 Convert between exponential and logarithmic form;
 Expand or condense logarithmic expressions using properties of logs;
 Solve systems of linear equations in three variables; and
 Solve systems of nonlinear equations in two variables graphically and algebraically.
V. Topical Outline
Listed below are major areas of content typically covered in this course.
1. Lecture Sessions
 Introduction to function operations
 Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division of functions
 Composition of functions using function notation
 Use linear, polynomial, rational, and radical functions
 Write equations for inverse functions
 Verify function inverses (excluding functions with restricted domains)
 Graphing function transformations
 Graph functions and their transformations
 Include translations, reflections, stretches, and shrinks
 Introduction to solving polynomial equations
 Solve equations by factoring
 Solve by graphing (using technology or analytic methods)
 Apply the rational zero theorem
 Use polynomial division to solve equations
 Use synthetic division to solve equations
 Apply the remainder and factor theorems
 Introduction to exponential and logarithmic equations
 Solve basic exponential equations that apply rules of exponents
 Introduce logarithms as the inverse of exponential functions
 Solve exponential equations and logarithmic equations by converting between exponential and logarithmic forms
 Properties of logarithms
 Solve systems of equations
 Solve systems of linear equations in three variables
 Solve systems of nonlinear equations in two variables graphically and algebraically (Use either one linear and one nonlinear equation, or two nonlinear equations of the same type)
2. Laboratory/Studio Sessions
VI. Textbook and Supplemental Reading Materials
Most College Algebra texts and some Intermediate Algebra texts will cover the topics outlined. For example:
A Graphical Approach to College Algebra; Hornsby, Lial; 5th Ed.; Pearson; 2011.