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MA 125 Intermediate Algebra
Loar, Lawrence

Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


MA 125 Intermediate Algebra


U1HH 2011 PAB


Loar, Lawrence


Title Adjunct Faculty – Senior Instructor


Master of Science, Operations Management,           University of Arkansas
 Bachelor of Science, Mathematics, Capital University Columbus, Ohio

Office Hours

Before and after class

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

06 June – 31 July 2011

Class Days


Class Time

11:00 - 1:00 PM

Credit Hours



Intermediate Algebra, Tenth Edition, Lial, Hornsby, McGinnis; Publisher: Pearson, Addison, Wesley, 2008 ISBN 0-321-44362-4

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Course Description:
MA 125 Intermediate Algebra Fundamentals of algebra. Topics include the real number system, basic operations of algebra, linear and quadratic equations, inequalities, functions and graphs, systems of equations. Additional considerations include radicals, rational functions, and basic analytic geometry. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor's educational philosophy is one based on interaction through preparation (reading the material), lecture and demonstration, group exercises, practical application, and review.  After the first meeting, students are expected to have read the required material before coming to class, to attempt the homework problems from the previous week's topics, and to ask questions freely when a concept is not understood.  The first part of each session will be devoted to questions and answers.  Students should be prepared to show their understanding of the material through in-class demonstrations.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. State and use basic terminology and symbols of the discipline appropriately
  2. Solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable and verify solution(s)
  3. Manipulate and simplify exponential expressions
  4. Perform arithmetic on and factor polynomials and solve polynomial equations
  5. Solve “word” problems
  6. Manipulate and simplify rational expressions
  7. Manipulate and simplify radical expressions and translate into/ from exponential form
  8. Solve equations involving radicals
  9. Apply the method of completing the square
  10. Apply the quadratic formula
  11. Graph algebraic equations and inequalities of one and two variables.

Core Assessment:

  1. Manipulate, simplify, and evaluate algebraic expressions

  2. Solve and check algebraic equations and inequalities

  3. Apply algebraic techniques to solve practical applications

  4. Graph algebraic equations and inequalities


Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Your final grade will be based ontwo quizzes, a final exam and class participation.  Graded quizzes will be given back to the students for review; however, all graded materials must be returned to the instructor and filed for a period of 90 days after the end of the term. Grades for quizzes and the final will be posted on eCompanion (  This allows students to track their progress and the system automatically computes average score to date.

·         The Final Exam will be closed book, closed note exam.  Non-programmable, non-graphing calculators will be permitted.



o   Test #1:       25%

o   Test #2:      25%

o   Homework:   20%

o   Final Exam:   30%


92.5 – 100.0%:   A

85.0 -   92.4%:   B

77.5 -   84.5%:   C

70.0 -   77.4%:   D

 0.0 -   59.9%:   F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Homework assignments, tests, and a final examination are due on the dates indicated in this syllabus.  If a student misses a homework, test or exam due to an excused absence, he/she must take the test before the end of the term.  If a homework, test or exam is missed and the absence is unexcused, the test may be taken and the grade received will be reduced by 10% for each week delayed

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
For some students, idea of taking a mathematics course causes anxiety.  For others, it may have been years since they have studied math.  In this class, asking questions is encouraged.  Respect for those asking questions or feeling anxious about a new concept is a must.  During the class period, all cell phone and pager ringers must be turned off.  If you must take a call, quietly leave the classroom and talk in a breakroom, the entrance way, or outside the building.  Do not hold conversations in the hallway as this can disrupt other classes.  After class, all trash is to be removed and chairs placed under the tables.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

The following schedule is to be used as a guide. Reading and exercise assignments should be completed prior to the week's session; the only exception is Week 1.  There may be sessions where all the material scheduled cannot be covered and others during which we cover more material than planned.

In Week 1 we start the course with a review of fraction rules followed by an introduction to the properties and operations of Real Numbers.  We’ll also examine properties of exponents and roots, and then discuss the order in which mathematical operations are to be applied as we simplify algebraic expressions.

In Week 2 we'll begin learning techniques to solve linear equations in one variable followed by a discussion of formulas and how to solve problems using them.  Next we will apply those skills to real-life situations as we develop a general plan for solving application problems, and specific plans for certain types of problems.  We will also learn the processes of solving linear and compound inequalities and finish up the unit by learning how to solve absolute value equations and inequalities.

In Week 3we'll be introduced to the Rectangular Coordinate System.  We will learn how to graph lines of equations in two variables.  We’ll discuss how to determine slope and how to use it to graph lines and find equations of lines.  We will also learn how to graph linear inequalities in two variables, and we’ll finish the unit by becoming acquainted with functions.

In Week 4 we will discover some new properties of exponents along with the properties of polynomial expressions.  We will learn how to use scientific notation as a tool for expressing very large and very small numbers.  We will exam methods for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing polynomials.  We will expand our understanding of functions to include polynomial functions.

In Week 5 we will learn how to factor polynomials. Methods to be learned include: factoring by grouping, factoring trinomials, factoring perfect squares and perfect cubes. We finish the unit by focusing on a fundamental approach to factoring will be presented, and we will learn problem solving skills when the polynomial is part of an equation.

In Week 6 we start learning about rational expressions by examining their properties. From there we will begin the task of learning how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational expressions. We will learn two methods for simplifying complex fractions before we tackle solving equations involving rational expressions.

In Week 7the properties of radical expressions are initially discussed before we take on the task of learning the procedures for simplifying, including the conversion from a radical expression to a rational exponential expression. Next we’ll learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide radical expressions. This is followed by a presentation of methods we will use for solving equations containing radical expressions.  We finish the unit by focusing on manipulating the polynomial equation into a particular format in a process known as completing the square. Once that process is learned we will use it to derive a generalized formula for solving all quadratic equations. 

In Week 8we'll start by determining how to graphically find a solution set of two intersecting equations in two variables, known as a system of linear equations, followed by the procedure to solve a system algebraically.  We will finish the unit, and the course, with an introduction to Complex numbers.  We will learn the properties of these numbers, and how to apply mathematical operations on them.  During this final week of the course you will also complete the proctored Final Exam and the Course Evaluation.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Evaluate 4 out of 4 algebraic expressions Evaluate 3 out of 4 algebraic expressions Evaluate 2 out of 4 algebraic expressions Evaluate 0 or 1 out of 4 algebraic expressions 
Simplify and manipulate 4 out of 4 algebraic expressions Simplify and manipulate 3 out of 4 algebraic expressions Simplify and manipulate 2 out of 4 algebraic expressions Simplify and manipulate 0 or 1 algebraic expressions 
Solve and check 4 out of 4 algebraic equations Solve and check 3 out of 4 algebraic equations Solve and check 2 out of 4 algebraic equations Solve and check 0 or 1 out of 4 algebraic equations 
Solve 4 out of 4 practical applications Solve 3 out of 4 practical applications Solve 2 out of 4 practical applications Solve 0 or 1 practical applications 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Graph 4 out of 4 linear equations or inequalities Graph 3 out of 4 linear equations or inequalities Graph 2 out of 4 linear equations or inequalities Graph 0 or 1 linear equations or inequalities 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Find 4 out of 4 slopes of lines Find 3 out of 4 slopes of lines Find 2 out of 4 slopes of lines Find 0 or 1 slopes of lines 
First Literacy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
(Formulas) 1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Use and evaluate 4 out

of 4 formulas

Use and evaluate 3 out

of 4 formulas

Use and evaluate 2 out

of 4 formulas

Use and evaluate 0 or 1 out

of 4 formulas

Second Literacy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
(Order of Operations) 1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Apply order of operations to 4 out of  4 algebraic expressions

Apply order of operations to 3 out of  4 algebraic expressions

Apply order of operations to 2 out of  4 algebraic expressions Apply order of operations to 0 or 1 out of  4 algebraic expressions 


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Last Updated:5/3/2011 10:18:09 AM