College Algebra

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2014
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Class Meets: TR 11 - 12:20 PM

Instructor Office Hours: MF: 11 - 1; TR 1:30 - 3; W 1 - 3

Instructor's Office: BO 113A

Instructor's Office Phone: (940)-397-4013

Dr. Dawn Slavens (view Profile)


A Graphical Approach to College Algebra

Course Objectives

COURSE DESCRIPTION (from 2012-2014 Undergraduate Catalog):    

Equations, inequalities, rational expressions, exponents, logarithms, radicals, functions, graphs, and systems of equations. Each student must have a graphing calculator.   (This course is designed for students planning to take additional mathematics.)    

Course Expectations

Homework:  A list of assigned homework problems is attached to the syllabus.  Completing all problems with an emphasis towards understanding of concepts and strengthening your problem solving skills in the context of the mathematical concepts presented in class and the text is essential for successful completion of this course. The odd numbered problems within the homework list are answered in the back of the textbook.  Students are expected to check their answers to these problems with the answers in the book and to seek help whenever needed. Working a lot of homework problems is necessary to learn and master the objectives of the course. Students should work additional problems (problems in addition to those assigned) as needed.  It is the responsibility of the student to make sure s/he has worked enough problems to ensure mastery of course content.  Besides the assigned odd numbered problems for each section of the text a few even numbered problems are assigned.  Both the odd numbered and even numbered assigned problems will be turned in and will contribute to your daily component of your course grade. 


Exams: Exams will be written to test your ability to work exercises that are comparable to the exercise in the textbook. For this reason it is imperative that you spend a significant amount of time working problems from the textbook.

Grading Standards

GRADING POLICY:   Grades will be calculated using the following percentage scheme:


                    Daily Work (includes HW):     25% of course grade

                    Exams (3 in total):                  50% of course grade

                    Comprehensive Final Exam:  25% of course grade


Course grades will be determined using the standard 90 – 80 – 70 – 60 percentage grading criteria.


If you have made every effort to succeed in this course (good attendance and an honest effort on homework assignments) and you are having difficulty, seek help immediately.  The first step is to take advantage of the office hours set up by the instructor.  If the listed hours are unsuitable, see the instructor outside of class for individual appointments at mutually agreeable times. In addition, you are encouraged to seek help by going to the department’s math help sessions in Bolin101. See the above “office hours” section of this syllabus for the days and times the math help lab is open.       

Final Exam

05/03/2014 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Make-up Exams: Make-up exams are not generally given; however, such exams may be given for an absence that is a result of a documented medical or personal emergency.  If an exam is going to be missed due to an approved university activity, the student should request to take the exam early. For missed exams, timely notification (for emergencies, on or before the scheduled day of the exam, and for approved university activities, a week prior to the scheduled day of the exam) is necessary to receive consideration to make up the missed exam or take the exam early.  Once graded exams have been returned to the class, it is not possible to take a make-up. No student will be allowed to make up more than one exam during the semester. 

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance: Midwestern State University’s Class Attendance Policy is stated on page 45 of the 2013-2014, which you can find at It states that “students are expected to attend all meetings of the classes in which they are enrolled.”  Among other things, the policy covers the universities position on authorized absences and who students should contact to inform faculty in cases of personal emergencies or an illness which requires hospitalization or a prolonged absence. You may wish to review MSU’s Class Attendance Policy. With regard to this class, the nature of the study of mathematics is such that absences may cause you to fall behind resulting in poor performance.  Any student who has accumulated more than 3 absences prior to March 3rd (one week from the last day to withdraw from any class) and is not making adequate academic progress in the course (has a grade of D or F) is subject to being required by the instructor to withdraw from the class.  In such cases if the student does not process a student initiated withdrawal the instructor will process an instructor drop with an assigned grade of “WF” or “F.”  In addition, any student who is absent more than 4 class periods at any time during the semester and is not making adequate academic progress (has a grade of D or F) is subject to dismissal from the class via an instructor drop with a course grade of “F.”  Students who consistently fail to complete homework assignments by the due date also face being dismissed from the course via an instructor drop and assigned a grade of “F.” You may wish to review page 49 of the 2013-2014 Student Handbook for reasons that an instructor may drop a student from a course.

Other Policies

CalculatorA graphing calculator is required for this course.  Bring your graphing calculator to each class meeting.


Cell Phones and Pagers:  Please turn these off or put them in silent mode and do not use them in class. Incompliant students will be dropped by the instructor from the class. A student will not receive more than one warning concerning cell phone usage before being dropped from the course with a grade of F.


Adhering to Scheduled Class TimeStudents who need to leave class early should have permission from the instructor or be counted absent for the entire class period.  Students should make every effort to arrive to class on time and remain for the entire period.  Excessively leaving class early (except in the case of sudden illness) or arriving to class late will result in dismissal from the class with a grade of F.  Students who arrive late or leave early may be counted absent at the instructor’s discretion.


Academic DishonestyEvidence of academic dishonesty on any of the assessments from which your course grade will be determined will result in a grade of zero on the evaluated work and possibly a grade of F in the course. This includes homework.  The work you turn in for homework should be your own work. Even students who work together on homework should not have identical or nearly identical papers.


Student Rights: All students should refer to the MSU Student Handbook for information related to student responsibilities, rights and activities.  Topics such as Student Affairs and Student Life, Academic Issues, Financial Issues, University Policies and Procedures, and Code of Student Conduct are included in this handbook. 


Disability PolicyThe Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at