College Algebra


  2. A. Course Title: College Algebra
    B. Course Number: MA 113 - 10420
    C. Semester: Spring 2017
    D. Days/Time: T Th 11:00:00 AM - 11:50:00 AM
    E. Credit Hours: 3
    F. Instructor: McGill, Shyla
    G. Office: Heidel Hall (HH) 214
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2819
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 10:00:00 AM-10:45:00 AM (MST);
    Tuesday: 10:00:00 AM-10:45:00 AM (MST);
    Wednesday: 10:00:00 AM-10:45:00 AM (MST);
    Thursday: 10:00:00 AM-10:45:00 AM (MST);
    By Appointment also. I do not promise to be in my office during office hours, but I will be on campus. Feel free to call me on my office phone (575) 492-2819 also.
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): MA113A or appropriate placement test score
    M. Corequisite(s): None
    N. Class Location: BUC240

    This college algebra course is designed for pre-engineering, mathematics, and science majors. The subject matter covered in this class includes a brief review of Elementary and Intermediate Algebra topics, as well as a more extensive study of graphs of functions, complex numbers, theory of equations, matrices, determinants, conics, inverse functions, exponential functions, and logarithmic functions. This is a three credit hour course. Prerequisite: MA113A or equivalent or appropriate score on a placement test.


    This course is designed to be the foundation class for many more advanced math classes such as statistics, business analysis, and trigonometry.
    College Algebra should transfer to most colleges for mathematics credits.



    Either the textbook or MyMathLab code for College Algebra by Lial, Hornsby, Schneider & Daniels; 12th edition; Pearson publication. ISBN: 9780134217451
    TI83/84 (plus/silver) graphing calculator or equivalent, this is NOT optional.


    both textbook and MyMathLab code for College Algebra by Lial, Hornsby, Schneider & Daniels; 11th edition; Pearson publication.

    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.


    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

    						90 - 100%	=	A
    						80 -  89%	=	B
    						70 -  79%	=	C
    						60 -  69%	=	D
    					 	 0 -  59%	=	F

    For this Course your grade will be made up of the following:

    HOMEWORK: 5%
    QUIZZES: 10%
    TESTS: 40%
    FINAL: 40%

    Attendance: Attendance grades are given daily. Attendance will be taken by the instructor in your classroom. If you don’t see your name checked off on the overhead screen, then you probably arrived after attendance was taken. It is your responsibility to inform the instructor of your presence. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to make up missed work. Class notes will be posted in Canvas Modules as a *.pdf file. It is your responsibility to read the notes and have all requirements turned in on time, regardless of missing class. Students can use the computers in the Learning Assistance Center to read the class notes in cases of trouble with their own hardware. I will not accept the excuse that you could not open the notes. You must read through the notes and be certain you have everything completed on the day you return to class. Sometimes we have extra credit or pop quizzes. These make-up papers must be received by the following class day, if you are out for more than one class day, you must contact your instructor and explain the situation. These make-up papers must be documented as to 'quiz' or 'extra credit' with full heading including date assigned. If you are unable to make it to the next class, you may send the work with a friend, email or fax the work to me at (575)492-2821. Videos are available on PearsonMyLab (PML)If you miss class, you should watch the video. There are many other resources available through PearsonMyLab (PML). You may also contact your instructor for assistance, but only after you've reviewed the class notes.

    Attendance Scoring: Each student has the opportunity to earn an attendance grade of 100% every day. The 100% grade requires the student to be ready for class when class begins: Pencils sharpened, calculators on the desk, paper ready. Students must remain alert and attentive through-out the class, participate in the class, arrive on time and not leave the room until dismissed.
    Excused and Unexcused Absences: The only excused absences are school events such as sports, music or class field trips. In these cases, you must notify your instructor prior to the day of the absence. Do not rely on your coach or professor to send the emails. You the student will receive no grade for attendance on the day of the event (not a zero, not a 100, it is as if that day doesn't exist in your attendance scores). All other absences (including reasons regarding health) will earn the student a zero for attendance. Appointments with counselors or other teachers are not excused absences. Doctor appointments, sick family members, funerals and work are not excused absences.

    Homework: Homework is set up in 3 stages, LEARN is where you have access to videos, power point and text book. It is conceivable you might skip this if you paid attention to the presentation in class and are comfortable with the material. PRACTICE is required and you may do the problems over and over and get assistance, you must get a 90% before moving onto QUIZ. QUIZ will only be half as long but there is no assistance, no "show me an example" or "Help me solve this" and you must have an 80% before you can move on.
    Homework will be done in PearsonMyLab (PML). All homework is due at the beginning of the next class after the material was presented. You do not need to turn in anything to me, however; you should print off your grade with the date of completion and keep this documentation in a folder, in the event PML loses some of your work, this will be the only way to secure credit. If you are having technical difficulties you should contact them by sending an email, getting in a chat session or call the help desk at 1-800-677-6337. (I recommend you do all three, the wait can be very long.) If you have trouble working a problem in the homework, you should utilize the resources available: Videos and power-points through MyMathLab, the text book, or ask a tutor for help. You may also ask your instructor for help or email the problem to your instructor. It may not be possible to pull up PML in the classroom. If you email the problem in advance your instructor can print it out before class and do the problem in class, or better yet, you can print out the problem and give it to your instructor, (be sure you go through the entire problem to get all the parts). If you find yourself asking PearsonMyLab (PML) for an example or 'show me how to do this' it is likely you have not internalized the concept. You must be able to wait at least 6 hours after viewing the explanation or example, and do the problem on your own before you can consider yourself competent for the moment. I advise you to go back after a few days and before the exam and make sure you can still do the problem without any assistance.

    Quizzes: Quizzes are at the end of every homework assignment and determined according to the needs of the individual students in each class each semester. Some additional quizzes will be announced in a preceding class, most will be 'spur of the moment'. Quizzes are not intended to hurt you, but rather to help you identify the tricky part of a problem. You should expect about 5 additional quizzes per semester. The class notes will include the additional quiz or extra credit opportunity, you should assume the deadline is at the beginning of the next class.

    Tests: All tests except the final will be given in the testing center, outside of class time. You will have your choice of doing paper and pencil tests or through PearsonMyLab. You must show work, on scratch paper and label each problem. Problems should be listed on scratch paper in logical order. If I don't see the process you used, or if it is not the process required, I may count the problem wrong. We will vote as a class, when each test deadline will be set. The vote will take place on the class day that I finish the material for the exam. If we are within 2 sections of finishing, and you are absent, you should call or email your preference (well before class time) for the test deadline. Just because you were not there when the decision was made does not excuse you from the deadline. All extensions on exams will be docked 50% of the earned score. The testing center is located in the Ben Alexander Student Center. The hours are 8:00am-7:00pm Monday-Thursday, 8:00am-5:00pm Friday and 10:00am-2:00pm Saturday. The testing center will not allow you to begin an exam within 1 hour of closing, I advise you to arrive AT LEAST 1 hour and 15 minutes before closing to avoid any problem. You must turn in your exam at closing time. It is always wise to call and verify they are not closing early: (575) 492-2591 or email You are only allowed your calculator and scratch paper, no additional help during an exam, you may not have your cell phone with you under any circumstances. If you have extenuating circumstances and must take an exam late, you must authorize that with the professor and the Dean; in these cases there will be no partial credit, regardless of the mistake. Absolutely no more that one late exam per semester, and no more than 3 days late will be permitted, after that the grade is a zero.

    Final Exam: The final exam will be cumulative. The final will be in this room at the time listed in the final schedule. You will be allowed 1 hour and 45 minutes for this exam. You absolutely must show work. I cannot grant you permission to take the final exam at another time, you must go through the department dean for that permission.


    New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:


    College Algebra (MA113) is designed to emphasize graphing functions, solving various equations, using functions and solving real world problems.

    The course content of College Algebra (MA113) supports NMJC’s mission of “promoting success through learning” by encouraging students to accomplish the following:

    · Graph various types of functions.

    · Solve various types of equations.

    · Use the necessary notation for each topic including showing work for sequences of simplifying expressions.

    · Set up and solve various types of application problems.

    · Apply each of the above skills as part of the critical thinking and problem solving process.


    A student who successfully completes College Algebra should be able to:
    • Use a graphing calculator to graph equations and solve problems.
    • Graph equations in the Cartesian plane.
    • Use a graphing utility to create models of data in the Cartesian plane.
    • Identify functions and write the equations in function form from either an equation or a graph.
    • Find the domain and range of functions.
    • Graph functions as well as their transformations.
    • Perform the algebra of functions.
    • Manipulate quadratic functions and make models on a graphing calculator.
    • Find the zeros of polynomial functions algebraically and graphically on a graphing calculator.
    • Perform arithmetic operations with complex numbers.
    • Apply the fundamental Theorem of Algebra.
    • Graph rational functions by using the important characteristics of rational functions.
    • Solve and graph exponential and logarithmic functions.
    • Find exponential and logarithmic models on a graphing calculator.
    • Solve linear systems of equations in two and three variables.
    • Solve systems of inequalities and linear programming problems.
    • Graph conic sections: the parabola, the ellipse, the circle, and the hyperbola.
    • Use matrix methods to solve linear systems of equations.
    • Perform operations on matrices including finding the determinant.


    This syllabus is my opportunity to tell you how I manage this class and give you notice of what is expected of you as a student. Please remember that I will do everything I can to help you and I expect you to be motivated and responsible for your own grade. To be successful in this class you must be in class, make time to do the homework and take the tests in the time allowed. It is customary in college level courses that students spend a minimum of 2 hours studying outside of class for every one hour of lecture time, that means you should be spending 6 hours per week besides class time, working on this class material. With this in mind the following are items you need to know.


    If you are having difficulty with the material at any time please arrange to come see me during office hours, or make an appointment. There are many avenues here at NMJC for you to attain help.

    1. Online tutoring is available to all NMJC students. Look in section IX of this syllabus: General/Miscellaneous. Tutoring Assistance is toward the end of that section. There is a link to Brainfuse which offers online tutoring.

    2. Personal tutors are available through the Director of Learning Assistance in room 124 Mansur Hall on New Mexico Junior College Campus, or call (575)492-2625 (Amanda Thompson) (575)492-2624 (Aaron Prebenda) or (575)492-2623 (Jackie Martinez).

    3. Study groups that you arrange with class mates are also an excellent way to improve your performance in the class. If you are having trouble finding an interested classmate, ask your professor for assistance.


    1. Cheating will not be tolerated. If there is any evidence of cheating I must assign a zero on the work in question, possibly for the entire class.

    2. All students are to act appropriately for a college classroom. Disruptions will not be tolerated. Any students causing a disruption will be asked to leave; the student will lose attendance credit for that class and will not be allowed to make up work missed that day. That student is still responsible for any material or assignments.

    3. Cell Phones and pagers are to be silenced and not visible while you are in the classroom. Visit with me prior to the start of class if you have a special situation or emergency.

    4. No perfume please, It causes your instructor a serious health problem. If you forget, please sit in the back of the room and do not come to my office.


    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at

    Attendance Policy
    Attendance is required at every session of each course for which the student is enrolled. When unavoidable circumstances make attendance impossible, students must provide a satisfactory explanation of their absences to their professors. College-sponsored activities are considered excused absences and the appropriate sponsor of those students who will be absent from class will notify professors. Students having absences due to college-sponsored activities will need to make arrangements with the affected classes / professor to take care of required work; however, arrangements for make-ups should be made within a reasonable time frame, usually within one week of the absence. Regarding make-up work, absences due to late registration are considered the same as regular absences.

    Cell Phones/Pagers
    All cell phones and pagers must be turned off when the student is participating in any lecture, laboratory, or other learning activity.

    Classroom Conduct
    The professor is responsible for maintaining a class environment best suited for effective learning. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to attend the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class.

    Food and Drink Policy
    Food items and soft drinks may not be consumed in NMJC classrooms. Students are also discouraged from bringing food and drink items into the classroom even though these items remain in sealed packaging. Bottled water is permissible.

    No Children in the Classroom
    In order to adhere to instructional procedures as well as maintain the safety of children, NMJC’s policy of no children in the classrooms (lecture, lab, etc.) will be followed.

    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Smoking/Use of Tobacco
    New Mexico Junior College is cognizant of the health hazards associated with smoking / use of tobacco for the smoker, as well as the non-smoker. In an effort to provide a healthy environment for students, employees, and others who may frequent the campus, NMJC prohibits smoking / use of tobacco inside any campus building or facility.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse and the Academic Success Center located in Mansur Hall room 123 and 124.

    Withdrawal Policy
    Regular, punctual attendance is required for all classes at NMJC. Although the professor has the right to drop any student who has missed the equivalent of 2 weeks of instruction (based on a 16 week semester) whether it’s a face to face, online, or a hybrid course, it is not guaranteed that the professor will drop the student. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2017. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    Outline for College Algebra           12th edition                   McGill

    This is a tentative list of home work, any refinements will be mentioned in class before the assignment is given.  Always check your class notes to see if any revisions have been made.  All homework must be done in Pearson MyLab.


    Due Date





    Linear Equations



    Applications and Modeling with Linear Equations



    Complex Numbers



    Quadratic Equations



    Applications and Modeling with Quadratic Equations



    Other Types of Equations and Applications






    Absolute Value Equations and Inequalities



    Exam 1, must be taken outside of class time, in the testing center.  You must make an appointment in person, in advance of taking the test.






    Rectangular Coordinates and Graphs









    Linear Functions



    Equations of Lines: Curve Fitting



    Graphs of Basic Functions



    Graphing Techniques



    Function Operations and Composition



    Exam 2, must be taken outside of class time, in the testing center.  You must make at appointment in person, outside of class time.






    Quadratic Functions and Models



    Synthetic Division



    Zeros of Polynomial Functions



    Polynomial Functions:  Graphs, Application, and Models



    Rational Function:  Graphs, Applications, and Models






    Exam 3, may be a paper and pencil take home, all work MUST BE SHOWN, ‘on calculator’ is NOT showing work.  OR you may take it on the computer outside of class time, in the testing center, not showing work.  You must make an appointment in person, if you choose to take it in the testing center.






    Inverse Functions



    Exponential Functions



    Logarithmic Functions



    Evaluating Logarithms and the Change-of-Base Theorem



    Exponential and Logarithmic Equations



    Application and Models of Exponential Growth and Decay



    Exam 4, must be taken outside of class time, in the testing center.  You must make at appointment in person, outside of class time.






    Systems of Linear Equations


















    Exam 5, must be taken outside of class time, in the testing center.  You must make at appointment in person, outside of class time.














    Final will be in our classroom Monday May 8 at 12:00-1:45pm