Intermediate Algebra


  2. A. Course Title: Intermediate Algebra
    B. Course Number: MA 113A - 10059
    C. Semester: Spring 2017
    D. Days/Time: M W F 8:00:00 AM - 8:50:00 AM
    E. Credit Hours: 3
    F. Instructor: Schmitz, Charlotte
    G. Office: Heidel Hall (HH) 216
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2817
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);
    Tuesday: 8:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);
    Wednesday: 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);
    Thursday: 8:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);
    Friday: 10:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM (MST);
    Questions submitted Monday through Friday by 9:00 am will have a reply within 24 hours. Questions submitted over weekends or holidays will be answered by the end of next academic day. Note: Grades for regular coursework will update to Canvas daily. Grades for assessments will be posted within one week of deadline announced in class or in Canvas.
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): TS 113F or appropriate placement test score
    M. Corequisite(s): None
    N. Class Location: HH121

    This intermediate algebra course is designed for students in general education and technical fields. This course provides a review of fundamental operations of algebra, linear equations, exponents, radicals, rational expressions, quadratic equations, and inequalities. Additional topics include graphing linear equations, quadratic functions, and solving systems of linear equations. This course is not open to students who have credit for MA 113 or its equivalent. This is a three credit hour course. Prerequisite: TS113F or equivalent or appropriate score on a placement test.


    This is an algebra course designed to prepare students for courses such as College Algebra, Statistics, and Math Analysis. Although it is considered a college level course at New Mexico Junior College and it fulfills the requirements for NMJC’s AA & AS degrees, it is always advisable to check with the college or university of your choice for transferability.



    Developmental Mathematics, D. Franklin Wright, Hawkes Learning Systems (Textbook with courseware access 13 digit ISBN: 9781941552377)

    Note: Hawkes courseware comes with an automatic free trial period of 14 days. This temporary access starts on the first day of class and cannot be extended. Please plan for how to purchase the access code prior to the end of the trial period.
    If you took a previous course using the Hawkes Developmental Mathematics text book and online courseware, DO NOT purchase anything. You will automatically be linked to this course.


    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:                     15%   

    CHAPTER TESTS:             25%   

    ASSESSMENTS:                  60%   


    HOMEWORK is done online using Hawkes courseware.  It is accessed using the “Hawkes Single Sign On” module in Canvas.  Homework due dates can be viewed on the “To-Do” list in Hawkes.  Assignments can be accessed beyond the due date because minimum scores are required to progress.  Grades are reviewed weekly after a due date for assignments or tests.  Assignments not attempted before the deadline are posted as zeros in the grade book.  Zeros must be improved by catching up on the work.  Access to all homework ends on Monday of final exam week, no exceptions.  If an assignment is blocked please contact me immediately so I can check settings and fix problems.   

    Each homework assignment requires a minimum score of 80% to open the next assignment or test. 

    Hawkes provides a Learn, Practice, Certify system to earn scores.  In addition to Learn and Practice there will be notes and example problems presented in class and then posted in Canvas. 


    CHAPTER TESTS must also be done in Hawkes by clicking the “Tests” tab after opening the Single Sign On link.  Tests are timed (60 minutes).  Use the first attempt to gauge your knowledge of chapter material.  Then use the “Review” option (immediately following the test or from the grade book) to go over your mistakes and see correct answers in preparation for a second attempt.  Be sure there is time and good internet connection before starting a test.  Timing and loss of connection can result in loss of one or both attempts.  Contact me immediately if access to a test is lost.  Sometimes I can reopen a test and sometimes I can delete an attempt to free up access again.  After two attempts, if the required minimum score of 80 is not earned contact me.  I will want know what you believe the problem is and how you should use the previous attempts before I offer you additional options.  These things can be time consuming so be prepared and work ahead as much as possible.


    ASSESSMENTS must be taken on paper in the testing center or in the classroom and are NOT available in Hawkes.  Assessments are given twice during the semester.  The first one is to be taken after chapter 12 and then a set of final assessments are given during final exams or sooner if you complete the course work early.  “Final assessments” ARE the final exam broken into four separate parts: graphing, solving, notation and applications.  Reviews for each assessment are posted in Canvas in the last module.  Final Assessments are available through Wednesday of final exam week. 

    NOTE: Grading for the mid-course assessment will be within a week of notifying me that it is completed in the testing center.  Grading for the final assessments will be no later than Monday after the course ends. 



    o   Assessments make up 60% of the course grade and there is only one attempt on each.  Minimum score requirements on homework and chapter tests will cause grades to appear good.  This could lead to a false sense of security.  All instruction and course work during the semester leads to PROVING LEARNING on final assessments in key skill areas.  Lack of preparation, fatigue, apathy, misunderstanding or any other reason for doing poorly on assessments dramatically decreases final grades.  Be practiced, be prepared and be confident before taking assessments.  (Simply put, the average score on assessments pretty much determines your course grade.  You can sabotage your entire grade in the course by failing to prepare for the assessments.  PLEASE do not let that happen!)  

    o   NMJC’s Academic Success Center employs tutors whose job it is to help you LEARN.  They are happy to assist you while you work through “Practice”, but they will not help with “Certify” or with chapter tests (unless it is to help you understand mistakes after submitting an answer).  Also, they are extremely busy at the end of the semester.  There will be limits on the amount of time allowed with tutors.  The priority will be in helping students prepare for final exams.  They will NOT prioritize students who fell behind in their work and are trying to catch up at the last minute. 









    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:


    The general objective of Intermediate Algebra (MA113A) is to expand the student’s mathematical reasoning ability with an introduction to rational expressions, radical expressions and functions.

    The course content of Intermediate Algebra (MA113A) 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.

    ·         Use calculators or other technology when necessary to make computations and graphs easier.



    Students who are successful in MA113A Intermediate Algebra should be able to:
    • Solve linear equations;
    • Solve absolute value equations and inequalities;
    • Factor polynomials;
    • Simplify rational expressions and complex fractions;
    • Add, subtract, multiply and divide rational expressions;
    • Solve equations and application problems involving rational expressions;
    • Graph linear equations and linear inequalities;
    • Determine the equation of a linear graph;
    • Solve systems of linear equations;
    • Simplify radicals;
    • Add, subtract, multiply, and divide radical expressions;
    • Solve quadratic equations;
    • Solve applications of quadratic equations;
    • Solve applications of graphs of parabolas (if time permits).


    GETTING STARTED:  Attend class, login to Canvas, complete course information quiz, connect to Hawkes course ware system and begin working on lessons.

    RESOURCES to successfully complete Intermediate Algebra: 

    ·        Attend class and work with your instructor during office time as needed;

    ·        Go to the Academic Success Center to work with a tutor for homework help (NMJC Academic Success Center is located in room 123 Mansur Hall, phone number is 575-492-2624);

    ·        Use “Brainfuse”, an online tutoring service (click here to check out Brainfuse);

    ·        Communicate with your instructor about any problems regarding your success in class. 


    Ř  Participate in class- take notes, ask questions, abide by deadlines and requirements.

    Ř  Come to class rested enough to stay awake.  If you need sleep, stay in bed and don’t come!

    Ř  Do not use phones during class time.  Being distracted means not learning.  This adds time to completing lessons and tests.  If you cannot turn off your phone during class, don’t come!

    Ř  Do not use “Mathway” or other online problem solving apps.  Quick answers from using those things for progress through lessons and chapter tests come at a cost on assessments.  Maintaining an A on regular course work, but failing assessments will lead to a final grade of D or F. 

    This class will require consistent effort all semester.  Allowing yourself to fall behind will greatly increase probability of failure or need to withdraw.  Failing or withdrawing are a complete waste of your time and money.  If it gets stressful, be willing to make adjustments to your schedule and priorities.  Finishing a required class is a very temporary intrusion to your life.  Be realistic, consider how much you actually want to complete your education?  Do you really want to earn your way to a career with a high paying job or not?  Don’t sacrifice your greater life goals for things going on right now. 

    What will it take to earn credit for Intermediate Algebra?

    “To-Do-List” of 62 assignment scores:

    ·        51 lesson Certifies (separated into 51 Practices and 51 Certifies for a total of 102);

    ·        6 chapter tests;

    ·        1 mid-course assessment;

    ·        4 final assessments

    Calculation of reasonable time required for each of the above components of the course:

    Practice and Certify for each lesson @ approximately 1 hour each = 102 hours

    Chapter Tests @ about 1.5 hours each = 9 hours

    Mid-course Assessment prepare and complete = 3 hours

    Total prior to final assessments = 114 hours

    All this should fit into the first 14 weeks of class.  Allow for first week of “getting started” and we have 13 weeks- 114 hours / 13 weeks = 8.8 or about 9 hours per week. 

    If you attend class, this number will decrease by 3 hours per week or more because class time will serve to make you more efficient and ready to complete Practices and Certifies.  To be safe anticipate 6 hours per week outside of class time.  Some weeks will take more some will take less to meet deadlines.  This is the reality of what it takes to meet the stated objectives which warrant credit hours on a degree plan or preparation for the next course. 

    If you know you cannot commit to this amount of work, consider changing your schedule before the refund period expires to avoid all waste of time and money.  (Refund period is through the first week of class only.  Check the academic calendar for the actual date and make a decision before then.)



    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.


    Intermediate Algebra Course Outline

    For Hawkes Developmental Mathematics book- Review topics, chapters 10, 12-15 and appendices 4, 8, 9


    This outline is tentative and subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.



    Section Number and Title



    First Day of Class

    Introduction and Course Information



    Weeks 1 and 2


    7.5 Order of Operations with Real Numbers

    8.3 Solving Linear Equations: ax+b=cx+d

    8.7 Linear Inequalities


    11.1 Exponents


    11.2 Exponents and Scientific Notation


    A.4 Absolute Value Equations and Inequalities





    Weeks 3 and 4

    CHAPTER 9: Linear Equations


    9.2 Graphing Linear Equations in Two Variables: Ax+By=C


    9.3 The Slope-Intercept Form: y=mx+b


    9.4 The Point-Slope Form:


    9.5 Introduction to Functions and Function Notation



    10.1 Systems of Linear Equations: Solutions by Graphing


    10.2 Systems of Linear Equations: Solutions by Substitution

    10.3 Systems of Linear Equations: Solutions by Addition

    10.4 Applications: Distance-Rate-time, Number Problems, Amounts, and Costs


    10.5 Applications: Interest and Mixture


    CHAPTERS 9 and 10 TEST



    Weeks 5 and 6


    12.1 Greatest Common Factor and Factoring by Grouping

    12.2 Factoring Trinomials:

    12.3 Factoring Trinomials:

    12.4 Special Factoring Techniques


    12.5 Additional Factoring Practice


    12.6 Solving Quadratic Equations by Factoring


    12.7 Applications of Quadratic Equations





    Week 7

    Mid-Course Assessment



    Weeks 8 through 10



    13.1 Multiplication and Division with Rational Expressions

    13.2 Addition and Subtraction with Rational Expressions

    13.3 Complex Fractions

    13.4 Solving Equations with Rational Expressions

    13.5 Applications

    13.6 Variation




    Weeks 11 through 13


    14.1 Roots and Radicals


    14.2 Simplifying Radicals

    14.3 Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication with Radicals

    14.4 Rationalizing Denominators

    14.5 Equations with Radicals

    14.6 Rational Exponents

    14.7 Functions with Radicals


    A.8 Introduction to Complex Numbers


    A.9 Multiplication and Division with Complex Numbers






    Week 14



    15.1 Quadratic Equations: The Square Root Method


    15.2 Quadratic Equations: Completing the Square


    15.3 Quadratic Equations: The Quadratic formula


    15.4 Applications


    15.5 Quadratic Functions







    Week 15

    Review for final assessments


    Final Exam Week

    Final Assessments:

    Graphs, Solving, Notation, Applications


    All four part must be completed by noon of last day of finals




    All course work must be complete to earn a passing grade.