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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

High school math a reasonable UA course

No one wants to bring high school to college, but it could actually be helpful in regard to academics.

The Arizona Daily Star reported Monday that the UA will offer high school level math in the following academic school year “”because a third of its freshmen (is)n’t ready for college level math, officials said.””

The Desert Lamp recently wrote an extensive blog post on this news piece, and writer Connor Mendenhall considers the course change to be a “”consequence of a continued decline in admission standards.”” The new class can actually be viewed in a positive light, however. The university is commendable for recognizing that quite a few students are not ready to take college algebra as their first math class at the UA, and they shouldn’t have to travel to community college to take the course that they actually can get into.

This course addition will not diminish the university’s standards, which, The Desert Lamp author seems to believe, aren’t demanding enough. In implementing a high school level math course, the UA is becoming considerate of the needs of struggling math students. There are plenty of students who lack basic mathematic problem solving skills, and they’re not brainless people for lacking abilities in this area.

During new student orientation, students are asked to take a math placement exam that determines which mathematic course they will test into. Some students get into College Algebra or Philosophy 110, and other students don’t have the scores to place into a UA math course at all. They’re instead instructed to go to Pima Community College for basic, intermediate math until they achieve proper requirements to get into a UA class. 

In theory, this is a great option for students. There’s the obvious inconvenience of having to commute to another school for just one class. This is a nuisance for drivers, but what about the students who don’t have cars? Many freshmen, especially those living in the residence halls, don’t have a vehicle, and taking a course at Pima presents a series of unnecessary complications. Luckily, some of these key issues can be avoided now that the UA has a high school level math course on campus.

The Desert Lamp offered a solution to the issue of students not being equipped to take the current UA math courses: “”(Refuse) to admit students who are not sufficiently prepared in mathematics.””

Certain students, for whatever reason, legitimately struggle with mathematics more than the majority of their peers, and it doesn’t make these individuals any less deserving of UA admission, nor does it make them unintelligent.

There are plenty of smart, hard working high school seniors who excel in nearly all classes aside from math. It would be unfair to classify a remedial math student as mediocre, hopeless and lazy with absolutely place or merit at this university, especially since math proves to be a considerably difficult subject for many people.

At present, the UA requires all incoming freshman to have taken a high school course in “”Advanced Math for which Algebra II is a prerequisite”” before beginning college, while the California state university system, among many other university admissions systems, only requires applicants to have completed Algebra II. Thankfully, the UA will allow up to two deficiencies in the high school competency requirements, so the university hasn’t completely ruled out the students who just cannot understand higher mathematic concepts, and students should be thankful for that.

Cheers to the UA for making life a little easier on students who are at war with math by no choice of their own.

— Laura E. Donovan is a creative writing senior. She can be reached at

letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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