Associate degree math requirements on the rise

Micah Brown

Beginning this fall, the math requirement to obtain an associate degree becomes a little more stringent.

“If the student is unable to complete Math 251 by the end of summer ’09 then he or she is under the new graduation requirements for math even though they may have been attending Saddleback over several semesters,” said Jerilyn Chuman, Saddleback College’s dean of counseling services.

So, what are those new requirements? “If a student plans to transfer and obtain an AA/AS degree along the way, then he or she is directed to take Math 253 [intermediate algebra],” Chuman said in an email.

For those students who are seeking an associate degree, and do not plan on transferring, the math department has introduced a new course: Math 205, Math for the Associate Degree. The new class will meet the requirements to obtain an associate degree, but is not a prerequisite for transfer-level math courses. Students not transferring can choose to take Math 253 or Math 205.

Some faculty members have noticed an increased effort among students to avoid the new requirements.

“I have had a lot of students scrambling to try and finish Math 251 by this summer,” said counselor Steve Handa, who also noted that the changes for the math requirement are the only significant changes that will impact students working towards an associate degree.

The decision to increase the math graduation requirement was not made by Saddleback administration. The change, according to Chuman, “was mandated by the statewide Academic Senate.”

Counselor Mary McCarthy suggested the Learning Assistance Program as an excellent tool for those students who may experience difficulty meeting the new requirements. The LAP is located in Library room 114, or students can find more information about the program at