New Developmental Mathematics Curriculum

Monday, April 21, 2014

The HFCC Mathematics Department will now offer new courses for the fall 2014 semester for developmental students. This new effort will make developmental education more affordable for students.

In the current developmental/pre-college level math program at HFCC, students are expected to progress within each course at a set pace.

For students who intend to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, the HFCC developmental/pre-college level math program currently consists of the following three traditional courses:

  • MATH 074: Pre-Algebra;
  • MATH 080: Beginning Algebra; and
  • MATH 110: Intermediate Algebra.

An alternate STEM route will be available starting the fall 2014 semester. The redesigned program consists of 12 mastery-learning based modules with flexible pacing divided among the following three 4-credit courses:

  • MATH 077: Preparation for Algebra;
  • MATH 089: Introduction to Algebra Part 1; and
  • MATH 109: Introduction to Algebra Part 2.

These courses are appropriate for following students:

  • Students who require more time to master mathematical concepts. For example, a student can spend more time completing material on fractions than would be possible in a class in which the pace is set by the instructor for the entire semester. The student sets his or her own pace.
  • Students who are taking the developmental mathematics courses as refreshers and are able to move quickly through the material. These students – without paying additional tuition – may complete more than one course in a single semester and will have saved a semester of tuition and time.
  • Students who progress at a standard pace but prefer this alternate means of instruction.

Although instruction is computer-based to allow for the individual student to learn at his or her own pace, these are NOT online classes. Attendance on campus during scheduled class time is required and a mathematics instructor as well as student tutors are present and available during class to provide additional help and encouragement. The size of each class is limited to 24 students.

If more than one semester is required to complete a course, the student will start the next semester from where he or she left off after demonstrating mastery of the material already learned. In a traditional class, repeating a course means repeating all of the material in the course along with those who are learning it for the first time. That is not the case with this new program.

In addition, students save money with this program. A single set of course materials, which includes the textbook(s) and two-year access to online materials, is used for all three courses and will cost around $200. Costs for the course materials for the three traditional courses could easily be double or triple that amount – even with used textbooks – since there are three separate textbooks required and at least two separate online access code purchases required. This is in addition to the prospect of saving a semester (or even two) of tuition and time.

“The key goals for this new program are to help students become successful in mathematics and move more quickly to the courses where college credits are earned,” said Scott Barnett, one of the HFCC mathematics instructors who redesigned the curriculum.

Registration for the fall 2014 semester began April 7. Enrollment is currently open. The fall 2014 semester begins Thursday, Aug. 28.

MATH 077 is available for the fall 2014 semester. To review up-to-date course offerings in the Mathematics Dept., please visit WebAdvisor at Once on the WebAdvisor page, click “Search for Sections” in the lower right hand portion of the page. A login is not required to view course offerings.

For further information about the new math curriculum, please contact Barnett at 313.845.6496 or