Opinion: Freshman Skills Math a Waste of Time and Money

By Kayla Lemay

Comment Staff

Would you willingly take a class that offered you no credits in order to graduate? Any student that failed the initial math entrance exam has to.

FRSK102 – Introductory College Skills: Mathematics, according to the University Catalog, is an “individualized, self-paced and competency-based and covers the fundamental principles of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry including signed numbers, whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, exponents, equations, inequalities, rational equations, geometry and problem solving.”

Sounds like a high school course, doesn’t it? It essentially is, because (this is also from the University Catalog), “This course does not satisfy any core curriculum requirement, nor may the credits be applied toward the minimum credits required for graduation by any major. Graded on a (P) Pass/(N) No Pass basis.”

You cannot fulfill your core math requirement until you pass this class if you failed the initial test. If you’re a poor test-taker, best of luck to you. The Catalog claims this course is worth three credits – but those three credits only count towards your ability to live on campus and be considered a full-time student. In reality, you don’t get any credits for it.

And even more upsetting is that many students move on to MATH105 – Selected Topics in Mathematics. How is that upsetting, you ask? Students that took both of these courses say they are the exact same thing. The description offered in the University Catalog is “The nature and process of mathematical thinking (inductive, deductive, and algorithmic), as well as applications and results, are the underlying components of this course. Possible topics to be explored include sets, logic, number theory, geometry, graph theory and probability.”

They did what any student copying someone’s homework would – changed up the wording a bit to make it sound completely different.

They did what any student copying someone’s homework would – changed up the wording a bit to make it sound completely different.

So yes, I am telling you that students are wasting their time taking a course for no credits, but even worse – they are also wasting money.

Sophomore Jacob D’Alessandro took the course last semester, and explained that he had to pay either $50 to use WebAssign in order to do homework, or pay $150 for the book, and get access to WebAssign for “free.”

Sophomore Patrick Hill confirms he had to pay the same price.

“We had to go into a classroom and do the work there while a professor monitored us,” Hill said. “Practically all the work was multiple choice, so you could keep doing the questions over and over again until you got them right. That’s how I passed most of my tests.”

I’m thanking my lucky stars I passed that entrance exam by one point when I took it two years ago.

Kayla Lemay is a Comment staff writer. Email her at klemay@student.bridgew.edu.


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One thought on “Opinion: Freshman Skills Math a Waste of Time and Money

  1. While I believe maths is significant for any learner (no matter what your degree), I don’t believe it’s fair to con students into signing up for a course that doesn’t help with their learning outcomes.
    Maybe they should just combine FRSK102 and MATH105 – that seems the most logical outcome.
    G’day from Australia!

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