Ms. Illg’s college algebra class working on their homework.
Ms. Illg’s college algebra class working on their homework.

College algebra in high school?

December 4, 2020

College: one word that could make most seniors cry in an instant. It is a constant reminder of moving away from home and your parents, your friends, and everything that most kids have ever known. But what if college could begin in high school? It would be a less-dreaded time because you could still be at home surrounded by everyone you know and love. New Ulm High School thankfully offers many college classes for all students.

To take a look inside just one of the high school college courses, I spoke with Ms. Illg who currently is teaching college algebra to the many students who decided to take it.

“[College algebra] opens up opportunities for students to be challenged in their studies and potentially earn credit at the college level that benefits them in the future. Concurrent enrollment classes allow students to experience actual college coursework and develop good study habits before they begin college. Furthermore, I like the idea of students getting the opportunity to take a college-level class without having to leave the high school during the day. They won’t miss out on the ‘happenings’ at the high school,” she said.

Graphing polynomial functions: a concept studied in college algebra.

College algebra is just like the normal math class: lessons, an occasional game, and chapter tests, but it is on a little bit of a harder level. The tests are a step up from normal math, they require a lot more thinking and applying knowledge. When speaking with the students, most love having the opportunity to take college algebra in high school. When speaking specifically with one junior in the class, Anna Lee, she explains her point of view:

“I really like college algebra. I was a little worried about taking it being that I did not take honors algebra last year, but the concepts are still very easy to understand. I am very happy that our school offers college courses and I am glad I decided to take the class.”

For those looking at college-level courses to take in high school, it is highly recommended by the students taking them now. Each one expressed how the class is easier than was expected and how they are glad they can earn the college credit before even attending university.



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