The calculus of dumbing down community college math

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I challenge the validity of the transfer of credits for the course Calculus III from Connecticut community colleges to the University of Connecticut.

Generally speaking, the standards associated with the teaching of the Calculus III (multivariable) course at Connecticut community colleges are very low. The community college classes do not teach the “essential” Fundamental Theorems of Multivariable Calculus – Gradient, Green’s, Stokes and Divergence. They are called fundamental for a reason! These four theorems set the foundation for Maxwell’s Equations.

This community college course fully transfers to the University of Connecticut as four credits. According to the UConn Academic Provost’s Office, courses that transfer must be “comparable in content, character and quality.” Clearly, Connecticut community colleges are not meeting this standard.

I believe that students who take Calculus III at schools like Manchester Community College and Middlesex Community College and then transfer to UConn in pursuit of an Engineering or Physics degree are being set up for failure.

Our students deserve better!

View here a markup of a typical community college Final Exam.

I ask that students, parents and taxpayers contact your local community college and ask this question:

“With respect to the course calculus III (multivariable), are the Fundamental Theorems of Multivariable Calculus (Gradient, Green’s, Stokes and Divergence) being taught, and, if not, why not?”

Steven J. Toce of Willington is a retired engineering consultant (fiber optics) who has taught all levels of undergraduate math through to Differential Equations at UConn, MCC, MxCC, NVCC, Capital CC and in Boone, IA.

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