Cal State University poised to drop plan for tougher math admissions requirement
California State University plans to drop a plan that would have forced students to take a full course load of calculus, trigonometry and geometry in order to get into the university’s master’s degree program in math.
The university’s board of trustees voted Wednesday to abandon plans to add a six-semester calculus course to the master’s degree in math. But CSU president Yolanda Dunn said she would keep the calculus requirement and add a course on linear algebra that is designed for people who already know calculus.
The board will make a final decision on the decision, though, on Friday.
In the past, Cal State has required students to take calculus courses to become master’s degree candidates in math. But the plan had become controversial because of the high stakes involved. In fall 2015, Cal State was sued by a Chinese businessman, Wang Jianlin, who alleged he was misled after he failed the college’s math requirement.
Dunn on Wednesday said the calculus requirement was an attempt to improve the student-to-faculty ratio at Cal State. A professor and engineering major, she said, couldn’t compete with a student majoring in the arts or sciences who had a better chance of being hired in industry. She said that while some Cal State students took a calculus course, others didn’t.
In addition, the new math requirement would have been a change for Cal State, which now doesn’t require calculus from students taking its master’s degrees in math. That change, she said, would have created a big change in Cal State’s student-to-faculty ratio.
After the vote was taken, Cal State trustee Steve Delucia Jr. said it would allow the board to “move on,” even if it drops the new calculus requirement.
The calculus requirement would have required Cal State students to take at least two classes: one class in calculus to become a master’s degree candidate, and a six-credit class in calculus.
The calculus requirement would have been the first of more than 100 change that Cal State said it would introduce to improve its student body, according to the Trustees Report.
“We would have to move on,” Deluc