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Students With Calculus Credit: What Can We Do?

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Innovative Instruction Strategies in Calculus

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Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1324.1 - 12.1324.11



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Paper Authors


Elton Graves Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Elton Graves is a member of the Mathematics Department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1981. He received his doctorate in mathematics from Idaho State University in 1981. He co-authored the first $100,000 ILI Grant to incorporate the use of CAS into the teaching of calculus, and differential equations. He is currently the director of the Fast Track Calculus Program.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Students with Calculus Credit: What Can We Do?


Over the years more and more students are taking calculus in high school. This has caused a problem at colleges and universities because every high school calculus course is different and some students have AP calculus while others don’t.

In this paper we will discuss a summer class we have taught since 1982 called Fast Track Calculus. The class was specifically designed for students who have had a year of high school calculus, but have either not had an AP calculus course and thus can not receive college credit; or have taken an AP calculus course, but want to move on more quickly.

The class lasts five weeks and covers all of the material we cover in our calculus sequence. In the paper we will discuss the requirements for admittance into the program, the syllabus, the advantages to the students who take the course, and the outcomes of the students who have taken the course.


Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is a small engineering school. All of our students major in engineering, mathematics, or science. Over half of our incoming freshman class has had a high school calculus course and between eighty-five and ninety percent of our freshman class were in the top twenty percent of their high school graduating class. Like a lot of schools who have students who have taken a calculus course in high school, Rose struggled with the problem of how to best meet the needs of these students.

Fast Track Calculus was started in the summer of 1982, as a way to help students who had taken a year of high school calculus take advantage of their knowledge. The idea was to offer a course during the summer that covered our freshman calculus sequence. Thus, students could begin their freshman year by taking our sophomore level differential equations sequence. By finishing their mathematics requirements a year early, it was our hope to provide these talented students a better opportunity to pursue second majors, or minors, earn technical certificates, or possibly allow them to graduate early.

It was felt that in order to ensure the students had an excellent chance of passing the Fast Track Calculus (FTC) course, only students with an SAT mathematics score of 700 or more would be allowed to enter the program. The students would also need a letter of recommendation from their high school calculus teacher. Students would also have to write a short essay on why they wanted to be admitted to the program.

The most important criteria for selection into the program is the letter of recommendation from the student’s calculus teacher. The profile we are looking for is a mathematically talented student who is a hard worker, who is willing to ask questions, and is willing to work with others.

Graves, E. (2007, June), Students With Calculus Credit: What Can We Do? Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2135

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