Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


This study pertained to a problem faced by officials of Hawkeye Community College (HCC). With the Tech-Prep educational reform now taking place in the United States and with the ever increasing diversity of electronics, those officials had to make a decision about the status of the courses entitled Applied Algebra and Electronics Math, both of which are included in the electronics engineering technology program at HCC.

The purpose of this study was to determine which mathematics courses were most appropriate for electronics technicians now and in the near future. Three research questions required answers: Question 1 -- should Applied Algebra and Electronics Math contents remain unchanged? Question 2 -- should Applied Algebra be sacrificed in favor of adding calculus? Question 3 -- should only analytic geometry and calculus be taught? Answers to these questions were sought in published results of local, regional, and national studies, in publications by associations, and in publications by authoritative persons or groups of persons. According to the criteria set forth in the report, any answers coming from the Iowa Department of Education officials and from employers of electronic technicians were to take precedence over all others in case of contradicting ideas.

An analysis of the gathered information showed that employers were suggesting intense training in algebra and trigonometry. This contrasted with educators' proposals which included calculus. A third proposal, which came from diverse sources, was to make mathematics courses less career oriented, i.e., make them more general in application.

Three recommendations are made, which are as follows: 1) Keep the Applied Algebra and Electronics Math sequence the same as it is now taught. 2) Track the mathematics skills of enrolling students, as those skills might be sufficient to allow Hawkeye Community College officials to grant credit for Applied Algebra. 3) Consider changing the content of Electronics Math to a more general content which deals with practical problems in other fields and not just electronics.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

Ervin A. Dennis


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Date Original


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