National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Honors in Practice, volume 4. Copyright 2008 National Collegiate Honors Council.


When the honors program at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (then Westark Community College) began in 1990, it was decided that the honors mathematics course would be College Algebra, a decision based on the premise that our student population required an opportunity to earn honors credit at an introductory level, at least in mathematics. The course developed by the mathematics department met with some success by stimulating interest in algebra topics using an environmental modeling approach. The textbook, Earth Algebra (by Schuafele, Zumoff, Sims, and Sims), provided a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn the techniques of College Algebra through applications to “real-world” problems.