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Success in college Math class depends on a student’s ability to respond to the challenges presented by new problems and new ideas. In addition to the process and content standards that follow, the attributes described below are crucial to success in college-level courses, both in mathematics and in other disciplines.

 Demonstrates intellectual engagement.

  • Perceives mathematics as a way of understanding — a view that mathematics must make sense, and is not a sequence of algorithms to be memorized and applied.
  • Actively explores new ideas, posing questions about their meaning, significance, and implications.
  • Recognizes patterns–as well as deviations–from previously learned patterns in data, diagrams, symbols, and words.
  • Appreciates that abstraction and generalization are important sources of the power of mathematics.
  • Is willing to take risks and be challenged as part of the learning process.
  • Contributes to and benefits from group problem-solving activities.

Takes responsibility for own learning.

  • Attends nearly every class session and when absent, seeks ways to learn the material covered in class.
  • Conscientiously prepares work assigned for class.
  • Examines and learns from his or her errors and seeks help when needed.
  • Takes advantage of available resources — class time, notes, textbook, assignments, tutoring services, supplemental materials.

Perseveres when faced with time-consuming or complex tasks.

  • Sets aside the time necessary to be successful.
  • Is willing to work on problems that require time and thought, particularly problems that cannot be solved by mimicking a previously seen example.
  • Successfully completes tasks that require organizing and implementing multiple steps, concepts, or techniques.
  • Recognizes when an approach is unproductive and makes logical modifications to that approach or switches to another approach.
  • Is convinced that effort is an important component of success in mathematics.

Pays attention to detail.

  • Correctly follows all parts of oral and written directions without needing additional reminders.

Makes few notational errors, e.g., accidentally changing digits, dropping or altering algebra symbols, incorrectly positioning points on a grid, etc.