This Guide is written for students who are taking or plan to take pre-calculus mathematics courses at Colorado State University, for parents of CSU students and prospective students, for secondary teachers and counselors whose graduates may attend CSU, for CSU faculty who advise students, and for anyone else who is interested in or curious about Colorado State’s Paced Algebra to Calculus electronically (PACe) Program.

Entry level mathematics courses intended to prepare students to take other university courses that use mathematics are called pre-calculus courses. These courses include College Algebra, Logarithmic and Exponential Functions, and Trigonometry. At Colorado State, all pre-calculus courses are taught in the PAC Program.

Students who take pre-calculus mathematics are an academically diverse group. They have different backgrounds, aptitudes, attitudes, and goals. In the early 1970’s the CSU Mathematics Department became convinced that these students were not well served in traditional classrooms where, in spite of these differences, everyone is expected to learn in similar ways and at similar rates. This led to the development of the PACe Program.

Since its inception, the management and development of the PACe Program has been guided by the beliefs that college students must take the responsibility and initiative for their own learning and that given suitable learning resources, adequate time, and sufficient positive encouragement all college students can master entry level mathematics.  The instructional design of these courses is based on a mastery program, meaning that students will achieve a minimum level of proficiency with each topic before proceeding to the next.

Over the past forty-four years, the PACe Program has developed into a flexible instructional system that gives all CSU students the opportunity to master pre-calculus mathematics by providing them choices of content, an array of learning resources, variability in credits and deadlines, and various levels of individual support and encouragement. In 1996 the university recognized the quality of the Individualized Mathematics Program (the former name of the PACe Program) by awarding Dr. Ken Klopfenstein, a former director, the N. Preston Davis Award for Instructional Innovation.

The next evolution of the PACe Program was launched Fall Semester of 2005 with fully online instructional material and the ability for students to work on their courses nearly 24×7.  The College of Natural Sciences awarded Dr. Paul Kennedy, Co-Director of the PACe Program, the 2007 Excellence in Teaching Award for Teaching Innovation in recognition of the design and development of this online instructional platform.  In 2008, Dr. Kennedy was honored  by being selected as a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar.

The Guide to Taking PACe Courses is available online in PDF format (requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Back to top of page