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Skidmore College
Quantitative Reasoning

Faculty Information on Applied Quantitative Reasoning Requirement & Placement Diagnostic

As part of the new General Education curriculum, which took effect with the entering class of 2020, all students are required to complete an Applied Quantitative Reasoning (AQR) course by the end of their third year in order to graduate. In AQR courses, students develop and use quantitative skills in an applied setting to consider, model, and solve discipline-specific or interdisciplinary real-world problems and interpret and communicate the results of their inquiries. While taking one AQR course is the sole graduation requirement, students may need to complete as many as two prior courses to enroll in an AQR course.  Some students will need to successfully complete both MA 100: Quantitative Reasoning and a Fundamental Quantitative Reasoning (FQR) course. Other students will need to take only an FQR course in order to satisfy the prerequisite to enroll in an AQR course. Finally, other students will place directly into the AQR level either via standardized test scores or via their performance on an online QR Placement Diagnostic.

If you have questions, please see the Frequently Asked Questions below. If you have additional questions, please contact the QR Director, Smriti Tiwari

Students can meet the prerequisite to enroll in an AQR course in one of four ways (Figure 1):

  1. Achieving a score of at least 650 on the MSAT I examination, a score of at least 570 on any Mathematics SAT II subject examination, or a score of at least 28 on the Mathematics ACT examination to directly place into an AQR course. ACT or SAT scores must be submitted to the College.
  2. Taking the online QR Placement Diagnostic and earning a score on the diagnostic that places them directly into an AQR course.  Incoming students who do not submit ACT or SAT scores or whose scores do not place them into an AQR course must take the online QR Placement Diagnostic.
  3. Taking the online QR Placement Diagnostic and earning a score on the diagnostic that places them directly into an FQR course. Students who place into an FQR course must successfully complete it by the end of their second year.  These courses, which are offered by a variety of departments, emphasize the application of mathematical calculations and concepts to daily life.
  4. Taking the online QR Placement Diagnostic and earning a score on the diagnostic that places into MA 100 (Quantitative Reasoning). This course, which emphasizes basic quantitative reasoning skills in mathematics and statistics, is required for all students who do not place into an AQR or FQR course and must be successfully completed by the end of their first year. Students must then successfully complete an FQR course by the end of their second year.

QR Figure 1

For advising first year students, please note their QR placement especially if they are placed at the MA 100 level or FQR level. MA 100 should be completed by the end of the first year and FQR courses by the end of the sophomore year. However, certain majors require or recommend AQR courses in the first or second year. For example, it is recommended that a student intending to major in psychology should take PS 202, an AQR course, the spring of their first year. If not then, PS 202 should be completed in the second year. A student placing into MA 100 would need to complete MA 100 and then an FQR course prior to enrolling in PS 202. Ideally, the student would complete MA 100 fall of their first year and an FQR course the spring of their first year in order to enroll in PS 202 in the fall of their second year.
 

Prerequisites for QR courses*

AQR – placement at AQR level or completion of an FQR course
FQR – placement at the FQR or AQR level, or completion of MA 100
MA 100 – placement at the MA 100 level
* Note that individual courses may have an additional prerequisite(s) or corerequisite(s). It is the student's responsibility to determine what is required before enrolling in a course.

 

Faculty FAQ

All students must complete one AQR course. No students are exempt from this requirement. However, similar to the Writing Requirement, students may be required to take up to two prerequisite courses, including MA 100 and a Fundamental Quantitative Reasoning (FQR) course.  Students can enroll in an AQR course via a) standardized test scores, b) performance on an online QR Placement Diagnostic completed prior to summer registration, or c) completing prerequisite courses. See Figure 1. Students who place into MA 100 must successfully complete this course by the end of their first year.  Students who place into FQR successfully complete an FQR course by the end of their second year. All students must complete the AQR requirement by the end of their third year.

No. The AQR requirement is not a math requirement. Applied quantitative reasoning leverages mathematical skills, reasoning, and knowledge to understand our world and to inform our lives and choices. Accordingly, the emphasis in AQR courses is on using foundational mathematical understanding to characterize, comprehend, and model real world empirical data to examine the behavior of populations or systems, with all the complexity and nuance that entails; to interpret and communicate quantitative results and data; and to use quantitative reasoning to make informed decisions. 

As such, AQR courses are offered from a variety of disciplines including Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Environmental Science, Geosciences, Political Science, Psychology, Physics, Sociology, Social Work, and Statistics. 

Upon successfully completing an AQR course, a student will be able to do the following:
  • Use statistical and/or mathematical models to characterize empirical data;
  • Understand, model, and predict the behavior of populations or systems;
  • Interpret and communicate results orally and/or in writing; and
  • Use quantitative reasoning for informed decision-making.
 
Upon successfully completing an FQR course, a student will be able to do the following:
  • Perform mathematical calculations involving estimation, basic formulas, units, percentages, fractions, statistics, probability, and geometry;
  • Formulate and apply basic algebra skills;
  • Understand, interpret, and apply mathematical concepts and calculations in his/her/their daily life;
  • Effectively communicate and discuss mathematical concepts and results both orally and in writing; and
  • Appreciate the power and utility of quantitative reasoning.
If your course is new and needs Curriculum Committee Approval:

Instructors must upload their course proposals in the Curriculog system (accessed via the Registrar’s web page) by September 15 for spring term approval and December 15 for fall term approval. Once inside the system, choose to add the AQR or FQR Proposal Form, as appropriate. In addition to filling out all required fields, you will be asked to upload your syllabus. Please note that your course syllabus must integrate the FQR or AQR learning goals with your own learning goals. Please launch and approve your proposal, which submits your course to the Quantitative Reasoning Director for review before moving to the Curriculum Committee for review. At any stage you may be asked for further inclusions or clarifications. Once a course is certified as an FQR or AQR course, the course will be reviewed by the QR review team within 5 years of approval or at the discretion of the QR Director.

If your course is already approved by Curriculum Committee and you seek FQR or AQR approval (regardless of whether or not your course was previously a QR2 course):

Instructors teaching a special topics class or a course already approved by the Curriculum Committee do not need to upload their course proposal through the Curriculog system. Instead instructors need to submit the FQR or AQR Proposal form and their syllabus to the Director of Quantitative Reasoning, Smriti Tiwari, via email. Please note that your course syllabus must integrate the FQR or AQR learning goals with your own learning goals. The deadline for submission this academic year is March 9. You may be asked for further inclusions or clarifications. Once a course is certified as an FQR or AQR course, the course will be reviewed by the QR review team within 5 years of approval or at the discretion of the QR Director.

No. Old QR2 courses do not automatically become AQR courses. One of the reasons for passing the AQR requirement as part of our new General Education curriculum was to strengthen the quantitative reasoning abilities of all graduating students. The newly approved FQR and AQR courses are already available. They are offered by a range of departments and programs. Faculty interested in submitting a course to be approved as an AQR or an FQR course should visit here.

All advisors will need to be aware of their advisees’ current QR placement and be prepared to suggest appropriate FQR and AQR courses, as necessary. In many departments and programs, an AQR course may also be  a required course for the major. In such cases, be aware that some students may need to complete both MA 100 and a FQR course prior to enrolling in the AQR course required for the major.

Incoming students who do not place directly in AQR via standardized testing must take online the QR Placement Diagnostic prior to discussing courses with their summer advisor. Unlike the old QR 1 test, students take the Diagnostic online and may only take it once. The purpose of the Diagnostic is to determine if students are ready for an AQR course or if they need to further develop their basic quantitative skills before taking an AQR course. Based on their performance, students may be placed a) into AQR, b) into FQR, or c) into MA 100. Students should complete the Quantitative Reasoning Placement Diagnostic or they may not be able to register for quantitative reasoning courses.

The student will get an email with their QR placement within five business days of taking the diagnostic. Typically, it will be within hours of taking the diagnostic. Advisors will be able to see the placement in the Advisor Portal. 

It may take up to a day after the placement to be in the registration system.

Direct your advisee to the student AQR FAQ. If there is a technical issue, suggest that they contact the SKIDMORE IT HELPDESK via e-mail helpdesk@skidmore.edu or via phone at 1-518-580-5900. The Skidmore IT HELDESK is open 8:30 am to 6 pm Eastern Monday through Friday. For other issues, e-mail the Quantitative Reasoning Director, Dr. Smriti Tiwari

To develop an FQR or AQR course, e-mail the Quantitative Reasoning Director, Dr. Smriti Tiwari with any questions you have. The QR Review Team is looking for ways to partner with the CLTL on professional development opportunities. If you have ideas or suggestions, please contact the QR Director. 

In addition, the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton has a number of helpful resources on the principles of teaching QR, designing assignments, assessing QR,  QR across the curriculum, and QR/Math with other helpful resources

Students who matriculated prior to the Fall of 2020 are under the old All College requirements and thus QR1 and QR2. Please go to the prior QR website for additional details.