A Mastery-Based Approach to Learning Math

At the MLC, you will find a mastery-based approach to learning math under the guidance of an instructor and with tutorial support. You will learn by reading, watching video lectures, and completing practice problems

Math is a sequential learning subject. In order to learn a new topic, you must already understand what came before. Often, students who struggle with math have “gaps” in their mathematical knowledge, which is like trying to climb a staircase that is missing several steps. Mastering each topic ensures that your “mathematical staircase” is solid and complete with no gaps.

To be successful, you will need to be self-directed, self-motivated, and committed to working quickly enough to stay ahead of the testing deadlines. If you put in the time and effort into learning the material and ask for help when you need it, you can be successful in this program.

Math Learning Center Button

"Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."
~ Albert Einstein

In the MLC, you can do the following:

  • Complete your math requirements using a mastery-based approach.
  • Work quickly on easier material so that you can spend time on what you need to learn.
  • Receive regular help and feedback from your instructor.
  • Purchase one set of materials that will last you for all of our courses.
  • Study, get help, and take tests any time we are open.
  • Work at your own pace: Take the whole semester to complete your course or work quickly and complete two courses in one semester.

Course Offerings

The MLC offers two levels of math:

  1. Algebra readiness (covering arithmetic and pre-algebra)
  2. Combined algebra (covering elementary and intermediate algebra).

This material is divided into five 3-unit courses. Students must begin with a “part I” course.

Students who need only beginning algebra (MATH 100) or only intermediate algebra (MATH 120) may wish to take these courses in a regular lecture format instead of enrolling in the MLC.

These two courses are for students who are preparing to take algebra in the future. Both courses must be completed (6 units total) in order to then enroll in Math 131.
Entry Point MATH 41 Algebra Readiness – Part I No prerequisite required
MATH 42 Algebra Readiness – Part II Must complete MATH 41 first

These three courses are for students who are ready to take algebra (at any level) now. If you are unsure of which course you should enroll in, please make an appointment to see a counselor.

Entry Point MATH 131 Combined Algebra – Part I Prerequisite:
MATH 32 or MATH 42 or Math Placement Process
MATH 132 Combined Algebra – Part II Must complete MATH 131 first
MATH 133 Combined Algebra – Part III Must complete MATH 132 first
Students trying to satisfy a MATH 100 requirement may do so by completing both MATH 131 AND MATH 132

Required Materials

You must purchase the Algebra Readiness/Combined Algebra Custom Workbook and MyMathLab package from the ARC bookstore.

Note that one set of materials can be used for multiple MLC courses if completed in consecutive semesters. (Do not purchase a stand-alone MyMathLab kit because that code will not work for our courses.)

In order to watch the required videos and complete the required workbook pages while in the center, you will need to bring a set of inexpensive headphones. (Note that cell phone earbuds or earbuds with built-in microphones may not work.)

If you are in MATH 42 or one of the Combined Algebra courses, you will need a TI-30XIIS scientific calculator. (Non-scientific basic calculators with only +, −, ×, ÷, √, %, are also permitted.)

Program Highlights

You will receive regular guidance from your instructor. Following the mandatory orientation, you will be required to attend class once per week (twice in the summer) to meet with your instructor. You will be able to work in the center at other times as well.

You will master each skill before moving on to the next one. After successfully completing homework for a course module, you will take the online module test, retaking it if needed, until scoring at least 80%. Completion of all course modules is required to take the final exam (one try) that makes up most of the course grade.

You will be able to complete work and receive tutoring help at other times as well.

Moving into Lecture Classes

If you successfully complete a course in the MLC, but would rather complete the rest of your math journey using a traditional lecture format, the following charts may be useful:

This MLC course … … serves as a prerequisite to this regular lecture course   This MLC course … … serves as a prerequisite to this regular lecture course
MATH 41 None   MATH 132 MATH 120
MATH 42 Math 100, MATH 129, STAT 105   MATH 133 Various transfer-level courses

How to Register for MyMathLab

To register for your MLC course in MyMathLab, complete the following:

  1. Go to www.pearsonmylabandmastering.com.

  2. Under Register, click Student.

  3. Enter your instructor’s course ID. This will be your instructor’s last name followed by a five-digit number that you will find on your course info sheet.

  4. Sign in with an existing Pearson account or create an account (see below)

Create or Log In with a Pearson Account:

  • If you have used a Pearson website (for example, MyITLab, Mastering, MyMathLab,or MyPsychLab), enter your Pearson username and password. Click Sign in.
  • If you do not have a Pearson account, click Create. Write down your new Pearson username and password to help you remember them.

Select an option to access your instructor’s online course:

  • Use the access code that came with the workbook that you purchased in the ARC bookstore.
  • If you need to, get 14 days of temporary access. (Look for a link near the bottom of the page.)

Go to Your Course

  1. Click Go to Your Course on the Confirmation page.
  2. Under MyLab and Mastering New Design on the left, click the link to your course to start your work.

Retaking or Continuing a Course

If you are retaking this course or enrolling in another course with the same book, be sure to use your existing Pearson username and password. You will not need to pay again.
To sign in later:

  1. Go to www.pearsonlabandmastering.com.
  2. Click Sign in.
  3. Enter your Pearson account username and password. Click Sign in.
  4. Under MyLab and Mastering New Design on the left, click on your course to start your work.

Course Documents

Please use Google Chrome as your browser when working with MyMathLab.

The following documents are for students who are enrolling in Math 41 or 42 (Algebra Readiness, parts I and II) or in Math 131, 132, or 133 (Combined Algebra, parts I, II, and III).

Students in the program must purchase the Algebra Readiness/Combined Algebra Custom Workbook & MyMathLab package from the bookstore. Note that one set of materials can be used for multiple MMLC courses, if completed in consecutive semesters. (Do not purchase a stand-alone MyMathLab kit as that code will not work for our courses.) Please try to have these materials with you on the first day of class, if possible.

Syllabi and Calendars
Memos for Students

My Math Lab

NMLC Natomas Center

Math Learning Center

Students may enter the program at these points:

  • Math 41: Algebra Readiness, part I, or
  • Math 131: Combined Algebra, part I

Mathematics and Statistics

MLC Main Campus


Program Director: Chris Heeren
TSA, Carolyn Donohoe-Mather
Phone: (916) 484-8632


Monday to Thursday
8:00 am to 7:50 pm
Friday and Saturday
8:00 am to 10:50 am