Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6679-3830

Year of Publication

2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Educational Policy Studies and Eval

First Advisor

Dr. Willis Jones

Second Advisor

Dr. Jane Jensen

Abstract

Every year, millions of first-time students enroll in community colleges underprepared for college-level work in mathematics. Typically, these students are referred to a sequence of developmental courses designed to remediate their skills and prepare them for college-level work. Recently, educators and policy makers have questioned the efficacy of these courses, especially since most students assigned to remedial courses never complete the sequence and enroll in college-level courses. Calls to reform developmental mathematics have included changes to how institutions determine whether students are college-ready and the elimination of the remedial course sequences themselves. The corequisite model, in which students enroll in a college-level course in the same semester as a developmental or support course, has shown much promise to increase the rate at which students complete a credit-bearing mathematics course that counts towards graduation.

This study examined success in a corequisite liberal arts mathematics course at a large community college in the southeastern United States in which underprepared students enrolled simultaneously in a liberal arts mathematics course and a support course. The study first investigated success in the corequisite course in comparison to the historical rate at which similar students, placed into a prerequisite, developmental sequence, completed a college-level mathematics course. It then used a multiple regression to investigate predictors of success in the corequisite course. Finally, the study used a propensity score design to investigate how students performed in the corequisite course compared to those in the standalone version of the course deemed college ready.

The results showed that, overwhelmingly, more students completed a college-level mathematics course using the corequisite compared to first enrolling in a prerequisite developmental course or course sequence. Within the corequisite, high school GPA, socioeconomic status, and sex were the biggest predictors of course grade, while ACT and the placement test used were poor predictors. There was also an achievement gap for underrepresented minority students. When comparing students in the corequisite to similar students in the standalone, there was no difference in course grade. This study has practical significance not only to the institution at which it was conducted, but also the broader landscape of corequisite education.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2021.005

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