Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Higher Education

Committee Chair

Katrina Anne meyer

Committee Member

Jeffery L Wilson

Committee Member

Mitsunori Misawa


Arkansas Department of Higher Education data show that approximately 75% of Arkansas community college students are required to take at least one developmental education class (Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, 2012, p. 7.2). This is significantly higher than the approximately 30% average (Provasnik & Planty, 2008, p. 11) of community college students across the US. Developmental mathematics is the most commonly needed subject within Arkansas, with over 40% of community college students enrolling in at least one developmental mathematics course (Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, 2012, p. 7.3). Despite being common, few institutions that teach Developmental Education perform and then publish research about the success (or non-success) of their students. Although limited studies are available concerning specific areas, no existing studies evaluate all of the departmental and institutional policies for a single population. Specifically, this study evaluated the association between the institutional and departmental policies that developmental mathematics students encounter with their final grades and success in their classes. This study evaluated these policies applied to the developmental mathematics program at one small community college in the Arkansas Delta—Mid-South Community College. These policies include Math Placement Tests, Incomplete Policy, Continue Policy, and Persistence Policy. This analysis used a Systems Theory theoretical approach to evaluate three research questions: Were placement tests associated with mathematical success in the current class? In their next class? Was the Incomplete policy associated with long-term mathematical success? Was student rate of progress associated with mathematical success? This analysis used the Registrar’s archival data which included 11,226 classes taken by 5,489 students over 23 semesters, analyzed through Frequency Analysis and Linear Regression Analysis. This study concluded that Math Placement Tests were weakly linked to student success, Incompletes were linked to mixed success in students’ current class and lower success in the student’s next class, and students with a slow rate of progress had lower grades than those who completed classes quickly.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.