Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Developmental education—untangling the knot: A study of disaggregated developmental education data from selected Pennsylvania community colleges
by Connelly-Weida, Cecelia, Ph.D., Capella University, 2011, 250; 3475236
Abstract (Summary)

The Lumina Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Columbia University’s Teacher’s College Community College Research Center, and Appalachian State’s National Center for Developmental Education, funded in part by the Kellogg Institute, expended considerable energy researching promising instructional and support practices in the area of developmental education, yet, research indicates as many as 80% of college students require at least one or more developmental course. National Community Benchmark Project (NCCBP) and the Community College Research Center studies reported in aggregate, combining the many levels of coursework one college provided into one number and comparing the aggregated number with a different aggregate or combination of levels from another college. Very little was done to facilitate an apples-to-apples comparison through disaggregation of the multilevel developmental course data to see if the additional detail provided enough information for improved interpretation of developmental reading, writing, and math class retention, completer success (A, B, C, or pass), and completer success in related first college-credit class. With Capella University Institutional Review Board approval, four Pennsylvania community colleges served as research sites, conducted a structured record review, and provided de-identified numerical data. Analyses paralleled the NCCBP reporting structure using descriptive statistics and measures of central tendency from which trends emerged. Institutional overall and individual courses were compared to NCCBP national and Pennsylvania results. Within-institution and combined analyses were completed. Results within ±2 percentage points of benchmarks were identified. In support of research recommendations, the data analysis was designed to be easily understood and replicable by nonstatisticians, such as faculty and staff, attempting to better understand their institutional results in support of student persistence, departmental and institutional improvement. The disaggregation supported the theoretical framework and prior research, and provided individual institutions additional data with which to determine developmental coursework (a) at or above expected retention and/or completer success, and (b) at lower-than-expected measures that, with additional attention, might better support students’ remediation completion. The analysis facilitated the apples-to-apples comparison for programmatic improvement supporting completion of developmental studies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McCoy, Douglas
Commitee: Jazzar, Michael, Rasmussen, Christopher J.
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 73/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Educational tests & measurements, Education Policy
Keywords: Community college, Developmental education, Disaggregated data, National Community College Benchmark Project (NCCBP), Pennsylvania, Remedial education
Publication Number: 3475236
ISBN: 978-1-124-93269-9
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