Date of Award

Winter 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Community College Leadership

Committee Director

Alan Schwitzer

Committee Member

Linda Bol

Committee Member

Shana Pribesh


An increasing number of community college matriculants enter college needing remediation in mathematics. This study examined factors that may affect student retention and academic success in a developmental Algebra I course at a community college, including demographic variables, life demand variables, pre-enrollment academic characteristic, self-regulated learning characteristics, and instructional methodology.

The study ran for two consecutive semesters and included 154 participants. Self-report measures were used to gain demographic information and information about students' beliefs about math and their self-regulated learning characteristics at the beginning of the semester. An elementary algebra pre-test was administered at the beginning of the semester with an elementary algebra post-test administered during the final week of the semester. A variety of measures were used to analyze the data: descriptive analysis, logistic regression, multiple regression, chi-square analysis, and ANCOVA.

Several results of the study were contrary to the hypotheses. Results indicated that of the demographic variables, noncognitive variables, and high school grade point average (GPA), only age and GPA may be predictors of retention in developmental Algebra I; none of the variables showed a statistically significant relationship with success. There were no statistically significant relationships for students' beliefs about math or their self-regulated learning characteristics with retention and success. Results indicated that statistically significant differences exist in both retention and success as a result of instructional methodology.

The contrary findings may be attributed to the constructs and/or instruments used to measure the constructs or to the research design. Further research is needed.


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