Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Chair

Dr. Kyna Shelley

Committee Chair Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 2

Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Dr. Thomas J. Lipscomb

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 4

Dr. Lilian H. Hill

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 5

Dr. Richard S. Mohn

Committee Member 5 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the developmental education process within the community college system in Mississippi. Tinto’s (1993) Integration Theory and Astin’s (1993) Theory of Student Involvement were employed as a framework to assess and understand the relationship between academic integration, social integration, student involvement, and rates of completion.

This concurrent mixed method study identified best practices related to the successful completion of developmental education courses from the vantage point of the faulty and administration at the community college. A total of ten faculty and administrators from five of the community colleges in Mississippi were given a 13-item interview questionnaire and participated in a face-to-face interview to gather these best practices. The theoretical perspective of “interpretivism” was used to understand the interviewees’ responses, thereby identifying common themes among those who were interviewed.

Secondly, a total of 186 Mississippi Community College students participated in the study by completing the Modified Institutional Integration and Student Involvement Questionnaire. The data were analyzed through a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). The MANOVA provided a p-value for each dependent variable indicating if the difference and interaction as statistically significant. Additionally, a One-Way ANOVA was also conducted.

The final results of this study included a list of 10 best practices that were based on the interviews with faculty members and administrators from some of the community colleges in Mississippi. Secondly, the study found that 72.9% of community college students enrolled in developmental math continue on and complete intermediate algebra or college algebra. Additionally, 36.5% of community college students enrolled in developmental English continue on and complete English Composition I. Further, the results indicated by this study is that there was not a difference between developmental education students and non-developmental education students as it pertained to the faculty interaction subscales and the student interaction subscales. However, there was a difference between the involvement of developmental education students and non-developmental education students. The developmental education students were more involved with outside activities than the non-developmental education students.