Date of Award

Summer 7-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Second Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Panagos

Third Advisor

Kathy Haberer


With more people enrolling in college today, community colleges face a higher percentage of students who do not have college-level skills. To meet the needs of the underprepared student, colleges established developmental education programs. This study examined the success of developmental programs through examination of secondary data using a z-Test for difference in means, Chi-Square test for Independence, Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient, and ANOVA. Through use of these statistical tests, the researcher analyzed the differences between the data and compared the variables from each institution to determine areas of strength and weakness in student outcomes to link with use of strategies within the developmental program. The variables examined included ratio of student-to-teacher in remedial courses, remedial course completion, GPA, retention rate for developmental students, and average enrollment in remedial courses. For this study, three community colleges in the Midwest region of the United States agreed to provide data. Each offered its students a developmental education program. After employing statistical tests to determine which community college developmental program, among three institutions of higher learning, showed success, the researcher found that not one college showed success across all areas. In examining retention rates among the three institutions, Brown College showed a statistical difference with higher retention rates. When comparing retention rates to course withdrawal, the researcher did not find a relationship. However, completion rates for developmental courses were the highest at Green College. Further analysis of completion rates and withdrawal rates showed Brown College’s completion rates were related to course iii withdrawals. After analyzing the dependent variables GPA, teacher-to-student ratio, and type of developmental program attended, the researcher found no statistical relationship to exist with student success. Since community colleges continue to struggle with meeting the needs of underprepared students, this research study may provide valuable insights on effective changes for program success. Further research into developmental education programs at the institutions yielding statistical differences could provide strategies for improvement at other Midwest community colleges. Developing partnerships with area high schools to address and align expectations may improve students’ skills for college-ready level courses.


Copyright 2011