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ERIC Number: ED522421
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 95
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-2302-2
Effectively Preparing College Bound Students for College-Level Mathematics: University Math Faculty Perceptions
Harms, Kristine
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of South Dakota
Visit with any university math faculty member throughout the United States, and you will soon hear how the freshman students are not prepared to be successful in introductory college algebra classes. The opinions are varied regarding why the students are unsuccessful; however, the concern and frustration is universal. According to American College Testing (ACT), nationally, only 42% of the high school students who took the ACT in 2009 scored a benchmark score of 22 or higher on the ACT math test, an indicator of preparedness for college algebra success (ACT, 2009). A score of 22 in mathematics indicates a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in college algebra (ACT, 2009). This study used a qualitative methods approach and was conducted through a phenomenological method of open-ended interviews in order to explore the perceptions of university mathematics faculty, who were important to this study because they provided contexts for further describing the phenomenon of effective practice for preparation of perspective college students for college algebra. This research involved interviewing faculty members from one college and two universities, whose interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed for themes and trends that seem to contribute to the determinant behaviors and effective practices for preparing students for college algebra. A thorough analysis of the interview transcripts identified five emerging themes among the data: the need for higher expectations from high school teachers, too much reliance on calculators, improvements to curriculum, lack of study skills, and expected math skills. The results of the study indicated that university faculty members feel that the high school teachers are too soft on their students and do not require the mastery of skills necessary to be successful in college algebra. Most freshman students lack the basic study skills and basic math skills to be successful in college algebra. To facilitate the improvement of preparation, students should be required to take math all four years in high school. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A