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ERIC Number: ED525474
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 124
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-7272-0
Using Student Characteristics in an Institutional Context to Examine Predictors of a Community College Student Passing a Developmental Education Course: A Multilevel Analysis
Huneycutt Sullivan, Kristie
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
Community colleges are uniquely charged with providing postsecondary educational opportunities to students who are generally the least prepared to receive them (Rosenbaum, 2007). To increase access and success, community colleges offer a variety of pre-college level courses often paired with academic and student services. The courses and services for students who need remediation have been scrutinized by researchers and policy makers, some of whom argue that the programs are ineffective and expensive. Advocates for such programs refer to them as "social and moral imperatives" and credit them for democratizing higher education (Cohen, 2003; McCabe, 1998) . The reality is that more than half of all postsecondary students enroll at community colleges (IPEDS, 2008); more than half of those require at least one developmental course (Bailey, 2004; developmental students are most likely to be students of color and low income (IPEDS, 2008; and fewer than one-third of developmental students persist to graduate from any postsecondary institution (Adelman, 2007; Cohen & Brawer 2003; Hagedorn, 2009). Empirical evidence shows that individual student characteristics are often associated with student outcomes (Calcagno, Bailey, Jenkins, Kienzl, & Leinbach, 2008; Bueschal, 2009; Boylan & Bliss 1997; Bettinger & Long 2005). Since community colleges have open admissions policies that allow little control over the characteristics of students who enroll at their institutions, the best opportunities for serving students lie in policies or programs that can mitigate these individual student level effects. Drawing upon theoretical and empirical evidence of best practices in community colleges and developmental education, this study seeks to identify what institutional and student variables are associated with the passing grades of developmental students enrolled in community colleges across North Carolina. Using student and institutional data from the North Carolina Community College System database, the DataWarehouse, and a survey of chief academic officers from each of the 58 community colleges in North Carolina, hierarchical logistic regression modeling was used to answer the research question of what student and institutional variables predict student passing rates in developmental courses. This study explored the institutional factors that predict students passing developmental courses, especially with student populations that have characteristics that are significant negative predictors of passing. Results from hierarchical logistic regressions demonstrated that while student characteristics, such as gender, race/ethnicity, and age were statistically significant predictors of passing in developmental courses, variance in developmental students pass rates in mathematics, English, and reading courses was also attributed to institutional characteristics. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina