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ERIC Number: ED555499
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 288
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3034-4672-6
What's Working: Program Factors Influencing California Community College Basic Skills Mathematics Students' Advancement to Transfer Level
Fiero, Diane M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of La Verne
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine which basic skills program factors were exhibited by successful basic skills programs that helped students advance to transfer-level mathematics. This study specifically examined California community college basic skills programs that assist students who place in mathematics courses 2 levels below transfer-level mathematics. Methodology: The analysis included a descriptive study of the results of basic skills mathematics programs in the state of California, essentially rank ordering them from highest level of student progression to lowest level of student progression, based on data from the California Community College State Chancellor's Office Basic Skills Initiative (BSI) Cohort Tracker. The individuals administering these programs, the basic skills coordinators, were surveyed in regard to their general basic skills programs and specifically their basic skills mathematics programs to see what factors their programs exhibit. The survey instrument included 127 structured questions relating to 43 program factors. An open-ended question was included to inquire about additional factors affecting the success of the colleges' basic skills programs. Findings: Examination of quantitative and qualitative data indicated 11 program factors were more often implemented in high-performing programs than in low-performing programs and are arguably making the most difference in student progression. In addition, greater involvement on the part of management in administering the basic skills program led to improved program success. Having a single chair and a highly coordinated program was also key to a higher performing program. Conclusions: The study supports the conclusion that implementation of specific program factors and program leadership impacts student progression to transfer-level mathematics. Recommendations: Further research was recommended in several areas. These areas include further study of the 11 program factors, top-ranked programs, and a replication of the study for basic skills English. In addition, it is recommended that the lack of articulation between high schools and colleges be further examined as well as the requirement for mandatory placement based on college assessment exams. Lastly, it was recommended that innovative basic skills mathematics programs using alternative curriculum, acceleration, and contextualized mathematics be studied in depth. [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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A