A Mixed Methods Study: The Examination Of A Developmental Education Program At An Urban Public Maryland Community College

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Advanced Studies, Leadership, and Policy


Doctor of Philosophy

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This was a mixed methods study that examined the developmental education program at an urban public Maryland community college. The data were collected from interviews with a former English Chair, a former Math Chair, and the Director of Institutional Research. Each was selected because of his and her expertise. Data were also collected from one cross-sectional survey composed of 47 questions and one focus group of students currently enrolled at the Maryland community college, which asked 7 questions. The research and examination of the urban public Maryland community college found many troubling concerns but none that could not be overcome to the benefit of the remedial education students it currently serves if the researcher's recommendations were implemented. The researcher found that although the college referred to its learning assistance program as a developmental education program, it was in fact a remedial education program with math remediation embedded in the Math Department and English and Reading remediation embedded in the English Department. The Researcher also found that College personnel have followed the lead of many educators and educational institutions and have adopted the term developmental education as a more positive term relative to their remedial education students. Among the major findings, the researcher found that there was virtually no communication between the Math Department and the English Department, the two departments that provided 100% of the remediation. The Developmental Education Committee that once played a prominent role in establishing policy and guidance for remedial education had not been revived. Also found was that retention and grades were not tracked for remedial education students and the most remedial education faculty were not especially hired to teach remedial education and that the majority of these faculty were not required to attend workshops to stay current in their field. The key finding was that the college did not have a developmental education program; it had a remedial education program. The researcher also found that the President of the College announced the college to be a Learning Centered College with no institutional, physical, behavioral, or fiscal changes to make the Learning Centered College a reality. The focus group students had many complaints about tutors and tutoring in general the researcher found, but they had an overall positive view of the college, while recognizing that some of their problems were of their own making.