Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Deborah Bauder

Abstract

Many community colleges struggle to find the best strategy to help incoming at-risk students prepare for the placement test. The purpose of this quantitative quasi-experimental study, was to answer the question as to which of 2 programs, a 2-week, face-to-face mathematics refresher program, Math Boost-Up, or an online-only program, might increase the ACCUPLACER posttest scores of incoming community college students. The study used archival data for 136 students who self-selected to either participate in the Math Boost-Up program (the experiment group), or in the online-only program (the comparison group). Knowles's theory of adult learning, andragogy, served as the theoretical framework. Spearman, Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney, and chi-square tests were used to measure the effect of 4 moderator variables (age, high school GPA, number of minutes spent in MyFoundationsLab, and number of days spent in face-to-face sessions) on the pre- and posttest scores of students in each group. The results indicated that students in the Math Boost-Up program experienced statistically significant gains in arithmetic and elementary algebra than did those students in the online-only program. The results also indicated that the 4 moderator variables affected gains in posttest scores. Additionally, the results disproved the andragogical premise that students would be self-directed and would self-select to participate in the intervention. A recommendation was that participation in the face-to-face refresher program should be mandatory. The study contributes to social change by providing evidence that short-term refresher programs could increase the scores of students on placement tests.