Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Carole Pearce


Nationally and locally, developmental education students attending community colleges are not persisting at a high rate. This growing attrition problem affects many aspects of a local community college including enrollment, completion rates, and tuition revenue. The purpose of this study was to analyze community college administrators' perceptions of developmental education and how developmental education affects student attrition. The conceptual framework of this study, social constructivism, provided a foundation to better understand the role each administrator plays in this social group. A qualitative study through structured interviews was conducted, targeting 10 college administrators from 1 local community college, from each of the following college units: student affairs, academic affairs, and finance. Once data were collected through the interview process and transcribed, major themes and categories were developed by examining majority common responses to the interview questions. The findings found administrator perceptions of developmental education and how it impacts student attrition heavily focused on students' personal problems, need for improved student engagement, teaching methods, and curriculum delivery modalities that would promote student success. Success of these students is significant to the financial and enrollment sustainability of the local community college. This sustainability in terms of increased enrollment, tuition revenue, and completion rates contributes to social change within the local community college and the community by developing community members through education.