Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Dr. Felicia Blacher-Wilson

Abstract

After Senate Bill (SB) 1720, exempt students enrolling in colleges in Florida no longer have to take a college placement test or enroll in developmental education courses before enrolling in college-level classes. SB1720 caused Florida colleges to find new methods of placement for incoming students, a concern because incorrect placement can have detrimental effects for the student and institution. Bounded rationality theory and Bahr's interpretation of student typology informed this study. The purpose of this survey study was to compare the exempt students who enrolled in remedial math to those who enrolled in college-level math. Research questions asked what differences existed between the 2 groups of students comparing high school grade point average (GPA), student typology, prior knowledge of enrollment decisions, confidence in enrollment decision, satisfaction with the course, and expected course grade. A survey was distributed to all students at a Florida college affected by SB1720, and 84 responses were received from 15 developmental students, 51 gateway students, and 18 college-level students. Analysis of variance test results only showed a significant difference, F(1, 82) = .54, p = .040, between exempt students enrolled in developmental math and students enrolled in gateway or college-level math comparing high school GPA. Based on the study results, college administrators should use high school GPA as an alternative method for better placement of students in their first college-level math course. Enrolling students in the correct courses from the start could eliminate the costs of time, money, and credit hours, resulting in more students completing college on time.

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