Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Marilyn Robb


The problem investigated in this study was the low completion rates of students in mandated developmental education courses at a local community college in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The purpose of this study was to examine factors that may contribute to the persistence of community college students who have completed mandated developmental education courses. The qualitative study uses Tinto’s student departure theory as the conceptual framework to examine the lack of persistence of students in developmental education classes. The study included interviews with eight students who have completed at least one developmental education course in the past 3 years. Data analysis included an extensive review of the interview transcripts to develop codes, categories, and themes to answer the research question. The findings of this study may identify personal or academic persistence strategies that may assist community colleges in increasing the success rates of students in developmental education. Completing a credential has social change implications as it may provide more significant job opportunities, and the ability to earn higher wages impacting their overall quality of life. Moreover, an individual that receives an associate degree may earn 17% more in their occupation than their counterparts with a high school diploma or equivalent.