Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Maureen Ellis


First year traditional college students required to register in a sequence of remedial courses prior to enrollment in credit-bearing courses often get discouraged by the financial burden and time commitments of this additional work and, subsequently, decide to drop out. The purpose of this qualitative program evaluation was to examine the effectiveness of the remedial adult literacy program being used at a 4-year urban college in the northeast and assess the curriculum alignment with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) standards. Knowles theory of andragogy, which suggests that adults are self-directed and expect to take responsibility for their own decisions, was the conceptual framework for this study. Research questions addressed participants' perceptions of the current adult literacy program. All 60 students enrolled in the adult literacy program completed open-ended questionnaires and participated in focus group interviews. Two faculty and 3 administrators responsible for the adult literacy program completed questionnaires and participated in individual interviews. Thematic coding and member checks allowed for data triangulation to analyze the findings. Three themes emerged to improve the quality and effectiveness of the current program: reform of instructional program, technology intervention, and enhancing student learning through assessment. Staff members did not think curriculum aligned with CHEA standards. The majority of students and staff preferred a media versus text-based curriculum. Social change is promoted by continued program evaluation and integrating technology in adult literacy programs to improve student achievement and self-efficacy, prompting greater college completion and workforce preparation.

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