Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Research suggests that student success in mathematics is positively correlated to math self-efficacy and negatively correlated to math anxiety. At a Hispanic serving community college in the Midwest, developmental math students had a lower pass rate than did college-level math students, but the role of math self-efficacy and math anxiety on these students' learning was unknown. This causal comparative, correlational study, guided by social cognitive theory and math anxiety research, hypothesized that students in developmental math would have lower levels of math self-efficacy and higher levels of math anxiety, and that significant correlations would exist between course level, self-efficacy, and anxiety. All math students at this setting (N = 1,019) were contacted to complete the self-report Mathematics Self-Efficacy and Anxiety Questionnaire; 32 developmental math and 103 college-level math students returned the survey. A random sample of 32 college-level students was selected to create equal group sizes for the data analyses. Independent samples t-tests revealed no significant differences in self-efficacy and anxiety between the groups. Significant correlations were found for course level, self-efficacy, and anxiety. Lower course level math students reported on average significantly lower levels of self-efficacy and significantly higher levels of anxiety than did upper course level students. A professional development program was created to educate faculty about math self-efficacy and math anxiety and to implement strategies that may increase math self-efficacy and decrease math anxiety over time. This doctoral study has the potential to create social change by offering educators new insight into the role of math self-efficacy and math anxiety in student learning.