Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Marilyn Robb


The college open door policy initiated in the 1960s made access to higher education available for more students in the United States. People who were once excluded from enrolling in college now have an opportunity to earn a college degree. Some first-time students, significantly underprepared in writing, have been required to enroll in developmental or remedial writing courses before entering college-level English despite research indicating that taking noncredit courses increases the time for college completion and the cost of college, while also reducing the likelihood of completion. This illustrative case study, guided by the constructivist approach to instruction, was designed to discover college faculty members' perceptions concerning university students' writing and the interventions needed to improve writing skills. The qualitative data were collected through audio-recorded semistructured interviews of 12 college faculty members that were transcribed and coded with Ethnograph software. The findings indicated that college faculty members believed most students lacked basic writing skills and did not take sufficient initiative for their learning. Faculty members also thought students' writing would improve if students assumed responsibility for their learning and used the resources available. This study provides insight into college faculty members' views of students' writing skills and recommendations for how these skills might be improved through collaborative efforts across the university, resulting in positive outcomes for both the students and university by increasing student graduation rates and reducing college debt.