Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Vicki L. Underwood


Addressing the needs of developmental math students has been one of the most challenging problems in higher education. Administrators at a private university were concerned about poor academic performance of math-deficient students and sought to identify factors that influenced students' successful progression from developmental to college-level coursework. The purpose of this retrospective prediction study was to determine which of 7 variables (enrollment in a college success course, math placement results, frequency of use of the developmental resource center, source of tuition payment, student's age, gender, and race/ethnicity) would be predictive of success in developmental math as defined by a final course grade of C or higher. Astin's theory of student involvement and Tinto's theory of student retention formed the theoretical framework for this investigation of 557 first-year students who entered the university during Fall 2013 and Fall 2014. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed. Successful completion of the university's college success course as well as enrollment in introductory/intermediate algebra or intermediate algebra were significant predictors of success in remedial math courses. In addition, the lower the level of developmental math a student was placed in and engaged with, the higher the probability of success in the course. These findings were used to create a policy recommendation for a prescriptive means of ensuring students' early enrollment in developmental math courses and engagement with university resources, which may help students overcome barriers to success in developmental math and lead to positive social change for both the students and university through higher retention and graduation rates.