Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Markus Berndt


Students who enter community colleges in need of developmental education are often at high risk of failure due to identities or perceptions of self, that do not conform to college expectations that can be problematized by age, gender, and ethnicity. Additionally, students' efficacy for using technology may affect completion rates which was examined at Midwest Community College (MCC) through observing a program shifting from teacher-directed course designs with greater teacherâ??student interaction to technology-directed course designs with greater technologyâ??student interactions. The theoretical foundation of this study was Tinto's theory of student retention based on the belief that student success is facilitated by internalizing a student identity. The research questions were focused on a comparison of student course completion rates between teacher-directed mathematics courses (teacher DMC) and technology-directed mathematics courses (technology DMC). Using logistic regression in a quantitative quasi-experimental design, course completion rates were regressed on course design type, age, gender, and ethnicity for 2,900 students at MCC after a shift from teacher DMC to technology DMC. Key findings showed that technology DMC had a statistically significant effect on completion rates at the .01 significance level. When combined with technology, age had a statistically significant effect on completion rates (.001), but not ethnicity or gender. The results suggest that technology DMC have the potential to improve student retention in developmental education programs and elicit positive social change. This change may positively impact college graduation rates, as it provides support for developmental education programs that can help students complete college.