Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Stephen Butler


The number of high school graduates entering college needing to take developmental math courses is increasing. Gilmer State College (a pseudonym) introduced customized scheduling in which students identified as at risk after scoring low on the math entrance exam are placed in the developmental math course and additional courses that traditionally have a pass rate of 75% or better. The purpose of this study was to examine the difference in passing and retention rates between 1st-time college freshmen who attended Gilmer State College before the customized scheduling and after the customized scheduling was implemented. This study was based on Adelman's theoretical framework of academic momentum because students tend to continue their studies when experiencing initial success. In this causal-comparative study, archival passing and retention rates for students identified as at risk from the previous 5 years were compared to 137 students who took the developmental math as a part of the aforementioned customized schedule in the fall semester of 2017. The chi-square test indicated that there was not enough evidence to support an increase in student passing rates in developmental math courses when taken as part of a customized course schedule (p = 0.054) but did show a statistically significant difference in retention rates (p < 0.001). The results of this study might generate positive social change by providing a framework in which collegiate institutions can help to discover alternative methods of helping at risk students succeed academically.