Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Derek Schroll


Students with a wide array of disabilities are graduating from high school but are unprepared for community college literacy courses. The lack of preparation has caused many students who attend community colleges to be unsuccessful in literacy courses. This problem has led many community colleges to provide developmental courses, but mixed results on the effectiveness have occurred. My purpose in this quantitative causal-comparative study was to examine whether a developmental literacy course had a significant effect on the success of students with disabilities who took English 110 compared with students with disabilities who did not participate in the developmental course. The behaviorist, constructivism, and cognitivism theories served as a foundation for this study because they were used as a framework for the development of the remedial literacy course. The research question focused on the mean difference between two groups of students' grades in English 110. One group of students with disabilities participated in a developmental course, and the other group did not. The study included 166 participants. The participants were all students with disabilities who took the Accuplacer college placement exam, scored below 55, and were advised to take a developmental literacy course. Archived final grades from 2013 to 2017 were analyzed using an independent-sample t-test. Statistically significant results (p = .021) indicated that students with disabilities who took the developmental literacy course before taking an entry-level credit-bearing English earned lower mean scores than those who did not take the developmental literacy course. Potential positive change implications of this study would be to influence community college stakeholders regarding the continuance, revision, or removal of developmental literacy courses for students with disabilities.