Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James Valadez


Although most new college students had to demonstrate algebraic and basic mathematics mastery to earn a high school diploma or the equivalent, the majority of incoming New Jersey community college students are not showing this knowledge on the mathematics placement tests, thus placing into developmental courses, which must be successfully completed before students can attempt any college-level mathematics courses. Guided by Knowles’ theory of andragogy and developmental mathematics as a core concept, the purpose of this study was to determine ways to help incoming New Jersey community college students prepare for the ACCUPLACER mathematics tests. The research questions addressed testing and tutoring administrators’ perceptions of how to help incoming students achieve higher scores on these assessments. This qualitative exploratory case study consisted primarily of interviews with 10 testing and tutoring administrators representing 6 of the 18 New Jersey community colleges. These colleges have programs to prepare students for the mathematics placement tests, and documents related to these programs were also reviewed. Interview transcripts and documents were coded for relevant themes by following the constant comparative method of Glaser and Strauss. Preparation availability, timing, constraint frustrations, student attendance/usage, and minimal intercollege consistency emerged as themes. A position/white paper with the results and recommendations was written and prepared for sharing with the New Jersey testing and tutoring administrator groups. The knowledge gained from this study will engender social change by helping incoming college students avoid developmental mathematics courses, saving the students time, money, and effort, as well as improving their chances of completing college programs and degrees.