Academic Progress in Developmental Math Courses: A Comparative Study of Student Retention

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Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice

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The majority of college students are not ready for college-level math courses, which, when completed, have been shown to increase graduation and transfer rates. To address this problem, the Math My Way (MMW) program was developed to integrate module-based curriculum and mastery learning approaches. The program is based on Seidman's retention formula, which postulated that early identification of student deficiencies followed by early, intensive, and continuous interventions increase student retention and success. The purpose of this study was to investigate if the MMW program improves progression rates and academic achievement. A quasi-experimental, nonequivalent treatment-control group evaluation using survival analysis revealed that students who completed the MMW program were significantly more likely to progress through their math sequence than students who completed equivalent curriculum in the control group. Further, students in the treatment group had significantly higher math grade point averages (GPA) than their counterparts, with no significant difference for cumulative college GPA.