Dissertation

Quantitative Study Examining Santa Ana College's Impact on Academic Achievement in Relation to the Redesign of the Developmental Math Pathway

This quantitative study conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of the redesign of the Santa Ana College developmental math pathway. Student performance in developmental math has been less than satisfactory, and most students who start the developmental math pathway do not complete it. Improving developmental math completion rates is an important area of study that could lead to significant societal benefits. The Santa Ana College math redesign model (RD model) accelerated the curriculum by creating two pathways that combined two courses into one course, with computer-aided instruction and directed educational planning. One pathway was designed specifically for business, science, technology, engineering, and math (BSTEM) majors, and a separate pathway was created for social science and liberal arts majors (SLAM). This study documented that students who went through RD model developmental pathways were 52% (for BSTEM) and 66% (for SLAM) more likely to complete the developmental math pathway in one year. The study also showed that students who went through the RD model performed 33% better in transfer math course completion than students who went through the traditional model. The study found that the RD model led to significant improvement for Hispanic students in these same factors. These results were derived using SPSS software to run chi-square, one-way ANOVA, and independent samples t test statistical processes to provide significant findings at the .05 confidence level. iv Based upon the literature review and the documented success of the Santa Ana College redesign effort, this study concluded by making the following three recommendations for policy and practice. First, developmental education requires dedicated funding streams that support the faculty in the development of the redesign curriculum and support students as they work through developmental education pathways. Second, redesign should be based on student data from the local institution, community need, and demographic trends, and any institution that has not gone through this process for its developmental math pathway should embark on this effort immediately. Third, institutions that have redesigned pathways should assess pathways for disproportionate outcomes and address any gaps that are found.

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