Dissertation

Life after Developmental English: A Causal-Comparative Study of the Effects of English Composition Support Strategies at a Large Suburban Community College

Abstract Life After Developmental English: A Causal-Comparative Study of the Effects of English Composition Support Strategies at a Large Suburban Community College By Christopher W. Corning Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership California Assembly Bill 705 changed the way all community colleges throughout the state of California operate with respect to placement of matriculating students for English and math beginning in the fall of 2019. When it comes to preparation levels for college-level coursework in English, the challenges faced by institutions of higher education in the US have been persistent for centuries. Some of the intervening difficulties that emerge as institutions attempt to navigate the challenges of differing levels of preparedness among incoming students include inequitable access for students of different racial/ethnic groups, as well as students of differing socioeconomic backgrounds. The law requiring that California community colleges allow more students than ever before to enroll directly into transfer-level English courses does not require that students make use of the additional support services provided by the colleges in an effort to provide them with the basic skills necessary to succeed in transfer-level English. This study explored differences in levels of participation in AB 705 support services among students of differing racial/ethnic backgrounds, levels of socioeconomic status-based support received, and apparent need of academic support, and then compared the final course grades among those same groups, as well as by levels of participation in AB 705 support services. The study revealed several findings of statistical significance. First, students who identified as Hispanic had lower participation in AB 705 support services than those who identified as White. Second, students with higher participation in SES-based support services also had higher levels of participation in the AB 705 support services. Third, students who identified as Black or Hispanic were likely to have lower course grades than other racial/ethnic groups. Fourth and finally, students who had any participation in AB 705 support services at all were likely to have higher course grades than those who did not participate at all.

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