Theses and Dissertations


Joseph E. May

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Coats, Linda

Committee Member

Stumpf, Arthur D.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


One of the most problematic issues facing community colleges is developmental education. In the last decade, more research has been conducted examining developmental education. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of developmental math in a rural community college setting. Is developmental math an effective intervention? This study consisted of first time college students who took the COMPASS placement exam and scored 18-48. Students who scored 18-33 were placed in Math 098 (N=241) and received the developmental intervention. Math 098 is a semester-long course designed to prepare students for college-level math coursework, and it served as the intervention. Students who scored 34-48 were placed in Math 100 (N=469) and did not receive the developmental intervention. Because this represents a bandwidth close to a cut-score, these 2 groups are viewed as equivalent (Trochim, 2008). The initial intent of the study was to implement a regression-discontinuity design, but this failed to meet two necessary conditions. The researcher then executed an ANOVA, a series of chi-square goodnes-ofit procedures, and 2 binary logistic regressions in order to determine if any significant differences and/or relationship existed between treatment and control groups. Data were collected for this retrospective, quantitative research study from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at the selected site. The selected site represents a medium-sized, rural community college located in the South. The findings in this study illustrate that those students who received the develomental intervention reported a statistically significant higher cummulative college GPAs than those who did not. The findings also illustrated that a statistically significant difference existed in regards to grades. Therefore, there was a statistically significant difference in grade distribution between both groups. When withdrawals and grades were evaluated together, no statistically significant distribution was observed. Two binary logisitic regressions were also conducted. No relationships were statistically significant between groups regarding Math 100 pass/fail rates or Math 100 completion rates. The researcher concluded that the findings suggest that Math 098 is an effective treatment for student achievement. The researcher recommended execution of more studies that replicate this model and examine rural populations.