Theses and Dissertations


Jadah Fort

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Fincher, Mark E.

Committee Member

Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

Johnson, Susan Mitzy

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Blackbourn, Richard L.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 3 years

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


Department of Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to examine achievement, retention, persistence, and success of Mississippi community college students who began in a developmental English course and eventually completed Composition I, a college-level course. This study examined the effects of utilizing online instruction via eLearning courses compared to traditional instructor-led instruction. The population of the study consisted of students enrolled in developmental English during the fall 2015 semester; and tracked their performance through the completion of Composition I. A Chi-Square test was utilized to address the each research question analyzing students’ use of a traditional face-toace instructional approach for developmental English and those using an online instructional approach for developmental English. The results show that students utilizing traditional instruction delivery for developmental English courses, out-performed students who took developmental English courses online in the areas of success, course retention and persistence rates. When measuring success in Composition I, the results were very close, however the online students had a higher percentage of passing grades 47.2%, when compared to traditional classroom students. Finally, when analyzing the results based on demographics, there was a higher percentage of students who passed the developmental course in the classroom when they are age 22 or younger, female, or black.