Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James

Committee Member

Wiseman, Marty

Committee Member

Stonecypher, Wayne

Committee Member

Campbell, Charles

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Hinds Community College (HCC) engaged in a study that produced the transitional program. This program was in response to high rates of attrition of the college’s freshmen classes because of poor academic performance. This dissertation evaluated the effectiveness of the transitional program’s main component—the learning community created by placing students in the LLS 1151 College Life course based on their status as residence hall students. HCC’s transitional program is a further elaboration of placement policies that have been a part of the community college landscape for many years. The HCC transitional program incorporates learning communities in combination with HCC’s placement policies and provides an element of structure. This research examined the academic progress of a cohort from its inception in the fall semester of 2006 through 4 years until the conclusion of the spring 2010 semester. This examination included a review and analysis of the performance of the transitional program students who were assigned to learning communities as opposed to the performance of developmental students who were not assigned to learning communities (those who commuted). Specifically, the research evaluated how many students completed programs of study out of those who initially enrolled as residential transitional students and out of those who initially enrolled as nonresidential transitional students, how many credit hours the two groups accumulated over a 4-year period, and performance in basic English and mathematics courses. This study used a causal-comparative design that examined a cohort over a 4-year period while at HCC to examine if there were significant differences between those students who were a part of a learning community compared to those students who were not.



poverty||economic benefit||learning communities||remedial education||developmental education||Community colleges