Reformations to Developmental Mathematics Education: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Programmatic Changes



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A mixed methods study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of a newly implemented developmental mathematics education program at an institution of higher education. Under the old program (Program 1), at the most, students would take two developmental mathematics courses; a beginning algebra course, and an intermediate algebra course, after which students would then be able to enroll in a credit-bearing mathematics course. Under the new program (Program 2), this is shortened to only one beginning algebra course, after which students can then enroll in a credit-bearing mathematics course. A Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD) was utilized to find differences in retention of students who have taken either of the mathematics pathways provided at the institution. The experiment also looked for qualitative differences in student and faculty experiences in these courses through the lens of a developmental education theory proposed by Wambach, Brothen, and Dikel (2000). Implications from this research extend to determine factors that could hinder student success, generate program improvement, and provide additional literature on reforms in developmental mathematics education.



Developmental Education


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