Assessing the Effectiveness of the Redesigned Mathematics Program on Graduation and Retention Rates of Underprepared Students

Nancy J. McCormick, Marva S. Lucas

Abstract


Faced with directives from the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), which preceded more stringent directives noted in the Complete College Act enacted in 2010, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) was required to eliminate the Developmental Studies program in 2006.  These instructions from higher levels focused on increasing the educational attainment of Tennessee’s citizens, while recognizing the decreased availability of state funding for higher education.  The dictates also indicated that funding granted to higher education institutions should go beyond student enrollment to considering the numbers who are retained and graduate.  On a local university level, the reality was many students satisfy overall admission criteria, but are underprepared in certain academic areas as denoted by American College Testing sub-scores.  Faculty members were faced with complying with these directives while also being committed to meeting the needs of students who were admitted.  MTSU was the first TBR school to implement a comprehensive redesigned program for underprepared students.  Developmental mathematics courses were eliminated and prescribed sections, referred to as K-sections, of general education mathematics courses were developed.  This article reports the results of an assessment of the redesigned program at MTSU on graduation and retention rates.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/jse.v3i3.3953

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