The effects of required/sequenced preparatory courses on academic success and retention at a community college

Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Higher Education

First Advisor's Name

Joseph B. Cook

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Betsy A. Smith

Third Advisor's Name

George S. Morrison


Remedial teaching, Community colleges, Curricula, Academic achievement, College attendance

Date of Defense



This dissertation had two purposes: first, to analyze how required sequenced college preparatory courses in mathematics, reading, and writing affect students' academic success and, second, to add to a theoretical model for predicting student retention at a community college. Grade point average, number of degree credits earned, and reenrollment rate were measured as determinants of academic success. The treatment group had a significantly higher grade point average than the control group. There was no significant difference in the number of degree credits earned or re-enrollment rate for the groups. A series of logistic regressions used the independent variables E-ASSET scores in math, reading, and writing; number of college prep areas required; credits earned; grade point average; students' status; academic restrictions/required course sequencing; sex; race; and socio-economic status to determine the predictor variables for retention. The academic variable that showed the greatest potential as a predictor for retention was grade point average. Overall, receiving financial aid was the greatest predictor for reenrollment. For a financial aid recipient the odds of reenrollment were 2.70 times more likely than if no financial aid was received.



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