Developmental education in Belize : toward a national strategy
MetadataShow full item record
The issues and challenges for post-secondary education in Belize are many and have been exacerbated by the democratization of higher education in this young, small, developing, Caribbean nation. Improving access to tertiary education is understood as essential to the development of nations throughout the world and increasing access to higher education is an important element in regional development and integration. Despite significant growth in the tertiary education population, the Caribbean region continues to lag behind the developed world in post-secondary enrollment and Belize's enrollment of the 18-24 year old cohort is among the lowest in the region. As the tertiary system in the Caribbean has been democratized and the enrollment numbers have increased, developmental education programs have been introduced to protect the quality of college credit courses and to ensure that students are academically prepared for success at the tertiary level. This research was designed to assess the effectiveness of developmental education offered in the junior colleges of Belize and to examine student and faculty perceptions of developmental education programs in Belize. St. John's College Junior College (SJCJC), located in Belize City, and its Summer Development Program (SDP) provided the case study for this research. Since SJCJC's summer bridge program has been replicated at other junior colleges in Belize, this research contributed to understanding a national approach to developmental education. The investigator used a mixed methods approach relying on quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The research questions were: What percentage of students who enrolled in SJCJC's SDP passed the next level gateway course in the subject for which they required remediation? How does this compare with the success rate of students not enrolled in SDP courses? What percentage of students who took one or more courses in the SDP graduated within two years? How does this compare with the graduation rate of students that had not enrolled in SDP courses? What are SDP students' perceptions of the program? What are SDP faculty members' perceptions of the program? How do these perceptions relate to the effectiveness of the program as determined by research questions #1 and #2?