Developmental students' levels of engagement and student success in two-year institutions : a study of a suburban community college in Texas
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The need for development education for first year community college students is a growing trend and has a variety of solutions. Engagement and retention of these students is vital to the success of the student and the college in which they attend. Taking developmental education courses should not be repetitive hurdles for a college student. This study is to establish the level of engagement of community college students who are enrolled in developmental education compared to students not enrolled in developmental education and their levels of success. The study evaluates administrative practices that engage developmental students in 2-year institutions. This study aims at increasing successful outcomes in developmental education students through research. The study of levels of engagement, retention, successful strategies and academic support may be the determining factor of success of developmental education students and the 2-year institution in which they are enrolled. Quantitative analysis will determine if there are significant differences in the engagement levels among first year developmental education students versus first year viii non-developmental college students within 2-year institutions and what institutional practices or academic support initiatives support developmental students’ engagement in 2-year institutions. The instrument used was the 2009 SENSE (Survey of Entering Student Engagement). This tool assists colleges to focus on the “front door” of the students’ college experience. This study uses an independent sample t-test to analyze the responses of students currently enrolled in developmental education courses versus students enrolled in non-developmental courses. The SENSE Survey was administered to students at 120 member community colleges during the fourth and fifth week of the fall 2009 semester. Fall 2009 was the first national administration of the survey. A 20- year community college system in suburban Houston, TX was specifically examined. This study determines the significance of implementation of successful programs and academic support procedures to enhance the college experiences and performance of students enrolled in developmental education, increases more efficient use of college resources, and assists students to complete developmental courses to persist into college level courses.
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