Adult academic performance and persistence: A comparison of developmental and non-developmental students

Pamela Simpson Threadgill, Tennessee State University

Abstract

Are the Developmental courses currently offered in the state of Tennessee working? Do they serve well the students they purport to serve? Continual program assessments are essential in determining program efficacy and advancing student success. If there are any indicators that the adult population can be better served in these programs, educators must carefully explore options and offer strategies for this. ^ This archival study focused on the correlates of adult students' academic performance. The sample included first-time freshmen adult students 25 years and older in a cohort group enrolled in the TBR institutions between Fall 1998 - Spring 2004. The study specifically investigated whether any differences existed in Composition course grade point averages and in cumulative college grade point averages between two groups---those adult students who had been required to have taken Developmental English/Writing courses and those adult students who were not required to take Developmental English/Writing courses. Persistence to graduation for students in the cohort group was also examined. ^ The investigation involved quantitative data which allowed for measuring academic performance within the cohort group for the given time period. Data were gathered from the TBR freshmen retention and graduation database. It was hypothesized that there were no differences between these two groups. Analyses were accomplished through usage of the StatView Computer Program which analyzed statistical inferential data. Unpaired t-tests, Analyses of Variance, and Fishers LSPD tests were utilized to make necessary group comparisons. Results of the study revealed no statistically significant difference between students who had been required to take Developmental English/Writing courses and those who had not been required to take them in the post-matriculation variable of persistence to graduation within institutions. No statistically significant difference between groups was found in the demographic variable of gender. A statistically significant difference between groups was found in the variable of ethnicity. The post-matriculation variables of Composition GPA'S and cumulative GPA's both revealed statistically significant differences. ^

Subject Area

Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Guidance and Counseling

Recommended Citation

Pamela Simpson Threadgill, "Adult academic performance and persistence: A comparison of developmental and non-developmental students" (2005). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3203171.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3203171

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