Date of Award

12-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dean Goewey

Second Supervisor

Christine Walsh

Abstract

Student success and retention have become a top priority for institutions of higher education. Although much research has been conducted to determine what factors may cause a college student to be unsuccessful or leave an institution, no one reason has been identified. While student factors contributing to student success are sometimes beyond the institution’s control, providing innovative methods of academic support has been found to assist students in being successful in continuing the pursuit of a degree. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact and student perceptions of the use of an in-class tutoring support on students’ academic performance at a community college. This convergent, parallel mixed-methods study used quantitative data to investigate the impact on student course grades and qualitative methods were used to understand students’ perceptions of the impact of a support strategy on their performance. Findings suggest that although the direct impact on grades was not clear, students reported the perception that the in-class tutoring support had a positive impact on their grade. Qualitative data was gathered through one-on-one, in-depth interviews. Within and across subject analysis yielded four major themes related to the impact of the in-class tutoring: (a) quality of instruction, (b) access to support, (c) personal barriers, and (d) academic performance. These themes were further organized into 11 sub-themes revealing student perceptions of the impact of the tutoring strategy on academic experience, class participation, and overall performance. As a result of these findings, recommendations for additional research and improved practice are provided.

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