Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Kim VanDerLinden

Second Supervisor

C. Michael Robinson


Developmental courses in higher education requires significant investments in human and financial resources. With low pass rates, retention, and graduation rates, there is concern that these courses are not meeting the institutional outcomes for which they were originally designed. The purpose of the study was to identify if the students applied any skills learned in a critical reading developmental course and in an introductory college-level course. The study was conducted using a qualitative, phenomenological research design. This method examined nine student perspectives toward college and their learning gained in the critical reading developmental course and in the introductory college-level course. The participants were able to identify eight skills and strategies they used in the critical reading developmental course. Also, all of the students believed that the skills they learned in the CRDC did transfer to other courses. However, not all skills transferred to the introductory college-level courses identified. There are four recommendations learned from the study. First, to teach the 19 skills in the classroom in a different format than what is currently being taught. Second, developmental instructors, faculty, staff, and administrators should be better informed on the purpose of developmental education courses and remove the stigma surrounding developmental education in higher education. Next, for faculty and staff that work with students in developmental education to continue to read research articles to continue to support this underrepresented population. Last, to utilize a first-year experience including more aggressive academic advising for students entering community colleges.

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Education Commons