Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James Lampley

Committee Members

Lyn Howell, Jasmine Renner, Donald Good


Every year thousands of students graduate from high school and move on to higher education, but many of them are not yet prepared for college level courses. The Tennessee Board of Regents does not currently allow 4-year institutions to teach courses that are below college level, so many institutions are using programs such as learning support courses to assist a growing population of underprepared students. The purpose of this study was to determine if the 1-term and 2-term retention rates for students with the same ACT mathematics subsection scores were different between students who took a regular section of Probability and Statistics and students who took a learning support section of the course.

The subjects of this study were students who enrolled in a Probability and Statistics class (either regular sections or learning support sections) at a 4-year institution from the 2013 summer semester through the 2014 fall semester. The criteria used for selecting subjects included: (1) enrolled in a section of Probability and Statistics, (2) had a valid ACT mathematics subsection score on file with the institution, and (3) recorded a final grade in the course. Students were then grouped by ACT mathematics subsection score and type of course (learning support or regular).

When students were grouped by matching ACT mathematics subscores there were no real significant differences in 1-term retention, 2-term retention, or final course grade between students who took a 4-hour learning support section of probability and statistics and students who opted to take a regular 3-hour version of the same course, with one exception. Of students who scored a 17 on the ACT mathematics subsection, the students enrolled in a regular course had a 1-term retention rate that was significantly higher than the learning support course.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.