An effort to increase student success through data based decision making : a case study
Shelton, Margaret Ann-Schmid
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The need for knowledge workers is increasing; most jobs of the future will require some post secondary education. Half of the students who enter the open door of the community college are not prepared for college level work and must first enroll in developmental education. Half of those students will not complete remediation. Though institutions of higher education provide developmental education, the effectiveness of developmental education programs - performance in subsequent courses, grade point average, and persistence to graduation - are rarely studied. This case study explored an Achieving the Dream institution's commitment to establishing a "culture of evidence" to guide decision making and facilitate student success in developmental education programs. Research was gathered from interviews, observations, and a review of pertinent documents during the researcher's four-month internship at the institution. This study found a culture of evidence evolving at the institution and the institution's participation in Achieving the Dream contributing to the culture of evidence through its use of data to measure student success and facilitate decision making. Indicators of student success measured at this institution included success rates in developmental courses, fall-to-fall persistence, progression in the developmental course sequence, and graduation rates. The researcher used John P. Kotter's Eight Stage Process of Creating Major Change as a framework to review the institution's progress toward creating institutional change. The researcher identified practices that could bring about institutional change when building a culture of evidence.