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Exploring the Expectations Gap in Ohio; Why Do Students from a College Preparatory Curriculum in High School Get Placed in Remedial Mathematics in College
Kocher, Elizabeth A, Kocher

2017, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, EDU Teaching and Learning.
The purpose of this study was to examine the influencing factors affecting high school students who took a college preparatory curriculum in high school, yet ended up being placed into a remedial mathematics course in college. Remedial students with a college preparatory background are an under-researched group. This study attempts to address this gap in the literature while evaluating where a misalignment in the transition from high school to college level mathematics might exist.

A conceptual misalignment framework was developed, encompassing stakeholders in the transition, and identifying specific areas where a misalignment might occur. Curriculum alignment, teacher/instructor expectations, and placement exam accuracy were each investigated as possible areas of misalignment. Additionally, the perceptions of remedial students’ mathematics experiences were examined along with their perspectives on their remedial placement. Recently enacted state policies regarding mathematics curriculum, a remediation free guarantee, and increased mathematics graduation requirements were reviewed to determine their contributions to reducing the remediation rates and increasing mathematics college readiness.

An explanatory sequential mixed methods research design was used for this work. Survey data was collected from Ohio high school teachers and beginning or remedial level college instructors at a large Midwestern university regarding what factors or skills are necessary for mathematical college readiness. Student perspectives on their mathematical experiences and remedial placement were gathered from both survey data and semi-structured interviews. Student learning with a procedural/conceptual understanding of mathematics was used as a theoretical underpinning for this study. Hence, student survey questions focused on the procedural and conceptual learning and/or teaching of mathematics.

Analysis of the data revealed no misalignment in high school to college curriculum content. Accuracy of the mathematics placement exam was verified. Findings on teacher/instructor expectations from survey data indicated agreement from both groups on seven of the top ten factors required for college readiness. Of particular interest was the teacher’s own top five choices of mathematical college readiness factors. Student perceptions of their mathematics learning and the beliefs they held regarding mathematics provided the most insight into the remediation issue. Qualitative findings supported survey results, and indicated time away from mathematics, attitude, and lack of conceptual understanding were all reasons students felt contributed to their remedial placement. Lastly, recent policy changes were found to have impacted remediation rates in the state by reducing the number of students who required remediation in mathematics. Because of the overlapping timeframes for the three different policy changes, individual effects could not be determined. However, placement exam analysis in regards to the remediation free guarantee indicated additional research into this particular policy should be made.
Hea-Jin Lee (Advisor)
Patti Brosnan (Committee Member)
Michael Battista (Committee Member)
Ann Allen (Committee Member)
355 p.

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Kocher, E. (2017). Exploring the Expectations Gap in Ohio; Why Do Students from a College Preparatory Curriculum in High School Get Placed in Remedial Mathematics in College . (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Kocher, Elizabeth. "Exploring the Expectations Gap in Ohio; Why Do Students from a College Preparatory Curriculum in High School Get Placed in Remedial Mathematics in College ." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2017. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 16 Oct 2018.

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Kocher, Elizabeth "Exploring the Expectations Gap in Ohio; Why Do Students from a College Preparatory Curriculum in High School Get Placed in Remedial Mathematics in College ." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2017. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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