Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

College/School

College of Science and Mathematics

Department/Program

Mathematical Sciences

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Kenneth C. Wolff

Committee Member

Cynthia S. Onore

Committee Member

Helen M. Roberts

Committee Member

Mark L. Weinstein

Subject(s)

American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, Mathematics--Study and teaching (Higher)--Standards--New Jersey, Mathematics--Research

Abstract

High school graduates continue to enter post-secondary education lacking in basic mathematical skills and thus not academically prepared to enroll in college-level mathematics courses (ACT, 2010). Although it can be argued that those mathematical concepts should have been mastered in grades K-12, educating those students in basic skills mathematics has become the responsibility of universities and colleges. Two publications of the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges (AMATYC), Crossroads (1995) and Beyond Crossroads (2006) set forth standards for mathematics programs and courses offered to students during their first two years of postsecondary education, which includes basic skills programs. Those standards can be used as guidelines for departments that are maintaining and supporting a basic skills mathematics program.

Case study methodology was used to describe how the AMATYC standards impacted the implementation, evaluation and modification of a basic skills program at one four-year institution. Data sources included an initial survey, interviews and observations as well as program documents such as mission statements, course syllabi, texts and supporting technology. The study’s findings indicated that the institution had used AMATYC standards to guide many aspects of their program. Overall, the findings indicated that the institution’s basic skills mathematics program was fairly well aligned with the AMATYC standards. This study confirmed research findings suggesting that it is difficult for programs to completely align with standards put forward by professional associations or councils.

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