Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hu, Xiaodan

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


This quantitative study investigated the academic outcomes of high school students from one community college district in Illinois who took a high school transitional math course designed to give them direct placement into a college-level math course. The goal of successful completion of a transitional math course is to allow students direct placement into college-level math courses. This study provides a correlational analysis of specific academic success metrics between students who took transitional math and those who did not at one Illinois community college. The sample for this study included 100 students who completed a transitional math course and 525 students who completed a developmental math course. The academic success metrics investigated include college-level math course enrollment, passing or failing the first college-level math course, first-semester GPA, and first-semester to second-semester retention.The results of this study indicate that transitional math completers are more likely to pass their first college math course than developmental math completers. At the same time, they are less likely to be retained from the first to the second semester of college. Results also show that transitional math completers take longer to complete a college-level math course, and grade point averages between the two groups were not statistically different. This study confirms that the academic momentum theory of taking courses early in the academic sequence has positively influenced academic outcomes.


76 pages




Northern Illinois University

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