Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Mathematics Education


Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Education


College of Education


Sooy, John


Mathematics--Study and teaching (Higher)


Science and Mathematics Education


The purpose of this study was to determine if the Urban Challenge Grant program, a modified "Personalized System of Instruction"(PSI) was more effective and efficient than the traditional lecture method of instruction for community college students testing into the lowest level of developmental mathematics. Students were separated into an experimental group (Urban Challenge Grant program) and a control group (traditional lecture method). Each group was given a New Jersey College Basic Skills Placement Test (NJCBSPT) pre-test. The experimental group, after one semester of instruction, was given the post-NJCBSPT. The control group students were given the post-NJCBSPT after 2 semesters of instruction.

It was hypothesized that students taught using a PSI mode of instruction, would be able to advance more quickly and efficiently if each student was allowed to concentrate on his/her own deficiencies. Unlike the traditional lecture method, a student's pace would not be determined by the instructor.

An analysis of t tests performed on the data suggested that while both the control group and the experimental group had significant mathematical skill gain, the control group's scores showed a significantly higher skill gain than that of the experimental group. One semester of PSI was not as effective as two semesters of the traditional lecture mode of instruction.