Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Rose, Steven

Committee Member 1

Kerrigan, Monica

Committee Member 2

Nespoli, Lawrence


acceleration, cultural capital, developmental education, first-generation students, retention, student success courses


Underprepared community college students; College dropouts--Prevention; Educational acceleration


Higher Education


Many individuals enter community colleges with high expectations of improving skills, yet are underprepared for the demands of college. Student success courses and acceleration are promising interventions created to improve success rates in developmental education, however, research on accelerated student success courses is virtually non-existent. This explanatory, sequential mixed methods study compared accelerated and traditional student success courses on the attainment of course learning outcomes, term grade point average and retention from fall to spring, while participants' motivation and use of learning strategies were analyzed in both strands. Students' experiences were also analyzed. Findings indicate 1) that the nature of acceleration motivated students to put time management strategies into practice, 2) most students exhibited extrinsic motivation almost to the exclusion of intrinsic motivation, 3) most students reported acquiring and using learning strategies regardless of course modality, and 4) accelerated students recognized the importance of early exposure to curricula that included learning strategies such as avoiding procrastination, and accessing college resources. Competing interventions and the simultaneous enrollment in more than one course modality detracted from the benefits of acceleration.