Faculty Perceptions of Remediation: A Qualitative, Single Descriptive Case Study

Faculty Perceptions of Remediation: A Qualitative, Single Descriptive Case Study

Author: 
Ida M. Jenkins
Program of study: 
Ph.D./HEA
Abstract: 
Undergraduate enrollment in higher education continues to increase while completion rates have remained stagnant. The purposes of this qualitative, single, descriptive case study were (a) explore the perceptions of higher education faculty regarding their use of remediation activities and their effectiveness and (b) gain a deeper understanding of remediation practices and their efficacy in student academic skill development. The theoretical frame directing this investigation was based on researched evidence that reflected a variety of findings on the efficacy of remediation programs on student academic development and persistence. The primary questions examined included: (a) How do faculty perceive remedial courses for supporting student persistence and retention? (b) How do faculty perceive andragogical strategies in remedial programming? and (c) What strategies are best practices for stimulating student development? The research was conducted at a community college in the Southwest region of the United States and engaged ten faculty in semi-structured, face-to-face interviews and observations. Manual content analysis and NVivo® 10 software were used to reveal thematic categories that emerged from the evidence. Faculty perceived that remedial support is necessary, but support strategies and activities must be designed to address the needs of students. They indicated that several andragogical strategies had proven effective and shared their best practice experiences. Findings also support the influence of the political and economic climate on the learning environment, indicate that collaborative activities enhance learning in the classroom, and further imply that there are benefits to be realized from the use of social media in the academic environment.
Dedication: 
To GOD be the glory; and I thank Him for giving me the strength and the determination to persevere throughout this journey. I thank GOD for providing the guiding hands of my grandmother (MamaMolly) to whom I attribute the majority of my life accomplishments; she, along with my GrandPa Joe, and my Uncle Ora watched over and provided for me during my formative years. Mama arranged for Addie and Algie Payne to pick me up every Sunday for church; they were perpetually faithful. They were also my high school teachers and my role models. To my Mother – Kattie Mae, who knew that I would complete this challenge and although deprived of her physical presence before its culmination, I know that she and my other guardian angels (Jeffie Mae, Linda, Dianne, LaVerna Gail, Kevin A. and O.J.) are bursting with pride and satisfaction. To the old man, my oldest brother, Bennie Ray, who always told me that I would attempt this journey, even when I proclaimed persistently, “no I won't!” He made his transition long before I made the decision to go forth and to him I say thank you for always having more faith in my abilities and aspirations than I did. To my children: Johnny/JY/Pete/TheKid, Gwyn, Kay, Gladys, and Darlene Denise for their patience and encouraging words. Of course I dedicate this entire effort to my babies: Daniel, Dominic, and Daja Marie…I know that they have missed their Nante’, and I pray that they will be inspired to spiritual, personal, and professional excellence in their endeavors. Of course, I have not forgotten my many, many nieces, nephews, cousins, claimed-children, friends, and forever-friends: Emma, Edna, Tina, Darlene, Gilda, and Alicia… the ball is now in your court… let the CHALLENGE continue!
Acknowledgements: 
Throughout the course of my four-year journey of working toward the completion of my academic studies, research, and dissertation, I have relied continually upon the University of Phoenix professors for guidance and direction. I appreciate and acknowledge their efforts as well as those of my learning cohort for their reviews and comments. I am so grateful for Eric Klabe my Academic Representative and Angela Hightower my Financial Services Advisor for their meticulous sentinel, which allowed me to focus on the challenges of my academic requirements – Thank you! During the last year of this journey, the intensity of the requirements for this doctoral degree increased tremendously. It was during this time that I relied on my Committee, and they were always there for me. My Chair, mentor, and sage Dr. Ronald Leach encouraged relentlessly, guided expertly, and supported me unconditionally. My Committee members Dr. Barbara Foyil and Dr. Alana Lyles provided the judicious, scholarly, and substantial guidance that I needed to refine and increase the depth and breadth of my work. Without them this accomplishment would still be just a dream. To each of them I extend my eternal gratitude, appreciation, and a resounding – Thank You! Finally, I must acknowledge and publically proclaim my thanks to my family and friends for their support, patience, and encouragement during my immersion into this work that has culminated in the realization of becoming Dr. Ida Marie Simmons-Jenkins – Thank You All!