Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Mary Huba

Second Advisor

Larry H. Ebbers


The purpose was to evaluate developmental course effectiveness by comparing three groups of students in terms of the following: cumulative grade point average; total credits earned; goal attainment for certificate, degree, and transfer; certificate earned; and degree earned. The three groups were: (1) Exempt Group: exempt from developmental skills courses in reading, writing, numerical skills, and elementary algebra, (2) Completer Group: completed all four developmental skills courses (may have been exempt from some), and (3) Did Not Complete Group: assessed as needing at least one developmental skills course and did not complete at least one. The effectiveness of the voluntary placement system was also examined;Subjects for the outcomes section consisted of 314 fulltime students who enrolled first time fall 1988, and who were also ASSET participants. Subjects for the voluntary placement section consisted of 480 students enrolled spring 1992 in either: Psychology, Sociology, English Composition, Introduction to Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, or College Algebra;The results from the outcomes section did not support the prediction that students from the Exempt and Completers Group would succeed at higher rates than the students from the Did Not Complete Group. Students in the Exempt and Completers Group did not do better than the students in the Did Not Complete Group on the following outcomes measures: total credits earned, retention to second year (two-year students), retention to second semester (one-year students), goal attainment (for students whose goal was to earn a certificate, degree, and transfer), certificate earned, and degree earned;The results of the voluntary placement section indicated that ASSET Reading scores are valid predictors for Psychology, but not for Sociology. ASSET Writing Skills scores are valid predictors of Psychology grades, but not English Composition, and ASSET Numerical Skills are valid predictors for Elementary Algebra, but ASSET Elementary Algebra scores are not valid predictors for Intermediate Algebra. Other unexpected statistically significant correlations include: ASSET Writing and Sociology; ASSET Reading and English Composition, Elementary Algebra, and College Algebra; ASSET Numerical Skills and Intermediate Algebra and College Algebra; and a negative correlation between ASSET Elementary Algebra and Elementary Algebra grades.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Karen Perry Pierson



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136 pages