High school transcript placement in developmental mathematics courses: A case study at one college

Celisa Counterman 1, Linda R. Zientek 2 *
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1 Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA, USA
2 Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, USA
* Corresponding Author
EUR J SCI MATH ED, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/12430
Published Online: 08 September 2022, Published: 01 January 2023
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Historically, college students who require remediation in mathematics have been placed into developmental mathematics courses. Accurate placement is important for student success; inaccurate placement in a low-level course could lengthen a students’ time to degree completion. Placement policies have tended to focus on a high-stakes placement test, but more holistic approaches have been recommended. This study investigated success outcomes for students placed with a holistic approach of evaluating high school transcripts. Students who were placed into one of three developmental mathematics by their high school transcript at a suburban community college in North-eastern United States were selected for this study. A non-experimental, retrospective research study was conducted. Archival data of students who took a developmental mathematics course from fall 2015 through spring 2019 and had a high school transcript on file were chosen for this study. Findings from chi-square analyses indicated that high school transcripts that consider mathematics course grades are a viable placement option for developmental math courses, particularly the two lower-levels. However, lower than desired success rates suggest that placement is only the first step to increasing student achievement. A lack of high school transcripts suggests some students would prefer to take a placement test, particularly for students in the upper-level course on a college algebra path. A challenge for community college advisors will be creating an equitable placement policy for students who do not have a recent high school transcript.


Counterman, C., & Zientek, L. R. (2023). High school transcript placement in developmental mathematics courses: A case study at one college. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 11(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/12430


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