Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Dr. Marietta Del Favero (deceased)

Second Advisor

Dr. Tammie Causey-Konate

Third Advisor

Dr. April Bedford

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Leonard Williams

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Richard B. Speaker


Developmental education students make up almost half of the community college population in the United States (Bettinger & Long, 2005). Approximately 42% of first-time freshmen at community colleges must enroll in at least one developmental education course in English, reading and/or math (NCES, 2010). Many developmental education students are unsuccessful in passing a developmental education course in their first and second attempts and retake the course sometimes five times before passing. There is substantial research on persistence among college students, but the research fails to link persistence to developmental education repeaters. My study sought to explore community college developmental education repeaters’ experiences with and stories about repetition in a reading course. My study was framed around developmental education and its students, course repeaters, and persistence.

I used qualitative research methods with a narrative research design. Two methods of data collection included multiple one-on-one interviews and document collection. Four participants were selected from one community college in the New Orleans area, two who repeated and completed developmental reading upon their third attempt and two who were in the process of completing developmental reading a third time. Data analysis revealed six themes. The information gleaned from the inquiry may inform community college faculty practice with regard to not only reducing and preventing course repetition but also increasing persistence and retention of developmental education students.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.