Theses Doctoral

Math College Readiness: A Case Study at a Small Parochial School

Mongroo, Chandra Nadia

College readiness is a challenge for numerous college-bound students in the United States. A recent high school graduate or returning to school student has to contend with collegiate curricula, unfamiliar faculty, and new peers at a foreign institution. Therefore, acclimating to the new environment and new routine of college is necessary for a student’s success. A natural question that begins to arise is whether or not this experience is different for various subjects and disciplines. Mathematics is among one of the main disciplines in which college readiness is a main concern. Further complicating the situation, a true definition of college readiness is yet to be agreed upon. This qualitative study investigates the perceptions of math college readiness (MCR) of ten participants at a small parochial school. A purposeful sample of three types of individuals participated in the study. In particular, it documents teachers’, administrators’, and alumni’s experiences and how these experiences connect to their definitions of MCR. The primary data collection method was semi structured interviews and observations.

Three main ideas emerged from the data relating to the definition of MCR: (1) content, (2) student behavior, and (3) school culture. Specifically, the cumulative characteristic of mathematics requires that gaps in knowledge need to be addressed as early as possible to ensure mastery. Student’s behavior allows for the material to be absorbed more efficiently. School culture plays a role in how this environment is formed in which students become learners and citizens in their community.

Investigating how MCR is perceived can shed light on how we will better address the needs of a body of students in mathematics remediation. By examining the learning of mathematics we are offered an opportunity to explore the issues to better understand a remedy. This study provides recommendations for other practitioners in mathematics education.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Smith, J. Philip
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
May 24, 2023