Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Shirley J. Mills

Second Advisor

Dr. Miguel Nevarez

Third Advisor

Dr. Miguel de los Santos


Many institutions of higher education face a common challenge - retaining students in a time when higher education is of most importance as students must be prepared to compete in today's fast growing global market. Students are dropping out of college at an alarming rate due to the lack of academic readiness. The main area of academic deficiency is in the area of mathematics (National Center for Education Statistics, 2006). The purposes of this qualitative multiple case study were to explore the effectiveness of remediation courses in mathematics and identify the factors that influence success or failure of Hispanic students at a Hispanic Serving Institution in Higher Education located in South Texas. The researcher explored the factors of retention among students who passed remedial math and graduated as compared to those who did not pass and ended up dropping out of college. This study was based on Tinto’s retention theory. Tinto (1993) introduced a “Model of Institutional Departure.” The findings of the study corroborated Tinto’s theory of retention, in which students interviewed agreed that faculty/staff interactions were very important. The participants also agreed that peer-group interactions were viable in getting acclimated at the university. A strong finding that emerged rather prominently was the importance of family support. The main conclusion derived from the study was that the students are in need of strong university support and that universities must embrace the family value within the university community as well as engage the student body in creating the university environment.


Copyright 2012 Rolinda Pena Park. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American