Date of Award



© 2015 Wendy Pratt

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Pamela Flood

Third Advisor

Andrew West


This qualitative case study examined how fifteen former high school students from a small, rural high school in central Vermont perceived their preparedness for college level mathematics and identified recommendations for improvement. Student interviews and math assessment data for each participant were analyzed to respond to the research question. The interview protocol consisted of one-on-one semi-structured phone interviews that were recorded for transcription. Thirteen open-ended questions were developed to answer the research question and sub-questions grounded in the research literature and specific concerns identified by the math teachers defined in the case study. The conceptual framework for this research study included six areas that influenced student success in preparation for college mathematics: improving communication and aligning standards between high school and college; expectations, confidence, and belief in capabilities; transition programs; assessing readiness; interventions and recommendations for high school programming; and student perception and voice. Recommendations for action included: offer a statistics course as a senior year elective for those not needing precalculus, increase the pace and rigor of senior classes and require more independent work, remove the test retake opportunities senior year because that approach is not practiced in college, include more preparation in the development of a student’s four-year plan, take a fourth year math class, expose students to dual enrollment programs such as VAST (Vermont Academy of Science and Technology), help prepare students for the possible change in class size and school size from high school to college, and give students exposure to online programs such as MyMathLab. Based on the literature review, qualitative interviews, and data analysis a deeper understanding of student perceptions of their preparedness for mathematics in higher education was gained. Students generally felt prepared for college mathematics and linked that confidence to the factors identified in the study.


Ed.D. Dissertation