Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Olivia Boggs


This study sought to determine whether there were significant differences in variables pertaining to academic performance of at-risk students enrolled in Developmental Studies mathematics when computer-assisted instruction (experimental group) was a factor and students in regular college algebra using traditional instruction (control group). The characteristics that these students held in common are low Scholastic Aptitude Test mathematics scores (below 350), low high school grade point average (2.0 or below), and over twenty years of age.

The following independent variables were examined: (1) age and (2) gender. The dependent variables examined were: Scholastic Aptitude Test mathematics score (MSAT), (2) high school grade point average (HSGPA), (3) entry College Placement Examination (ECPE), (4) exit College Placement Examination (XCPE), (5) number of quarters required to exit The quasi-experimental design of this study consisted of a historical timeline approach. A version of the nonequivalent control group design was used to compare the variables of the control group with the variables of the experimental group. The data were analyzed using analysis of variance, t-test procedures, analysis of covariance, and multiple range test.

It was found that SAT mathematics score, high school grade point average, entrance College Placement Examination score, exit College Placement Examination score, and maturity (age) were important variables when considering student success in mathematics. It was concluded that although computer-assisted instruction was not superior to traditional instruction, it did provide at-risk students with alternatives for study and practice. The implications from this study indicate that at-risk students have special needs to be addressed, and computer-assisted instruction fills some of those needs. It was recommended that computer-assisted instruction should be integrated into every phase of the curriculum, especially when working with at-risk students.

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