Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Katherine L. Kasten

Second Advisor

Dr. Donna Mohr

Third Advisor

Dr. Warren Hodge

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Daniel Dinsmore

Department Chair

Dr. Jennifer J. Kane

College Dean

Dr. Larry G. Daniel



The purpose of the study was to explore the effectiveness of the mathematics placement process for incoming freshman at a public university. Effectiveness is defined as the percentage of students who successfully complete the mathematics course they were placed into, Precalculus, College Algebra, or Intensive College Algebra. The specific university in this research study was the University of North Florida (UNF). The placement process at UNF included students’ ACT, SAT, or FCPT scores, their mathematics placement exam scores (MPE), and whether or not students followed the placement recommendation (FPR). Students’ ACT, SAT, or FCPT scores were grouped into a single variable of placement levels (PL). Logistic regression analysis was the multivariate method used to analyze the data. In addition, a psychometric analysis of the data obtained by using the mathematics placement exam was also conducted.

The results of the analyses indicated that measures of association were found between students’ MPE scores, PL, and FPR. However, the results did not support that the three variables are strong predictors of students’ success in Precalculus, College Algebra, or Intensive College Algebra. Students’ MPE scores were found to be significant in every logistic regression analyses that was conducted. In contrast, students’ PL was not found to be significant in any of the logistic regression analyses. The results of the psychometric analyses supported the reliability and validity of the data obtained from using the UNF mathematics placement exam as part of the placement process.

The findings contribute to the knowledge base of assessing mathematics placement procedures in higher education. The findings suggest that placement procedures should be assessed and modified, as needed, on a regular basis to better meet the needs of the university, its faculty, and its students. This is the responsibility of the university’s administrators, advisors, and faculty.