Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Katherine L. Kasten

Second Advisor

Dr. Marcia L. Lamkin

Third Advisor

Dr. Kris Webb

Fourth Advisor

Dr. James Beasley

Department Chair

Dr. Jennifer J. Kane

College Dean

Dr. Larry G. Daniel


The purpose of this study was threefold: (a) to describe the impact the SLS courses had on the retention and success rates of students who were taking developmental English courses at FSCJ-Kent Campus, (b) to explain how students taking developmental English felt the SLS courses impacted them, and (c) to find out what elements of the SLS program were most and least valued by students.

In order to understand how the SLS program impacted students in the developmental English program at FSCJ-Kent Campus, I conducted a mixed methods case study using FSCJ–Kent Campus as the research site. The case study included a quantitative stage, during which I examined archival data from fall 2008 to summer 2010 to determine the impact of the SLS program on student success and retention, and a qualitative stage, during which I conducted a survey and two focus groups to get an understanding of participants’ perspectives.

The evidence that the SLS program affected the success and retention rates of students in the developmental English classes at FSCJ-Kent Campus was not conclusive. However, students reported that the program was extremely beneficial to them and provided insight into why they thought the program contributed to their success. The study was significant because I was able to get a deeper understanding of students’ perspectives and provide a framework for understanding those perspectives. I concluded that the SLS program was a mechanism to transition and integrate students into the institution. This study may affect the way leaders in educational institutions approach developmental English, the SLS program, and all other developmental programs.