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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Florence Sullivan

Second Advisor

Richard Lapan

Third Advisor

Nathaniel Whitaker

Subject Categories

Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching | Curriculum and Instruction | Vocational Education


This mixed method, quantitative and qualitative, study explores the effects of a curriculum with an emphasis on scientific, technological, and engineering focused problems and careers on student success and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The setting is an urban community college where in the spring of 2016, 71% of the students tested into developmental mathematics (STCC, 2017). The course of study was Algebra one, a developmental, non-college credit bearing, mathematics course. Students had the option of two paths for the subsequent course, a terminal college level mathematics class, or a STEM pathway developmental algebra two course. Pass rates, pre/posttests, pre/post interest surveys, and subsequent math course were recorded and analyzed. Furthermore, implications and limitations of the study were examined with recommendations for future research presented. The findings were that there was an increase in both path rates, and STEM interest.