Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Rachelle Kisst Hackett

First Committee Member

Delores McNair

Second Committee Member

Jacquelyn Ollison


With AB 705 being enforced in all California community colleges since Fall 2019, colleges have devised corequisite courses in almost all English and mathematics gateway courses. Some quantitative and qualitative studies have shown positive results of corequisite courses in English, and some math courses such as statistics, but there is limited quantitative research on the effects of the corequisite model on student academic performance in STEM math courses, like college algebra and precalculus. Many mathematics department faculty members believe that the corequisite model, especially in STEM math courses, may not work in community colleges due to the population consisting of a large number of non-traditional and under-prepared students at these institutions. This causal comparative study attempted to compare the academic performance of students from corequisite and prerequisite (traditional) types of precalculus courses after controlling for their gender, generational status, prior academic achievement (high school grade point average, HSGPA), and ethnicity. The study also investigated whether the effect of course type on precalculus course grades is moderated by students’ generational status, prior academic achievement, and ethnicity. The moderating effects of variables were studied after controlling for the other background variables. Samples for this study were taken from two California community colleges that taught precalculus courses with both models (corequisite and prerequisite) prior to Fall 2019. The data for each of the colleges were analyzed separately because of their different academic systems (semester versus quarter). Sequential multiple regression was used and variations were found in the results from the two colleges. In addition to tests of statistical significance, effect sizes (based on Cohen’s d) were calculated to measure the magnitude of the difference between groups. Statistically significant findings from College A (a pseudonym) suggest that the corequisite model of courses in precalculus impacts overall student grades in a positive way. In contrast, there was insufficient evidence based upon data from College B to conclude that corequisite precalculus courses impact course grades. Furthermore, moderating effects were found. In College A, some subgroups (such as Filipinx, Latinx, and White students, those with higher prior academic achievement, or who were first-generation college students) were found to perform better in corequisite courses than prerequisite courses, while students with lower prior achievement (based on HSGPA) performed better with the prerequisite type of courses. The results from both Colleges A and B were consistent in finding that students with lower HSGPA performed worse on average in corequisite precalculus courses. Ethnicity was found to moderate the effect of course type on precalculus course grades when the data from College B was analyzed. The results showed a medium-large effect (d= -0.65) for Latinx students who, on average, performed worse in the corequisite precalculus course as compared to the prerequisite version. However, students at College A, regardless of ethnicity, performed better on average in the corequisite classes, and the effect sizes ranged from small to medium-large across the ethnic groups. Limitations of the study, suggestions for further research, and implications for practice and policy are discussed in the following chapters.



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