Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Middle and Secondary Education

Committee Chair

Bush, William S.

Author's Keywords

Placement examinations; ACT; Alignment; KYOTE; Remedial mathematics; COMPASS


Mathematics--Study and teaching (Secondary)--Kentucky; Universities and colleges--Entrance requirements; Mathematics--Examinations; questions; etc.


This research alignment study compares content assessed on course finals from Kentucky public universities in highest level remedial mathematics courses and content assessed on college placement examinations. These assessments are used to determine if a student is ready for credit-bearing courses at a university. The study addressed the following four research questions: (1) What mathematical prerequisite knowledge do state universities consider necessary to be college ready? Specifically 1a) What content domains do the state universities emphasize in their remediation courses?; 1b) Is there consistency across the state public universities with regard to the content domains?; and (2) How well do Kentucky's mathematics placement assessments (ACT, COMPASS, and KYOTE) align in both content and cognitive demand with four-year universities’ Kentucky Mathematics College Readiness Expectations (KM-CRE)? The study was implemented in two phases. In Phase 1, course finals in the highest mathematics remediation class offered at five Kentucky universities were analyzed using Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Phase 2 of the study involved an alignment analysis between the universities’ identified KM-CRE and Kentucky's approved college placement examinations: ACT, KYOTE, and COMPASS. The study is framed using Webb's alignment modeling the areas of (1) categorical concurrence, (2) balance of representation, (3) range of knowledge, and (4) depth of knowledge. Findings suggested that consistency across universities in content emphasis exists. Examinations were heavily weighted in Algebra readiness Expressions and Equations, Functions, and Algebra). Findings in the alignment study suggested some content alignment existed but more alignment is needed through intentional assessment of college ready content. Additionally, all placement examinations revealed a strong cognitive complexity alignment to KM-CRE. Implications of this study suggest the redesign of the placement examinations to assess the content knowledge necessary for college success.