Does Literacy Skill Level Predict Performance in Community College Courses: A Replication and Extension

Nancy J. Allen, Kimberly A. DeLauro, Julia K. Perry, Carol A. Carman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Previous research has found a positive relationship between students who had completed a sequence of developmental reading and writing courses and success in a reading-intensive college-level course. This study replicates and expands upon the previous research of Goldstein and Perin (2008) by utilizing a differently diverse sample and an additional literacy-demanding course in an attempt to broaden the findings. Binary logistic regression and multiple regression analyses were performed on data gathered from a large urban community college. The purpose was to predict success and performance—from literacy, demographic, and academic variables—in two literacy-demanding courses, psychology and geography. A number of variables, including literacy skill level, positively predicted successful grades in the courses. This study found that students who had originally tested into a developmental reading and/or writing course upon entrance into a community college and had taken the sequence of developmental courses prior to taking a content course were more successful than students who had placed into a developmental course, but had not taken the developmental sequence. These findings also suggest the more literacy skills a student has gained through completion of higher levels of English courses, the more likely the student will successfully complete a content course in which those skills are required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-216
Number of pages14
JournalCommunity College Journal of Research and Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 4 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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