Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Administration and Higher Education

First Committee Member

Carl Steinhoff

Number of Pages



By legislative mandate, Florida publicly-supported college and university students must demonstrate, via acceptable performance on the College-Level Academic Skills Test, that they are eligible for award of associate-in-arts degrees and matriculation in university upper divisions. The CLAST, designed to assess possession of basic academic skills, consists of four subtests: computation, writing, reading and essay. The essays are graded by teams of judges; the other subtests are objective and machine scored; This study was designed to identify and describe salient features of public community college management, teaching and student support innovations which were instituted in response to the CLAST mandate. Senior academic administrators plus English and mathematics department chairs at each of Florida's 28 public community colleges were surveyed regarding institutional innovations, faculty and administrator attitudes toward the CLAST, uses of aggregate CLAST data and practices which enhance CLAST performance. Nine of the colleges were visited for purposes of observation and follow-up interviews with faculty and staff; Highlights of the findings include the following: (1) Department chairs reported a growing faculty acceptance of the CLAST mandate. Collective community college student performances, on a par with those from universities, have resulted in an enhanced image for two year colleges. (2) Senior administrator concern about CLAST performances is perceived as universally high. (3) Most, if not all, colleges found it necessary to modify the curriculum to ensure coverage of CLAST competencies. The trend was to modify existing English core courses but create new math courses. (4) Pre-CLAST preparatory workshops and review sessions are common measures designed to help prepare students for success on the CLAST. (5) Rigorous academic support programs directly linked to developmental basic skills courses appeared to be central features at the more "successful" colleges, i.e., the institutions with records of sustained high passing rates; Overall, Florida's public community colleges exhibited a high degree of uniformity in responses to the CLAST challenge. The primary implication for further study is to determine, through institutional research offices, how various academic support efforts and student counseling practices contribute to CLAST success.


Academic; College; Community; Designed; Florida; Improve; Initiatives; Initiatives; Institutional; Level; Performance; Skills; Survey; Te; Test

Controlled Subject

Community colleges; Educational tests and measurements

File Format


File Size

6604.8 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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