Influence of high school biology and mathematic courses on the introductory college biology course success at Angelo State University, TX
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For students to be adequately informed and prepared to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, it is important to understand the influence of the number of science and mathematics courses taken in high school on success in introductory biology courses. This study examined the significance between the number of mathematics and science courses taken by high school students and success in the Principles of Biology (Bio 1480) introductory college biology course offered at Angelo State University (ASU) in San Angelo, TX. This study utilized questionnaires and multiple binomial general linear regressions to determine the likelihood of success that existed between the number of high school science and mathematics courses taken and success in the Bio 1480 course sections in the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters. It was determined that, overall, the number of mathematics and science courses taken by a student in high school does affect success in Bio 1480; however, the extent of the effect varied between the fall and spring terms. In the fall term, it was determined that an increased number of mathematics and science courses taken always decreased a student’s likelihood of being unsuccessful. In the spring, the results varied in which the number of mathematics and biology courses did have an effect while the number of science courses did not. The differences in a significant effect between the semesters were also present when examining the number of all science courses with lab time taken in high school. The number of biology courses with lab time taken in high school had a significant effect in both the fall and spring semester. This trend was also evident when the number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses taken in high school was examined. Having taken AP Calculus had a significant effect on success in the introductory college biology course as well as having taken AP Biology, but when examining the total number of AP science courses taken in high school a significant effect was evident in the fall but not in the spring semester.
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