Date of Award

Fall 2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educ Foundations & Leadership

Committee Director

Mitchell R. Williams

Committee Member

Shana L. Pribesh

Committee Member

Alan M. Schwitzer

Abstract

The demand for healthcare workers is increasing nationwide. Higher education is responding by examining various interventions designed to increase completion (Abele, Penprase, & Ternes, 2011). Anatomy and Physiology is often identified as a gatekeeper course for students, since many withdraw or fail this course (Hopper, 2011). Within the VCCS, two colleges have implemented a prerequisite course, NAS 2, for Anatomy and Physiology. This study analyzed student data from before and after NAS 2 implementation, and examined General Biology to determine if it was a predictor of success in Anatomy and Physiology.

When NAS 2 was a significant predictor of grade in Anatomy and Physiology, students without NAS 2 were more likely to earn higher grades. At one college, NAS 2 was negatively associated with earning an A in Bio 141, Exp (B) = 1.405, c2 (1) = 4.058, p = .040. When compared to an outside college, NAS 2 was negatively associated with grades of F, D, C, and B. Here, the Exp (B)s ranged from 3.2 x 107, to 2.2 x 109, all with p values smaller than .0005.

At another institution, not having NAS 2 was associated with a 1.877 times increase in the likelihood of earning a higher grade in Anatomy and Physiology c2 (1) = 9.936, p = .002. When compared to an outside college, completing NAS 2 led to lower grades. In this comparison, students without NAS 2 were more likely to earn a higher grade in Anatomy and Physiology Exp (B) 1.941, c2 (1) = 13.362, p < .0005. Students who take the prerequisite course are not as well prepared for Anatomy and Physiology as the students who enter the course directly, holding constant other characteristics that often impact grades.

General Biology was a positive predictor of a grade of B when compared to NAS 2 completion, but only at the first college, Exp (B) of 1.533 ,c2 (1) = 6.815, p = .009. At the second institution, neither course was a significant predictor of final grade. Demographic variables of age, ethnicity, and placing into a developmental course, were predictors in statistical models.

ISBN

9781369538403

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