American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Educational Research. 2014, 2(4), 183-188
DOI: 10.12691/education-2-4-1
Open AccessArticle

Students Enrolled in Biology Majors Pre-Requisite Courses: Effect of High School Academic Performance

Mamta Singh1, and Sandra West2

1Martin University, Indianapolis, Indianapolis

2Texas State University San Marcos, Texas

Pub. Date: March 19, 2014

Cite this paper:
Mamta Singh and Sandra West. Students Enrolled in Biology Majors Pre-Requisite Courses: Effect of High School Academic Performance. American Journal of Educational Research. 2014; 2(4):183-188. doi: 10.12691/education-2-4-1


The purpose of this study was to enhance the ability of an institution to provide biology major students the best opportunity to succeed. Grades are universally measured variables. Regardless of different instructors teaching the same course in different sections, the final course grade is combined for all the sections representing one course. This study reflects the differences in students as they were successful in courses due to performance verse students who were not successful because of their low performance. The study used logistic regression analysis to assess students’ performance in biology major courses. The findings suggest that high school GPA and high school chemistry were the predictors of students’ success in entry-level biology courses.

high school chemistry GPA entry-level biology

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  American Council on Education. (1996). Remedial education: An undergraduate student profile. Washington, DC: Author.
[2]  Astin, A. W. (1984). Student involvement: A development theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personal, 25, 297-308.
[3]  Bendel, R. B., & Afifi, A. A. (1977).Comparison of stopping rules in forward regression. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 72, 46-53.
[4]  Belfield. C. &Crosta, P.M. (2014). Predicting Success in College: The Importance of Placement Tests and High School Transcripts. Retrieved on March 14th 2014 from
[5]  Cambiano, R. L., Denny, G. S., & De Vore, J. B. (2000). College student retention at a midwestern university: A six-year study. Journal of Higher Education, 166, 143-164.
[6]  DesJardins, S. L., McCall, B. P., Ahlburg, D. A., &Moye, M. J. (2002). Adding a timing light to the "tool box." Research in Higher Education, 43, 83-114.
[7]  Farkas, K. (2014). School grades as good a predictor of college success as SAT or ACT, report says: Higher Education Roundup. Retrieved on March 14th 2014 from
[8]  Gibson, D. J., & Gibson, L. S. (1993). College students’ perception on adequacy of high school science curriculum as preparation for college level biology. The American Biology Teacher, 55, 8-12.
[9]  Hosmer, D. W., & Lemeshow, S. (Eds.). (2000).Applied Logistic Regression. New York: Wiley.
[10]  House, J. D. (1995). Noncognitive predictors of achievement in introductory college chemistry. Research in Higher Education, 36, 473-490.
[11]  Hu, S., and St. John, E. P. (2001). Student persistence in a public higher education system:
[12]  Understanding racial and ethnic differences. Journal of Higher Education 72 (3): 265-86.
[13]  Jones, D. J., & Watson, B. C. (1990). “High risk" students and higher education: Future trends. (ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 3). Washington, DC: The George Washington University, School of Education and Human Development.
[14]  Jones, D. J., & Watson, B. C. (1990). High-risk students and higher education: Future trends. ASHE-ERIC higher education report no. 3.
[15]  Kahveci, A., Southerland, S. A., & Gilmer, P. J. (2006).Retaining undergraduate women in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering. Journal of College Science Teaching, 36, 34-38.
[16]  Korey, E. (2013). A new formula for college success. Retrieved on March 14th 2014 from
[17]  Kulik, C-L., Kulik, J., &Schwalb, B. (1983). College programs for high risk and disadvantaged students: A meta-analysis of findings. Review of Educational Research, 53, 397-414.
[18]  Leppel, K. (2002). Similarities and differences in the college persistence of men and women. Review of Higher Education 25, 433-450.
[19]  Mitchell, A., & Lawson, A. E. (1988).Predicting genetics achievement in non-majors college biology. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 25, 23-37.
[20]  National Research Council (NRC). (1996). National science education standards. No. National Academy Press. Washington: D.C.
[21]  National Science Board (NSB). (2010). preparing the next generation of STEM innovators: Identifying and developing our nation’s human capital. Arlington, VA:
[22]  Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (1980).Predicting freshman persistence and voluntary dropout decisions from a theoretical model. The Journal of Higher Education, 51, 60-75.
[23]  Perna, L. W. (1997). The contribution of financial aid to undergraduate persistence. Paper presented at the 22 th annual forum of the Association for Study of Higher Education, Albuquerque, NM Sadler, P. M., & Tai, R. H. (2000). Success in introductory college physics: The role of high school preparation. Science Education, 85, 111-136.
[24]  Solak, R. R., &Rohlf, F. J. (Eds.) (1995). Biometry: The Principles and Practice of Statistics in Biological Research. W. H. Freeman and Co.: New York.
[25]  Selingo J. (2003). What Americans think about higher education? The Chronicle of Higher Education. pp. A 10-A 17.
[26]  Singh, M. (2009).Student Performance and Success in Entry-Level Undergraduate Biology Courses. Four Year University and College Section Research Symposium National Association of Biology Teachers 2009 Professional Development Conference November 12, 2009, Denver, Colorado.
[27]  Strauss, V. (2014). High school grades best predictor of college success-not SAT/ACT scores. Retrieved on March 14th 2014 from
[28]  Tai, R. H., Sadler, M. S., and Loehr, J. F. (2005 (2005).Factors Influencing Success in Introductory College Chemistry. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 42, 987-1012
[29]  Tamir, P. (1969). High school preparation and college biology. BioScience, 19, 447-449.
[30]  Tamir, P., Amir, R., & Nussinovitz, R. (1980).High school preparation for college biology in Israel. Higher Education, 9, 399-408.
[31]  Tinto, V. (1982).Links of theory and practice in student attrition. Journal of Higher Education, 53, 687-700.
[32]  Weissberg, N. C., Owen, D. R., Jenkins, A. H., &Harburg, E. (2003). The incremental variance problem: Enhancing the predictability of academic success in an urban, commuter institution. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 129, 153-180.