Title

The Relationship Between Certain Characteristics and Factors of Mississippi Junior College Students and Their Achievement in First Course College General Biology

Author

O'Neal Jones

Date of Award

1980

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

Isadore L. Sonnier

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

This research was designed to determine what relationships exist between certain characteristics of students and student achievement in college general biology in the junior colleges of Mississippi. Subjects consisted of 328 students enrolled in the first course general biology in eight junior colleges located throughout four different areas of Mississippi. Three items were used to gather the data: (1) a modification of the Russell-Hollander Biology Attitude Scale, (2) a student questionnaire, and (3) a grade report sheet. Calculation and data analysis were performed by multiple linear regression for relationships between student characteristics and student achievement and by analysis of variance for differences between students in various geographical regions. The results of the study revealed that a significant multiple relationship exists between the student characteristics of science background, attitude toward high school biology, achievement in high school biology, American College Testing Program Composite (ACT) score, American College Testing Program natural science score, BSCS or non-BSCS biology, high school academic achievement grade, socioeconomic status, age, race, sex, and achievement in college general biology. Thirty-four percent of the variance in achievement in college general biology was accounted for by the combined student characteristics. A significant independent relationship was found to exist between achievement in college general biology and each of the independent predictor variables of number of mathematics and science courses completed, achievement in high school biology, American College Testing Program Composite (ACT) score, American College Testing Program natural science score, and high school academic average. A relatively low significant independent relationship was found to exist between achievement in college general biology and each of the independent predictor variables of attitude toward high school biology and student socioeconomic status. No significant independent relationship was found to exist between achievement in college general biology and each of the independent predictor variables of the kind of high school biology completed (BSCS or non-BSCS), student age, student race, and student sex. Significant differences were found to exist between students in schools located in four different geographical regions of Mississippi (Northeast Mississippi Area, Pine Woods Region, Delta Region, South Central Mississippi Area).