Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Center for Science and Math Education


Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Richard Mohn

Committee Member 2

Dr. Sherry Herron

Committee Member 3

Dr. Mac Alford

Committee Member 4

Dr. Janet Donaldson

Committee Member 5

Dr. Kyna Shelley


Community colleges provide vital educational resources to students across the nation. Online learning has become an integral part of the course offerings for community colleges. With regards to online learning, there is a lack of empirical evidence and research focused on community college offered biology laboratories, particularly concerning retention rates of these students. Means, Toyama, Murphy, and Bakia. (2013) found that even though there are copious amounts of studies dedicated to evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning formats, many of them neglected to review retention rates associated with online educational courses.

The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a determinable difference in Mississippi community college students between online and on-ground offered biology laboratory retention rates, the classification of major versus non-major biology course content, and overall student grades. The results from this research indicate that there were some determinable differences between retention rates of on-ground and online biology laboratory students, that there was a difference between majors versus non-majors biology laboratory students, and that differences in delivery methods did effect overall grades of these students.