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ERIC Number: EJ826047
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
Characterization of Human Genetics Courses for Nonbiology Majors in U.S. Colleges and Universities
Bowling, Bethany Vice; Huether, Carl A.; Wagner, Jennifer A.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v6 n3 p224-232 Fall 2007
We characterized college human genetics courses for nonscience majors (NSM) by 1) determining the number of U.S. institutions offering courses and the number of students taking them; and 2) surveying course instructors on course demographics, content, materials, and pedagogies. Between 2002 and 2004, an estimated 480 institutions of higher education (15.2%) offered a course: 8.4% of 1667 associate colleges, 16.1% of baccalaureate institutions, 25.3% of master's institutions, and 32.9% of doctoral institutions. This indicates a need to increase access to genetics education in 2-yr colleges. Based on instructor responses, approximately 32,000-37,000 students annually complete an NSM human genetics course out of approximately 1.9 million students earning a college degree each year (2.0%). Regarding course content, instructors consistently rated many concepts significantly higher in importance than the emphasis placed on those concepts in their courses. Although time could be a factor, instructors need guidance in the integration of the various concepts into their courses. Considering only 30.2% of the instructors were reportedly trained in genetics (another 25.4% in molecular and cellular biology) and the small fraction of students completing NSM human genetics courses, these results demonstrate the need for increasing the availability of these courses in undergraduate institutions of higher education, and particularly at 2-yr colleges. (Contains 8 tables and 3 figures.)
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; E-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A