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ERIC Number: EJ858954
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1539-2422
A Biology Course for the Less-than-Prepared Prospective Biology Major
Bonner, Janice M.
Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, v35 n1 p74-81 May 2009
Many undergraduate institutions are dealing with less-than-prepared students entering the biology major. When the biology department at College of Notre Dame of Maryland analyzed data from five past cohorts of prospective biology majors, it was evident that there was a significant correlation between their success in the introductory course in the major and their math SAT score (Spearman's rho = 0.058; p less than 0.001). Based on these results, the biology department developed a preparatory course for students whose MSAT score was below a prescribed cutoff value and stipulated that a student must pass this preparatory course with a grade of at least C+ to take the introductory course. For the first four cohorts (n = 93), 95.9% of those who enrolled in the introductory course in the semester following the preparatory course received a grade of at least C. For these students, there was no correlation between their grade in the introductory course and their MSAT score. This paper describes how the department determines which students take the preparatory course, explains the design of the course curriculum and assessment within the course, and presents an analysis of the first four cohorts of students to progress through the course. (Contains 1 figure, 1 table, and 4 footnotes.)
Association of College and Biology Educators. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: SAT (College Admission Test)