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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Evaluating the Effects of a Biology Undergraduate Research Experience on First-Year Retention and Student Success
by Duncan, John T., Ed.D., Saint Leo University, 2021, 92; 28415273
Abstract (Summary)

This study was an examination of quantitative archival data from 2014–2017 to determine whether a course-based undergraduate research experience improved student retention and success in an undergraduate biology program at a small southern liberal arts university. The first-year retention and course grades in BIO100, genetics (BIO330), and biochemistry (BIO324) in an experimental group of 42 BIO100 participating students and a control group of 443 biology students were compared; t tests were used to analyze first-year retention and first-year change-of-major, revealing a small, but nonsignificant increase in retention among BIO100 participants. Final grades were compared with t tests for BIO330 and BIO324 experimental and control groups. A small, but nonsignificant increase in course grades for BIO100 participants was evident. To analyze student retention and course grades in conjunction with student demographic data, t tests, ANOVA, and regression analysis were used. Students with higher high school GPAs or who were from households where at least one parent had completed college were more likely to participate in BIO100. Parental college attainment was linked to higher first-term GPA and higher course grades in BIO330 for students that did not participate in BIO100, while it had no discernable effect on success or retention for BIO100 participants. Students with better high school preparation or who had parents or mentors to guide them through the college process were more likely to register for research-based learning opportunities and were more successful in this biology program. No correlation was found between ethnicity and retention in the major.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Carver, Melinda
Commitee: Mukherjee, Keya, Roberts, Candice
School: Saint Leo University
Department: School of Education & Social Services
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 82/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education
Keywords: Biology, Higher education, STEM, Student attrition, Student success, Undergraduate research experience
Publication Number: 28415273
ISBN: 9798597098562
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