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Biology Student's Achievement - Essay Example

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Nationwide, science courses only retain 35%-70% of the college students starting any particular science course. The National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education Data of the National Science Education Leadership Association (2008) reported that, for the academic year 2006-2007, community college life science courses had an attrition rate of 63%, earth science courses 48%, physical science 43%, general science 65%, and integrated science 27%…
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Download file to see previous pages It appears that the issues of achievement, attitude, and course completion are not taken seriously, since despite attempts, the average attrition rates in community colleges are 41% from the first to the second year, and only 34% of the remaining students persist in the course to complete a degree (Conway, 2010).
In order to find out the reasons why there is failure to retain students, especially in community colleges, the attitudes of the students have been found to be at fault. Studies conducted on students in community colleges have revealed that the goals of educational programs in community colleges are different from those in the university colleges. Aslanian (2001) indicated that the average age of the students in community colleges is higher than an average university student. Community colleges tend also to enroll underprepared students from low-income and low parental education families and often from ethnic minority backgrounds in part-time programs (Cohen and Brawer 1996). While these ensure ease of access and facilitates enrolment, this might be a major factor inhibiting desired retention. Thayer (2000) indicates that while first-generation students get enrolled to these community college programs with higher frequencies, they also tend to demonstrate higher attrition rates. Although the specific impacts of these factors on attitudes to complete the course and achieve education have not been studied, certain factors appear to be significantly contributing to this phenomenon. Age appears to be an important factor, since this indicates a large number of adult and returning students creating an opportunity for higher education, which may serve as the gateway for job (Powers, 2007).
Sherman, Byer and Rapp (2008) emphasize it is important to ensure that online courses add to the value of traditional courses and improve student preparation. Labov (2006) states that the federal No Child Left Behind Act, with its emphasis on testing, accountability and teacher quality coupled with concerns about performance of US students and employer expectations for sound training in preparation for employment has set the stage for a thorough scrutiny of the performance of education at all levels.
This means despite adversities from other determinants of pursuing education, the students enrolled for courses in community colleges may have many other determinants. However, the aspect of mode of learning and form of class room has also drawn significant attention. While the students of community colleges tend not to persist as has been finally concluded by Thayer (2000), the form of student teacher interactions, teaching expertise, timing of program are all important possible determinants. Recent improvement of technology has also made possible on-line courses in a virtual environment as opposed to the traditional classroom lecture and laboratory methods especially for the science subjects. Fike et al. (2008) further ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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