Abstract #T536

# T536
Relationship between course performance and graduation rates of animal science majors.
M. J. Anderson*1, J. L. Leatherwood1, M. M. Beverly1, K. J. Stutts1, S. F. Kelley1, 1Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX.

Student success in completing a degree and graduating is dependent on course performance. Additionally, courses in a student’s major will not only affect graduation, but also determine the aptitude of that student for their chosen career path. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between graduation rates and the grade earned in specific animal science courses. To accomplish this, course grades and graduation rates of students receiving those specific grades were collected for animal science courses over a 10-year period at Sam Houston State University. The courses included Animal Science, Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals, Animal Nutrition, Meat Science, Equine Science, Animal Breeding and Genetics, Range Management, Animal Reproduction, and Animal Feeds and Feeding. Animal Science is an introductory course for freshmen-level students and prerequisite for other courses evaluated. Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals, Equine Science, and Animal Nutrition are commonly composed of sophomore-level students, while the remaining courses are generally composed of upperclassmen. When graduation rates are reviewed across courses, there is a steady decline in graduation rate of students in the Animal Science course as the final course grade moves from a B (74%), to a C (51%), to a D (30%), and, last, to an F (0%). This pattern does not continue with the sophomore- and upper-level courses. In those courses, over 77% of students graduate when earning a final course grade of C or better. This illustrates that the introductory Animal Science course at Sam Houston provides the necessary rigor to the program and adequately prepares students for the advanced courses in animal science. This also demonstrates that students who receive a lower grade in the introductory Animal Science course may be able to continue in the program, but their likelihood of graduating is significantly lower. Therefore, the introductory Animal Science course at Sam Houston provides an early indicator of student success in reaching graduation.

Key Words: graduation rate, education, animal science