Exploring the Critical Relationship between Precollege Preparation of Mathematics and College Graduation

  • Faxian Yang University of South Carolina
  • Yangzi Mao Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Minghui Wang Stevens Institute of Technology
Keywords: mathematics precollege preparation, undergraduate graduation


Completing a bachelor’s degree is not only the primary goal for students, but also a crucial indicator of student achievement at each university. Despite the fact that factors influencing graduation rate have been investigated over the years, the scope, depth, and angles need to be further expanded. With a new angle and rarely studied pursue in this field, this study explored the factors that impacted students’ graduation at a very high research university by employing a logistic regression model. The outcome of the study identified six factors that impacted student’s graduation. Among the six factors, two most significant factors outstood, the difficulty level of the first mathematics course taken at the university, and whether students had to retake any of the six introductory science and mathematics courses requested by university. These two factors were related to their precollege preparation during their secondary school years. This study suggests that although more and more educational researchers and scholars had started to realize and raised these issues in the past, and governments and secondary schools had initiated programs to enhance students’ mathematics proficiency, mathematics proficiency had not fundamentally improved and might remain a long-term challenge.


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