Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Nicola LoCascio

Second Advisor

Robert Bickel

Third Advisor

Charles Somerville


The purpose of this thesis research was to evaluate the quality of scientific education offered in the College of Science’s Department of Biology at Marshall University. The objectives of this study were to emphasize the important aspects of higher education assessment, point out that a scientifically literate citizenry is imperative for society to function effectively, and to determine what factors contribute to differences among students with regard to their perception of the quality of scientific education they are receiving at Marshall. A survey questionnaire was administered to students in eleven biological science courses during the Fall semester of 2003 and the Spring semester of 2004. These courses spanned the biology curriculum and included the participation of freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate students. An outcome of the assessment revealed that completing or currently being enrolled in all three designated core courses (BSC 320 Principles of Ecology, BSC 322 Principles of Cell Biology, and BCS 324 Principles of Genetics) results in students rating the quality of scientific education they are receiving significantly higher than students who have not taken all three core courses. By including a selected complement of controls embedded within the administered assessment tool, completing or being enrolled in all three core courses was the only variable that was statistically significant and positively affected the students’ perceptions of the quality of scientific education.


Biology - Study and teaching (Higher) - West Virginia.

Educational evaluation.

Curriculum evaluation.