Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. William Shirley

Second Advisor

Dr. Khamis Siam

Third Advisor

Dr. Irene Zegar

Fourth Advisor

Dr. James C. Christman


The purpose of this thesis is to create an awareness among secondary and post-secondary instructors as to the student’s preparation in high school Chemistry I and the student’s readiness for General Chemistry I in college for a tristate area consisting of Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Student preparation in this research included chemistry I course prerequisites, high school chemistry teacher qualifications including preparation, and student exposure to rigorous science and math course patterns in high school as these relate to college readiness.

Data was gathered from a local cohort group consisting of high schools in Southeast Kansas (SEK), Southwest Missouri (SWM), and Northeast Oklahoma (NEO). This local cohort data consisted of chemistry course prerequisites to depict the differences in course rigor required by students before entering Chemistry I in high school. In addition, representing both the local and a state cohort group of KS, MO, and OK, teacher preparation information was assembled and compared. Finally, representing only the state cohort group, ACT science and math scores from each school were collected and related to science and math course patterns to measure the “readiness” of the student for their first college chemistry course.

In comparing the local cohort, it was determined that Chemistry I prerequisites are quite diverse and potentially inadequate in math preparation, and chemistry teacher demographics were similar. For the state cohort, most of the universities preparing high school chemistry instructors did not require a laboratory practicum, and the percentage of students that are college chemistry ready was highest for Kansas, followed by Missouri and then Oklahoma.



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