A Multi-Institutional Study of the Relationship between High School Mathematics Achievement and Performance in Introductory College Statistics

Danielle N. Dupuis, Amanuel Medhanie, Michael Harwell, Brandon LeBeau, Debra Monson, and Thomas R. Pos

In this study we examined the effects of prior mathematics achievement and completion of a commercially developed, National Science Foundation-funded, or University of Chicago School Mathematics Project high school mathematics curriculum on achievement in students’ first college statistics course. Specifically, we examined the relationship between students’ high school mathematics achievement and high school mathematics curriculum on the difficulty level of students’ first college statistics course, and on the grade earned in that course. In general, students with greater prior mathematics achievement took more difficult statistics courses and earned higher grades in those courses. The high school mathematics curriculum a student completed was unrelated to statistics grades and course-taking.