Level the Playing Field -- Impact of Academic Success Courses

Rana Khan
University of Maryland University College, United States of America

Les Pang
University of Maryland University College, United States of America


The purpose of this research is to evaluate the impact of two preparatory or “Academic Success Courses”, UCSP 635 and UCSP 636, which targets graduate students with little or no programming experience and prepares them for professions that require knowledge and experience in modern computer programming languages. Data representing a total of 14 classes of two preparatory computing courses conducted over three semesters in 2016 were examined. Based on a preliminary analysis of the data, it was discovered that among those who took discipline-specific classes concurrently with the UCSP courses, about 2/3 of the students who successfully completed the preparatory courses received exemplary grades. Those who failed to complete the UCSP courses exhibited a lower level of performance in the program courses. This suggests that the Academic Success Courses may have a role in helping students to perform better on the discipline-specific courses. Further research is needed to follow these students through later semesters to assess a longer term impact of taking these preparatory courses and to understand the influence of demographics on the course success rate.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.