Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Kit B. Kacirek

Committee Member

Kenda S. Grover

Second Committee Member

Michael T. Miller


age, community college, gatekeeper courses, gender, modality, online education


The question of equivalency regarding course modality has plagued and intrigued educators for as long as multiple modalities have existed. In the modern world of academia, the two prevailing modalities are face-to-face or traditional courses and online courses. A multitude of factors have contributed to the increase in online course offerings, including increasingly dependable technology and fiscal pressures on institutions of higher learning.

A great deal of scholarly research has compared modalities using within-course measures such as course grades and comprehensive final exams. Most of these studies have found the two modalities equivalent. However, a dearth of research exists which uses a measure occurring at some time after the course in question. So, the question of whether the two modalities maintain their equivalency through time remains unanswered.

This study used hierarchical multiple regression to determine if the modality of prerequisite courses, age and, gender affected a student’s Kaplan subject area exam scores for students applying for entry to the UACCB Nursing program. Regressions were performed for Human Anatomy & Physiology I, Human Anatomy & Physiology II, College Algebra, English Composition I, and English Composition II courses using the corresponding Kaplan subject area exam score.

In all five analyses, course modality did not have a statistically significant effect on a student’s Kaplan scores. Thus, the results support the Equivalency Theory. A student’s age and gender were statistically significant in all courses except English Composition II, but at most explained only 7% of the variance observed.