Presentation #212.05 in the session Public Engagement and Education Research.
Astronomy is often taken by non-STEM majors in community colleges to meet their graduation requirements, and it may be the only science course a community college student will take. Research on the performance of community college students in STEM courses has been limited, particularly in astronomy. Using transcript analysis and predictive modeling, the present study examined the predictive value of academic and demographic variables of 1,909 suburban New York community college astronomy students with respect to their astronomy performance. The most important predictors of community college astronomy performance were academic variables related to their mathematical capabilities such as enrolling in developmental mathematics courses and repeating mathematics courses. This study found that demographics such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status were not predictors of community college astronomy performance, making astronomy courses a level playing field for students from different backgrounds.