Project Director

Ramnarine, Angelique D.

Department Examiner

Cox, Christopher L. (Christopher Lee); Barioli, Francesco


Dept. of Mathematics


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Considerable amounts of resources are allocated to assist and retain students during their first and second years in college, and many universities provide extra support to students as they prepare to graduate and start their professional careers; however, resources are not often specially aimed at third year students (i.e., students in their junior year). The primary goals of this study were to contribute to the body of literature and gain a better understanding of the relationships between students’ ACT scores, their Tennessee High School Quality ranking scores, and their cumulative GPA at the end of their junior year. This research project also considered the possible impact that the transition to online learning designs may have had on junior-level students’ GPAs during the COVID-19 pandemic by comparing students who did not experience the COVID-19 pandemic during or prior to the junior-year (2015-2019 cohorts) and students who did experience the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to online learning (2021 cohort). An understanding of these relationships and differences is important because students are usually beginning their upper-level courses for their designated majors during their third year of college; therefore, their GPAs are beginning to reflect, not only the students’ abilities to understand basic knowledge in a subject area, but also their abilities to understand complex, content-specific material. This information could be useful to university educators and administrators as they work toward making data-driven decisions about the programs and resources that are allocated to assist their students during all years of their postsecondary education career. There were three quantitative research questions: 1) Is there a significant, predictive relationship between high school quality, ACT scores, and end-of-junior-year of college GPA? 2) Is there a significant difference between the GPAs of college juniors in 2021 versus those from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019? 3) Is there a significant difference between the GPAs of college juniors in 2021 versus those from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 in STEM and non-STEM fields? Statistical analyses involving multiple regression and analysis of variance were used to answer these questions. It was determined that ACT score is a statistically significant predictor of students’ GPAs at the end of their junior year in college, and the GPAs of 2021 juniors were significantly different to the GPAs of juniors from previous years.


This project is dedicated to all the girls who love glitter and numbers. Shine on you glorious creatures. Thank you first to Dr. Angelique Ramnarine. She has been an amazing support and director for this project. Her kindness and patience have made this project possible. Also, a huge thank you to the UTC Honors College admin Dr. Linda Frost, Dr. Greg O’Dea, Sherese Williams, Leslie Pusey, Rebekah Caldwell, and Owen Foster for always being in my corner. And finally thank you to my mother. You are the best woman I know. I love you.

IRB Number



B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Academic achievement; College juniors; Prediction of scholastic success


COVID-19; high school quality; college junior; GPA; ACT score; effects on college GPA


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Higher Education Administration

Document Type



72 leaves