Background: Research investigating predictors of academic success in rigorous health science education is valuable for curricular intervention for identified at-risk students. Various predictors of success have been investigated, but the literature is insufficient when examining anatomy and physiology readiness scores as they correlate to radiography curricular success. This pilot study assessed the correlation between readiness exam scores and programmatic course GPA to determine if the scores could be used as a metric for identifying academic success resources for incoming students. Cohorts of the radiography program at a midwestern health sciences center demonstrated a longitudinal trend of difficulty with anatomy and physiology programmatic coursework. Therefore, researchers set out to investigate whether or not readiness exam scores, in addition to the metrics they were already utilizing, could be used as a tool for early academic remediation. Objective: The objective of this study was to determine if the anatomy and physiology readiness exam scores would be reliable indicators of programmatic success in anatomy and physiology program coursework. Design: This investigation occurred in two phases: a retrospective correlational phase and a quasi-experimental phase. Methods: Retrospective data from cohorts that matriculated between 2013 and 2017 (n=91) was collected and de-identified. Data included prerequisite grade point average (GPA) and grades from anatomy and physiology course taken during the program. During the quasi-experimental phase, a sample of students (n=18) completed a readiness examination. The scores from this examination were correlated with prerequisite GPA and program anatomy and physiology GPA. Results: Data analysis revealed prerequisite GPA and the anatomy and physiology section of the readiness examination to be strong and moderate predictors of programmatic anatomy and physiology course grades, respectively. Conclusion: Predictors of curricular success in a radiography program’s anatomy and physiology coursework are essential factors to consider in relation to admissions practices, curricular prerequisite standards, and on-boarding of new students, especially those identified as at-risk.

Author Bio(s)

Tammy Webster, PhD, MPA, RT(R)(M), is an Associate Professor in the College of Allied Health Professions at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE. She also serves as the Director for the Radiography, Cardiovascular Interventional Technology, and Computed Tomography Programs.

Sarah McBrien, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the College of Allied Health Professions at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE. She also serves as the Director of Curriculum and Learning Assessment for the college.

Gregory Mehrer, MBA, RT(R)(CT) is a practicing Radiographer, CT Technologist, and educator at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, SD.

Harlan Sayles, MS, is a statistician with the Department of Biostatistics in the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE.




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