An analysis of the relationship of prior or concurrent enrollment in an introduction to business class to the performance of students in Financial Accounting I

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Higher Education

First Committee Member

James McKinney, Committee Chair


The purposes of this study were (a) to determine the effects of taking a general business course on female and male community college students' performance in an introductory accounting course, (b) to assess accounting students' preferences for the order in which the business and accounting courses should be taken, (c) to determine whether the order in which the business and accounting courses are taken influenced students' perceptions of the extent they have acquired knowledge in business, and (d) to determine whether entrance examination scores and grades in the general business course predict accounting grades apart from the known relationship between cumulative GPA and course preferences.The participants were 99 male and 97 female community college students (n = 196) who, at the time of the study, were taking Financial Accounting I (ACG 2021). Of the 196 students, 19 took Principles of Business (GEB 1011) and ACG 2021 concurrently in the same term, 87 took GEB 1011 prior to taking ACG 2021, and 90 students took only ACG 2021. Data on an entrance examination, course grades, and cumulative grade point average were obtained from college records. Also, students completed a questionnaire that asked them about their preference for the order in which they took GEB 1011 and ACG 2021, and ratings were obtained on the extent they perceived that they understood the content of the introductory business course (GEB 1011) pertaining to Business Environment, Accounting, Management, and Marketing.The results indicated that students generally preferred to take both courses concurrently and that this was particularly the case for female students. Students who took both GEB 1011 and ACG 2021 earned higher grades in accounting than those who only took ACG 2021 without taking the introductory business course. Comparisons between students who took both courses concurrently and those who took GEB 1011 prior to ACG 2021 failed to show significant differences between groups due to the order in which the courses were taken with respect to self-reported understanding of business concepts. Also, there were no gender differences or gender x group interactions in this analysis. A multiple regression analysis indicated that cumulative GPA predicted 37.7% of the variance in accounting grades, and gender predicted a lesser extent, 1.6% GEB 1011 grade and admission test scores did not significantly predict performance in the accounting course.The results were interpreted in terms of the usefulness of Elaboration theory and implications were discussed for future research and practice. Generally, it may be concluded that taking an introductory course in business has value in facilitating performance in an introductory course in accounting; however, whether it is taken prior to or concurrent with the accounting course was of less importance.


Education, Community College; Education, Business

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