Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




William McCook


Naturopathic medical schools are concerned with low first-time pass rates on the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam Part I (NPLEX I) that may impact schools' accreditation with the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME). At a North American school of naturopathic medicine first-time pass rates have been a concern for 3 of the last 5 years. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine whether students' naturopathic basic science content area scores predict NPLEX I scores at this this school. Grounded in general systems theory, a predictive correlational research design utilizing multiple logistic regression analyses was used. Archival data were obtained from the school for students who completed NPLEX I and all basic science courses. For the first model, microbiology, pathologyplus (including pathology and other content), and disease/dysfunction scores were obtained for N = 208 students. For the second model, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and structure/function scores were obtained for N = 256 students. For each model, students' groups of basic science content area final exam scores were analyzed against NPLEX I scores to determine predictive relationships. Results indicated pathologyplus, anatomy, and physiology scores were significant predictors of NPLEX I performance, microbiology and biochemistry were not significant predictors, and students who completed NPLEX I during the August 2015 administration were most likely to earn passing scores on NPLEX I. Based on the findings a position paper was developed recommending curriculum mapping to examine alignment and make all content areas predictive of NPLEX I performance. Positive social change may ensue by increasing the reputation of the schools and profession of naturopathic medicine.