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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Higher Education
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Relationship of Peer Leadership Employment to Academic Outcomes in Texas Institutions of Higher Education

The Relationship of Peer Leadership Employment to Academic Outcomes in Texas Institutions of Higher Education

Date: May 2015
Creator: Buggs, Michelle L.
Description: The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship of participation and involvement in an undergraduate student success program to academic success and persistence among students in three programs sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB): the G-Force Collegiate Work-Study Mentorship Program, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) for Higher Education (AHE) program, and the THECB work-study program. The sample was identified using data from the THECB during the 2009-2013 academic years. Compared to THECB work-study students, significantly more AHE and G-Force students persisted toward graduation while engaged in the program (p < .001). ANOVA indicated that AHE students had a higher average GPA compared to G-Force and THECB work-study students, controlled for gender, race/ethnicity, pre-program GPA, and length of time in the position. Regression analyses found no statistically significant relationship between program associations and persistence towards graduation or GPA. Results suggest that although participation in a peer leadership programs such as AHE and G-Force encourage greater academic achievement and persistence, there is no direct relation to the achievement of these outcome variables. Implications of the study suggest the need for a deeper analysis into elements of peer leadership programs that contribute to student success, an ...
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Exploring the College Pathways of Asian American Community College Students and the Model Minority Myth

Exploring the College Pathways of Asian American Community College Students and the Model Minority Myth

Date: May 2015
Creator: Hamm, Amanda E.
Description: Contrary to the model minority myth that portrays Asian Americans as academic all-stars over-represented in elite four-year institutions, half of all Asian American college students do in fact attend community colleges, and many experience myriad challenges. This exploratory study investigated the community college pathways of Asian American community college students, the role of family and culture in shaping expectations for higher education, and participants’ perceptions of the model minority myth and the degree to which this myth influenced their college experiences. Institutional practices and policies, or lack thereof, that support the success of this highly diverse population were also studied. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 28 students, who self-identified as Asian American and attended one of the three largest community college districts located in North Texas. The sample included 16 males and 12 females, whose ages ranged from 18 to 49 years old, with a mean age of 24. Data collection involved a demographic questionnaire and semi-structured individual interviews. The participants represented 13 different ethnicities, and nine were members of more than one ethnic or racial group. Ten participants were foreign-born citizens, and all of the participants had at least one foreign-born parent. Qualitative data provided ...
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Alternative Certification Teaching Programs in Texas: A Historical Analysis

Alternative Certification Teaching Programs in Texas: A Historical Analysis

Date: May 2015
Creator: Etheredge, David K.
Description: Before 1984, nearly 975 of teachers entered the teaching profession after graduating from a traditional university-based program. However, beginning in the mid-1980s, alternative routes leading to teacher certification began to emerge in the United States. As of 2010, nearly one-third of all new teachers graduated from an alternative preparation program. As alternative certification (AC) routes approach 30 years since establishment, programs continue to evolve and increase in enrollment. This study focused on the changes that have come about in the maturation of alternative certification programs in Texas since legislation was passed in 1985. The purpose of the study was to delineate the evolution of AC programs using a historical approach, the study used both primary and secondary resources as research tools and employed the use of eight interviews and the literature review for the collection of data. The prediction of future teacher shortages, the need for diversity in the profession the political view to privatize education, and economic recessions were all motivating factors for establishing alternative teacher programs. In the beginning, graduation from AC programs were perceived as not authentic teachers and not as prepared for teaching as graduates from traditional programs. AC programs have become a legitimate and viable ...
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The State of the Field of Critical Information Literacy in Higher Education

The State of the Field of Critical Information Literacy in Higher Education

Date: August 2014
Creator: Downey, Annie L.
Description: The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the state of critical information literacy (CIL) in higher education as it is enacted and understood by academic librarians. This qualitative study investigated the institutional support, nonsupport, and barriers to CIL programs and the effectiveness of experiential critical pedagogy for information literacy (IL) learning as taught and studied by 19 CIL specialists. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 17 academic librarians and two professors of library and information science who had previously worked as academic librarians. The sample included 11 females and eight males; 18 participants were Caucasian and one was African American. Data were collected through 40-60 minute semi-structured interviews and a brief demographic survey. Experiential education served as the broad theoretical framework for this study, which stems from the tradition of critical theory. This study was guided by the work of two major experiential learning theorists and theories: Paulo Freire and critical pedagogy and Jack Mezirow and transformative learning. Mezirow and Freire focused their work on adult education and grounded their approaches in critical theory and focused on power relationships, reflection, and the emancipatory potential of education. The findings were framed through a lens of Freire’s conception ...
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Determining the Reliability and Use of the Center for Community College Student Engagement Survey of Entering Student Engagement As a Tool to Predict Student Success in a Large Urban Community College District

Determining the Reliability and Use of the Center for Community College Student Engagement Survey of Entering Student Engagement As a Tool to Predict Student Success in a Large Urban Community College District

Date: December 2014
Creator: Harris, Sheryl
Description: As community colleges have gained more recognition as a viable pathway for students to enter higher education, they have faced greater accountability that has prompted both practitioners and policy makers to attempt to find solutions and tools, such as National Survey of Student Engagement, Community College Survey of Student Engagement, and Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), to aid in improving student success outcomes. This study addressed the validity and reliability of the SENSE instrument using a three-pronged approach via student data collected over 3 years of SENSE administrations at a large urban community college (n = 4,958). The instrument was first factor analyzed against the SENSE benchmarks for effective educational practice through generalized least squares and principal component exploratory factor analysis. Although the instrument did not deliver a chi-square factored fit for the six benchmark categories, consistent loadings were observed. Second, construct reliability was tested for each benchmark category, and the survey as a whole using Cronbach’s alpha. All categories did not yield sufficient coefficient scores for establishing construct reliability. However, the overall survey produced a Cronbach’s alpha of .85, clearly indicating construct reliability for all items combined. Third, correlations between SENSE perception scores and community college students’ grade ...
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Community College Choice and the Role of Undermatching in the Lives of African Americans

Community College Choice and the Role of Undermatching in the Lives of African Americans

Date: August 2014
Creator: Lowry, Kimberly M.
Description: This study explored why academically qualified African American students, those eligible to attend four-year institutions, choose to attend community colleges and are, thereby, undermatched. This qualitative study investigated how these students navigated the college choice process, what influenced their decision to attend a community college, what their experience at a community college was like, and their aspirations to obtain a baccalaureate degree. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 19 African American students attending community college in Dallas, Texas. The sample included 14 females and five males. Data were collected through 40-60 minute semi-structured interviews and a brief demographic survey. The conceptual frameworks for this study included Kassie Freeman’s predetermination model that includes cultural considerations in college choice and the Somers et al. model that addresses factors that increase the likelihood of a student choosing to attend a community college. This integrated framework captures the role that family and culture play in African American community college choice. Findings suggest that the community college choice influences for academically eligible African American students vary from traditional college choice models. Whereas factors such as cost, location, and the role of peers played somewhat of a role in their choice, participants were ...
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Academic Self-efficacy of Adult First-generation Students Enrolled in Online Undergraduate Courses

Academic Self-efficacy of Adult First-generation Students Enrolled in Online Undergraduate Courses

Date: August 2014
Creator: Jackson, Delores
Description: This study examined differences between adult first-generation (AFG) and adult-continuing generation (ACG) students’ academic self-efficacy with regard to the online courses in which they were currently enrolled. The study used an online survey methodology to collect self-reported quantitative data from 1,768 undergraduate students enrolled in an online course at a mid-sized, four-year public university in the southwestern United States; 325 cases were usable for the study. The t-tests revealed no statistically significant differences between the academic self-efficacy of the AFG and ACG students. Parents’ level of educational attainment was unrelated to adult students’ academic self-efficacy with online courses. Ordinary least-squares analysis was used to evaluate student characteristics that might be associated with academic self-efficacy in the online environment. A combination of gender, GPA, age, race/ethnicity (White, Black, Hispanic, and other), and number of previous online courses predicted a statistically significant 12% of the variance in academic self-efficacy in an online environment (p < .001). Age (p < .001) and self-efficacy were positively correlated, meaning that adult students reported greater academic self-efficacy than did younger students; and number of previous online courses (p < .001) was also positively correlated to academic self-efficacy, indicating that students with greater experience with online courses ...
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Silent Voices: the Experiences of Deaf Students in Community College

Silent Voices: the Experiences of Deaf Students in Community College

Date: August 2014
Creator: Johnson, Serena Gail
Description: Most students with hearing loss attend community college, yet very little research on this population of students exists in higher education. This dissertation is one of the first to explore the experiences of mainstreamed d/Deaf students in community college. This research was conducted in order to gain a better understanding of how students who are d/Deaf interact navigate the mainstream postsecondary environment. Purposeful sampling was used to gather data from 19 individuals who attended postsecondary institutions not designed specifically for d/Deaf students. These participants were enrolled in an urban community college district in the southwestern U.S. and were receiving accommodations from their campus accessibility office. The sample included six Black females, one Black male, five Latinos, three Latinas, two White males, one White female, and two females who identified as multiracial. Data were collected through 30-60 minute semi-structured interviews in American Sign Language or spoken English, and a brief demographic survey. The interviews conducted in American Sign Language were then interpreted into English; one participant did not know ASL, and relied on oral communication. The theoretical framework of this study was Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory. Individual development does not occur inside a vacuum; utilizing this theory allows for the analysis of ...
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Workplace Supportiveness, Family Obligations, and Advancement for Caucasian Male Student Affairs’ Middle Managers

Workplace Supportiveness, Family Obligations, and Advancement for Caucasian Male Student Affairs’ Middle Managers

Date: December 2014
Creator: Smethers, Misty L.
Description: In higher education, the field of student affairs, as demonstrated in previous research, suffers from high turnover, and often, the choice to leave the student affairs field seems to coincide with starting a family and simultaneously taking care of elder family members. Previous research has demonstrated that care-giving commitments hinder women in the advancement of their career and given the changing culture of shared care-giving responsibilities, the previous findings may now be true for men as well. This study focused on Caucasian male middle managers’ perceptions of the student affairs work environment in relation to their families and workplace supportiveness and advancement. I interviewed eight Caucasian, male student affairs middle managers about their perceptions about workplace supportiveness of family obligations in the student affairs field. The participants placed high importance on family and were no longer willing to risk family life for career success. All eight men talked fondly of their family obligations and were willing to change career paths to demonstrate how much they valued their families. In addition, these men frequently commented on the desire to represent cultural change. Therefore, student affairs divisions should implement supportive informal benefits across the board to all professional full time employees for ...
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The Relationship Between Institutional Expenditures and Student Completion of Momentum Points: a Community College Perspective

The Relationship Between Institutional Expenditures and Student Completion of Momentum Points: a Community College Perspective

Date: August 2014
Creator: Isbell, Teresa
Description: This study investigated the relationship between community college institutional expenditures and student success in reaching momentum points. The 3 years of student cohorts of a large community college district in Texas formed the population. Student characteristics and institutional context characteristics served as control variables. Institutional financial data functioned as the independent variables. Student success variables (milestones and momentum points) served as dependent variables. Because each of the three cohorts contained over 10,000 students and displayed equivalent characteristics, the random sample of 7,634 students was drawn from the combined cohorts. Institutional financial variables predicted the milestones of reading readiness (χ2 = 315.10, df = 17, n = 3,495, p < .001) and writing readiness (χ2 = 296.64, df = 17, n = 3,149, p < .001). Financial variables contributed to the completion of English-1301 (χ2 = 1004.14, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001), college-level math (χ2 = 615.24, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001), 30 college-level credit hours (χ2 = 833.85, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001), and reenrollment the second fall semester (χ2 = 375.41, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001). Student services expenditures provided high odds for ...
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