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Child-centered Play Therapy Parent Services: a Q-methodological Investigation
Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is an empirically supported and developmentally appropriate counseling intervention for young children. Despite the clinical effectiveness of CCPT with children, no known study has been conducted in which parents were surveyed or interviewed regarding the services they have received as a part of their children’s participation in CCPT. Therefore, this study was designed to gain a better understanding of parents’ reported needs and expectations in CCPT. This study utilized Q-methodology in which participants completed a Q-sort by actively sorting 40 items on a continuum of least important to most important. Items included services and processes regarded by CCPT scholars and child therapy practitioners as being important to working with parents. Data was collected from 19 parents of children receiving CCPT services in a community-based counseling clinic. Participants included 16 females and 3 males; 15 Caucasian and 4 Hispanic; and 14 biological parents, 2 adoptive parents, and 3 other biological caregivers. Data was analyzed using centroid factor analysis, and results revealed a one factor solution representing 18 of the 19 participants. Eighteen parents reported similar beliefs regarding the processes they consider most and least important to their experience in working with child-centered play therapists. In general, parents’ beliefs aligned with CCPT philosophy, particularly in regards to respecting children’s natural pace of development and healing. Furthermore, parents shared preferences for play therapists who demonstrate expert knowledge and training and who understand the individual needs of their children. Discussion includes implications for the practice of CCPT and training of future play therapists, limitations of the study, and implications for future research.
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
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 point averages, fall to fall retention, semester credit hours, course completion for developmental and college gateway courses, and degree and certificate completion were calculated. Although no strong correlations were observed, the SENSE may be useful to community colleges seeking to increase completion rates.
Evaluation Practices of Community College Faculty Development Programs
The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the current state of community college faculty development program evaluation and identify possible influences on evaluation practices. Data from 184 survey responses and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) were analyzed to answer three research questions. Multiple regression was used to determine if a relationship existed between the dependent/outcome variable (evaluation utilization score) and the independent/predictor variable (accrediting agency affiliation: MSCHE, NEASC, NCA, NWCCU, SACS, and WASC) and/or control variables (institution locale, student FTE, expenses per student FTE, percent spent on instruction, and percent of full-time faculty). Results were not statistically significant, F (12, 163) = 1.176, p = .305. The mean evaluation scores were similar for all six accrediting agencies ranging from 60-69. The rural variable was statistically significant with p = .003 and alpha = .05, but it only accounted for 3.6% of the variance explained. Logistic regression was used to determine if a relationship existed between the dependent/outcome variable (use of evaluation) and the above-specified independent/predictor variable and/or control variables for six faculty development program activities. Results revealed that significant predictor variables for the use of evaluation vary based on the faculty development program activity. Statistically significant predictors were identified for two of the six activities. The percent spent on instruction variable was statistically significant for financial support for attending professional conferences (p = .02; alpha = .05). The NCA affiliation and student FTE variables were statistically significant for orientation for new faculty (p = .007; alpha = .05 and p = .027; alpha = .05 respectively). The analysis of the evaluation methods was conducted using descriptive statistics and frequencies. The most frequently used evaluation methods were questionnaire and verbal feedback. NCA was identified as having the greatest number of institutions using the most frequently used evaluation methods for four of the activities. SACS was identified as having the largest number of institutions using the greatest number of evaluation methods for five of the activities. It was discovered that accrediting agencies with policies regarding faculty development program evaluation practices were not more likely to have higher evaluation utilization scores or utilize evaluation methods more frequently than accrediting agencies without such policies. The study revealed that among community college faculty development programs evaluation practice similarities were more prevalent than differences regardless of accrediting agency affiliation. As a result of this discovery, future research should extend beyond the accrediting agency affiliation emphasis and explore additional influences on institutional decision making processes regarding community college faculty development program evaluation practices.
A Historical Study of the Paris Small Business Development Center in Paris, Texas: 1986-2006
This historical study chronicled events of the development and implementation of the Paris Small Business Development Center at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas from 1986-2006. Data was collected from primary and secondary sources and oral histories through personal interviews. The analysis included a brief history of higher education and the service mission and situated the study in the broader context as an extension program in higher education. This study provided a brief history of the U.S. Small Business Administration and America’s Small Business Development Center Network as a background for the study. This study is significant to scholars in the field of higher education for a number of reasons. It provides a historical analysis of a service program that extends the college to the community and demonstrates higher education and its role in economic development. It adds to the current body of research by advancing an understanding of a past to contemporary knowledge. Finally, by integrating historical perspectives from multiple disciplines in higher education, what happened and the context in which it happened can be more fully appreciated. This study also contributes to practical knowledge as it deepens the understanding of significant events and processes that contributed to the success of an outreach program in higher education.
Workplace Supportiveness, Family Obligations, and Advancement for Caucasian Male Student Affairs’ Middle Managers
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 increasing long term stability in the field of student affairs.
Academic Self-efficacy of Adult First-generation Students Enrolled in Online Undergraduate Courses
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 reported a greater sense of academic self-efficacy in that environment than students who had completed fewer online courses. This study has implications of providing additional insight for higher education practitioners working with adult learners. Identifying additional factors influencing adult learners’ academic self-efficacy in an online academic environment may be useful when building effective strategies to improve online retention and completion rates for these students. Future research should examine a wider variety of variables beyond demographic characteristics. External and internal factors, along with existing theories of behaviors should be investigated to help explain adult persistence and retention online and in face-to-face courses.
Children’s Experiences in the Therapeutic Relationship: Development and Validation of a Self-report Measure
Most counselors agree that the therapeutic relationship is essential in counseling. However, the current evidence-based treatment movement has resulted in a focus on treatment protocols and techniques in outcome research. Researchers have called for the inclusion of relationship variables in future outcome research. Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is an empirically-supported, developmentally responsive intervention for children that emphasizes building a therapeutic relationship based on the philosophy of person-centered theory. Exploring the impact of the relationship on CCPT outcomes would be beneficial, but no current quantitative measure exists for obtaining the child’s view of the therapeutic relationship. The purpose of this study was to create a developmentally appropriate instrument to measure children’s perceptions of the therapeutic relationship. Established instrument development procedures were followed to create the Relationship Inventory for Children (RIC), a 15-item instrument for use in outcome research that measures the child’s perspective of the therapeutic relationship. Participants were 33 child experts who participated in interviews and preliminary testing of the instrument as well as 100 children whose scores on the 31-item pilot instrument were submitted to exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Children (62% male) ranged in age from 6 to 9 years (M = 6.92) and 53% identified as Caucasian, 14% as Hispanic, 14% as African American, 2% as Asian American, 0.8% as Native American, 8% as Multiracial, and 9% unreported. The EFA resulted in three factors: Positive Regard, Unconditional Acceptance, and Empathy. Implications for further development of the RIC, for use of the RIC in research, and for application of the RIC to person-centered theory are discussed.
Community College Choice and the Role of Undermatching in the Lives of African Americans
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 also heavily influenced by sports, self-perceptions of maturity, and the perceptions of their families. Another key finding was that the effects of undermatching vary. All of the participants in this study felt that attending a community college fostered transfer preparedness, supported personal development, and promoted their academic success. However, some of the participants also felt that attending a community college hindered their sense of autonomy and limited their social engagement. This variation leads to the conclusion that undermatching effects vary and are dependent upon a variety of contextual factors. Policy and practice recommendations are provided for parents, teachers, counselors, and higher education professionals.
Experiences Learning Interpersonal Neurobiology: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Neuroscience is increasingly part of the national dialogue regarding mental health. The field of interpersonal neurobiology may offer a framework for helping mental health professionals identify and apply the most relevant neuroscience principles to counseling. This study explored mental health professionals’ experiences learning IPNB. I conducted semi-structured interviews with participants (n = 6), all of whom were licensed mental health professionals and had completed a year-long study in the application of IPNB through Nurturing the Heart with the Brain in Mind. I analyzed the data, along with a research partner, according to interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) protocol. Four super-ordinate themes emerged from the analysis: (1) learning process as dynamic and engaging, (2) deepening knowledge and understanding of self and others, (3) personal and professional growth, and (4) impact on therapeutic practice. A number of sub-ordinate themes also emerged through the analysis , including experiential learning; learning through group process; influence of the past on the present; increased understanding of the change process; increased compassion, empathy, and acceptance for self and for others; increased confidence; using IPNB to educate clients; using IPNB to conceptualize clients; and using IPNB to select interventions. Finally, I identified three higher-order constructs that appeared embedded within and across themes: learning as ongoing, person of the participant, and person of the instructor. The findings in this study suggest that participants’ learning of IPNB had a significant impact on their personal and professional development, specifically in areas related to characteristics of effective counselors. The findings also suggest that these meaningful changes occurred in a learning environment characterized by emotional engagement, experiential activities, and group process. Limitations to this research, as well as further discussion of the results are included. Implications for future research, clinical practice, and counselor education are also offered.
Marianismo and Community College Persistence: a Secondary Data Analysis of the Educational Longitudinal Study 2002
Hispanics represent the greatest U.S. population growth, yet Hispanic women are the least educated of all U.S. ethnic female groups and reflect the lowest college enrollment as a percent of their total population. Since nearly half of Hispanics enrolled in college are served by community colleges, this research sought to understand if marianismo, i.e., the cultural expectations that Hispanic women females must focus on caretaking and mothering while reflecting passivity, duty and honor, and self-sacrifice, might provide some explanation for the low levels of degree attainment among Hispanic female community college students compared to their female peers from all other ethnic groups. Marianismo was once a construct that limited the role of women to the home. However, today’s Hispanic female is expected to juggle home priorities along with other roles in which she may engage. These various role demands may influence Hispanic female college persistence and success. Using secondary data analysis of the national Educational Longitudinal Study 2002 (ELS), this study examined the relationship between marianismo and persistence (semester to semester enrollment) of Hispanic females (n = 368) enrolled in community colleges. To create a marianismo scale, 13 items were selected from the ELS and reviewed by individuals familiar with Hispanic culture and marianismo. Confirmatory factor analysis was then used to generate a reliable marianismo scale (Cronbach’s alpha = .82). Logistic regression revealed that of marianismo, socio-economic status, generational status, and high school GPA, only high school GPA was statistically significant for predicting persistence.
Play Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a Single-case Design
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) on the social competence, empathy, and self-regulation of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The constructs of social competence, empathy, and self-regulation were measured using the Social-Emotional Assets Rating Scale (SEARS). This study utilized a single-case design; the researcher collected data throughout the duration of the study, including baseline, treatment, and follow-up phases. The sample included 5 children ranging from ages 6 to 8 years old: 3 Caucasian males, 1 African-American female, and 1 Latin-American female. Mothers of the participants completed the parent form of the SEARS once per week throughout all phases of the study. During the treatment phase of the study, the children participated in CCPT approximately 2 times per week for 30 minutes each time. Visual analysis of the data indicated play therapy was beneficial for three participants, as they demonstrated improvements in social competence, empathy, and self-regulation. Two participants responded to the intervention with mixed results. Discussion includes implications for clinical practice and future research as well as limitations of the study.
The Relationship Between Institutional Expenditures and Student Completion of Momentum Points: a Community College Perspective
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 completion of English-1301 (odds ratio = 4.85 x 1014), college-level math (odds ratio = 5.24 x 1018), 30 college-level credits (odds ratio = 1.60x1015), and for re-enrollment in the second fall semester (odds ratio = 7.32 x 1014). Instructional expenditures and operations & maintenance expenditures also predicted student enrollment in the second fall semester. Student services’ influence on student engagement and success should inform decisions about programs for improving student success. Institutional policymakers may utilized these expenditure results support momentum point attainment. Finally, the influence of full time enrollment on student completion of milestones and momentum points in every regression model suggested resources for encouraging full-time, uninterrupted college enrollment are needed. Additional implications and recommendations are provided.
The Relationship Between Registration Time and Major Status and Academic Performance and Retention of First-time-in-college Undergraduate Students at a Four-year, Public University
This quantitative study utilized secondary data from one large four-year, state university in the southwestern US. The relationship between registration time and academic performance was examined as well as the relationship between registration time and retention of first-time-in-college (FTIC) undergraduate students during their first semester of enrollment at the university. The differences between decided and undecided students were tested regarding students’ academic performance and retention of the same population. The study population for the fall 2011 semester included 6,739 freshmen, and the study population for the fall 2012 semester included 4,454 freshmen. Through multiple and logistic regression models, registration time was shown to statistically have a relationship with academic performance and retention (p < .05). Later registrants showed to have a negative relationship with GPA and were less likely to return the following spring semester. The explained variance (R2) for both measures of academic performance and retention along with descriptive statistics are also presented. A Mann Whitney U test and chi square test indicated that a statistically significant association between decided and undecided students exists for academic performance and retention (p < .05). Decided major students performed better as measured by semester GPA performance and were more likely to return the following spring semester. Recommendations and implications are issued regarding future research, policy, and practice.
Self-determination of Military Students in Postsecondary Education
The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine undergraduate military veteran students’ self-determination and academic effort in relation to their nonveteran college peers. A total of 734 undergraduates attending 4-year institutions in Texas completed a survey, including: 76 veterans (63% males, 37% females); and 658 non-veterans (26% males, 74% females). This research created a more holistic survey of self-determination by adding the 8-item New General Self-Efficacy Scale to the 10-item Self-determination Scale. The survey also included 13-items drawn from the National Survey of Student Engagement. A factor analysis with a varimax rotation of the items identified six factors: competence, autonomy, relatedness, reflection, learning strategies, and quantitative reasoning resulting in a significant Bartlett’s test of sphericity (2 (465) = 12324.53, p < .001). The first hierarchical ordinary least squares (HOLS) analysis results showed that undergraduate veteran students have statistically significant higher levels of self-determination than students without military experience with a small effect size (R2 = .022%, p < .001); however, a meta-analysis of self-determination revealed a large effect size of d = 1.33 between veterans (M = .81, SD = .12) and freshmen undergraduates (M = .65, SD = .12). The second HOLS analysis revealed that self-determination is a positively related, statistically significant factor in academic effort potentially adding 6.8% variance explained to the multi-factored general causal model of college impact (GCMCI).
Silent Voices: the Experiences of Deaf Students in Community College
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 how a student interacts with his or her environment, and how the environment affects the student. Findings from this study provide insight on participants’ reasons for enrolling in college, their perception of academic rigor as compared to high school, and familial support during their college experience. Participants reported financial difficulty, despite their utilization of the state’s tuition waiver program for students with hearing loss. The need for communication access, and especially the quality and quantity of sign language interpreters featured prominently in participant responses. Participants also expressed a desire for more interaction between students with hearing loss and the general college population. Finally, participants shared their perceptions of the campus accessibility office and the individuals within it, campus administrative support, and their experiences with teachers and classmates. The results from this study help shed light on the experience of d/Deaf students in community college and provide insight on how to facilitate their success in postsecondary education. The author provides recommended practices for campus accessibility offices to adopt in order to effectively serve this student population, including specialized orientation for students and instructors, specialized advising, utilization of student feedback, and increasing campus and community awareness of services offered.
Student Involvement and Self-authorship Among African American Undergraduate Students at a Stem-focused University
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the association between student involvement and self-authorship among African American undergraduate students enrolled at a medium-sized, North Texas STEM-focused university. Self-identified African American undergraduate students at the university completed an online, researcher-developed survey focused on co-curricular involvement activities, degree of involvement in those activities, and perceived self-authorship indicators. From the completed survey pool (N = 49), 10 females and 5 males participated in follow-up focus group sessions. The survey data analysis was limited to descriptive statistics of student involvement and demographic data. Survey results showed that African American undergraduate students at the university were actively involved in co-curricular activities and generally satisfied with their involvement experiences. The focus groups provided a more in-depth picture of the involvement experiences showing that students believed that their commitment to co-curricular activities contributed significantly to their interpersonal and intrapersonal growth—characteristics of self-authorship. The survey and qualitative data combined suggested a positive association between the involvement of African American undergraduate students in co-curricular activities at the university and the development of self-authorship characteristics in those students. Findings from this study support the practice of intentional outreach to African American undergraduate students in order to promote their active involvement in campus activities and events.
Academic Advising Professional Characteristics and Standards: Do Academic Advisors Follow Recognized Professional Standards in Their Work?
There were two main purposes of this quantitative study. The first purpose was to identify characteristics associated with the selected sample of academic advisors that comprise study. Secondly, the study sought to determine how well work related activities of a selected population of academic advisors correlate with professional characteristics constructs and professional standards constructs of academic advising as a profession. The study used Habley’s (1986) characteristics of a profession to derive the studies professional characteristic construct, education activities, research activities, and professional development activities as it relates to a selected group of academic advisors work related activities. The studies professional standards construct was derived from five Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) professional standards for academic as it relates to a selected group of academic advisors work related activities. The study of 78 out of 210 identified full-time academic advisors at two-and four-year public colleges and universities in the North Texas Region utilized a multidimensional researcher-developed Web survey instrument designed to measure professional standards and characteristic within the field of academic advising. Study results reinforced current criticism of research and education activities within the field of academic advising showing that the lack of scholarly research and education activities among academic advisors decreases significantly their efforts towards professionalization. Also, professional standards construct results suggest that the utilization of CAS standards for academic advising as an evaluation tool may enhance an academic advisor’s knowledge of professional standards within the field.
Community College Student Success in Developmental Mathematics Courses: a Comparison of Four Instructional Methods
The student success rates for three developmental mathematics courses (prealgebra, elementary algebra, and intermediate algebra) taught through four instructional methods (lecture, personalized system of instruction [PSI], hybrid, and online) were examined. The sample consisted of 9,211 students enrolled in a large Texas community college from fall 2009 through spring 2011. Student success was defined as a grade of C or better. Chi-square tests were used to compare the three developmental mathematics courses success rates. Statistically significant differences in student success were found between all four methods of instruction for all three mathematics courses (prealgebra: χ2 [df = 3] = 107.90, p < 0.001; elementary algebra: χ2 [df = 3] = 88.39, p < 0.001; intermediate algebra χ2 [df = 3] = 254.18, p < 0.001). Binary logistic regression modeling was used to determine to what extent age, gender, ethnicity, residency, Pell eligibility and mode of instruction accounted for the community college students’ course success for each of the three developmental mathematics courses. For prealgebra, the independent variables of gender, race, age, residency, and mode of instruction made statistically significant contributions to the model (χ2 [df = 14, n = 1,743] = 159.196, p < .001; Nagelkerke R2 = .119), with greater success among female, White, younger, out of country students taking the course through lecture. For elementary algebra, the independent variables of race, age, residency, and mode of instruction made statistically significant contributions to the logistic regression model (χ2 [df = 14, n = 2,731] = 816.223, p < .001; Nagelkerke R2 = .358), with greater success among , younger, out of country students taking the course through lecture, hybrid or PSI. For intermediate algebra, only race and Pell eligibility made a statistically significant contribution to the logistic regression, with greater success among White, Pell-eligible students, and mode of instruction did not contribute significantly to the model (χ2 [df = 14, n = 3,936] = 53.992, p < .001; Nagelkerke R2 = .019). Recommendations for research and implications for practice are provided.
Declining Participation in Fraternity and Sorority Life: a Comparison of Perceptions of Greek-lettered Organizations Between Affiliated and Non-affiliated Students
This quantitative study was used to determine the perceptions that may have caused a decline in membership in fraternities and sororities and to examine active organization involvement between affiliated and unaffiliated students at a single higher education institution in northeast Texas. Eight perceptions were given regarding fraternity and sorority life and why students chose to remain unaffiliated with fraternities or sororities. The instrument used was a modified version of the Extracurricular Involvement Inventory, created by Winston and Massaro (1987) and was administered to participants online via Survey Monkey. There were 206 participants total: 55.3% were female, and 44.7% were male. Regarding ethnicities, 47.0% were African American, 37.5% were Caucasian, and 15.5% were Hispanic/Latino. Out of the participants, 20.9% were in their freshman or sophomore year, 23.8% were juniors, 33.5% were seniors, and 21.8% were graduate students. Participants’ ages ranged from 18 to 32, with a mean of 22.89 (SD = 2.81). The research questions were analyzed using two techniques: logistic regression for the first question and multiple regression for the second question. Findings for the first research question indicated that lack of values, lack of diversity, poor academic attitudes, and a requirement of too much time were primary reasons unaffiliated students chose not to join a fraternity or sorority. Findings for the second question indicated that Greek-affiliated students averaged higher involvement intensity scores when compared to unaffiliated students. Practical implications and future research are discussed.
Effects and Mediation of Child-centered Play Therapy on Young Children Who Are Anxious
Anxiety is one of the most pervasive childhood disorders, with a poor prognosis if left untreated. Traditional methods of treating anxiety have been less effective with young children. Based on theoretical assumptions regarding the potential effectiveness of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) as a treatment approach, I sought to explore the effects and mediating factors of CCPT on young children with symptoms of anxiety. Fifty-three participants between the ages of 6 to 8 years old were recruited from four elementary schools, including 36 males and 17 females. Of participants, 11 were African American, 24 were Caucasian, 10 were Hispanic/Latino, one was Asian, and seven were biracial. Twenty-five participants were randomly assigned to an experimental group receiving a mean of 15 sessions of individual CCPT, and 28 participants were assigned to an 8-session active control group. Five factorial analyses of variance (ANOVA) were conducted applying an alpha level of .05 for interpretation of statistical significance and Cohen’s d to assess practical significance. ANOVA results indicated a statistically significant interaction with a large effect size on Total Anxiety score of the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale-2nd edition (p = .013, d = .715). Subscale ANOVA results indicated a statistically significant interaction effect with large effect size on the Worry subscale (p = .006, d = .795), no statistically significant interaction on the Defensiveness subscale (p = .710, d = .110), no statistically significant interaction but moderate effect size on the Physiological subscale (p = .076, d = .506), and no statistically significant interaction but moderate effect size on the Social Anxiety subscale (p = .162, d = .398). Statistically significant differences with large practical effects were found in total anxiety and worry, suggesting that children who received CCPT decreased their overall levels of anxiety and worry whereas children who were in the active control group increased their levels of anxiety and worry. When examining differences in relationships between groups, the CCPT group relationship scores were significantly higher than the control group relationship scores, as reported by counselors. Although the groups were different in their relationships, the relationship was not considered a statistical mediator of anxiety due to the lack of correlation between relationship scores and outcome. Overall, children seemed to benefit from CCPT, and it may be considered a viable treatment for children who are anxious. Due to the lack of mediation of relationship found in this study, further research is encouraged to consider other mediating and/or moderating effects when attempting to investigate the therapeutic relationship as a mediator.
Leadership Styles and Cultural Sensitivity of Department Chairs at Texas Public Universities
As the U.S. population diversifies, so do its higher education institutions. Leadership at these institutions should be prepared for this diversification of students, faculty, and staff. The purpose of this study was to gain greater knowledge about the leadership styles and cultural sensitivity of department chairs. Survey research was used to determine if department chairs’ leadership styles correlated with their cultural sensitivity. The target population was department chairs from public universities in the state of Texas. The survey was distributed to 406 randomly selected department chairs. The participants completed three measures: Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire (LDBQ) for leadership style, the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) for cultural sensitivity, and a demographic questionnaire (gender, age range, race/ethnicity, and years of service as department chair). The sample included 165 usable surveys (40% return rate). The department chairs were primarily male (72%), White (78%), and over 50 (71%) years of age. First, a statistically significant negative correlation (r = -.431, p < .0001) occurred between LBDQ overall scores and overall ISS scores: As chairs scored higher on leadership ability, they scored lower on intercultural sensitivity. Second, leadership style by demographic variable displayed mixed results. No significant difference was found for leadership style by age, gender, years of service, or region of service. For ethnicity, White participants scored significantly lower than Minority participants on the LBDQ scales of consideration (t [162] = -2.021, p = .045), structure (t [162] = -2.705, p = .008), and overall (t [162] = -2.864, p = .005). Minority participants might work more diligently to increase their leadership abilities based on their higher LDBQ scores. Third, findings on intercultural sensitivity by demographic variable were mixed. No statistical significance was observed between any of the ISS scales and age, gender, years of service, and region. For ethnicity, Minority participants’ scores showed significantly lower intercultural sensitivity than White participants scores on two of six ISS subscales: interaction enjoyment (t = -2.46, p = .015) and respect (t = 2.107, p = .037). It was concluded that the Minority and White department chairs’ leadership style and intercultural sensitivity differences could be due in part to differences in the chairs’ ethnic affiliations, associated cultural backgrounds, and views of dominant versus non-dominant cultures. Recommendations for study are included.
The Success Factors of African American Males in Master of Arts Teaching Programs
The problem of not enough African American males enrolling in masters level teaching programs was addressed in this study. This phenomenological study examined the experiences of African American males in master of arts teaching (MAT) programs to understand why they enrolled and what factors led to persistence throughout their program enrollment. Six African American males currently enrolled in MAT programs in the southern, southwestern, and western regions of the United States participated. Data gathered for each participant included an individual, semi-structured interview and a demographic survey. Audio-recordings were used to capture the fullness of the interviews, and transcription software was used to code, analyze, and sort the data to help identify themes. This study looked through the lens of Strayhorn’s graduate student persistence and Albert Bandura’s self-efficacy theories. Factors that influenced African American males to enroll into a program were (a) education as a necessary credential, (b) desire to give back to society, (c) minority scholarship support, (d) making a connection to passion, and (e) desire to enhance teaching skills. External and internal factors were identified as assisting the males to persist within their programs. Academic institutions and policy makers may find the results useful for understanding the unseen educational barriers likely to limit African American males from enrolling in MAT programs, the issues likely to occur during the process of obtaining the degree, and the factors likely to be assistive to them for achieving program completion.
The Transition Experience of Second Career Respiratory Faculty: a Phenomenological Study
This phenomenological study investigated the transition experiences of clinical respiratory therapists who pursued second careers as respiratory faculty. Situated Learning Theory and Workplace Learning Theory were the frameworks for interviews with 11 second career respiratory faculty who had taught fewer than five years in baccalaureate degree programs. The goal of this study was to identify the major themes of their experiences. Thematic analysis revealed five common experiences: under-preparation, challenges, overwhelmed feelings, personal responsibilities, and rewards. The common theoretical framework for all participants was the critical need to understand their communities of practice within their organizations. From this study, respiratory department chairs and administrators may better understand the challenges and needs of clinical therapists as they transition into faculty positions. Positive experiences such as improved orientations and continued effective faculty support may promote a more rewarding and long-term practice.
The Academic and Athletic Experiences of African-american Males in a Division I (Fbs) Football Program
This study investigated the academic and athletic experiences of African-American males in a Division I football bowl subdivision football program. Critical race theory, identity development model, and social learning model were the theoretical frameworks used as the critical lenses in a qualitative design to examine the participants. The participants’ responses were analyzed and interpreted using thematic analysis. A qualitative research design, which included individual interviews with 10 second year African-American male football players, was used to address this research problem. The goal was to bring together both the psychological and sociological perspectives and to challenge participants to candidly describe their academic and athletic experiences and attitudes toward obtaining an undergraduate degree. Four themes were determined in the data analysis: differential treatment and determining oneself, time management, relationships, and career aspirations. In relation to the theoretical frameworks, the development of self-confidence and knowledge of balancing their academic and athletic schedules was critical for all participants. The sense of feeling different and challenged because of the differences in culture and experience was evident. From this study, university and collegiate athletics administrators may better understand the backgrounds, challenges, and learning needs of this population. As a result, higher education personnel may improve the services they provide these young men in hopes of educating and developing whole persons—physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually—to become well-rounded and functional in contemporary society.
From Aspiration to Attainment: African American Community College Transfer Student Experiences Through Baccalaureate Degree Attainment
The purpose of this dissertation was to explore African American community college transfer student experiences through baccalaureate degree completion. The current study used qualitative methods to examine the experiences and perceptions of eighteen African American community college transfer students who recently graduated or were within 30 credit hours of graduating from a four-year university in Texas. Ten female and eight male students, ranging in age from 21 to 56 years old, with an average age of 28, composed the sample. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews which were transcribed and analyzed based on an integrated conceptual model of Padilla’s (1999) Model of Minority Student Success and Yosso’s (2005) Community Cultural Wealth Model. Findings suggest that African American community college transfer student experiences are very similar to transfer student experiences revealed in current literature. However, findings indicate students perceive their experiences differ from student of other races/ethnicities when dealing with negative stereotypes, lack of role models, and racial bias. Findings also suggest African American community college transfer student persist by employing transfer student capital, familial, aspirational, and resistant capital to learn how the traverse transfer, transition, and persistence through baccalaureate degree attainment.
Transfer Capital and Academic Planning: Facilitating Successful Two- to Four-year Transfer in North Texas
The study of transfer has been historically important and now approaches critical proportions. Current and historical patterns of enrollment and attainment in American higher education combined with the economic, demographic, political, and social realities of the 21st century drive the need for increased research and more effective practice for successful transfer of students from two- to four-year higher education institutions. An emerging theory for framing transfer success is transfer capital, which recommends academic planning, financial aid, and admissions advising as primary interventions to increase the rate and success of transfer. This mixed-methods study examined the academic planning portion of transfer capital to assess the effect of academic planning on the number of hours transferred, number of leveling courses needed, excess hours, and grade point average (GPA). Quantitative assessment measured differences among new transfer students enrolling between Spring 2012 and Fall 2013. Qualitative assessment was conducted with advisors and leadership that were part of the transfer advising program examined in this study. ANOVA indicated significant findings at the .05 level for each variable except GPA. Qualitative findings provided context and primary themes of institutional context, academic planning, financial aid knowledge, and institutional partnerships. Findings provide direction for practice as well as further research.
Adventure Based Counseling: Exploring the Impact of Abc on Adaptive Functioning in High School Males
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of ABC on adaptive functioning in high school males. Specifically, a pretest/posttest, experimental design (N = 46; Caucasian = 26, Hispanic = 20) was used to examine the changes in adaptive and maladaptive functioning in ABC participants (n = 21) compared to those in a control/waitlist group (n = 25) as measured by the Behavior Assessment System for Children, second edition (BASC-2). Participants randomly assigned to the treatment group engaged in 10 ABC sessions. In order to better understand group process in ABC, I had experimental group participants complete the Group Climate Question Short form (GCQ-S) three times during the intervention. A mixed between/within subjects ANOVA of the BASC-2 scores revealed a statistically significant increase in adaptive functioning for both groups, F(1, 33) = 8.58, p < .01, with a partial eta squared of .21 indicating a large effect. There was no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control/waitlist groups, F(1, 33) = .064, p = .80, and a very small effect size (partial eta squared < .01). A repeated measures ANOVA of the GCQ-S scores revealed a statistically significant increase in engagement, F(2, 38) = 4.067, p = .025, with an eta squared of .21, indicating a large effect. Limitations of the study, implications of the results for practice, and recommendations for future research are presented.
Confirming the Constructs of the Adlerian Personality Priority Assessment (Appa)
The primary purpose of this study was to confirm the four-factor structure of the 30-item Adlerian Personality Priority Assessment (APPA) using a split-sample cross-validation confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The APPA is an assessment, grounded in Adlerian theory, used to conceptualize clients based on the four personality priorities most commonly used in the Adlerian literature: superiority, pleasing, control, and comfort. The secondary purpose of this study was to provide evidence for discriminant validity, examine predictive qualities of demographics, and explore the prevalence of the four priorities across demographics. For the cross validation CFA, I randomly divided the sample, 1210 undergraduates, at a large public research university (53% Caucasian, 13.1% Hispanic/Latino(a), 21.4% African American, 5.4% American Indian, and 5.8% biracial; mean age =19.8; 58.9% females), into two equal subsamples. I used Subsample 1 (n = 605) to conduct the initial CFA. I held out Subsample 2 (n = 605) to test any possible model changes resulting from Subsample 1 results and to provide further confirmation of the APPA's construct validity. Findings from the split-sample cross-validation CFA confirmed the four-factor structure of the APPA and provided support for the factorial/structure validity of the APPA's scores. Results also present initial evidence of discriminant validity and support the applicability of the instrument across demographics. Overall, these findings suggest Adlerian counselors can confidently use the APPA as a tool to conceptualize clients.
Confirming the Constructs of the Child Interpersonal Relationship and Attitudes Assessment
The purpose of this study was to confirm the four-factor model of the Child Interpersonal Relationship and Attitudes Assessment (CIRAA) in order to establish the instrument’s factor/structure validity using a sample different than that used in instrument development. The CIRAA was the first parent-report instrument based on child-centered theory and designed to measure play therapy outcomes. Its four factors are Self-Regulation (formerly Self-Control), Interpersonal Relationships, Coping Skills, and Internal Locus of Evaluation. For this study, the CIRAA was administered to 206 parents; their children were 75 females and 131 males aged 3 to 10 years old. The distributions of children’s genders and ages in this study were similar to the distributions of the sample used to develop the CIRAA. Based on confirmatory factor analysis results of overall goodness-of-fit indices; localized areas of strain; and interpretability, size, and statistical significance (p < .001) of the model's parameter estimate, the four-factor model of the CIRAA was confirmed with both theoretical and empirical support. Internal consistency reliability for the subscales and total score were acceptable, with an overall reliability coefficient of .928. A medium negative correlation (r = -.417, n = 47, p < .01) was found between the CIRAA total scores and Child Behavior Checklist Total Problems scores, a result in the expected direction. All subscales and total scores, except the Internal Locus of Evaluation score, distinguished differences between non-clinical and clinical samples. Altogether, results indicated that the CIRAA is appropriate for making clinical decisions about individuals. Limitations, additional implications, and future research are discussed.
Congruence, Unconditional Positive Regard, and Empathic Understanding in Child-centered Play Therapy
The purpose of this study was to explore how the therapist-provided conditions of congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathic understanding were experienced and conveyed in child-centered play therapy (CCPT). Although the therapist-provided conditions are considered essential to the therapeutic process in CCPT, a gap exists between child-centered theory and empirical exploration of the process and dynamics of these relational variables in CCPT. Due to the limited research in this area, a grounded theory approach was utilized to explore how the three variables emerge in CCPT. Participants included four advanced doctoral students, all Caucasian females with extensive training in CCPT, and 12 children ranging from 4 to 8 years of age receiving weekly, individual CCPT. One individual CCPT session was observed and video-recorded for each therapist-child dyad (n = 12). Following each observation, play therapists were interviewed regarding the observed play session (n = 12). During each interview, the researcher and therapist watched the recorded play session in its entirety and discussed noteworthy interactions between the child and therapist. The video-recorded play therapy sessions and therapist interviews were analyzed using a multiphasic, constant comparative method. Results of the analysis included a process-model of the therapist-provided conditions in CCPT, examples of play therapists’ internal experiences and external behaviors associated with the presence and absence of the therapist-provided conditions, and a model of the process play therapists utilize to respond to breaks and barriers to congruence, unconditional positive regard, empathic understanding, and unconditional positive self-regard in CCPT. Implications for clinical practice, training, supervision, and research are discussed.
Development of the Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Near-death Experiences Scale
The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to measure healthcare professionals’ knowledge and attitudes about near-death experiences (NDEs) that would demonstrate acceptable psychometric properties. In consultation with a focus group of six NDE experts, I developed the 50-item Knowledge and Attitudes toward Near-Death Experiences Scale (KANDES), including the 24-item KANDES–Attitude subscale (KANDES-A) and the 26-item KANDES–Knowledge subscale (KANDES-K). Including a pilot administration in which feedback indicated no need for revision, a total of 256 professional and student counselors completed the KANDES. Separate reliability and validity analyses were conducted for each subscale. For the KANDES–A, Cronbach’s alpha was .909, and Pearson’s r for test-retest was .748, both indicating acceptable reliability. An exploratory factor analysis indicated four factors to retain and yielded a factor solution that explained 54.87% of the variance, an acceptable amount of variance to substantiate construct validity. For the KANDES–K, Cronbach’s alpha was .816, indicating acceptable reliability. For each of the scale’s three domains, Cronbach’s alpha was .816 for Domain 1: NDE Content, .817 for Domain 2: NDE Aftereffects, and .631 for Domain 3: Experiencer Characteristics, indicating acceptable reliability. Pearson’s r for test-retest on the total KANDES–K was .812, further demonstrating acceptable reliability.
Doctoral Level Counseling Students’ Experiences and Perceptions of Learning in a Cohort Environment
Learning community literature supports the use of student cohorts to enhance learning through increased peer interaction and common course work. Researchers employed the qualitative method of phenomenography to identify various ways doctoral counseling students conceptualize and experience learning in a cohort over the course of a single academic year. Participants were all 10 members of a single southwestern U.S. university counseling program doctoral cohort of full-time students between 20 and 59 years of age with 5 members 20-29, 4 members 30-39, 1 member 50-59; 8 female, 2 male; 9 White non-Hispanic, 1 African-American. Data were transcripts from 30 one-hour interviews, three for each participant over the course of their first year of study. The research team that analyzed the data consisted of three advanced counseling program doctoral students, each with research methods coursework. Results revealed nine dynamic structural aspects of learning: dialogue, diversity, knowledge, motivation, support, shared experience, relationship development, interpersonal awareness, and conflict. Findings support the use of learning communities in doctoral level counselor education programs. Cohort members demonstrated increasing awareness of the potential learning benefits of cohort interaction and developed more in depth strategies over time to utilize the cohort to enhance learning. Future counselor educators may now with greater confidence design learning communities and curriculum to facilitate doctoral cohort development for optimal student interaction.
The Effects of Adlerian Play Therapy on Maladaptive Perfectionism and Anxiety and in Children
I used singlecase A-B-A experimental design to examine the effectiveness of Adlerian play therapy (AdPT) for children identified with clinical levels of perfectionism on the Conners Parent Rating Scale-Revised and Conners Teacher Rating Scale-Revised. Participants were 2 children, a 10 year-old Hispanic male and a 7 year-old Caucasian female. To examine the effect of AdPT on maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety, the Child-Adolescent Perfectionism Scale and the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale were administered to the children twice weekly over 3 phases of the study: baseline (6 administrations), intervention (12-16 administrations), and maintenance (6 administrations) for a total of 24 to 29 data points. Additionally, parents and teachers completed the Conners Rating Scales-Revised5 times: (1) prior to study, (2) following baseline/prior to treatment, (3) midpoint of treatment, (4) following treatment, and (5) following maintenance phase.During the intervention phase, the male and female participants attended 21 and 16 play therapy sessions, their mothers attended 6 and 5 parent consultations, and their teachers attended 6 and 3 teacher consultations, respectively. Analysis of the child self-report assessments indicated mixed and inconclusive results regarding the effects of AdPT on target behaviors. However, results of the parent and teacher reports indicated clinically significant reductionsin maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety over the five points of measurement for both participants. The participants’ maladaptive perfectionism moved from the clinical to the normal range. Implications for practice and future research are indicated.
The Relationship of Counselor Education Program Applicants’ Cognitive Complexity to Other Admission Criteria
Counselor cognitive complexity is a counselor’s ability to recognize and organize multiple characteristics that might affect client needs. I examined whether various admissions criteria–Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing scores; previous coursework grade point averages; and faculty co-leaders’ admissions group interview ratings–for 182 applicants to a southwestern U.S. CACREP-accredited master’s counseling program predicted cognitive complexity scores on a modified Counselor Cognitions Questionnaire (CCQ). Participants were predominantly ages 20 to 30 years (91.8%), female (91.8%), and White (81.3%). Multiple regression analyses showed statistical significance with small effect sizes: the admissions criteria together significantly predicted cognitive complexity differentiation (p = .033), accounting for 6.6% of variance, and cognitive complexity integration (p = .003), accounting for 9.8% of variance. The small effect sizes and low variance percentages support the idea that cognitive complexity measured by the modified CCQ is a substantially different phenomenon from commonly-assessed academic aptitude and personality characteristics. If future researchers confirm these findings with additional samples, subsequent researchers could determine whether one or both domains of cognitive complexity, either alone or in combination with one or more of the commonly used admissions criteria, could help counselor educators better predict which applicants will be successful in master’s programs and the counseling field.
Resilience Among Middle School Students
Resilience is the ability to survive and persevere during difficult times. Resilient people also thrive after overcoming adversity. Adolescents have many developmental tasks to overcome in their quest to becoming adults. Difficulty with these tasks can lead to academic and personal failures. Adolescents with low resilience often struggle with low self-esteem. If students are identified early as having lower levels of resilience, professional school counselors have an opportunity to provide resilience-enhancing activities. Prior to middle school, students are assigned all of their classes. During middle school, students begin to select their elective courses which may be representative of their interests and current emotional status. By looking at students' elective courses, I looked for patterns of resilience that may help professional school counselors proactively identify students in need of additional guidance in order to be academically successful. This study utilized a convenience sample of middle school students enrolled in the 8th grade (N = 190) of a large suburban school district located in the southwest United States to measure levels of resilience and elective course enrollment. Gender of the participants was 107 females and 83 males. The students reported their ethnicity as 5.8% African American/Black, 11.1% Asian, 12.6% Hispanic, 1.1% Native American, 1.6% Pacific Islander, 59.5% Caucasian/White, and 8.4% multiracial. I measured resilience in this study using the Resilience Scale and comparisons based on elective course. Data analyses include descriptive statistics and ANOVAs. Based on a statistical significance criterion of p < .05, students enrolled in athletics scored significantly higher in resilience than did non-athletics students enrolled in physical education/outdoor education (p = .035). Additionally, Caucasian females were significantly less resilient than Caucasian males (p = .031). Limitations of the study, implications of the results for practice, and recommendations for future research are presented.
Si Se Puede: an Investigation of Factors Fostering Allied Health Graduate Degree Completion for Latinos/as
This study uncovers the experiences of Latinos/as in allied health graduate programs and provides vital information which may help increase the number of Latino/a healthcare providers. It focuses on the testimonios (life narratives) of 9 Latinos/as who graduated from allied health graduate programs. Academic resilience and community cultural wealth theories framed the study while testimonio methodology guided data collection. Alumni were interviewed about the personal experiences and educational journeys that led them to successfully complete graduate allied health degrees. Participants’ family background, educational history, personal and environmental factors were considered. Participants described learning about the value of education early in their lives in home and school settings. The interviews also revealed the importance of participants’ personal drive and desire to excel academically and professionally. Participants noted that the academic rigor and adjustment required to succeed in graduate allied health programs, combined with feelings of social isolation, made their transition to the graduate program challenging. Family and social networks were noted as the most supportive in regards to participants’ retention and success. Research implications include the use of methodologies and theoretical frameworks which focus on the voices and experiences of underrepresented students in the allied health professions. Implications for allied health schools include intentional recruitment of underrepresented student populations, the establishment of social support systems, student affairs offices, and the inclusion of social class, ethnicity, and cultural diversity as standards by which allied health schools are rated for accreditation and re-accreditation purposes.
Student Experiences and Expectations Related to the Vertical Transfer Process From Two Feeder Community Colleges of a Senior Institution
The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences and expectations of community college students attending Temple College and Central Texas College regarding what they may expect as part of the vertical transfer process in order to improve the likelihood of their persistence to graduation at Texas A&M University-Central Texas (TAMUCT). The target population was approximately 700 students enrolled in two feeder Texas community colleges who had expressed intent to transfer to TAMUCT. The response rate was 19%, and 136 useable surveys were used for analysis. The sample was 74% female, 45% White with the majority minority. To assess the relationships between community college experiences and transfer expectation variables, correlations and logistic regression were used. No linear relationships were found regarding gender, age, ethnicity, highest level of parents' education, the aspirational variables of highest academic degree intend to obtain at any college or university and at TAMUCT, and the feeder community college attended and the two scales. A statistically significant relationship was found between parental income level and reported community college experiences (F(4, 79) = 2.612, p = .042) and vertical transfer expectations (F(4, 52) = 3.318, p = .017). Community college students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds may utilize the community college to upper-level institution vertical transfer pathway as a way to obtain an affordable baccalaureate degree. Community colleges and university administrators need to continue working together to establish unique and creative ways to create seamless transitions for vertical transfer students utilizing the community college to upper-level institution pathway to degree completion.
Listening to the Freshman Voice: First-year Self-efficacy and College Expectations Based on High School Types
This quantitative study used Astin's I-E-O theory to explore the relationship between a college freshman's high school background and academic self-efficacy. The Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement was used to measure academic self-efficacy across four types of high schools. Student gender and precollege experiences (dual-credit and communication assertiveness) were used as control. A total of 15,400 first-year students were included in this study. An ANOVA was used to examine the differences between groups, and ordinary least-square analysis was used to study the factors that affect academic self-efficacy. Results showed statistically significant difference in academic self-efficacy between public and private religious high school graduates. Specifically, graduates of public high schools had statistically higher academic self-efficacy than graduates of private religious high schools (p < .001). Additionally, females and participants of dual-credit courses also tended to have higher academic self-efficacy. Finally, analysis revealed that a first-year student's communication confidence is highly correlated to their academic self-efficacy. Results confirm in-coming first-year students perceive higher education engagement differently based on traits attributed to their precollege experiences. Results point to criteria colleges may be able to use in identifying freshmen at risk for low academic self-efficacy and, therefore, for problems in retention and degree completion.
Motivating Factors for Philanthropy at a Ministry Preparation Graduate Institution
A qualitative case study was conducted to determine whether major donors to an institution of higher education that existed to prepare ministers and missionaries were perceived by the institution's leaders as motivated by organizational effectiveness, financial efficiency, or evaluations by donor watchdog agencies. The case study was conducted with the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics. The interview process was utilized to gain information individually from the president, a development consultant, an academic dean, and a former development director. Each participant was asked a series of 19 questions during the interview process. The results indicated that the leaders perceived that organizational effectiveness was a philanthropic motivator for major donors and measured it by the accomplishments of those who were trained at the institution. The results also indicated that the ministry preparation institution's leaders perceived financial efficiency to provide philanthropic motivation to major donors, though to a lesser degree than organizational effectiveness, and measured it by stewardship of funds. The results further indicated that the ministry preparation institution's leaders perceived that donor watchdog agency evaluations, specifically those of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar, provided philanthropic motivation for major donors. Additional research recommendations included studying how to report about organizational effectiveness in a manner meeting the needs of major donors and what motivates major donors of other education and nonprofit organizations, organizational effectiveness and/or financial efficiency.
Pilot of a Learning Management System to Enhance Counselors' Relational Qualities Through Mindfulness-based Practices
Mindfulness-based practices are associated with increased attentional qualities, improved self-focus styles, enhanced empathic understanding, and strengthened self-compassion, making these practices a viable addition to counselor training programs. However, current mindfulness training models are primarily designed for relief of psychological distress, stress reduction, and increased well-being rather than focused on enhancing therapeutic skills and require intensive time commitments that may present logistical difficulties for overburdened curricula and graduate students. This study piloted an on-line, eight-week mindfulness-based practices learning management system for counselors (MBLMS-C) with a specific focus on the cultivation of qualities associated with successful therapeutic relationships. Ten of forty-six recruited counseling master's students enrolled in their first basic skills course at a sample of accredited universities across the United States completed the exit survey. Data were analyzed using multivariate repeated measures analyses comparing pre- post- counselor relational qualities of mindfulness traits, empathy, self-focus style, and self-compassion. Results indicated no statistically significant difference with a partial ?2 = .73. What-if analyses (N = 30) indicated statistical significance may have been obtained given a larger sample. Variance was explained by increased self-compassion (partial ?2 = .34) and mindfulness traits (partial ?2 = .31) and decreased self-focus style rumination (partial ?2 = .23) and empathic personal distress (partial ?2 = .12). Changes were observed in the desired direction for self-focus style reflection and empathic perspective taking/empathic concern. Discussion includes a review of the findings including examination of participant feedback regarding training experience. Study limitations and implications for counselor education, professional enhancement, and suggestions for future research are also offered.
Student Engagement As a Predictor of Intent to Persist Among Latino Students at Community Colleges in Texas
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of student-faculty interactions, student-staff interactions, and student-peer interactions of Latino students to their intent to persist toward graduation in community colleges in Texas. Parental educational level (for both mother and father), first generation status, gender, and English as a second language served as additional predictor variables. The existing data used for this investigation were collected by the Center for Community College Student Engagement and included longitudinal data from the years 2012, 2011, and 2010. Data from 12,488 randomly selected Latino students enrolled in Texas community colleges were obtained and used for the study. The research design method was non-experimental using extant data. To assess the relationships between student engagement variables and Latino student intent to persist, correlations and logistic regression were used. Though no relationship was found between intent to persist and student-faculty interactions (r = -.017, p = .066, n= 11,824) or student peer interactions, (r = -.012, p = .208, n = 11,766), a positive relationship was found between intent to persist and student-staff interaction (r = .048, p = .000, n = 10,794) with an extremely small effect size (r2 = .002). Among the variables of parental level of education, first generation college student status, gender, and English as a second language status, only mother's educational level emerged as a significant predictor for intent to persist, R2 = .048, ?2 (8, N = 7,862) = 62.606, p < .0001. The findings suggest the possibility that staff availability and accessibility is important for Latino student persistence. In order to retain Latino community college students, knowledgeable staff able to facilitate students' successful navigation of the educational system is recommended to be a part of the community college's student success strategies. In addition the findings regarding parental education indicate that community colleges would be well advised to offer programs that engage and include parents as students proceed toward achieving their academic goals.
Effects of a Self-care Intervention for Counselors on Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction
This study investigated the impact of a psychoeducational and experiential structured counselor self-care curriculum, developed by Drs. Charles and Kathleen Figley, on compassion fatigue and the prevention of professional impairment as measured by the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL), Version 5. Volunteer licensed professional counselors, supervisors, and interns from four children's advocacy centers in Texas were assigned to treatment group (n = 21; 20 females, 1 male; mean age 34.4 years) or waitlist control group (n = 21; 19 females, 2 males; mean age 34.6 years). Participating counselors identified themselves ethnically as 64% Caucasian, 26% Hispanic, 7% African-American, and 2% Native-American. Employing a quasi-experimental design, three reliability-corrected analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were utilized to analyze the data with an alpha level of .05 to assess statistical significance and partial eta squared to assess effect size. With pre-test scores as the covariate, results revealed in the experimental group a statistically significant reduction with large treatment effect for burnout (p = .01; partial ?2 = .15), a statistically nonsignificant reduction with a medium effect for secondary traumatic stress (p = .18; partial ?2 = .05), and a statistically nonsignificant increase with a medium effect for compassion satisfaction (p = .06; partial ?2= .09). Findings supported the use of this curriculum to train counselors on self-care as required of professional counselors by the American Counseling Association code of ethics and listed as a necessary skill in the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.
The Preparation of Academic Library Administrators
The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the preparation methods experienced by academic library deans and which methods they perceived to be most valuable. Rosser, Johnsrud, and Heck (2000, 2003) defined the theoretical constructs of effective academic leadership upon which this study is based. The instrument—a modified version of Greicar's (2009) Professional Preparation of Academic Deans Questionnaire—was administered online. The population was the chief administrators of academic libraries in the United States; there were 749 usable responses for a 30.4% response rate. Respondents were primarily female (61.7%), White non-Hispanic (90.0%), and born in the United States (95.7%), with a mean age of 56.4 (5.9% < 40, 11.0% > 65). The largest minority group was Black, non-Hispanic (3.9%). Many respondents held multiple advanced degrees; 90.0% held an MLS, 45.8% held a subject master's, and 18.8% held a doctorate. The instrument measured academic library deans' perceived value of various preparatory methods (formal and informal mentoring, on the job training, conferences or seminars, advanced degrees beyond the MLS, and training programs). The methods were tested for perceived effectiveness with Rosser, Johnsrud, and Heck's (2000, 2003) theoretical constructs of academic leadership. Each preparation method was measured using eight item-level variables and summed to create a scale. Parametric analyses were used to examine scale-level variables and nonparametric analyses to evaluate item-level variables. On the job training was both the most commonly-experienced method (86.6%) and the most highly-valued (M = 24.97). Mentoring was a particularly important preparation method for female and minority deans. Female deans perceived informal mentoring to be significantly more valuable than did males, t(447) = -2.12, p < .05. Minorities rated formal and informal mentoring significantly higher than did non-minorities, t(114) = 2.73, p < .05; t(441) = 3.05, p < .05. Practical implications and future research are discussed.
Shifting Paradigms, Changing Fortunes: Fundraising at Makerere University
Fundraising for higher education is a recent phenomenon in Uganda where the government has supported education for decades. Recent structural adjustment and liberalization policies mandated by the World Bank and the IMF and internal financial exigencies have necessitated funding diversification in higher education in Uganda and increased the need for private financial support. In developed countries like the United States, Canada, and increasingly, the United Kingdom, private support from alumni, individuals, corporations, and other stakeholders is a key component of higher education funding. This study used qualitative methodology and a holistic case study research design to explore the fundraising function at Makerere University. Tierney's organizational culture conceptual framework was used and data were collected through semi-structured interviews, an alumni questionnaire, document analysis, and observations. The findings include a governance and management structure that does not adequately support the fundraising function, strategies that are adapted to suit the Ugandan cultural context, perceptions of corruption and lack of transparency; and internal conflicts that limit communication and damage the image of the institution. The findings show that Makerere University is not strategically capitalizing on its position as the oldest and largest public university in Uganda and the region to mobilize private support. Reforms addressing the issues and seeking to enhance student and alumni experiences are contributing to fundraising success in various units. The reform efforts include transitioning to a collegiate system, procuring enterprise- wide financial and student services systems, faculty and staff sensitization, outreach and community engagement. The focus on the vision, mission and operationalizing the strategic plan presents an opportunity to dialogue with stakeholders and resonates with potential donors. The findings highlight a renewed spirit of resourcefulness that leverages old paradigms to integrate economic, cultural and social contexts to proffer innovative models of funding diversification.
Child Teacher Relationship Training As a Head Start Early Mental Health Intervention for Children Exhibiting Disruptive Behavior: an Exploratory Study
This exploratory study examined the effectiveness of child teacher relationship training (CTRT) with at-risk preschool children exhibiting disruptive behavior. The participants included a total of 23 Head Start teachers and their aides, and children identified by their teachers as exhibiting clinical or borderline levels of externalizing behavior problems. Teacher participants included 22 females and 1 male; demographics were reported as 56% Hispanic ethnicity, 17% Black American, and 22% European American. Child participants included 15 males and 5 females; demographics were reported as 60% Hispanic, 30% Black American, and 10% European American. A 2 by 3 (Group x Repeated Measures) split plot ANOVA was used to analyze the data. According to teacher reports using the Teacher Report Form (C-TRF) and blinded raters’ reports using the Direct Observation Form (DOF) to assess disruptive behaviors, children whose teachers received the CTRT intervention demonstrated statistically significant decreases (p < .05) in externalizing behaviors on the C-TRF and total problems on the DOF from pre- to mid- to post-test, compared to children whose teachers participated in the active control group. The CTRT intervention demonstrated large treatment effects on both measures (C-TRF: ?p2 =.173; DOF: ?p2=.164) when compared to CD, revealing the practical significance of the findings on reducing disruptive behaviors. According to independent raters on the DOF, 90% of children receiving the CTRT intervention moved from clinical levels of behavioral concern to more normative levels of functioning following treatment, establishing the clinical significance of CTRT as an early mental health intervention for preschool children in Head start exhibiting disruptive behavior.
Child Teacher Relationship Training (Ctrt) with Children Exhibiting Disruptive Behavior: Effects on Teachers’ Ability to Provide Emotional and Relational Support to Students and on Student-teacher Relationship Stress
This study investigated the impact of child teacher relationship training (CTRT) on teachers’ ability to provide emotional support in the classroom, teachers’ use of relationship-building skills, and teachers’ level of stress related to the student-child relationship. Teachers and aides from one Head Start school were randomly assigned to the experimental group CTRT (n = 11) or an active control Conscious Discipline group (CD; n = 12). Overall, 21 females, 11 (CTRT) and 11 (CD), and one male (CD) participated in the study. Participating teachers and aides identified themselves as the following: 13 Hispanic/Latino, 5 Black American, and 5 European American. Teachers and aides identified children with clinical levels of disruptive behavior problems for the purpose of selecting children of focus for the study. The children’s mean age was 3.63 for CTRT group and 3.36 for CD group. Overall, 9 females, 2 (CTRT) and 7 (CD), and 10 males, 6 (CTRT) and 4 (CD) participated in the study. Teachers reported children’s ethnicity: 13 Hispanic/Latino, 5 African American, and 1 other. A two-factor (Treatment x Group) repeated measures split plot ANOVA was utilized to analyze the data with an alpha level of .05. According to objective raters blinded to the study using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and the Child Teacher Relationship Skills Checklist (CTRT-SC) and teacher reports using Index of Teaching Stress (ITS), results revealed a statistically significant interaction effect for the experimental teachers’ use of child-teacher relationship skills (CTRT-SC: p = .036), a non-statistically significant interaction effect for the experimental teachers’ ability to provide emotional support (CLASS: p = .50), and a non-statistically significant interaction effect on teacher stress (ITS: p = .997). Partial eta squared effect sizes were calculated to determine the practical significance of the findings. Compared to the active control, CTRT demonstrated large treatment effects over time on the CTRT-SC (?p2 = .19) and the CLASS (?p2 = .16). Study findings provide support for CTRT as an effective intervention for increasing Head Start teachers’ ability to provide emotional and relational support to at-risk students.
Differences in Experiences and Outcomes of Transfer and Native Students in an Elementary Education Program: an Exploratory Study
This research targeted elementary education graduates of a large Southwestern university who were transfer students, and compared them to native students on selected variables. These variables included retention in teaching, and perception of supports and obstacles at the university. The sample consisted of 143 respondents: 73 native and 70 transfer students. Data were collected through submission of online surveys and through postal mail. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were used to answer the research questions. Astin’s input-environment-outcome model provided the conceptual and theoretical framework for this study. Native and transfer students considered student teaching to be the “most helpful” course or service during their time at the university, yet both felt they lacked elements of preparation for teaching in the real world. Transfer students reported the following as supports during their transition from community college to university: academic advising, finances, support network, and the university. They reported these obstacles: university bureaucracy, credit transfer, expenses, and adapting to campus. There was no significant difference between the two groups’ intentions to remain in teaching (p = .249), and a statistically non-significant higher percentage of transfer students than native students reported to be teaching at the time of survey completion (p = .614). The findings support further inquiry into support systems for transfer students, as well as further examination of teacher preparation curricula.
The Emotional Needs of Mothers of Multiple Birth Children
The purpose of this study was to assess the emotional support needs of mothers of multiple birth children based on administration of a survey the researcher developed. The survey consisted of 25 demographic items, six 6-point Likert scale items, and three open-ended questions. Likert scale items were based on amount of perceived emotional support mothers received in their environments at the time of survey administration. Open-ended questions addressed negative and positive aspects of parenting multiples and emotional support needs. The sample consisted of 171 mothers of multiple birth children from 23 states in the United States. Participants ranged in age from 20-50 years old with 38% not reporting age. Participants were 95.3% Caucasian, 0% African-American, 1.8% Asian, 0% Native American and 1.2% other; of these, 5.8% were Hispanic. We used demographic statistics and constant comparison to determine basic demographic characteristics of this sample and to identify emotional support needs of mothers of multiple birth children. We used Pearson product moment correlation to determine potential relationships between variables. Results indicated a statistically significant positive correlation between overall life satisfaction and partner satisfaction (r = .420, n = 170, p < 0.01). Therefore, mothers of multiples experience increased satisfaction with their lives when they receive greater support from partners. Also, results indicated a statistically significant positive correlation between partner satisfaction and partner caretaking responsibilities (r = .305, n = 169, p < 0.01). As partners of mothers of multiples increase contribution to caretaking of children, mothers demonstrate greater relationship fulfillment. Implications for mental health professionals working with mothers of multiple birth children are discussed.
Higher Education and Native Nation Building: Using a Human Capital Framework to Explore the Role of Postsecondary Education in Tribal Economic Development
Native American Nations have perpetually had the highest rates of poverty and unemployment and the lowest per capita income of any ethnic population in the United States. Additionally, American Indian students have the highest high school dropout rates and lowest academic performance rates as well as the lowest college admission and retention rates in the nation. As Native Nations try to reverse these trends through sustainable economic development, they must do so with a limited number of educated, skilled workers in their own communities and with a complicated relationship with higher education that obstructs their ability to create a viable work force. This qualitative study proposed to research American Indian postsecondary access within the context of Native nations’ sovereignty and their social and economic development. Utilizing a theoretical framework of human capital and its role in rebuilding Native American economies, interviews were conducted with 19 education informants representing federally-recognized tribes in the Southern Plains Region. Major themes included financial issues related to college going in Native populations, familial and community influences, academic readiness, curricular development and delivery, the role of higher education in preparing students for tribal employment, and tribal economic development. Increasing Native American college student success and preparation for tribal employment requires collaboration between the sovereign nations and postsecondary entities that serve their populations. Ultimately, tribes will benefit from developing, or continuing to develop, a culture of college going in their communities, educational institution partnerships that create support services for their students, and curriculum to support the training of future tribal leaders. This study reinforces the importance of human capital in economic development for tribes and highlights the critical role that higher education can play in preparing American Indian students to serve their tribes.
Latino Students’ School Counseling Needs: an Exploratory Needs Assessment
The purpose of this study was to examine Latino/a student preferences for school counselor activities. The primary focus of research was to determine what school counseling activities Latino/a students perceived as important and which school counseling activities Latino/a high school students perceived as satisfying. The researcher pursued this purpose through administration of a survey instrument developed by the researcher. The instrument consisted of 14 demographic items and 42 5-point Likert scale items based on the domains described in the ASCA’s national model and current literature on experiences of Latino/a adolescents. The sample was comprised of 210 Latino/a high school students from five high schools in three school districts in the suburbs of a large Southwestern U.S. metroplex. The study population consisted of 94 female and 115 male participants ranging in age from 14 to 20 years old with the median age of 17.54 years. Overall, students preferred school counseling activities focusing on college and career readiness. According to the results of this study, students indicated that although they believed college and career activities to be important, they were not satisfied with how their school counselors provided those activities. Multiple regression analyses were utilized to determine which demographic variables were significant predictors of respondents’ perceptions of importance. Results indicated student perceptions of importance did not vary across grades, economic levels, genders, or cultural differences. The results, limitations, and suggestions for school counseling programs were provided within the report.