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Living-learning communities and ethnicity: A study on closing the achievement gap at Regional University

Description: This quasi-experimental study examined the impact of living-learning communities on GPA and fall-to-fall retention rates for college freshmen at Regional University (RU). The specific focus of this study was the effect of these communities on students of different ethnic groups and on the potential of these communities to reduce the academic performance gap. RU was a small public university that offered both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. RU required all freshman students to live on campus in living-learning communities beginning with the 2007-2008 academic year. This study utilized the 343 student freshman cohort class of 2008 in the living-learning communities as the treatment group. This treatment group was compared against the 193 student freshman cohort class of 2008 living off campus and against the 643 student freshman cohort class of 2006 living on campus prior to the implementation of living-learning communities. In addition, the statistics were analyzed by ethnicity to examine the impact of these communities on White, Hispanic, African American, and Native American students and their ability to reduce the academic performance gap. The research revealed that the communities implemented at RU were not statistically significant at improving academic performance or at reducing the achievement gap. The results of this study were not consistent with the literature available on living-learning communities. Current research identifies six fundamental factors critical to the success of living-learning communities: positive working relationship between academic affairs and student affairs, involvement of faculty in the residence halls, appropriate funding, assessment strategies, university wide buy-in to implementing these communities, and commitment from institutional leadership. Examination of the inputs and processes on which these learning communities developed and operated indicated that the majority of these were not well developed to sustain these communities. The divergence of these findings from the literature may be attributed to key departures from ...
Date: May 2010
Creator: Bewley, Jason Loyd
Partner: UNT Libraries

Medical School Admissions Across Socioeconomic Groups: An Analysis Across Race Neutral and Race Sensitive Admissions Cycles

Description: While the relationship between academic variables and admission into medical school has been well documented, the relationship between socioeconomic background and admission has not been extensively examined. In 2001, the Texas Legislature passed HB 1641, which allowed for the use of socioeconomic variables in the admission of graduate and professional school students. Additionally, the Grutter v. Bollinger decision in 2003 removed a prohibition on the use of race or ethnicity in the admission of students in the state of Texas. The study examined the role medical school admissions selectivity as it relates to the socioeconomic background during a race neutral admissions cycle in 2005 and a race sensitive admissions cycle in 2006. The results of data analysis found that in a race neutral admissions cycle socioeconomic background was a significant factor in the admission of applicants to medical school. However, it was not a significant factor for applicants from underrepresented minority groups. The analysis also found that socioeconomic background was a significant factor in the admission of applicants to medical school in a race sensitive admissions cycle as well. Finally, the study found that variances in selectivity led to differences in the socioeconomic makeup of entering students across different medical schools. From the data analyzed in this study, it can be argued admission to medical school is in agreement with the sociological literature in that parental socioeconomic status is positively related to academic opportunities for their offspring.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Kennedy, Mike
Partner: UNT Libraries

On Their Own: How Thirty-One Tribal Colleges Address Five Educational Concepts

Description: This qualitative research, specifically a content analysis of 31 tribal colleges' mission statements and curricula, examined how the colleges' curricula aligned with the five educational concepts suggested in the colleges' mission statements. Cajete's (1994) seven foundations to indigenous thinking proved to be a major theoretical framework which provided a worldview for tribal learning. The study concluded that whereas the five educational concepts aligned between mission statements and curricula, the curricula emphasized culture, tribal community, and academic success at a greater level than mission statements indicated. Further, tribal colleges' curricula did not emphasize economic concepts as the mission statements indicated. A particular finding suggests that tribal colleges' are investing in environmental studies programs, thus increasing their intellectual capacity to protect their environmental interests while promoting indigenous thinking and community learning across all academic disciplines. Considerable implications include that an increase of American Indian environmental studies graduates may have a positive impact on environmental justice matters as well as the ability to promote new agricultural technologies. Additional implications include how mainstream universities will adapt to an increase of native students studying the sciences rather than liberal arts.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Riding In, Leslie D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Political Identity of First-Year College Students: An Analysis of Student Characteristics Using Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Data

Description: This quantitative study utilized secondary self-reported data from the 2008 administration of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey from two Texas public universities to investigate the pre-college demographic, academic, attitude, behavioral, and familial factors that may relate to students' self-reported political identities. The study design was correlational regarding the relationship of the demographic, academic, attitude, behavioral, and familial independent variables to the dependent variable of the students' political identities. ANOVA main effects for the independent variables were calculated, and statistical significance required the p < .05 level. The statistically significant demographic factors were native English-speaking status; enrollment status; citizenship status; religious preference; and race. The statistically significant academic factor was intended major. The statistically significant attitude factors were opinions regarding social issues such as criminal rights; abortion rights; the death penalty; the legalization of marijuana; homosexual relationships and same-sex marriage; racial discrimination; income taxes; affirmative action; military spending and voluntary military service; gun control; the environment; national health care; immigration; personal success; political dissent; and free speech. Other statistically significant attitude factors related to personal goals of making artistic and scientific contributions; being politically influential and politically knowledgeable; raising a family; participating in environmental programs and community action programs; developing a life purpose; promoting racial understanding; and promoting cultural understanding. The statistically significant behavioral factors were the frequency with which students participated in activities such as attending religious services; smoking; feeling overwhelmed or depressed; playing a musical instrument; discussing politics; and being involved in political campaigns. Other statistically significant behavioral factors were the frequency with which students participated in critical thinking activities such as using logical arguments to support their opinions; seeking alternative solutions to problems; researching scientific articles; exploring topics of personal interest; and accepting mistakes. The statistically significant familial factors were the religious preferences of the ...
Date: May 2010
Creator: Mulberry, Stella L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Brand Equity in Reputational Rankings of Specialty Graduate Programs in Colleges of Education: Variables Considered by College of Education Deans and Associate Deans Ranking the Programs

Description: Seeking to identify and further understand the variables considered when ranking specialty programs in colleges of education, this research study surveyed all deans, and associate deans responsible for graduate education, at United States institutions that offer the terminal degree in at least one of the ten education specialty areas. The study utilized a three-dimension model of brand equity from the marketing literature, which included the elaboration likelihood model of persuasion. Descriptive statistics determined that research by the faculty of the specialty program is the variable most widely considered by deans and associate deans when determining reputation. In order to determine what predicts a person's motivation to correctly rank programs, a principal components analysis was utilized as a data reduction technique, with parallel analysis determining component retention. The model identified five components which explained 66.224% of total variance. A multiple regression analysis determined that characteristics of a specialty program was the only statistically significant predictor component of motivation to correctly rank programs (&#946; = .317, p = .008, rs2 = .865); however, a large squared structure coefficient was observed on perceived quality (rs2 = .623). Using descriptive discriminant analyses, the study found there is little evidence that marketing efforts have differing effects on groups. Further, a canonical correlation analysis that examined the overall picture of advertising on different groups was not statistically significant at F (15, 271) = .907, p = .557, and had a relatively small effect size (Rc2 = .099).
Date: May 2010
Creator: Lamb, Keith Whitaker
Partner: UNT Libraries

Student Engagement Theory: A Comparison of Jesuit, Catholic, and Christian Universities

Description: This research study analyzed the results of the Jesuit Universities Consortium in comparison with the results of the Catholic Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges Consortia as measured by the 2005 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) in order to determine and identify any statistically significant differences between the consortia. One-way ANOVA analyses and Tukey HSD post hoc comparisons were conducted on the data from freshmen/first year students and seniors/fourth year students on each of the five clusters of the NSSE to determine any statistically significant difference and, subsequently, the effect size of any found differences. The study found that there were statistically significant differences on the following: 1) freshmen/first year students in the Jesuit Universities Consortium and the freshmen/first year students in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Consortium on the NSSE cluster of Academic Challenge, 2) freshmen/first year students in the Jesuit Universities Consortium and the freshmen/first year students in the Catholic Colleges and Universities Consortium on the NSSE cluster of Enriching Educational Experiences, 3) freshmen/first year students in the Jesuit Universities Consortium and the freshmen/first year students in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Consortium on the NSSE cluster of Supportive Campus Environment, 4) seniors/fourth year students in the Jesuit Universities Consortium and the seniors/fourth year students in the Catholic Colleges and Universities Consortium on the NSSE cluster of Active and Collaborative Learning, and 5) seniors/fourth year students in the Jesuit Universities Consortium and the seniors/fourth year students in both of the Catholic Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Consortia on the NSSE cluster of Supportive Campus Environment. While statistically significant differences were found in the aforementioned analyses, effect sizes were small for all. Future research studies, including longitudinal studies, are needed to fully investigate levels of ...
Date: May 2010
Creator: Williamson, Robin Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Adlerian Play Therapy: Effectiveness on Disruptive Behaviors of Early Elementary-Aged Children

Description: Approximately 20% of children experience serious mental health problems severe enough to meet diagnosis criteria, and less than one third of these children receive the services they need. Identifying effective school-based counseling interventions provides a viable and accessible solution, especially for families with financial barriers. This randomized, controlled outcome study examined the effectiveness of Adlerian play therapy (AdPT) compared to reading mentoring (RM) with 58 kindergarten through third grade students who qualified with clinical levels of disruptive behavior in the classroom. Participants were identified as 48% Latino, 33% European American, and 19% African American. Approximately four-fifths of participants were male. Children were randomly assigned to AdPT (experimental group) or RM (active control group) for 16 sessions of treatment. Children in both groups participated in twice weekly, individual, 30-minute interventions that took place in their schools. Results from a two (group) by two (repeated measures) split plot ANOVA indicated that, compared to the RM group over time, the AdPT group demonstrated statistically significant improvement on (a) disruptive behaviors in the classroom, as directly observed by objective raters and as reported by teachers, and (b) stress in the teacher-child relationship, as reported by teachers. Teachers and observers were blinded to children's treatment group assignment. AdPT demonstrated moderate to large effect sizes on all measures, indicating the practical significance of treatment. Further, 72% of children receiving AdPT improved from clinical/borderline levels of disruptive behavior problems to more normative functioning post-intervention, demonstrating the clinical significance of results. Whereas further research is warranted, results from this preliminary study are promising and support the use of AdPT in elementary schools to meet the needs of children exhibiting disruptive classroom behavior.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Meany-Walen, Kristin K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Baptist Pastoral Leadership: An Analysis for Curriculum Development

Description: Through a qualitative study utilizing in-depth interviews, practitioner opinion was gathered regarding how Christian institutions of higher education, primarily Baptist seminaries, may better utilize formal and continuing education to prepare clergy for pastoral leadership. The sample of ten subjects for this study, drawn from the 550 active senior pastors in the Dallas Baptist Association and the Kauf-Van Baptist Association, was selected based on a maximum variation sampling method. The intention was to provide a better understanding of the leadership skills required by senior pastors, to help develop pastoral ministries curriculum and to assess the potential effectiveness of continuing education for pastoral leadership. The subjects indicated that the formal degree program of their seminary did equip them with the basic knowledge needed for pastoral leadership but it did not provide them in sufficiency with the necessary, practical skills for pastoral leadership. The pattern that emerged from the data indicates that, overall, seminaries are providing a quality education in preparing pastors for the ministry in their formal degree plans. However, seminaries may have opportunities to be of further service and to gain a competitive advantage vis a vis other seminaries by enhancing and expanding their continuing education programs.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Christine, David Wayne
Partner: UNT Libraries

College Student Resilience: Selected Effects of Service-Learning

Description: Resilience implies the concept of buoyancy. Specifically, it denotes an individual's capacity to persevere and even do well in the face of adversity. Service-learning is pedagogy often used to enable students to apply classroom learning in a real world context. The goal of this study was to examine the effects of service-learning upon college student resilience. The study utilized a convenience sample of undergraduate students (N = 172) across three disciplines including counseling, social work and kinesiology. In a pre-post test design, the CD-RISC was employed to measure resilience of the experimental and control groups. Factor analysis of the CD-RISC was also conducted in order to explore interrelationship of the variables among the data. One undergraduate sample (N = 210) was used to conduct the EFA before determining a best fit factor structure for this study's population. A repeated measures analysis of variance was employed to detect any differences between pre-post test groups. No statistical significance was found across pre and post-test among the two groups (p=.49, &#951;2=.00). However significant results were found between the experimental and control groups (p=.00, &#951;2 =.09). Examination of mean score differences among demographic variable yielded interesting findings across the three disciplines as well as between age and gender of the participants. Findings indicated students given freedom of choice within service-learning logistics scored greatest gains in resilience.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Mercer, J. Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Correlates of Number of Minority Faculty, Minority Student Organizations, Diversity Course Offerings, and Geographic Location to Minority Student Enrollment in Texas Colleges

Description: This study examined the correlates between the dependent variables African-American and Hispanic student enrollment in Texas public higher education to the independent variables institution type, education region, faculty demographics, curricular offerings and student organizations. Data for African-American (n = 124,000) and Hispanic enrollment (n = 314,000) in all Texas public higher education institutions (n = 109) for the 2008 academic year were examined. Significant results, using a statistical significance of p = .005, were reported for two of the variables. A correlation of Pearson's r = .946 and statistical significance of p = .000 was observed between African-American student enrollment and the percentage representation of African-American faculty in the same institution. A correlation of Pearson's r = .982 and statistical significance of p = .000 was observed between Hispanic student enrollment and the percentage representation of Hispanic faculty in the same institution. The results of this study found significant relationships between the presence of African-American and Hispanic faculty and enrollment of African-American and Hispanic students. Recommendations are made for exploring these findings in further detail.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Kraus, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Development of the Child Interpersonal Relationships and Attitudes Assessment for Child Centered Play Therapy

Description: The purpose of this study was to develop a parent report form instrument congruent with the philosophy of child-centered play therapy. The study sought to develop an instrument with acceptable levels of construct validity, reliability, sensitivity to clinical attitudes and relationships, and responsiveness to intervention. The Child Interpersonal Relationships and Attitudes Assessment (CIRAA) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBC) and the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) were administered to 136 parents of children aged 3 to 10. The children of the parents sample consisted of 90 males and 46 females. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted for construct validity. Parallel analysis was conducted to determine the number of factors to retain. The factor solution explained 53.86% of the variance, which is an acceptable amount of the variance. Cronbach's alpha was conducted for total scale and all subscales. Reliability scores for the total score and subscales were acceptable, with an overall reliability coefficient of .93. A Pearson's r was conducted for concurrent validity between the instrument, the CBC, and the PSI, with Pearsons' r of .75 and .74 respectively. Paired-sample t-tests using the pretest and posttest scores of the instrument in development examined the responsiveness of the instrument to play therapy intervention at the same level as the CBC and PSI. ROC curve analysis, indicated acceptable discrimination of clinical scores and adaptive scores, with a clinical score being generated from the analysis. It is the first parent-report form developed for child-centered play therapy, and provides an efficient and philosophically consistent instrument for child centered play therapists to use in clinical and research settings.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Holliman, Ryan P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of a Near-Death Experience Learning Module on Grief

Description: The researcher examined the effectiveness of a near-death experience (NDE) learning module on reducing distressing aspects and enhancing a growth aspect of grief among bereaved adults. Participants were 22 females and 2 males; 2 identified as African American, 3 as Asian, 2 as Latina/o, and 17 as White; aged 20 to 71 years with mean age 35.3 years. In this experimental design, the researcher randomly assigned 12 participants to the experimental group and 12 participants to the waitlist no treatment control group. Participants in the experimental group received the NDE learning module intervention, which consisted of 3 sessions over consecutive weeks. Six research questions were explored. A two-factor repeated measures analysis of variance was performed on five dependent variables to determine if the two groups performed differently across time according to the pretest and posttest results of the Despair, Panic Behavior, Personal Growth, Detachment, and Disorganization subscales of the Hogan Grief Reaction Checklist (HGRC). A one-way analysis of covariance was performed on one dependent variable to determine if the groups were statistically different according to the posttest results of the Blame and Anger subscale of the HGRC. Additionally, univariate eta squared was hand calculated to determine practical significance. Findings indicated that bereaved adults who participated in the NDE learning module showed small effect size for interaction on Panic Behavior (&#951;2 = .05) and Personal Growth (&#951;2 = .05), large effect size for interaction on Detachment (&#951;2 = .15), large effect size for treatment type on Blame and Anger (&#951;2 = .15), and negligible effect size for interaction on Despair (&#951;2 < .01) and Disorganization (&#951;2 < .01). Although no statistically significant results were found for any of the dependent variables (p > .05), effect size findings indicated modest to substantial benefits of the NDE learning module intervention for bereaved adults ...
Date: August 2010
Creator: Foster, Ryan D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Investigation of the Perceptions of Christian Seminary Counseling Students Regarding Play Therapy

Description: The threefold purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which counseling seminary students' beliefs corresponded to the tenets of child-centered play therapy, the amount of training seminary counseling students received in the area of child counseling and play therapy, and the applicability of child-centered play therapy courses in seminary counselor education programs. The researcher pursued this purpose through administration of a survey instrument she developed. The instrument consisted of 22 demographic items and 23 5-point Likert scale items based on the tenets of child-centered play therapy. The sample was comprised of 206 seminary counseling students from 12 Christian seminaries across the United States: 155 female and 51 male participants ranging in age from 21 to 60 years old and including 5.3% African American, 3.9% Asian, 1.5% Biracial/Multiracial, 3.4% Hispanic, 83% White (Non-Hispanic), 2.4% Other. Multiple regression analysis was utilized to determine which demographic variables were significant predictors of respondents' beliefs regarding child-centered play therapy. Results indicated significance at p < .05 level. Specifically, respondents who reported feeling more prepared to counsel children reported beliefs more congruent with child-centered play therapy, and respondents from the Southwestern and Southeastern portions of the United States exhibited beliefs less congruent with child-centered play therapy. Respondents' reports of their gender, age, denominational grouping, counseling theory, previous training to work with children, parental status, and future plans to counsel children did not significantly predict beliefs corresponding to child-centered play therapy. Descriptive data revealed that 83.5% of respondents intended to counsel children after completing their graduate studies, yet only 20.4% of respondents reported having completed coursework in child counseling; thus, they appeared inadequately prepared to work with this specialized population. Implications for seminary counselor education programs are discussed.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Thacker, Andi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mentoring in Higher Education Music Study: Are Good Teachers Mentors?

Description: This quantitative study examined the correlation between how college level music students rated their teachers on the Fowler/O'Gorman Mentor Functions Questionnaire and how they perceived two aspects of their private music lessons: 1) to what extent they perceived their relationship with their teachers as positive, and 2) to what extent they perceived their teachers as good. The respondents for this study were 295 undergraduate and graduate music majors studying at 5 private universities or music schools. Positive correlations were found between the scores on the Mentor Functions Questionnaire (MFQ) and good teachers and positive lesson experiences. No correlation was found between the existence of gender congruity or the lack of gender congruity and the mean score on the MFQ. Respondents reported differences among their teachers' behaviors (p < .05): Role Modeling and Coaching behavior were perceived at significantly higher levels than the other six mentoring behaviors, whereas Friendship and Advocacy behavior was found at significantly lower levels. The behaviors of Personal and Emotional Guidance, Career Development Facilitation, Strategies and Systems Advice, and Learning Facilitation were found at levels closer to the mean. When role modeling and coaching behavior are present, students perceive teachers as good and lessons as positive. It is not necessary to be friends with a student in order to provide a positive lesson experience. Fowler and O'Gorman's mentoring behaviors have implications for improving the mentoring of collegiate music students.
Date: August 2010
Creator: McCowen, Heather V.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Mixed Method Analysis of Undergraduate Student-run Public Relations Firms on U.S. College Campuses

Description: Student-run public relations firms are part of collegiate public relations pedagogy, and this study used a mixed-method approach to analyze such firms on U.S. campuses. A listing of campuses with student-run firms was created as part of this study. Through an online survey questionnaire, advisers from 55 of the 119 student-run firms provided data about firm characteristics and observations about student learning and career development. Multiple correspondence analyses was used to see if the firms grouped into clusters and somewhat aligned with previous research by Lee Bush in 2009. Firms clustered into four groups, with the fourth group representing a mix of the other three. One additional finding was that firm characteristics are more similar than dissimilar even when comparing firms of varying years in operation. Analysis of variance to compare characteristics between different types of firms revealed that one type of firm tended to employ students at a higher average number of hours per week (F = 6.61, eta squared=0.16) and one was more likely to be accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (F = 3.71, eta squared=0.13). Advisers reported mostly positive reflections on observed transformations they see in their student workers and the value of the firm experience including how it helps students in post-graduation job attainment. Responses to a graduate questionnaire is included but, because of low response rate (N = 6), provided only cursory information.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Maben, Sarah Kathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Mixed-Methods Approach to the Experiences of Non-Offending Parents of Children who have Experienced Sexual Abuse Participating in Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT)

Description: When a child has been sexually abused, the non-offending parent and child may benefit from an intervention aimed at enhancing the parent child relationship. This mixed-methods study examined the process of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) with non-offending parents of children who had been sexually abused. One purpose of the present study was to examine change in parent-child relationship, child behavior, and parent empathy of non-offending parents whose children have been sexually abused after participation in CPRT. A secondary purpose of this study was to explore subjective experiences of non-offending parents who participate in CPRT. Participants (N = 8) completed 11 weeks of CPRT in either Spanish speaking (n = 4) or English speaking (n = 4) groups. All participants completed pretest and posttest instruments including Child Behavior Checklist, Parenting Stress Index, and Measurement of Empathy in Adult-Child Interaction. Pretest and posttest means were reported but because of small sample size, only descriptive statistics are reported. Possible trends in pretest/posttest mean scores of the quantitative instruments are discussed. All participants also completed a post semi-structured interview to account for the experience of participants qualitatively. Analysis of the qualitative data revealed enhanced parent-child relationships, improved communication, greater acceptance, positive parental internal changes, positive behavioral changes in child, and positive changes in discipline.
Date: August 2010
Creator: West, Brooke E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Parental Rights: Curriculum Opt-outs in Public Schools

Description: The purposes of this dissertation were to determine the constitutional rights of parents to shield their children from exposure to parts of the public school curriculum that the parents find objectionable on religious, moral, or other grounds and to determine the statutory rights of parents to remove, or opt-out, their children from objectionable parts or all of the public school curriculum as set forth in the statutes of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Many pivotal federal court cases dealing with parent rights and curricular issues, including Mozert v. Hawkins County Board of Education (1987), Vandiver v. Hardin County Board of Education (1987), Brown v. Hot, Sexy, & Safer Productions, Inc. (1995), Leebaert v. Harrington (2003), and Parker v. Hurley (2008) were surveyed using legal research methods. Specific types of curriculum opt-outs (e.g., sex education, comprehensive health programs, HIV/AIDS instruction) granted by each state were ascertained. States' statutes and regulations were categorized as non-existent, restrictive, or permissive based on the scope and breadth of each state's curriculum opt-out statute or regulation. A long list of federal court rulings have provided public schools the right to teach what school boards and administrators determine is appropriate. Parents did not have any constitutional right to opt their children out of public school curriculum. Many states' legislatures have granted parents a statutory right to opt their children out of certain parts of school curricula. In this study, 7 states had non-existent statutes or regulations, 18 states had restrictive statutes or regulations, and 26 states had permissive statutes or regulations.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Rogers, Tommy Kevin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Relationships Among and Between Early and Late Freshmen Admission Applications and Academic Persistence

Description: This quantitative study investigated relationships among and between university early and late admitted freshmen and academic performance and persistence. The participants in this study consisted of 3,197 early freshmen applicants and 309 late freshmen applicants admitted at a large southwestern student centered public research university over the course of the year prior to the fall 2008 academic year. Significant results, using a statistical significance level of p < .05, were reported for the majority of variables examined: chi-square analysis revealed a significant relationship between application date and ethnicity; independent-samples t-tests revealed significant differences in SAT scores; 78.06% of late applicants were male compared to 40.83% of early applicants; mean GPA of early applicants was 2.62 compared to 2.18 among those who applied late; and lastly, 76.62% of early applicants returned the following year in comparison to 57.42% of late applicants. The results of this study provide preliminary support for the examination of admission policies and procedures in relation to late application. Recommendations are made for advising, counseling, and other interventions that may ease the transition of freshmen late applicants while enhancing retention and persistence.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Hale, Lynne Rochelle
Partner: UNT Libraries

College Success for all Students: An Investigation of Early Warning Indicators of College Readiness

Description: The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine early warning indicators of college readiness among early college high school students at selected Texas institutions of higher education. Participants in this study included 134 of the class of 2010 from two early college high schools. The graduates were 86% Hispanic, 8% African American, 3% White, 2% Asian, 1% American Indian and 72% economically disadvantaged. A causal-comparative research design using multiple regression analysis of the data collected revealed that each one unit increase in world history was associated with a .470 (p < .05) increase in college GPA, while each one unit increase in Algebra I was associated with a .202 (p < .05) increase. Therefore, student grades in high school Algebra I and world history were the strongest statistically significant indicators that a student will maintain a 2.5 college GPA during the first year of college. According to the early warning indicators, students who maintain a grade of A or B in Algebra I are 10 times more likely to be college ready while having a 78% chance of maintaining a 2.5 or better in college courses. Further, the findings from this study found no significant relationship between TAKS assessment, socioeconomic status, gender or ethnicity and a student's ability to maintain a 2.5 or higher college GPA. Based on the findings from this study, the author recommends an examination of the high school curriculum with the goal of ensuring that students gain competency in courses that indicate college readiness.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Davis, Denise
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Examination of Parents' Preferred School Counselor Professional Activities

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine parent preferences for school counselor professional activities. The primary focus of research was to determine if any relationship exists between (1) parents' demographic factors - gender, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity - and their preferences for school counselors' professional activities; (2) educational factors - parents' level of education and grade level of their student (9-12) - and parents' preferences for professional activities; and (3) parents' experience parenting high school students and their preferences for school counselors' professional activities. I utilized a 7-item demographic questionnaire and an adapted version of the School Counselor Activity Rating Scale (SCARS; Scarborough, 2005). The SCARS is a 48-item standardized instrument that measures how school counselors actually spend their time engaged in professional activities compared to how they would prefer to spend that time. The format was adapted from a verbal frequency scale to a 5-point Likert-type scale. In the current study, parents indicated their preference for school counselors to enact certain tasks, with higher scores indicating greater endorsement of the task. Cronbach's alpha for each of the SCARS subscales indicated good internal consistency: Counseling .879; Consultation .831; Curriculum .933; Coordination .867; and "other" .828. The sample was composed of 250 parents from a school district in the southwestern United States. The study population consisted of 198 female and 52 male participants ranging in age from 31 to 66 years old and included 6.4% African American, 1.6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 8.0% Hispanic, 4% Native American, and 83.6% White. Results indicated that parents overall preferred counselors to engage, from most to least, in Coordination, Counseling, "other," Curriculum, and Consultation activities and that they most strongly endorsed counselors providing students with academic advising and counseling for school related behavior. Regarding the primary focus of this study, the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient ...
Date: December 2010
Creator: Wilder, Christopher
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Exploratory Study of the Impact of Institutional Policies and Practices of Community and Technical Colleges in Texas on Student Persistence in Online Courses

Description: Online education is the fastest growing form of course delivery of higher education in the United States. It has revolutionized how students and instructors interact in the educational process. Yet students in online courses continue to experience higher attrition rates than their counterparts in traditional face-to-face classes despite the advantages offered by the technology. This study examined the impact that institutional policies and practices at community colleges in the state of Texas have had on student persistence in online courses. It also examined how institutions collect and use data in addressing students' attrition. The findings were used to identify the most effective institutional practices to share with community college systems in Texas in an effort to improve student persistence in online courses across the state. The population for the study consisted of the 50 public two-year community college and the technical college systems in the state of Texas. The study used a mixed method. A theoretical model of institutional impact on online persistence was drawn from the literature review. This model's five categories were then used to construct a survey to collect data on institutional practices and measure the effectiveness in addressing student persistence. Four college systems were identified using the survey data that best met the five categories. Interviews were then conducted at these four college systems to produce case studies of these institutions' practices and experiences with online persistence. The results highlighted the roles that institutions play in promoting student persistence in online programs. They revealed differences in the ways institutions define and track student success in online programs and the difficulty these differences pose in comparatively evaluating various institutions' programs. Results lent support to the theoretical model of institutional impact on online persistence that was developed for this study, and results yielded a proposed list of promising ...
Date: December 2010
Creator: Hills, Fred W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Quantitative Analysis of the Relationship of a Non-traditional New Student Orientation in an Urban Community College with Student Retention and Grade Point Average Among Ethnic Groups

Description: This quantitative study examined relationships of attending a new student orientation program related to student retention and academic success. A research group of 464 students of Tarrant County College Northwest, a community college campus in Fort Worth, Texas, who voluntarily attended a 2-hour pre-semester new student orientation program was compared to a group of 464 students on the same campus who did not attend the program. Comparisons were made with regard to retention and GPA. Ethnic ratios of both groups are 4% Black, 26% Hispanic, 66% White, and 4% other ethnicities. Chi square data analysis was utilized to determine if statistically significant differences relating to student retention existed between the groups. The independent t-test was used to compare means of calculated GPAs between groups. A one-way ANOVA was used to compare the means of GPAs for ethnic sub-groups. The total group and the Black sub-group showed statistically significant higher levels of second-semester retention (total group p = .018; Black sub-group p = .008) and higher calculated GPAs (total group p = .016; Black sub-group p = .019). No statistically significant results were found among Hispanic students.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Martinez, Vesta Wheatley
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship of Service-Learning and Campus Involvement: A Multivariate Look at the Profile of Today's College Student

Description: Service-learning continues to gain in popularity across the higher education landscape and can be found in most educational institutions. Although more often found in student affairs programming, it is also viewed as a viable pedagogy. Most studies show that service-learning impacts students in various ways: academically, socially and vocationally. The research study employed quantitative methods. It analyzed prediction of participation in community service/service-learning with students' self-assessment on five outcomes: academic skills, social integration, community integration/alumni expectations, connection with the campus community and change in opinions, values and attitudes. A canonical correlation analysis was conducted on data collected on the Profile of Today's College Student administered by NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. The data represent a random sample (N = 374) of undergraduate students enrolled at a mid-sized, private four-year university located in the south central United States. The study looked for statistical significance as well as employed effect size measures. The study found participation in community service/service-learning predicts on all five factors in the model. Additional analysis incorporated effect size measures to further strengthen the results. The results were both statistically (p < .001) and practically significant (Rc2 = .101). Connection with the campus community and social integration were best predicted by participation in community service/service-learning. Surprisingly, change in opinions, values and attitudes was found to be least predictive, but correlated at significant levels. Research on service-learning has focused on service-learning related to academic performance, often neglecting the co-curricular experiences and development. Since service-learning can be found in co-curricular and academic programming, more research on community service/service-learning should focus on co-curricular service experiences.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Kittle, Kris J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of African American Students' Completion of an Accounting Degree at a Private University

Description: The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify factors that may have influenced the choice of major and the persistence to graduation of six African American accounting majors who attended and graduated from a private, predominantly white university from the academic years 2003 through 2009. A set of indicators based on several retention studies was selected for the purpose of identifying pre-college, off-campus, and on-campus factors that influenced students' choice of major and persistence to graduate with a major in accounting. The major findings of this study were that early skill development prior to the college experience, family support, and cultural socialization influenced the participants' ability to choose a major associated with their skill set. Their persistence to graduation was attributed to that choice. With regard to future studies, expansion of research on African Americans in higher education will give direction for administrators seeking to increase the number of under-represented students in fields where there is a marketplace need.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Eddington, Alicia F.
Partner: UNT Libraries