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An exploration study of the relationship between effectiveness of filial therapy training groups and group cohesion.

Description: This study examined the relationship of group cohesion among heterogeneous and homogeneous groups on individual treatment outcome of child-parent relationship therapy (CPRT). CPRT is a filial therapy model that targets the parent-child relationship as a means for preventing or improving child and/or family problems. This study included 30 parents or caregivers from 9 groups which met for 10 sessions. Participants qualified for this study if their groups ended with at least 3 group members and 2 leaders, all pretest and posttest data on their child between the ages of 2-11 was completed, and if they attended at least 6 of the 10 sessions. Correlation coefficients, t-tests, and effect sizes were calculated. Results demonstrated no statistically significant differences between pretests and posttests on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for all 30 participants; however, differences in measured effect (η2) between children identified with borderline and clinical behavior problems and children with normal behavior problems suggest that CPRT is more effective among children who demonstrate significant behavior problems. Perceived and observed group cohesion measurements demonstrated no significant difference at the individual outcome level. This finding suggests that group cohesion may not be related to individual outcome. Although there was no significant relationship between group cohesion and individual outcome for this study, results of the group measurements regarding engagement and group cohesiveness, coupled with previous studies on CPRT effectiveness, suggest that CPRT should be utilized in homogeneous groups.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Reed, Kelly Layne

Exploratory Study of Animal Assisted Therapy Interventions Used by Mental Health Professionals

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the various animal assisted interventions mental health professionals incorporate in the therapeutic treatment process, as well as the various therapeutic purposes intended with each technique. Participants were recruited from animal assisted therapy related databases. Participants included professionals who practiced in the mental health field. Thirty one participants qualified for the study. A survey was developed based on information found reviewing literature related to animal assisted therapy. Nineteen animal assisted therapy techniques and ten therapeutic intentions were identified from a review of the literature. Participants were asked to rate on a Likert scale how often they incorporated each technique in their treatment process. Additionally, participants were asked to identify which therapeutic purposes they intended with each technique. Results indicated participants incorporated a variety of animal assisted techniques for various therapeutic intentions. Results indicated seven animal assisted techniques were incorporated by more than 50% of the participants. Building rapport in the therapeutic relationship was the most common therapeutic intention reported with a variety of animal assisted techniques.
Date: May 2008
Creator: O'Callaghan, Dana M.

An Exploratory Study of Students' Use of Facebook and Other Communication Modalities in Order to Receive Student Affairs Information

Description: This qualitative study explored Facebook as a communication tool for student affairs and compared it as a source with other communication modalities to describe the 18-24 year old student preference on receiving information about student affairs departments and activities. The research questions were designed to provide feedback on the current purpose[s] of student use of Facebook for student affairs services as well as reporting additional services and activities that would be considered through the use of Facebook. Differences in use among institutional types were also explored. The results of 395 online survey responses were compared to focus groups consisting of student ambassadors at a two-year public, four-year private, and four-year public institution. The online survey participants were asked to respond to specific modes of communication based upon each service or activity. The focus groups were asked the same questions in an open-ended format and the results were compared to the online results. The results indicate that depending on the event or activity, the students preferred a different method of communication, not necessarily Facebook for information on student affairs programming. These results also differed among institutional types. Two-year institutions have the greatest potential to increase their presence on Facebook. One theme that emerged from the open-ended response question in the online survey was that institutions participating on Facebook should limit content so that it is more social in nature and leave academically related issues to institutionally driven communication modalities. There are numerous options to communicate information to students and finding the best one may be more challenging than actually disseminating the information. With the administrative challenges and lack of student responses encouraging Facebook usage, institutions of higher education are not encouraged to spend enormous resources in this one particular communication modality. Given the high number of responses from the online survey ...
Date: May 2011
Creator: Huppe, Alicia

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.

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

Description: Contrary to the model minority myth that portrays Asian Americans as academic all-stars over-represented in elite four-year institutions, half of all Asian American college students do in fact attend community colleges, and many experience myriad challenges. This exploratory study investigated the community college pathways of Asian American community college students, the role of family and culture in shaping expectations for higher education, and participants’ perceptions of the model minority myth and the degree to which this myth influenced their college experiences. Institutional practices and policies, or lack thereof, that support the success of this highly diverse population were also studied. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 28 students, who self-identified as Asian American and attended one of the three largest community college districts located in North Texas. The sample included 16 males and 12 females, whose ages ranged from 18 to 49 years old, with a mean age of 24. Data collection involved a demographic questionnaire and semi-structured individual interviews. The participants represented 13 different ethnicities, and nine were members of more than one ethnic or racial group. Ten participants were foreign-born citizens, and all of the participants had at least one foreign-born parent. Qualitative data provided description rich information that shed light on the expectations, experiences, and views of Asian American community college students, a virtually unstudied population. Consistent with current literature on Asian American college students, the findings suggest many Asian American community college students struggle with tremendous cultural and familial pressures for succeeding academically, and many described their experiences with racial microaggressions related to model minority stereotypes that they perceived their peers and instructors to have held. Recommendations for policy and practice designed to improve educational outcomes for Asian American community college students are addressed.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Hamm, Amanda E.

Factors affecting African American faculty job satisfaction at a historically black university and a predominantly white institution.

Description: This study sought to discover job satisfaction factors of African American faculty at a historically black university and a predominantly white institution. Data were gathered through the use of semi-structured interviews of 6 faculty members from a historically black university and 5 faculty from a predominantly white institution. Several themes emerged from the study. The most salient was that African American faculty at the historically black university were satisfied by their work with students, satisfied with the flexibility of their schedules, and dissatisfied with their pay, workload, and the lack of recognition that they receive from their institution. African American faculty at the predominantly white institution were satisfied by the impact the programs and courses they developed had upon students, satisfied with their job's freedom and flexibility, and dissatisfied with the ideas of being micromanaged or working with people who are not open and honest. The findings of this study showed that service is an important factor to job satisfaction of African American faculty and that there is a distinction between factors faculty are dissatisfied with but willing to endure and those that would cause them to leave an institution.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Wright, Quentin

Factors Contributing to the Three-Year Graduation Rate of Students in Technical Programs at an Urban Community College

Description: With an increasingly technological and competitive world economy, more jobs require employees to have achieved the advanced skills and knowledge gained only through postsecondary education. The data regarding the supply and demand between the workforce and higher education present a challenge for community college technical programs. These are the programs charged training the new workforce. An effort to increase the persistence and three-year graduation rate for technical students is one of Tarrant County College District's initiatives to prepare students for the workforce. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine factors that contribute to the three-year graduation rates of students enrolled in technical programs at the Northwest Campus of the Tarrant County College District. A quantitative survey approach was selected for this study targeting 191 technical students. The results of this study showed that females, who had established a degree plan and declared a major during the first two semesters at the urban community college campus under study, graduated in three years. The graduation rates for males in this study were lower than for females. Also, technical students who were 18 to 35 years old were more likely to graduate. Students who did not complete a degree plan in the first two semesters did not graduate in the three-year time frame. For the 77 respondents, students were more likely to graduate if they declared a major and established a degree plan. Implications for practice and recommendations for further study are provided.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Gantt, Aubra Jeanette

Faculty Research Productivity at Addis Ababa University

Description: This study explores the research productivity of Addis Ababa University (AAU) faculty. AAU was established in 1950 and is the oldest modern higher educational institution in Ethiopia. Recently AAU took steps to transform itself to become a pre-eminent African research university. One of the characteristics of a research university is the focus on the amount of research conducted by the institution's faculty. Academic institutions measure research productivity primarily based on published work. The purpose of this study was to analyze the research productivity of AAU faculty, and to examine the differential predictive effects of individual and environmental variables on faculty research productivity. This quantitative study used a theoretical framework and instrument, Faculty at Work. Four hundred questionnaires were distributed to Addis AAU faculty in person and 298 questionnaires were returned resulting in a 74.5% response rate. After exclusion of 12 cases with missing information, 286 cases (71.5% response rate) were analyzed. Most of the respondents were men (M = 92.1%, F = 7.9%). The average age of AAU faculty was 44. A hierarchical multiple regression was used to examine the ability of six sets of independent variables (sociodemographic, career, self-knowledge, social knowledge, behavior, and environmental response) to predict research productivity (publication output). Results indicated that there are productive researchers at AAU, and the theoretical framework explained 67.6% of the variance in publication output.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Stafford, Mehary T.

Filial Therapy and the Family: Examining the Impact of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (Cprt) on Family Functioning

Description: Research has indicated that filial therapy, an approach in which parents conduct play sessions with their young children, has strong effects on the participating parents and children. As a result, some have speculated that filial therapy improves the family system; however, minimal research exists to support this claim. Using a single-case, time-series design, I examined the impact of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT), a filial therapy approach, on the functioning of 8 diverse families (two-parent, biological children = 4; two-parent, adopted children = 3; single-parent, biological children = 1). 15 parents and 17 children (male = 15, female = 17) participated in the study. All but 1 parent was Caucasian. The children were more ethnically diverse (Caucasian = 5, Hispanic/Caucasian = 5, Hispanic = 3, Asian = 2). Parents’ ages ranged from 29 to 49 and children’s from 2 to 13. Results from simulation modeling analyses (SMA) indicated that 6 of 7 families experienced a statistically significant improvement in their targeted areas of family functioning, and the average effect size was moderate. Results from self-reported measures indicated that 7 families experienced notable improvements in family satisfaction, 4 in cohesion, 3 in communication, and 1 in flexibility. Data from an observational measure rated by independent assessors also indicated improvements pre- to post-intervention: 5 families in flexibility, 4 families in cohesion, and 4 families in communication. All families reported improved functioning in post-intervention interviews. The results support that the benefits of filial therapy may indeed extend to the family system.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Cornett, Nicholas A.

First-generation College Students: Their Use of Academic Support Programs and the Perceived Benefit

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which academically successful first-generation college students, compared to academically successful non-first-generation college students, used academic support programs provided by UNT and to measure their perception of the benefits of these programs. Differences were examined using information gathered from a Graduate Student Survey administered to students graduating in fall 2006 from the University of North Texas. Analysis of the data from the survey indicated that there was no statistical significance between the use and perception of benefit of academic support programs between the two groups. Overall, students that used academic support programs provided by the university believed they benefited from the programs they utilized. Both groups indicated that they believed the Math Lab provided the most benefit. The Graduating Student Survey also examined input, environment and output factors of academically successful first-generation and academically successful non-first-generation students. Again, both groups indicated similar responses to the questions asked. First-generation college students in this study were successful in graduating from the University of North Texas and utilized some of the resources provided by the university to do so.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Thompson, Jessica Loren

From Aspiration to Attainment: African American Community College Transfer Student Experiences Through Baccalaureate Degree Attainment

Description: 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.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Wilson, Dawna

From reactionary to responsive: Applying the internal environmental scan protocol to lifelong learning strategic planning and operational model selection.

Description: This study describes and implements a necessary preliminary strategic planning procedure, the Internal Environmental Scanning (IES), and discusses its relevance to strategic planning and university-sponsored lifelong learning program model selection. Employing a qualitative research methodology, a proposed lifelong learning-centric IES process based on Bryson's (2004) strategic planning model was tested at a large public university in the American Southwest with the intention of both refining the IES process for general use in the field as well as providing a set of useable reference documents for strategic planners at that university. The prototype lifelong learning IES process as tested proved to be highly effective in identifying and categorizing previously unrecognized lifelong learning programming and organizational structures and, was reasonably efficient in process execution. Lessons learned from the application of the prototype lifelong learning IES procedure led to the development of a revised scanning procedure. This revised procedure is considered more reliable and can be accomplished by a single investigator in as little as 35 production hours, providing a detailed snapshot of the total university lifelong learning system and a point of departure for the larger strategic planning effort.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Downing, David, L.

The Full Range Advising Experience: an Assessment of College Academic Advisors’ Self-perceived Leadership Styles

Description: The purpose of this quantitative, descriptive study was to identify the self-perceived leadership styles of college academic advisors and to explore the variance in the perceived leadership styles based on demographic information such as academic advising approaches, institutional type, age, years of experience, and gender. Participants were 225 college advisors from among 5,066 members of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) during the 2013-2014 academic year who met study criteria and whose email invitation to complete an online survey was presumably delivered, rendering a 4.44% response rate. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire Version 5X (MLQ 5X) with five supplemental questions was used for data collection The composite score for leadership style served as the dependent variable, and advising approach, institutional type, age, years of experience, and gender served as the independent variables for the study. Descriptive statistics, frequency distribution, and a factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used for data analysis. The descriptive statistics for this study revealed that college academic advisors represent all points along the entire spectrum of the Full Range Model of Leadership continuum employing different leadership behaviors based on the situation. The descriptive data were supported by the frequency distributions per case which identified transformational leadership as the perceived dominant leadership style for the college academic advisors in this study. A priori to conducting the factorial ANOVA, Leneve’s test for homogeneity of variance indicated a statistically significant coefficient, thus violating the assumption of data normality and rendering the ANOVA findings uninterpretable. An implication of this study is that transformational leadership is the most desired leadership style of the Full Range Model of Leadership for college academic advisors. If this is true, professional development activities for college academic advisors should focus on strengthening transformational leadership behaviors/techniques including with whom and when this leadership style should be employed compared ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Davis Jones, Chrissy L.

The Generational Shift: an Exploration of Leadership Behaviors of Senior Student Affairs Officers Through a Generational Lens

Description: The purpose of this quantitative study was to identify and compare differences in leadership behaviors of senior student affairs officers (SSAOs) based on their generational cohort (Baby Boomer, Generation X, Millennial). The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) was used to measure nine leadership behaviors and three leadership outcomes. Surveys were administered electronically to 3,361 individuals identified as a chief student affairs officer or director of student affairs in the Higher Education Online Directory (2014). The 449 respondents included 246 Baby Boomers, 192 Generation Xers, and 11 Millennials. Due to an uneven sample size, the Millennial group was removed from the data analysis. The total respondents consisted of 215 male and 219 female SSAOs with 260 employed at four-year private institutions and 170 employed at four-year public institutions. A MANOVA was utilized to determine whether or not statistical differences existed between the nine dependent variables (leadership behaviors) and independent group variables (generational group). The findings showed that whereas Generation X SSAOs exhibited more transactional leadership behaviors, Baby Boomer SSAOs were more transformational. The results of this study have implications for the field of student affairs in that research and practice support the need for more transformational leaders in senior administrative positions in higher education. If Generation X SSAOs who represent the next generation of administrators are more transactional in their leadership, college presidents and professional associations may need to develop a new, more transformational generation of SSAOs to replace Baby Boomers as they retire.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Robinson, Johnny A.

Graduate Counseling Students’ Preferences for Counselor Educators’ Teaching Dispositions, Orientations, and Behaviors: a Q Methodology Inquiry

Description: Teaching is a central role of counselor educators. However, teaching in counselor education lacks guiding standards or best practice recommendations. Existing scholarly dialogue predominantly features the perspectives of educators and addresses content knowledge, techniques, activities, and assignments for courses across the curriculum with relatively less emphasis on foundations of teaching. The purpose of this study was to develop greater understanding of counselor educator dispositions, orientations, and behaviors that students perceive as important to their learning. Q methodology was utilized to gather and distill counselor education students’ (N = 48) preferences for characteristics identified via focus groups and a comprehensive literature review. Factor analysis revealed four distinct factors, upon which 45 participants’ sorts loaded and which accounted for 41% of total variance. The findings of this study support the importance of the person of the counselor educator in the teaching and learning process in addition to behavioral characteristics. Moreover, these findings support the use of student learning style assessments and customization of course facilitation to fit students’ unique preferences and values.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Hurt, Kara Marie

Group Activity Play Therapy for Preadolescents: Effects on Low Self-Esteem

Description: Research shows that preadolescent females are more prone to negative self-perceptions than their male counterparts which places them at greater risk of developing mental health problems stemming from low self-image. The purpose of this randomized, controlled outcome study was to examine the effectiveness of group activity play therapy (GAPT) compared to an evidenced based social skills/self-esteem group. Participants were 29 fourth and fifth grade girls in two Title I schools in the southwest U.S. referred by teachers and school counselors as presenting with low self-esteem. Participants identified as 45% Latina, 38% Caucasian, 14% African American, and 3% Asian. Children were randomly assigned to either 16 sessions of GAPT (experimental group; n = 15) or 13 sessions of an evidenced based social skills/self-esteem group intervention (control group; n = 14). Results from a 2 (Group) by 3 (Times) repeated measures ANOVA indicated that, compared to the control group over time, the GAPT group reported statistically significant improvement in self-esteem with a moderate to large treatment effect. Teachers did not report a statistically significant difference between the two groups over time. However, teachers reported noteworthy improvement for children in both treatment groups, with generally stronger improvement for the GAPT group. Overall, results indicate that GAPT may be a promising school-based intervention for preadolescent females suffering with low self-esteem.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Yousef, Dina K.

Hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness planning at American Coastal University: Seeking the disaster-resistant university.

Description: This study employed a qualitative case study method to evaluate the efforts of one university to conduct hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness planning activities and used the Federal Emergency Management Agency framework and selected writings of sociologist and disaster researcher E.L. Quarantelli as models for evaluating the institution's approach. The institution studied was assigned a fictitious name and the identities of the study participants withheld in order to protect the integrity of the institution's planning efforts and its personnel. The study utilized a 92-item questionnaire, field interviews, and review and analysis of documentary materials provided by the institution for data collection purposes. Pattern-matching techniques were applied to identify themes and trends that emerged through the course of data collection. The results indicate the institution has developed an organizational culture that is broadly responsive to and engaged in disaster preparedness planning at multiple levels in a manner generally consistent with principles identified in select writings of Quarantelli. Results further indicate the institution has engaged in identifying hazard mitigation priorities but not in a manner consistent with that advocated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in its publication entitled Building a Disaster-Resistant University.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Osburn, Toby W.

Higher Education and Native Nation Building: Using a Human Capital Framework to Explore the Role of Postsecondary Education in Tribal Economic Development

Description: 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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Marling, David

The Historical Development and Future of the Southern Bible Institute

Description: This study represents qualitative, historical research. The study documented the origins, milestones, and development of the Southern Bible Institute in Dallas, Texas. This study provided data leading to a better understanding of the impact of segregation on the African American religious community in Dallas, Texas. Data from this study also shows how African Americans responded to segregation in the area of theological higher education through the establishment of the Southern Bible Institute. The research methodology was heavily dependent on oral data from various sources and pertinent data were extrapolated from oral history interviews and historical, internal and external institutional documents. Analysis was based on accuracy, consistency and authenticity. Triangulation was the method used to determine the accuracy and authenticity of the oral interviews. The data were also analyzed for extrapolating factors that lend themselves to inclusion on an institutional assessment. Based on the factors extrapolated from the data and from a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis, an internal institutional assessment checklist was created to assist the leadership in evaluating various aspects of the school. It was concluded that the future seems bright for the Southern Bible Institute, but it is recommended that the administration leverage off identified strengths and establish a plan for addressing the weaknesses noted as a result of this study. The Southern Bible Institute warrants further research that will use the factors identified in this study as the basis for quantitative studies that will clarify the impact of particular factors on institutional growth.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Cooks, Michael J.F.

The Historical Development of Tertiary Education in the Bahamas: The College of the Bahamas, Past, Present, and Future.

Description: The purpose of this study was to provide a historical overview of the development of the College of the Bahamas, and to examine the development of the College of the Bahamas in light of the College of the Bahamas Act of 1974 and the subsequent Act of 1995. The research was qualitative in nature using historical analysis. The primary means of investigation were analyses of both primary and secondary documents and interviews with key individuals who were important to the development of the College of the Bahamas since the 1960s. The methods of triangulation of data and findings were complemented by member checks to affirm the basic findings of the study. The study was limited in scope to the College of the Bahamas to the exclusion of other tertiary institutions within the country. The College of the Bahamas has advanced greatly and has largely fulfilled the directives and goals of the Act of 1974 and is currently engaged in efforts to meet the goals of the Act of 1995.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Dames, Terren L.

A Historical Study of the Paris Small Business Development Center in Paris, Texas: 1986-2006

Description: 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.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Smith, Donna Gayle

Human-Animal Relational Theory: A Constructivist-Grounded Theory Investigation

Description: Constructs of human-animal relational theory (HART) were investigated to determine how those constructs manifested in animal-assisted therapy in counseling (AAT-C) from the perspectives of 6 participants (2 counselors, females, ages 28 and 32, both non-Hispanic and White; 2 clients, male and female, ages 55 and 23, respectively, both non-Hispanic and White; and, 2 therapy animals, canines, Labrador retriever and spaniel mix, ages 4 and 5, respectively). Using constructivist-grounded theory, a research team analyzed qualitative data from observations, interviews, and field notes. From the iterative process of multiphasic coding and constant comparison, these findings emerged: (a) consistency between Chandler's (in press) constructs and participants' experiences of AAT-C, (b) more meaningful therapeutic impacts for clients from client-initiated human-animal relational processes (HARPs) than counselor-initiated HARPs, (c) development of rich definitions and descriptions of Chandler's constructs, and (d) descriptions of interactive experiences of AAT-C and client resistance in the context of HART. Clinicians and educators in the field of AAT can apply the processes, practices, and principles from this study in their work to enhance positive therapeutic impacts for clients. As Chandler's constructs were supported in this study, AAT authors and researchers can solve a glaring problem of inconsistent terminology in the AAT literature by using those constructs in future studies and publications as operationalized nomenclature for standardized AAT interventions.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Otting, Tiffany L

Impact of an Online Education Program on Counselors' Knowledge and Attitudes about Near-Death Experiences

Description: An estimated 15 million people in the US have had a near‐death experience (NDE), an experience of usually lucid consciousness during a close brush with death. Following an NDE, experiencers (NDErs) sometimes feel challenged and seek counseling to integrate the experience into their subsequent lives. They have reported psychologically harmful experiences disclosing their NDEs to healthcare professionals, including counselors. Counselors' knowledge and attitude about NDEs appear to be critical variables in their ability to uphold the ethical imperative to do no harm to clients. The recent development of a psychometrically sound instrument to assess these variables, coupled with online availability of a three-part NDE educational program for health professionals, made possible for the first time a large‐scale pre‐post study of the effect of the program on counselors' knowledge and attitude about NDEs. Participants were 212 licensed professional counselors (LPCs) aged 23 to 71 years old (M = 44.93, SD = 12.69); sex self-identified as 12.3% male, 87.3% female, and .5% other; racially/ethnically self-identified as 84% White and 17% non-White and as 6.6% Latino-Hispanic and 92.5% non-Latino/Hispanic; and representing four regions of the US. Results revealed that, compared to control group, composed of LPCs who completed topically unrelated online programs (n = 112), those who completed the NDE program (n = 100) showed significantly more accurate knowledge and more positive attitude about NDEs. Participants also overwhelmingly expressed enjoyment of the programs. These results support the use of online training to increase counselors' knowledge and improve their attitude about NDEs so they can provide clinically and ethically sound treatment to NDErs. Limitations of the study and future research are addressed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Loseu, Saharnaz

Impact of Child-centered Group Play Therapy on Social-emotional Assets of Kindergarten Children

Description: Early childhood is a critical period during which children develop social-emotional competence that will affect future success. Developing social-emotional assets is of importance for kindergarten children because of their concurrent cognitive and social changes as well as the experience of transitioning from home to school environment. A growing number of schools have adopted social-emotional learning (SEL) programming to focus on fostering children’s prosocial behaviors through direct instruction and engaging activities in classroom settings. However, some researchers have proposed that learning should capitalize on children’s natural interests rather than adult-determined agendas. Based on theoretical assumptions regarding potential effectiveness of child-centered group play therapy (CCGPT) as a treatment modality, I sought to explore the effects of CCGPT on social-emotional assets of kindergarten children utilizing parent and teacher reports across pretest, posttest, and one-month follow-up. Additionally, given that group sizes have been inconsistent and rarely explored across previous studies, I investigated the therapeutic aspect of group sizes in CCGPT outcome by comparing 2-member and 3-member CCGPT groups. Forty-three participants with mean age of 5.14 were recruited from three elementary schools, including 19 Hispanic, 14 Caucasian, and 10 African American. Twenty-one participants were randomly assigned to the intervention group receiving a mean of 15.32 CCGPT sessions over 8 weeks, and 22 participants were assigned to the waitlist control group. Six mixed between-within ANOVAs were conducted applying an alpha level of .05 to interpret statistical significance and η2 calculation to assess practical significance. Results indicated a statistically significant interaction effect on SEARS-P Total score, F (2, 72) = 4.533, p = .014, with medium effect size of η2 = .101. Post Hoc analyses indicated a non-statistically significant interaction effect on SEARS-P Self-Regulation/Responsibility subscale with a small effect, F (1.868, 67.248) = 1.776, p = .179, η2 = .043; a statistically significant interaction effect on SEARS-P ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Cheng, Yi-Ju