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Student Involvement and Self-authorship Among African American Undergraduate Students at a STEM-focused University

Description: 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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: McNulty McCoy, Netreia Z.

Study Abroad and Student-Athlete Choice

Description: The focus of this case study was a study abroad program for student-athletes at a high academically achieving, small liberal arts college in the mid-west region of the United States. The program is designed to maintain a culture of internationalism and multiculturalism by exposing as many student-athletes as possible to study abroad. I reviewed literature to extract an appropriate theoretical framework along with variables that aligned with the purpose of the study; structural and organizational characteristics of the institution, student's background and pre-college traits, interaction with agents of socialization and institutional environment, and quality of effort. I used the semi-structured interview process to interview 9 senior student-athletes (3 female, 6 male; 7 White, 1 African American/White, 1 Chilean/White) who participated in study abroad during the 2015-2016 academic school year at the researched institution and to interview 5 administrators who facilitate the athletic department at the institution. I found that certain critical elements emerged as necessary to create and maintain a study abroad program geared specifically to the needs of the student-athlete population. I also found strong implications for adaptable elements that could generate opportunities for student-athletes to study abroad at a higher rate. These elements serve as a recommended framework and set of initial guidelines for student-athletes and athletic departments nationwide.
Date: May 2017
Creator: O'Neil, Chaunte' LaJoyce

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.

The Success Factors of African American Males in Master of Arts Teaching Programs

Description: 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.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Smith, Dantrayl

A Systematic Review of Research on After-Death Communication (ADC)

Description: In this study, after-death communication (ADC) is defined as spontaneously occurring encounters with the deceased. Reported occurrences of ADC phenomena range widely among published ADC research studies, so a systematic review of 35 studies was conducted. A rubric was developed to evaluate the methodological quality; final inter-rater reliability among three raters was r = .90. Results were used to rank the studies; the methodologically strongest studies were used to arrive at best estimate answers to four research questions/subquestions: (1) How common are experiences of ADC? How does occurrence vary by gender, age, marital status, ethnicity, religious practice, religious affiliation, financial status, physical health, educational level, and grief status? (2) To what extent do ADCrs report ADC experiences to be beneficial and/or detrimental? What are the leading benefits and/or detriments? (3) What is the incidence of research studies in which the researchers mentioned that the research participants appeared mentally healthy? (4) What is the incidence of sensory modalities—for example, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic—in which ADCs occur? Best estimate results were compiled into a one-page fact sheet that counselors and others can use to educate people who seek empirically-based information about ADC.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Streit-Horn, Jenny

Theological Higher Education in Liberia: a Case Study of the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary

Description: The Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary (LBTS), opened on March 4, 1976, exists to train men and women for Christian ministry. It offers four-year degree programs leading to bachelor of arts in theology, bachelor of arts in religious education, and bachelor of divinity. Three major periods characterized its growth and development. the first, from 1976 to 1989, was a period of growth and prosperity. the second, from 1990-2003, was a time of immense challenge for the seminary because of the Liberian Civil War. the final period, from 2003 to the present, shows the seminary attempting to re-position itself for the future as a premier Christian higher education institution in Liberia. One of the challenges remaining, however, is the lack of historical documentation on factors impacting the growth of the seminary. This historical case study research sought to provide a comprehensive overview of the LBTS within the context of theological higher education in Liberia and the Liberian Civil War. the four major purposes guiding this research were: 1. Historical—to document and evaluate the rise, survival, developments and achievements of LBTS; 2. Institutional—to gain insight into how the seminary operates; 3. to document the effects of the 13-year civil war on the seminary; and 4. to identify the perceived challenges and needs of the seminary. Study participants included administrators, faculty, staff, students, graduates, and trustees, both past and present. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews and document analysis. with thorough analysis of all data, seven major themes surfaced: 1.The lack of funding and qualified national faculty; 2.The relationship between missionaries and nationals; 3. the need for partnership development nationally and internationally; 4. the strong impact of the civil war on the seminary; 5. Realignment of seminary mission; and 6. the need for Bible training center and seminary perseverance during the war. As the ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Manyango, Wilfred M.

Transfer Capital and Academic Planning: Facilitating Successful Two- to Four-year Transfer in North Texas

Description: 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.
Date: December 2013
Creator: O’Keefe, Lynette M.

Transfer Rates of Texas Hispanic Community College Students to 4-Year Institutions: Selected Institutional Factors

Description: The purpose of this non-experimental, quantitative study was to determine how well selected institutional characteristics explain the variance in Hispanic community college students’ transfer rates to 4-year institutions. Due to the rapidly growing Texas Hispanic population, understanding challenges to their educational attainment has become critical. Hispanic community college enrollment in Texas continues to rise, yet these students are not transferring to 4-year institutions at the same rate as other groups. This study analyzed data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board of 50 Texas community colleges to determine how well the independent variables (Hispanic population of each community college campus locale, Hispanic community college student college readiness as indicated by Texas Success Indicator scores, and the percent of Hispanic faculty at each community college) accounted for the variance on the dependent variable (Hispanic community college student transfer rate). Multiple regression was used to determine the magnitude of the relationships between the dependent variable and the combination of all the independent variables. Commonality analysis was then utilized to identify proportions of variance in the dependent variable from combinations of the independent variables. The independent variables together generated a statistically significant regression model on the dependent variable, F(4, 64) = 3.067, p = .023. The R2 coefficient between the independent variables on the dependent variable presented a positive relationship with 17.2% variance. The percent of Hispanic community college faculty was the largest contributor to the variance (62.09%), the strongest factor in accounting for the transfer rates of Hispanic community college students to 4-year universities. Hispanic population of each community college campus locale had the least effect on the dependent variable with a 1.47% variance. The findings of this study support the recent report by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in favor of research and resources for Hispanic educator preparation programs.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Klement, Emily Conrady

Transformative Learning in Online Theological Education: A Case Study of an Online Program at a Theological Seminary

Description: Using Mezirow's (1991) transformative learning theory as a framework, this qualitative case study investigated conditions conducive to transformative learning experiences among theological students in an online program at a seminary. Learning Activities Survey developed by King in 1998, a Community of Inquiry framework proposed by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer in 2000, and semi-structured interviews were employed. Emails were sent to 85 students (81 current In-Ministry M.Div. students and four recent graduates), and 38 (44.7%) took the online survey. A typical participant in this survey was a married White male in his 30s. Of the 38 survey respondents, 30 (78.9%) indicated having experienced transformation during their study. Among those 30, class assignment (66.7%) and a person (60.6%) were two factors that influenced them the most in their transformative learning experiences. Data collected from the online survey and two online courses shed light on the semi-structured interviews conducted with 11 students. A qualitative analysis software ATLAS ti. and Strauss and Corbin's grounded theory were utilized to analyze the data. This resulted in a proposed integrative learning condition model which proposed two conditions conducive to transformation, being in-ministry and using integrative learning strategy. These two conditions were significantly influenced by physical presence. A surprising result was that physical presence does not indicate a three- or four-year stay on campus at a traditional seminary, but is a by-product of a blended, online program which gives students more opportunities to develop quality relationships both during their on-campus intensives and in their local ministries. This study provides empirical evidence supporting the idea of online theological education using a blended model which promotes integrative learning strategy and learners being in-ministry.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Tran, Nghi

The Transition Experience of Second Career Respiratory Faculty: a Phenomenological Study

Description: 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.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Gresham, Jennifer L.

Understanding the Motivation of Vietnamese International Students and Their Higher Education Experiences in the United States

Description: This research describes what motivates Vietnamese students to come to the U.S. to study for a degree, what outcomes they expect, and what they experience academically and culturally while studying in the U.S. Currently the surge of international students from Vietnam has reached an all time high of 13,112 students to the U.S. This moves the relatively small South East Asian nation to the ranking of ninth among all nations for the number of international students sent to the U.S. in depth interviews were conducted fall semester 2011 with 11 students enrolled in two large public universities in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Denton Metro area. the participants were students from Vietnam holding J-1 or F-1 visas who were in their sophomore year or beyond. Interviews were conducted with these undergraduate and graduate students on the campus where each was enrolled. Interview transcripts were provided to participants for their review and comments. Ethnograph qualitative research software was used to analyze and code the data. These students reported that the increased number of students coming to study in the U.S. is because of the reputation of higher education in the U.S., relatives living in the U.S. who create a support system, and economic growth in Vietnam which has made education abroad more accessible. More students are coming to the U.S. for study because of the respect that these students families and friends have for the educational system and potential of opportunity that a U.S. degree brings. Meaningful relationships with other students provide a better and broader educational experience for Vietnamese international students. Vietnamese international students desire not only gainful employment from their degree but also a balanced growth experience that includes friendships, immersion in the culture, and being responsible members of the host society. These students made strategic use of the community college to ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Miller, Randy Scott

Women Chief Housing Officers at State Universities in the Northwest United States

Description: Hyatt, Jennifer Leigh. Women Chief Housing Officers at State Universities in the Northwest United States. Doctor of Education (Higher Education), December 2016, 89 pp., 1 table, 3 figures, 48 references, titles. This qualitative study explored the experiences of women chief housing officers (CHOs) at state universities within the northwest region of the United States. The study used narrative inquiry methodology with a thematic analysis approach to investigate how seven female CHOs experience and make meaning of their professional career progression and journey toward becoming and remaining a CHO. Five core themes emerged from the study: (a) understanding housing operations, (b) self-efficacy, (c) gender inequities, (d) relationships with staff, and (e) mentorship. The theme of gender identity suggests that gender does influence how these female CHOs make meaning of their professional experience. The overall results suggest that although the perception of many is that the field of student affairs is wide open to women, in some senior-level positions, such as CHO, gender inequity is prevalent. A factor that may contribute to this inequity is the privatization of housing which calls for a greater understanding of business and housing operations, areas dominated by males. An implication from this study is that an increase in the number of women in the CHO position may only occur when university housing personnel expand professional preparation for mid-level housing positions to include more business-related practices. The mid-level position could then be seen as a step toward desired CHO competencies and toward making the position of CHO more inclusive.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Hyatt, Jennifer

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

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