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The Lived Experiences of African American Community College Achievers in Developmental Education
Developmental education courses are typically defined as courses offered at postsecondary institutions below college level instruction. More than 60% of community college students are deemed non-college ready and required to enroll in non-credit bearing developmental education courses. Research shows that developmental education can be either a bridge or barrier to degree attainment for racial/ethnic minority students, particularly African Americans, who require developmental education more than any other racial/ethnic groups. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of African American community college achievers who were required to enroll in two or more developmental education courses. Achievers were defined as students who passed all developmental education courses and were enrolled in their final college gateway course at the time of the interviews. Utilizing a phenomenological approach and anti-deficit framework, 15 semi-structured interviews were conducted to capture the essence of how African American achievers described, interpreted, and understood their journeys from developmental education to becoming college ready to completing college level courses. Twelve participants were female and three were male, ranging from 20 to 52 years old. Results revealed seven major themes. The first research question addressed how achievers described their developmental education experience from pre-collegiate years through inside the classroom, and four themes emerged: (a) Achievers experienced difficulty from childhood through college matriculation; (b) achievers experienced support from familial and institutional agents; (c) achievers experienced chilly instructional environments; and (d) achievers experienced positive interactions with peer tutors. The second research question addressed factors that contributed to the persistence of achievers, and three themes emerged: (a) Achievers persisted because of clearly defined goals; (b) achievers persisted because of help seeking behaviors; and (c) achievers persisted because of intrinsic motivation that stemmed from difficult life experiences. Although the majority of participants were discouraged by the requirement to enroll in two ...
Community College Student Retention and Completion based on Financial Expenditures and Hispanic-Serving Status
Despite declining community college funding being allocated increasingly on the basis of student success, U.S. community college student retention and completion rates over the past decade have either remained steady or decreased, especially for Latino students. Using descriptive statistics and multiple regression models with secondary data procured from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), I analyzed student success rates—full time student retention and completion rates—based on community college financial allocations and Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) status. To equitably analyze community colleges in the sample (n = 909), I separated them into four groups based on institutional size as defined by the Carnegie Classification. Descriptive results indicated that instructional divisions spent an average of 43% of the college's total allocated budget—often more than three times the allocated budget of any other division. Regression results indicated that instructional expenditures had the most consistent impact on student success regardless of college size and that scholarship expenditures and academic support expenditures generally had a negative impact on student retention and completion rates. Regarding Latino student success in particular, findings indicated that the manner in which colleges allocated their funds impacted only small and medium-sized community colleges. Of the nine different types of institutional expenditures, only student services expenditures and public services expenditures had a statistically significant impact on Latino student success. Additionally regression analysis indicated that community college HSI status did not have a large impact on overall full-time student retention and completion rates but did have a significant impact on full-time Hispanic student retention and completion rates for all institution sizes. Findings of this study confirmed that HSI status does impact Latino student success in public community colleges. This finding is consistent with prior studies on the positive impact of instructional expenditures on student success rates. Further research on the specific elements within ...
A Panel Analysis of Institutional Finances of Medical Residencies at Non-University-Based Independent M.D. Granting Medical Schools in the United States
Traditionally, medical residency positions have been primarily funded by the federal government. However, due to declining governmental funding support over time, medical schools have resorted to fund these programs through other means such as clinical fees and payments for services. This change has affected the number and types of residencies available to medical school graduates. The purpose of this study was to measure how the availability of fiscal resources shape mission-related outputs, particularly medical residency positions at medical schools. Using academic capitalism as the theoretical framework provided a lens through which to examine how federal policies have shaped the availability and funding of medical residencies today at the institutional level. This concept has been studied in traditional colleges and universities and how they balance mission and money, but less so in the context of medical schools. This study used a fixed effect panel analysis to study the impact of selected variables over a 10-year period on financing of medical residencies. Findings included that tuition revenues, paid for by undergraduate medical students, are increasingly funding medical residency positions. There was little to no effect from hospital revenues and federal research monies on increasing the number of medical residency positions. The funding of university based medical education is particularly timely and of national importance to understand the consequences of federal policies for medical schools and how medical residency funding caps and limits have affected one of the missions of medical schools which is to train physicians.
Study Abroad and Student-Athlete Choice
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.
Smartphones and Tablets: Patterns of Usage among College Student Populations
This study offers insight into students' use and desire to use mobile devices for educational purposes. I examined college students' mobile device usage on the basis of demographic factors including sex, age, ethnicity, class standing, mode of delivery, and socioeconomic status. This study also investigated factors that affect students' likelihood to use mobile devices for academic pursuits. I utilized data from the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research's (ECAR) 2015 Student Technology Survey. Of the 10,000 undergraduate respondents, 56% were female, 70% were between the ages of 18-24, 73% attended college full time and the breakdown of ethnicity included 59% Caucasian, 16% Hispanic, 13% African American, 8% Asian and 1% Native American. The results indicated that traditional aged students reportedly used smartphones more frequently, whereas non-traditional aged students reportedly used tablets more. Students most frequently reported using their devices in class to connect to the learning material. Institutional technology infrastructure and support were strong factors impacting students' use of smartphones. Results of this research can assist higher education faculty and administrators in devising comprehensive training and technology plans to support and encourage students' use of mobile devices for educational purposes.
Impact of the Clery Act: An Examination of the Relationship between Clery Act Data and Recruitment at Private Colleges and Universities
The problem this study addressed is the relationship between Clery Act crime data and student recruitment at private colleges and universities. For this quantitative study, I used secondary data from the Department of Education and the Delta Cost Project (2013) to conduct ordinary least squares regression analyses to determine the predictive ability of institutional characteristics, specifically the total number of crime incidents reported in compliance with the Clery Act, on the variance in number of applications and applicant yield rate at private four-year institutions in the United States. Findings showed that the total number of reported incidents was a significant positive predictor of the total number of applications. Conversely, findings also showed that the total number of incidents had a significant negative impact on institutional yield rates. An implication of this study is that although crime statistics required by the Clery Act may not serve as variables used in the student application process, they are part of numerous variables used in the student's decision to enroll at a particular school. The findings highlight the importance of prioritizing and investing in safety and security measures designed to reduce rates of crime; especially for private, enrollment-driven institutions of higher education.
Public Research Universities as Gendered Organizations: Institutional Rewards and the Faculty Salary Gap
Gendered organizational conditions create the context for persisting differences between men and women in the workplace. Within, higher education, this manifests as a salary gap between male and female faculty members. The academic capitalistic policy environment creates the conditions for increasing competition for external funding, especially in the areas of research and science and engineering. The change in the academic climate may sustain or intensify the gendering of universities as organizations. Universities with the highest level of research activity were chosen for this study and formed the 130 public institution sample. This study used fixed effects panel regression analysis to explore the relationship between the faculty gender salary gap and institutional emphasis on research as well as science and engineering. In addition, the relationship between institutional emphasis and the faculty gender salary gap was explored over time with the inclusion of a time trend and temporal interaction terms. Results showed that the higher the percentage of female faculty members, the greater the faculty gender salary gap for assistant professors. In addition, science and engineering emphasis over time had a significant impact on the professor salary gap with a decreasing effect both at the mean and one standard deviation above the mean, but with an increasing effect on the salary gap for institutions one standard deviation below the mean. When taking action to increase gender equity, it is important for universities to recognize that the faculty gender salary gap occurs in an organizational context impacted by institutional-level conditions.
A Content Analysis of Medical School Problem-Based Learning Cases
Problem-based learning (PBL) was developed for use in medical education to incorporate more active, learner-centered instruction. Central to problem-based learning is the problem, which in medical education is usually case a case presentation, revealed in stages to allow learners to form and research learning objectives. The purpose of this study was to identify themes present across the PBL cases, including the patient-centeredness of the cases. Content analysis was used to examine 62 PBL cases that comprised the first and second years' core curriculum at a public medical school. The cases included a patient population similar to the local population, but care was more hospital-centric than would be expected from the actual patterns of medical utilization in the United States. Analyzing along two axes of patient-centeredness, the PBL cases demonstrated a good understanding of the patient (knowing the patient), but other qualities such as shared decision making was not as exemplified. Medical educators can use the results to understand elements that contribute to patient-centeredness and apply the analysis framework to evaluate future cases.
A Phenomenological Study of Gay and Lesbian College Students' Spiritual Experiences at Religious Higher Education Institutions
Despite recent scholarly interest in college students' spirituality and spiritual development, as well as research indicating that students are interested in spirituality and have a strong desire to integrate spirituality into their lives, few researchers have addressed the spiritual experiences of gay and lesbian college students. Utilizing a phenomenological qualitative approach, I explored the spiritual experiences of nine gay and lesbian college students at two religiously affiliated universities in the southwest region of the United States. The ages of the participants ranged from 19 to 23, with a mean of 21. There were five female, three male, and one gender queer participants. Seven participants identified as white, while the other two participants identified as Hispanic. I identified three major themes related to their lived experience of spirituality: (1) spiritual quest characterized by struggle and pain, (2) finding reconciliation and acceptance, and (3) the importance of support from the university, student groups, friends, and family. Implications for practice included the importance of establishing an official recognized student organization to support gay and lesbian students, creating spaces for personal reflection, meditation, prayer, and solitude as well as safe spaces, the need for educational and outreach programs for faculty, staff, and students, and an evaluation of institutional policies the might negatively impact gay and lesbian students. Suggestions for future research are discussed including the exploration of the impact that faculty members have on students' spiritual growth.
Women Chief Housing Officers at State Universities in the Northwest United States
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.
Persistence Patterns of Mathematics and Science Majors: A Profile of Highly Motivated Freshmen
Despite an increasing demand for college graduates skilled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ("STEM") fields, a substantial number of students who choose these majors leave after taking their first-year "gateway" math and science coursework. Research has shown GPA to be a salient predictor of persistence in STEM majors: Students who earn high grades in gateway courses are more likely to continue, and those who earn low grades are more likely to leave. However, a small number of students defy that expectation: Despite a low gateway course GPA, they persist not just to the sophomore year but all the way to graduation. The purpose of this study was to determine what other experiences, motivations, or attributes aside from academic performance influence these students to persist. A qualitative approach was taken with the use of semi-structured interviews, which provided a means for analysis based on insights directly from students. An invitation was sent to a cohort of graduating math and science majors at a large public institution, and 10 eligible volunteers were chosen to participate. A thematic analysis was conducted to seek common themes in the students' interviews regarding their experiences in their gateway coursework, their feelings towards their chosen major, their beliefs about their academic proficiency, their motivations for continuing in their major, and other prominent characteristics they attributed to their persistence. Five themes were found: Ambition, dedication, achievement, culture shock, and resilience. Of the five themes, four are attributes of the students themselves: Ambition, dedication, achievement, and resilience. The fifth, culture shock, is something that happened to them, although it does contain information about the students insofar as how they handled the situation. The end result was the identification of a specific group of students: High achievers majoring in math and science who are self-driven and independent, as well ...
Portraits of Undocumented Latino College Graduates Through a Lens of Resiliency Theory
Using resiliency theory as a lens, this qualitative study explored the educational journey and post-graduation experiences of 5 (2 females and 3 males) undocumented Latino college graduates (ULCGs). All participants completed a college degree from a U.S. four-year institution located in a state with an active in-state resident tuition (ISRT) policy. Pseudonyms were used to protect the identity of study participants since a viable path to permanent U.S. residency for undocumented students and/or graduates is currently unavailable. Participants shared their journeys through two 90-minute interviews conducted via Skype, follow-up questions conducted via e-mail, and journal entries collected via e-mail. Consistent with existing literature, findings revealed that participants experienced numerous cultural, academic, legal, and personal barriers, but were relentless in reaching their goals. Contrary to most existing literature, participants in this study enjoyed significant academic capital, aspirational capital, and followed a different and unique decision-making rationale. Findings are presented in five individual portraits and one collective portrait. Individual portraits illustrate participants' struggles, key turning points, and their life decisions. The collective portrait addresses four themes that emerged from the data, including 1) life barriers, 2) reflections of resiliency, 3) decision time, and 4) college education interpretation.
Learner Modal Preference and Content Delivery Method Predicting Learner Performance and Satisfaction
The purpose of the study was to investigate how the online, computer-based learner's personal learning profile (Preference), the content delivery method supplemented with visual content based on Neil Fleming's VARK (visual, aural, read/write, kinesthetic) model (Content), and the interaction of Preference and Content, influenced learner performance (Performance) and/or learner self-reported satisfaction (Satisfaction). Participants were drawn from a population of undergraduates enrolled in a large public southwestern research university during the fall 2015 semester. The 165 student participants (13.79% completion rate) were comprised of 52 (31.5%) females and 113 (68.5%) males age 18-58+ years with 126 (76.4%) age 18-24 years. For race/ethnicity, participants self-identified as 1 (0.66%) American Indian/Alaska Native, 21 (12.7%) Asian/Pacific Islander, 27 (16.4%) Black, non-Hispanic, 28 (17%) Hispanic, 78 (47.3%) White, non-Hispanic, 10 (6.1%) other. Reported socioeconomic status was 22 (13.3%) withheld, 53 (32.1%) did not know, 45 (27.3%) low, 13 (7.9%) moderately low, 16 (9.7%) middle, 8 (4.8%) upper middle, and 8 (4.8%) upper. This causal-comparative and quasi-experimental, mixed-method, longitudinal study used researcher-developed web-based modules to measure Performance and Satisfaction, and used the criterion p < .05 for statistical significance. A two-way, 4 x 3 repeated measures (Time) analysis of variance (RM-ANOVA) using Preference and Content was statistically significant on each Performance measure over Time, and at two measures on Satisfaction over Time. The RM-ANOVA was statistically significant on between-subjects main effect Performance for read/write modality Content compared to aural and kinesthetic Content. There were no statistically significant main effects observed for Satisfaction. A Pearson r correlation analysis showed that participants that were older, married, and of higher socioeconomic status performed better. The correlation analysis also showed that participants who performed better reported greater likelihood to take online courses in the future, higher motivation, sufficient time and support for studies, and sufficient funding for and access to ...
The Perceptions of Policymakers on the Transfer Pathway in Texas Public Higher Education
Community college students transfer to public universities experiencing a pathway filled with complexity and inequity. Transfer students are not able to graduate at the same pace as native students at the university and complete their baccalaureate degrees 18% below the rate of native students. Policymakers have attempted to address the baccalaureate gap. This qualitative study explored the perspectives of Texas policymakers and policy influencers on the efficacy of policies intended to improve transfer outcomes. This study investigated what experience participants have with transfer policy, what their perceptions of the transfer pathway are, and how their voices can refine an understanding of policy development and ways to improve student persistence. Purposeful sampling was used to explore the perspectives of 14 Texas policymakers and those that influence policy. Findings revealed that significant gaps exist between expectations and student realities and that the completion agenda is driving policy decisions. Participants perceived that transfer students have been ignored in the completion metrics, which influence institutional priorities. Moreover, the decentralized system of independent, autonomous institutions is a major contributor to inefficiencies such as excessive student credit hours. Improving the transferability of courses was a priority recommendation of all participants both because it benefits the State’s economy and, more importantly, because it is in the best interest of students.
Preferred Qualifications of Collegiate Athletic Directors: Opinions of Presidents and Athletic Directors
This study explored the preparation methods, qualifications and criteria that both university and athletic directors deemed necessary when searching for athletic directors. Participants completed a survey via Qualtrics online software. Two different populations were sampled for this study: 651 university presidents and 651 athletic directors whose schools compete in either Division I or II in the NCAA, resulting in 96 abd 150 usable responses respectively. Participants in both groups were primarily white males with mean ages of 62 for presidents and 52 for the athletic directors. The study provided demographic information, educational history, professional experience, and prior careers of athletic directors. The rankings of the athletic were compared to the rankings of the presidents and identified consistenncies of opinions. The respondent groups were in agreement on the qualities and ranking of many dimensions of leadershihp in this role. The top seven, for both groups, in order, were ethics, budgeting and finances skills, fundraising, communications, sport leadership, strategic management and policy, and athletic administration. This information could be used as a guide for people who want to strategically maneuver up the ranks in athletics administration. Presidents might use the information as they prepare to hire candidates for the athletic director position.
Accelerated Degree Program Faculty: Motivation to Teach
Adult educators are a growing part of American higher education. Because of their increasing prominence in adult education, it is essential to understand what roles these educators play and what motivates them to remain in the profession despite poor work prospects and conditions. Research to date, however, focuses primarily on the adult learner and not the adult educator. The purpose of this qualitative, multiple-case study was to explore the role and motivation for teaching of adult educators employed as adjunct faculty in an accelerated degree program at a small, liberal arts college in the northwest United States. Purposeful sampling was used to select the five participants for the study. All participants taught in the program for more than five years and were considered to be successful in their positions by peers, students, and administrators. The study employed a preliminary demographic survey to solicit initial background data on the instructors. Other data collection included in-depth, open-ended, face-to-face interviews, document analysis, and classroom observation. The results showed that all five participants identified the following roles and assumed them in the classroom: (a) facilitator, (b) listener, (c) specialist, (d) guide, (e) adviser, and (f) co-learner or colleague. Further results showed that all five participants were motivated to teach in the program for reasons other than monetary compensation. Although participants shared different levels of personal commitment to the institution, they all expressed extensive commitment to teaching, their discipline, and students. Motivating factors for teaching were (a) opportunity to teach part time, (b) love for the subject, (c) opportunity to gain more expertise in the field, (d) opportunity to grow and learn, (e) opportunity to give back, and (f) student success and growth. A major practical implication of this study is that adjunct faculty in an adult education program are motivated to teach for different ...
Mentors' Perceptions of Online-Educated Principal Interns
This qualitative study centered on perceptions of the quality and effectiveness of online-educated principal interns from the viewpoint of principal mentors. Six current principals who have served as mentors to both online and traditionally educated principal interns were asked to name characteristics of successful interns, to discuss to what degree those characteristics have been observed in online-educated principal interns and to share their perceptions of the quality and effectiveness of online-educated interns. The individual interview responses were analyzed and interpreted using thematic analysis. Three overarching themes emerged through data analysis: (1) the importance of certain characteristics in predicting internship success; (2) the impact of program delivery method on principal intern effectiveness; and (3) the influence of perception and bias in hiring decisions. This study may provide a better understanding of the characteristics of successful interns to universities and colleges offering principal preparation programs, which may result in a better understanding of the elements of successful interns and productive internship experiences.
An Educational Intervention to Promote Self-management and Professional Socialization in Graduate Nurse Anesthesia Students
Traditionally, nurse anesthesia educators have utilized prior academic achievement to predict student success. However, research has indicated that prior academic achievement offers an inadequate assessment of student success in graduate healthcare programs with extensive clinical residencies. The educational literature has identified many non-cognitive factors, such as self-efficacy and locus of control, that may provide a more holistic prediction model of student success. An experimental study with pretest-posttest design and stratified random assignment was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention to promote self-management, professional socialization, and academic achievement among first semester graduate nurse anesthesia students. Participants (N = 66) were demographically similar to the national graduate nurse anesthesia student body, though Hispanics and younger students were a little over-represented in the sample (56% female, 75.8% White, 15.2% Hispanic, 6% Other, 59% ≤ 30-years-old, 67% ≤ 3 years of ICU). The results showed that most graduate anesthesia students had strong self-management and professional socialization characteristics on admission. The results did not support the effectiveness of this educational intervention. Thus, ceiling effect may have accounted in part for statistically non-significant results regarding self-efficacy (p = .190, ω2 = .03), locus of control (p = .137, ω2 = .04), professional socialization (p = .819, ω2 = .001), and academic achievement (p = .689, ω2 = .003). Future researchers may need to expand the scope of the intervention, use a more powerful and sensitive instrument, and utilize a larger sample.
Exploring Student Learning on a Short-term, Faculty-led Study Abroad Course Through a Student Development Lens
Embarking on a study abroad experience is thought to be a transformational experience for students, and previous researchers have tended to find that the potential benefits of study abroad experiences, including greater conceptual and behavioral intercultural competence, are greater with longer periods abroad. The purpose of this study was to create an intentional learning experience for students who embarked on a short-term study abroad in rural areas of China and to apply faculty intervention of a student development approach to student learning to create a high-impact learning environment for students centered on a service-learning project. This qualitative study gathered primary data from students and instructors during the course through a collection of observation and field notes, student journals, pre- and post-construct tests, and final presentation. Follow-up interviews were conducted 10 months after course completion. Six students participated in this course and study who were from a variety of disciplines and classifications. Five students were female; one was male. Four students were undergraduates; two were graduate students. Student ethnicities included three Caucasians and African American, along with two international students from Mexico and Iran. Key outcomes of this study were that when short-term study abroad faculty members applied creative interventions, students were transformed with regard to their beliefs, perspectives, and behaviors and that when they guided students through a process of reflection and analysis, students exhibited exponential personal development. In addition, the ability to challenge or support students in reaching higher levels of personal development is a privilege that faculty must earn over time and through an authentic demonstration of care for students’ wellbeing. Short-term study abroad faculty members can use the results of this study to maximize the developmental impact of such programs on student participants.
Early Second-career Faculty: a Phenomenological Study of Their Transition Into a New Profession
In this phenomenological study I investigated the experiences of early second-career, tenure-track faculty members who entered academe after working in a position outside of higher education for at least five years. The purpose of this study was to learn about experiences and factors that contributed or impeded to the success of second-career faculty members. Eight early second-career faculty members, from a four-year university located in the Dallas Metroplex area, were interviewed. Participants demographics were ages 34 to 68 with the average age being 45; 50% male and 50% female; and one African American, six Caucasian, and one Hispanic and/or Latino. Participants’ previous professional experience was a benefit in teaching and relating to students, in understanding the complex university bureaucracy, and in setting goals. The participants reported that mentoring, whether formally assigned by the institution or through informal means such as departmental colleagues or professional organizations, was a benefit to all of the participants. A primary area of concern for the participants was collaboration and collegiality with other faculty members. Participants stated that traditional faculty members lack the skills and training to collaborate effectively in researching and in joint teaching endeavors. Participants reported that they had to monitor and restrain their opinions during interactions with departmental colleagues during the probationary period leading up to tenure decisions because the participants fear retaliation by co-faculty members who will vote on whether to grant them tenure. These participants bring a wealth of industry experience and knowledge to the university. Administrators, departmental chairs, and future early second-career faculty members will find that this research provides recommendations that, if heeded, will ensure a long and productive mutually beneficial affiliation.
Establishing a History and Trajectory of LGBT and Queer Studies Programs in the American Research University: Context for Advancing Academic Diversity and Social Transformation
The system of higher education in the United States of America has retained some of its original character yet it has also grown in many ways. Among the contemporary priorities of colleges and universities are undergraduate student learning outcomes and success along with a growing focus on diversity. As a result, there has been a growing focus on ways to achieve compositional diversity and a greater sense of inclusion with meaningful advances through better access and resources for individuals from non-dominant populations. The clearest result of these advances for sexual and gender diversity has been a normalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) identities through positive visibility and greater acceptance on campus. However, it appears that relatively few institutions have focused on improving academic diversity and students’ cognitive growth around LGBTQ issues. Through historical inquiry and a qualitative approach, this study explored the fundamental aspects of formal LGBTQ studies academic programs at some of the leading American research universities, including Cornell University, the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Texas at Austin – a purposeful sample chosen from the Association of American Universities (AAU) member institutions with organized curricula focused on the study of sexual and gender diversity. The analysis of primary and secondary sources, including documents and interviews, helped create historical narratives that revealed: a cultural shift was necessary to launch a formal academic program in LGBTQ studies; this formalization of LGBTQ studies programs has been part of the larger effort to improve the campus climate for sexual and gender diversity; and there has been a common pattern to the administration and operation of LGBTQ studies. Clearly, the research shows that LGBTQ studies, as a field of study and formal curriculum, has become institutionalized at the American research university. A key outcome of this ...
The Full Range Advising Experience: an Assessment of College Academic Advisors’ Self-perceived Leadership Styles
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 ...
The Generational Shift: an Exploration of Leadership Behaviors of Senior Student Affairs Officers Through a Generational Lens
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.
Sovereign Immunity: a Study of Higher Education Cases
This study explored the legal parameters of sovereign immunity and its waivers for employees of public institutions of higher education in the state of Texas. This empirical study examined the decisions of the Texas Judiciary concerning public university litigation in the area of sovereign immunity, with a review of major state court decisions. Legal research methodology was used in this study. The data for this study included case study review of six cases decided by the Texas judiciary. Information about each of the cases and the important legal inferences from the cases was discussed. A review of the history of sovereign immunity and the current status of the application of the Texas Tort Claims Act was also included. Based on the review of the relevant case law and scholarly commentary, the study findings suggest that a) Texas courts recognize and apply the doctrine of sovereign immunity, unless the application of the doctrine is restricted by the Texas Tort Claims Act; b) the Texas Tort Claims Act establishes limited waivers to sovereign immunity applicable only under specified circumstances and subjects; c) Texas courts were consistent in applying the circumstances by which an institution or its actors waived sovereign immunity. Practice recommendations are included for education professionals at Texas state institutions of higher education.
Predicting Latino Male Student Retention: the Effect of Psychosocial Variables on Persistence for First-year College Students at a Southwest University
The purpose of this study was to investigate and predict Latino male student retention using ACT’s Engage College survey at a research university in the southwestern region of the U.S. ACT’s Engage survey was designed to predict first-year college retention using 10 psychosocial measures. However, no empirical study exists to support ACT’s claim especially for Latino male students. Data from a four-year research university between 2009 and 2011 were analyzed with logistic regression. Logistic regression analysis was performed for the whole sample (N = 8,061) and for the Latino male subsample (n = 860). In the entire sample’s first regression model, high school grade quartile and SAT score as well as demographic variables were used as predictor variables. In this model, the independent variables of high school grade point average quartile, SAT score, gender, and race made statistically significant contributions to the model (Nagelkerke R2 = .031, p < .01). In the entire sample’s second regression model, ACT’s 10 psychosocial variables were added to the first regression model as predictor variables. Results indicated the instrument was valid for the freshmen as a whole because five out of 10 psychosocial measures displayed statistically significant odds ratios (ORs) for predicting retention: (a) Commitment to College (OR = 1.006, p < .01), (b) Academic Discipline (OR = 1.005, p < .01), (c) Social Activity (OR = -.997, p < .01), (d) Social Connection (OR = 1.004, p < .01), and (e) Academic Self-Confidence (OR = -.997, p < .01). Regarding the subsample of 860 Latino males, none of the 10 psychosocial measures produced statistically significant results. The findings indicate the need to determine a new way of identifying at-risk Latino male students because current methods have failed to build a robust predictive model for this student population.
Examining Self-efficacy in Community College Adjunct Faculty
Though professional development interventions are widespread in higher education, administrators often do not formally assess their effectiveness, particularly in relation to teacher self-efficacy. The purposes of this study were to determine if any statistically significant difference existed between the self-efficacy scores of adjunct faculty participants in a community college’s professional development program and nonparticipants and to identify the variables with a statistically significant relationship with self-efficacy. A modified version of the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) was administered to 21 adjunct faculty participants in Lone Star College’s Adjunct Certification Program (ACP) and 312 adjunct faculty not currently participating in the program. A demographic questionnaire development by the researcher was also administered. Independent variables of the demographic questionnaire included gender, ethnicity, age, K-12 teaching experience, highest degree earned, subject taught, years of college teaching experience, and number of courses taught each semester. Paired t-test results indicated statistically significant differences in Efficacy in Instructional Strategies for adjunct participants in the ACP program. No significant differences were found for Efficacy in Student Engagement and Efficacy in Classroom Management. Multiple regression analyses indicated that gender has a statistically significant relationship to Efficacy Instructional Strategies. A statistically significant relationship was found for race for Efficacy in Classroom Management. Finally, analysis also indicated a positive relationship between race and gender for Efficacy in Student Engagement. No other statistically significant relationships were found across the other demographic variables. Findings of this study revealed that the ACP increased teacher self-efficacy across two of the three dimensions of the TSES indicating that the professional development intervention had a positive effect on the efficacy of its participants. The present study contributes to the research on teacher self-efficacy, adjunct faculty and professional development interventions.
The Relationship of Peer Leadership Employment to Academic Outcomes in Texas Institutions of Higher Education
The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship of participation and involvement in an undergraduate student success program to academic success and persistence among students in three programs sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB): the G-Force Collegiate Work-Study Mentorship Program, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) for Higher Education (AHE) program, and the THECB work-study program. The sample was identified using data from the THECB during the 2009-2013 academic years. Compared to THECB work-study students, significantly more AHE and G-Force students persisted toward graduation while engaged in the program (p < .001). ANOVA indicated that AHE students had a higher average GPA compared to G-Force and THECB work-study students, controlled for gender, race/ethnicity, pre-program GPA, and length of time in the position. Regression analyses found no statistically significant relationship between program associations and persistence towards graduation or GPA. Results suggest that although participation in a peer leadership programs such as AHE and G-Force encourage greater academic achievement and persistence, there is no direct relation to the achievement of these outcome variables. Implications of the study suggest the need for a deeper analysis into elements of peer leadership programs that contribute to student success, an expanded analysis of outcomes across a wider range of demographic variables, and an exploration of peer leadership programs across campuses for comparison of persistence and GPA outcomes.
Alternative Certification Teaching Programs in Texas: A Historical Analysis
Before 1984, nearly 975 of teachers entered the teaching profession after graduating from a traditional university-based program. However, beginning in the mid-1980s, alternative routes leading to teacher certification began to emerge in the United States. As of 2010, nearly one-third of all new teachers graduated from an alternative preparation program. As alternative certification (AC) routes approach 30 years since establishment, programs continue to evolve and increase in enrollment. This study focused on the changes that have come about in the maturation of alternative certification programs in Texas since legislation was passed in 1985. The purpose of the study was to delineate the evolution of AC programs using a historical approach, the study used both primary and secondary resources as research tools and employed the use of eight interviews and the literature review for the collection of data. The prediction of future teacher shortages, the need for diversity in the profession the political view to privatize education, and economic recessions were all motivating factors for establishing alternative teacher programs. In the beginning, graduation from AC programs were perceived as not authentic teachers and not as prepared for teaching as graduates from traditional programs. AC programs have become a legitimate and viable option for educator preparation programs as they offer greater flexibility, staff/instructor diversity, and multiple approaches to instruction. This data suggests that AC programs in Texas have emerged as a real and sustainable option to traditional certification programs leading to certification and licensure.
The State of the Field of Critical Information Literacy in Higher Education
The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the state of critical information literacy (CIL) in higher education as it is enacted and understood by academic librarians. This qualitative study investigated the institutional support, nonsupport, and barriers to CIL programs and the effectiveness of experiential critical pedagogy for information literacy (IL) learning as taught and studied by 19 CIL specialists. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 17 academic librarians and two professors of library and information science who had previously worked as academic librarians. The sample included 11 females and eight males; 18 participants were Caucasian and one was African American. Data were collected through 40-60 minute semi-structured interviews and a brief demographic survey. Experiential education served as the broad theoretical framework for this study, which stems from the tradition of critical theory. This study was guided by the work of two major experiential learning theorists and theories: Paulo Freire and critical pedagogy and Jack Mezirow and transformative learning. Mezirow and Freire focused their work on adult education and grounded their approaches in critical theory and focused on power relationships, reflection, and the emancipatory potential of education. The findings were framed through a lens of Freire’s conception of critical pedagogy because it was the major theoretical framework that most of the study participants used to guide their work. Findings suggest that academic librarians who teach CIL do not learn about it in their MLS programs. They tend to use three major critical teaching methods, including student-centered approaches, discussion and dialogue, and problem-posing methods. Participants tended to struggle more with using critical methods than with incorporating critical content. Slightly more than half regularly used critical methods in their teaching, but all participants incorporated critical content, including critical source evaluation and subject headings and language used in information production ...
Exploring the College Pathways of Asian American Community College Students and the Model Minority Myth
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.
Self-determination of Military Students in Postsecondary Education
The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine undergraduate military veteran students’ self-determination and academic effort in relation to their nonveteran college peers. A total of 734 undergraduates attending 4-year institutions in Texas completed a survey, including: 76 veterans (63% males, 37% females); and 658 non-veterans (26% males, 74% females). This research created a more holistic survey of self-determination by adding the 8-item New General Self-Efficacy Scale to the 10-item Self-determination Scale. The survey also included 13-items drawn from the National Survey of Student Engagement. A factor analysis with a varimax rotation of the items identified six factors: competence, autonomy, relatedness, reflection, learning strategies, and quantitative reasoning resulting in a significant Bartlett’s test of sphericity (2 (465) = 12324.53, p < .001). The first hierarchical ordinary least squares (HOLS) analysis results showed that undergraduate veteran students have statistically significant higher levels of self-determination than students without military experience with a small effect size (R2 = .022%, p < .001); however, a meta-analysis of self-determination revealed a large effect size of d = 1.33 between veterans (M = .81, SD = .12) and freshmen undergraduates (M = .65, SD = .12). The second HOLS analysis revealed that self-determination is a positively related, statistically significant factor in academic effort potentially adding 6.8% variance explained to the multi-factored general causal model of college impact (GCMCI).
Determining the Reliability and Use of the Center for Community College Student Engagement Survey of Entering Student Engagement As a Tool to Predict Student Success in a Large Urban Community College District
As community colleges have gained more recognition as a viable pathway for students to enter higher education, they have faced greater accountability that has prompted both practitioners and policy makers to attempt to find solutions and tools, such as National Survey of Student Engagement, Community College Survey of Student Engagement, and Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), to aid in improving student success outcomes. This study addressed the validity and reliability of the SENSE instrument using a three-pronged approach via student data collected over 3 years of SENSE administrations at a large urban community college (n = 4,958). The instrument was first factor analyzed against the SENSE benchmarks for effective educational practice through generalized least squares and principal component exploratory factor analysis. Although the instrument did not deliver a chi-square factored fit for the six benchmark categories, consistent loadings were observed. Second, construct reliability was tested for each benchmark category, and the survey as a whole using Cronbach’s alpha. All categories did not yield sufficient coefficient scores for establishing construct reliability. However, the overall survey produced a Cronbach’s alpha of .85, clearly indicating construct reliability for all items combined. Third, correlations between SENSE perception scores and community college students’ grade point averages, fall to fall retention, semester credit hours, course completion for developmental and college gateway courses, and degree and certificate completion were calculated. Although no strong correlations were observed, the SENSE may be useful to community colleges seeking to increase completion rates.
Workplace Supportiveness, Family Obligations, and Advancement for Caucasian Male Student Affairs’ Middle Managers
In higher education, the field of student affairs, as demonstrated in previous research, suffers from high turnover, and often, the choice to leave the student affairs field seems to coincide with starting a family and simultaneously taking care of elder family members. Previous research has demonstrated that care-giving commitments hinder women in the advancement of their career and given the changing culture of shared care-giving responsibilities, the previous findings may now be true for men as well. This study focused on Caucasian male middle managers’ perceptions of the student affairs work environment in relation to their families and workplace supportiveness and advancement. I interviewed eight Caucasian, male student affairs middle managers about their perceptions about workplace supportiveness of family obligations in the student affairs field. The participants placed high importance on family and were no longer willing to risk family life for career success. All eight men talked fondly of their family obligations and were willing to change career paths to demonstrate how much they valued their families. In addition, these men frequently commented on the desire to represent cultural change. Therefore, student affairs divisions should implement supportive informal benefits across the board to all professional full time employees for increasing long term stability in the field of student affairs.
Evaluation Practices of Community College Faculty Development Programs
The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the current state of community college faculty development program evaluation and identify possible influences on evaluation practices. Data from 184 survey responses and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) were analyzed to answer three research questions. Multiple regression was used to determine if a relationship existed between the dependent/outcome variable (evaluation utilization score) and the independent/predictor variable (accrediting agency affiliation: MSCHE, NEASC, NCA, NWCCU, SACS, and WASC) and/or control variables (institution locale, student FTE, expenses per student FTE, percent spent on instruction, and percent of full-time faculty). Results were not statistically significant, F (12, 163) = 1.176, p = .305. The mean evaluation scores were similar for all six accrediting agencies ranging from 60-69. The rural variable was statistically significant with p = .003 and alpha = .05, but it only accounted for 3.6% of the variance explained. Logistic regression was used to determine if a relationship existed between the dependent/outcome variable (use of evaluation) and the above-specified independent/predictor variable and/or control variables for six faculty development program activities. Results revealed that significant predictor variables for the use of evaluation vary based on the faculty development program activity. Statistically significant predictors were identified for two of the six activities. The percent spent on instruction variable was statistically significant for financial support for attending professional conferences (p = .02; alpha = .05). The NCA affiliation and student FTE variables were statistically significant for orientation for new faculty (p = .007; alpha = .05 and p = .027; alpha = .05 respectively). The analysis of the evaluation methods was conducted using descriptive statistics and frequencies. The most frequently used evaluation methods were questionnaire and verbal feedback. NCA was identified as having the greatest number of institutions using the most frequently used evaluation ...
A Historical Study of the Paris Small Business Development Center in Paris, Texas: 1986-2006
This historical study chronicled events of the development and implementation of the Paris Small Business Development Center at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas from 1986-2006. Data was collected from primary and secondary sources and oral histories through personal interviews. The analysis included a brief history of higher education and the service mission and situated the study in the broader context as an extension program in higher education. This study provided a brief history of the U.S. Small Business Administration and America’s Small Business Development Center Network as a background for the study. This study is significant to scholars in the field of higher education for a number of reasons. It provides a historical analysis of a service program that extends the college to the community and demonstrates higher education and its role in economic development. It adds to the current body of research by advancing an understanding of a past to contemporary knowledge. Finally, by integrating historical perspectives from multiple disciplines in higher education, what happened and the context in which it happened can be more fully appreciated. This study also contributes to practical knowledge as it deepens the understanding of significant events and processes that contributed to the success of an outreach program in higher education.
Student Involvement and Self-authorship Among African American Undergraduate Students at a STEM-focused University
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the association between student involvement and self-authorship among African American undergraduate students enrolled at a medium-sized, North Texas STEM-focused university. Self-identified African American undergraduate students at the university completed an online, researcher-developed survey focused on co-curricular involvement activities, degree of involvement in those activities, and perceived self-authorship indicators. From the completed survey pool (N = 49), 10 females and 5 males participated in follow-up focus group sessions. The survey data analysis was limited to descriptive statistics of student involvement and demographic data. Survey results showed that African American undergraduate students at the university were actively involved in co-curricular activities and generally satisfied with their involvement experiences. The focus groups provided a more in-depth picture of the involvement experiences showing that students believed that their commitment to co-curricular activities contributed significantly to their interpersonal and intrapersonal growth—characteristics of self-authorship. The survey and qualitative data combined suggested a positive association between the involvement of African American undergraduate students in co-curricular activities at the university and the development of self-authorship characteristics in those students. Findings from this study support the practice of intentional outreach to African American undergraduate students in order to promote their active involvement in campus activities and events.
Marianismo and Community College Persistence: a Secondary Data Analysis of the Educational Longitudinal Study 2002
Hispanics represent the greatest U.S. population growth, yet Hispanic women are the least educated of all U.S. ethnic female groups and reflect the lowest college enrollment as a percent of their total population. Since nearly half of Hispanics enrolled in college are served by community colleges, this research sought to understand if marianismo, i.e., the cultural expectations that Hispanic women females must focus on caretaking and mothering while reflecting passivity, duty and honor, and self-sacrifice, might provide some explanation for the low levels of degree attainment among Hispanic female community college students compared to their female peers from all other ethnic groups. Marianismo was once a construct that limited the role of women to the home. However, today’s Hispanic female is expected to juggle home priorities along with other roles in which she may engage. These various role demands may influence Hispanic female college persistence and success. Using secondary data analysis of the national Educational Longitudinal Study 2002 (ELS), this study examined the relationship between marianismo and persistence (semester to semester enrollment) of Hispanic females (n = 368) enrolled in community colleges. To create a marianismo scale, 13 items were selected from the ELS and reviewed by individuals familiar with Hispanic culture and marianismo. Confirmatory factor analysis was then used to generate a reliable marianismo scale (Cronbach’s alpha = .82). Logistic regression revealed that of marianismo, socio-economic status, generational status, and high school GPA, only high school GPA was statistically significant for predicting persistence.
Silent Voices: the Experiences of Deaf Students in Community College
Most students with hearing loss attend community college, yet very little research on this population of students exists in higher education. This dissertation is one of the first to explore the experiences of mainstreamed d/Deaf students in community college. This research was conducted in order to gain a better understanding of how students who are d/Deaf interact navigate the mainstream postsecondary environment. Purposeful sampling was used to gather data from 19 individuals who attended postsecondary institutions not designed specifically for d/Deaf students. These participants were enrolled in an urban community college district in the southwestern U.S. and were receiving accommodations from their campus accessibility office. The sample included six Black females, one Black male, five Latinos, three Latinas, two White males, one White female, and two females who identified as multiracial. Data were collected through 30-60 minute semi-structured interviews in American Sign Language or spoken English, and a brief demographic survey. The interviews conducted in American Sign Language were then interpreted into English; one participant did not know ASL, and relied on oral communication. The theoretical framework of this study was Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory. Individual development does not occur inside a vacuum; utilizing this theory allows for the analysis of how a student interacts with his or her environment, and how the environment affects the student. Findings from this study provide insight on participants’ reasons for enrolling in college, their perception of academic rigor as compared to high school, and familial support during their college experience. Participants reported financial difficulty, despite their utilization of the state’s tuition waiver program for students with hearing loss. The need for communication access, and especially the quality and quantity of sign language interpreters featured prominently in participant responses. Participants also expressed a desire for more interaction between students with hearing loss and the general ...
The Relationship Between Institutional Expenditures and Student Completion of Momentum Points: a Community College Perspective
This study investigated the relationship between community college institutional expenditures and student success in reaching momentum points. The 3 years of student cohorts of a large community college district in Texas formed the population. Student characteristics and institutional context characteristics served as control variables. Institutional financial data functioned as the independent variables. Student success variables (milestones and momentum points) served as dependent variables. Because each of the three cohorts contained over 10,000 students and displayed equivalent characteristics, the random sample of 7,634 students was drawn from the combined cohorts. Institutional financial variables predicted the milestones of reading readiness (χ2 = 315.10, df = 17, n = 3,495, p < .001) and writing readiness (χ2 = 296.64, df = 17, n = 3,149, p < .001). Financial variables contributed to the completion of English-1301 (χ2 = 1004.14, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001), college-level math (χ2 = 615.24, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001), 30 college-level credit hours (χ2 = 833.85, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001), and reenrollment the second fall semester (χ2 = 375.41, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001). Student services expenditures provided high odds for completion of English-1301 (odds ratio = 4.85 x 1014), college-level math (odds ratio = 5.24 x 1018), 30 college-level credits (odds ratio = 1.60x1015), and for re-enrollment in the second fall semester (odds ratio = 7.32 x 1014). Instructional expenditures and operations & maintenance expenditures also predicted student enrollment in the second fall semester. Student services’ influence on student engagement and success should inform decisions about programs for improving student success. Institutional policymakers may utilized these expenditure results support momentum point attainment. Finally, the influence of full time enrollment on student completion of milestones and momentum points in every regression ...
Academic Self-efficacy of Adult First-generation Students Enrolled in Online Undergraduate Courses
This study examined differences between adult first-generation (AFG) and adult-continuing generation (ACG) students’ academic self-efficacy with regard to the online courses in which they were currently enrolled. The study used an online survey methodology to collect self-reported quantitative data from 1,768 undergraduate students enrolled in an online course at a mid-sized, four-year public university in the southwestern United States; 325 cases were usable for the study. The t-tests revealed no statistically significant differences between the academic self-efficacy of the AFG and ACG students. Parents’ level of educational attainment was unrelated to adult students’ academic self-efficacy with online courses. Ordinary least-squares analysis was used to evaluate student characteristics that might be associated with academic self-efficacy in the online environment. A combination of gender, GPA, age, race/ethnicity (White, Black, Hispanic, and other), and number of previous online courses predicted a statistically significant 12% of the variance in academic self-efficacy in an online environment (p < .001). Age (p < .001) and self-efficacy were positively correlated, meaning that adult students reported greater academic self-efficacy than did younger students; and number of previous online courses (p < .001) was also positively correlated to academic self-efficacy, indicating that students with greater experience with online courses reported a greater sense of academic self-efficacy in that environment than students who had completed fewer online courses. This study has implications of providing additional insight for higher education practitioners working with adult learners. Identifying additional factors influencing adult learners’ academic self-efficacy in an online academic environment may be useful when building effective strategies to improve online retention and completion rates for these students. Future research should examine a wider variety of variables beyond demographic characteristics. External and internal factors, along with existing theories of behaviors should be investigated to help explain adult persistence and retention online and in face-to-face ...
The Relationship Between Registration Time and Major Status and Academic Performance and Retention of First-time-in-college Undergraduate Students at a Four-year, Public University
This quantitative study utilized secondary data from one large four-year, state university in the southwestern US. The relationship between registration time and academic performance was examined as well as the relationship between registration time and retention of first-time-in-college (FTIC) undergraduate students during their first semester of enrollment at the university. The differences between decided and undecided students were tested regarding students’ academic performance and retention of the same population. The study population for the fall 2011 semester included 6,739 freshmen, and the study population for the fall 2012 semester included 4,454 freshmen. Through multiple and logistic regression models, registration time was shown to statistically have a relationship with academic performance and retention (p < .05). Later registrants showed to have a negative relationship with GPA and were less likely to return the following spring semester. The explained variance (R2) for both measures of academic performance and retention along with descriptive statistics are also presented. A Mann Whitney U test and chi square test indicated that a statistically significant association between decided and undecided students exists for academic performance and retention (p < .05). Decided major students performed better as measured by semester GPA performance and were more likely to return the following spring semester. Recommendations and implications are issued regarding future research, policy, and practice.
Community College Choice and the Role of Undermatching in the Lives of African Americans
This study explored why academically qualified African American students, those eligible to attend four-year institutions, choose to attend community colleges and are, thereby, undermatched. This qualitative study investigated how these students navigated the college choice process, what influenced their decision to attend a community college, what their experience at a community college was like, and their aspirations to obtain a baccalaureate degree. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 19 African American students attending community college in Dallas, Texas. The sample included 14 females and five males. Data were collected through 40-60 minute semi-structured interviews and a brief demographic survey. The conceptual frameworks for this study included Kassie Freeman’s predetermination model that includes cultural considerations in college choice and the Somers et al. model that addresses factors that increase the likelihood of a student choosing to attend a community college. This integrated framework captures the role that family and culture play in African American community college choice. Findings suggest that the community college choice influences for academically eligible African American students vary from traditional college choice models. Whereas factors such as cost, location, and the role of peers played somewhat of a role in their choice, participants were also heavily influenced by sports, self-perceptions of maturity, and the perceptions of their families. Another key finding was that the effects of undermatching vary. All of the participants in this study felt that attending a community college fostered transfer preparedness, supported personal development, and promoted their academic success. However, some of the participants also felt that attending a community college hindered their sense of autonomy and limited their social engagement. This variation leads to the conclusion that undermatching effects vary and are dependent upon a variety of contextual factors. Policy and practice recommendations are provided for parents, teachers, counselors, and ...
A Study of the Relationship Between the Use of Color for Text in Computer Screen Design and the Age of the Computer User
This study addresses an individual's performance, relating it to eyesight changes due to the aging of the individual and to color computer screens used for computer-based-instruction not designed specifically for older students. This study determines how existing research in gerontology, human-computer interface, and color use in visual graphics can be applied to the design of computer screen displays containing color text and backgrounds and how various color combinations will affect performance by adult learners forty years of age and older. The results of this research provide software developers and instructional designers guidelines to use when designing computer screen displays for use in instructional computing settings involving older adults.
The Relationship Between Faculty-Led Small Groups and Character Development of Seminarians in an Evangelical Seminary
The problem for this study was the relationship between faculty-led small groups and the development in seminary students of the character traits biblically mandated of those who occupy spiritual leadership positions in the church (1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9). This experimental study developed and assessed a program which combined involvement in a small group of peers with a faculty mentor. The discipleship groups met weekly for two semesters for either thirty or seventy-five minutes. The research instrument used was the Biblical Leadership Qualities Inventory, a revision of the Spiritual Leadership Qualities Inventory. The longer treatment length groups were not found to differ significantly from the shorter treatment length groups for change in trait score (p = .281), although means were generally lower for the longer groups. A MANOVA showed that both treatment groups differed significantly from the control group for the traits observed (p < .001) with the general direction of change being to a lower trait score. Five post-hoc hypotheses were investigated. An education effect, as measured by number of traits studied in the group, was not found to be related to outcome. A fatigue or stress effect, as measured by academic load, work load, and marital status, was not found to be related to outcome. Instrument weakness, peer effect, and mentor effect were suggested as possible explanations for the outcome. Peer and mentor relationships may have resulted in the subjects developing higher standards and thus a decrease on the posttest. Demographic factors of marital status, Christian age, academic load, work load, and absences did not prove to be effective predictors of outcome. Neither faculty trait scores nor faculty fidelity to the topics for discussion in the treatment groups proved to be an effective predictor of student outcome. Previous research by Parker showing factors for the SLQI was ...
The Effect of Quality and Color Visual Aids on Immediate Recall, Attitude Toward Speaker, and Attitude Toward Speech
Thirty years of empirical research on visual aids have produced inconsistent results--perhaps because the quality and color of those visuals were inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to determine what effects quality and color of instructional transparencies used in an informative speech have on listener recall and attitudes toward speaker and speech. A total of 709 community college and university students in 36 intact classes were randomly assigned to one of four visual treatment groups (poor-quality black/white, high-quality black/white, poor-quality color, or high-quality color) or one of two control groups (no-speech or no-visuals). A videotaped speech was projected onto a large screen at the right of the room; visual aids (each shown for approximately 30 seconds) were projected onto another screen set immediately to the left. Recall was measured by a 10-item multiple choice test; attitude toward speech and speaker were each measured by six seven-item semantic differential scales. Analysis of variance indicated that the type of transparencies used in an informative speech have a definite effect on immediate recall and attitude toward the speech, but no effect on attitude toward speaker. All four treatment groups scored significantly higher on recall than the no-speech and no-visual control groups. Log percent of change showed poor color to produce the lowest scores (still 13% better than control) and quality color to produce the highest scores (19.5'% better). Analysis found listeners to have a more positive attitude toward the speech when quality color, quality black/white, or poor black/white visuals were used. It appears that any visual (even a poor quality one) produces better recall than no visuals. Speakers with the time to produce quality visuals should add color; speakers who pay little attention to quality would be advised to use black/white visuals. Implications for future research are suggested.
Analysis of Nursing Functions and Preparation
The problem of this study was an analysis of the differences between associate degree and baccalaureate degree nursing school graduates in relation to the functions they were currently performing, their perceptions of the adequacy of their educational preparation for these functions, and their apparent readiness for these nursing functions as reported by employers of nurses. A questionnaire was devised and mailed to a random sample of employers of nurses and to recent graduates of two associate degree and two baccalaureate degree nursing programs in Texas. Graduates were asked to report on the extent of their performance of each of eighty nursing activities as well as their perception of their preparation for each activity. Employers were requested to report the readiness of recent graduates to perform each nursing activity, The eighty activities were categorized into the following five functions: (1) physical care and technical skills, (2) interpersonal relationships, (3) leadership, (4) decision making, and (5) community health care.
Existing Relationships Between Enrollment Size and Methods of Financial Management in the Public Universities of Texas Participating in the Ad Valorem Tax Fund
The problem of this study is to ascertain the existing relationships between enrollment size and methods of financial management in selected public institutions of higher education. The purposes set forth for this investigation are to conduct a survey of the financial management methods of a major segment of Texas higher education, to analyze the existing relationships of these financial methods with increasing enrollments ranging from 2,537 to 26,531, and to assess the implications thereof for indicators of optimum and maximum enrollments under variable methods of financial management.
The Effect of Group Discussion upon Selected Personality Variables of Student Nurses
This study has been undertaken to investigate the impact of group discussion upon sociometric status, selfactualization, and number of stated problems with respect to student nurses. The purposes of this study were (1) to determine whether group discussion will enhance sociometric status of student nurses, (2) to determine whether group discussion will positively affect self-actualization of student nurses, (3) to determine whether group discussion will lessen the number of stated problems of student nurses, and (4) to examine the group process and interaction of the group discussion sessions.
Perceived Roles of College Financial Aid Directors in Texas
The problem with which this investigation is concerned is that of determining the existing and ideal perceived roles of college financial aid directors in Texas, the preparation of financial aid directors, the scope of their work, status, degree of job satisfaction, and attitudes toward selected financial aid concepts. A self-report questionnaire, which had been validated by a selected panel of financial aid directors, and for which reliability had been established by the test re-test method, provided the necessary data for the research report. Replies were received from more than seventy-five per cent of the financial aid directors in the colleges of Texas. Chapter I, Introduction, includes the subject of the study, purposes, research questions, background and significance, definition of terms, basic assumptions, instruments, and procedures for analysis of data. Chapter II is the review of related research. Chapter III gives procedures for collection and treatment of data. Chapter IV contains the report of the responses to the questionnaire, and Chapter V contains a summary of the findings, the conclusions reached, recommendations, and implications for further study.
An Analysis of Institutional Distribution of Formula-Generated Funds for Faculty Salaries and Departmental Operating Expenses
This study seeks to determine the institutional uses of the formula system in twenty-two public four-year institutions of higher education in Texas. The study is limited to the areas of faculty salaries and departmental operating expenses. Particular effort is made to determine whether the methods used by the various institutions in allocating funds to academic departments are based upon the number of semester hours taught by each department and therefore upon the amount of funds the departments produce under the state formula system.