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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

Persistence Patterns of Mathematics and Science Majors: A Profile of Highly Motivated Freshmen

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Gonzales, Erin E

Portraits of Undocumented Latino College Graduates Through a Lens of Resiliency Theory

Description: 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.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Perez, Jasiel

Learner Modal Preference and Content Delivery Method Predicting Learner Performance and Satisfaction

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Copeland, Matthew Blair

The Perceptions of Policymakers on the Transfer Pathway in Texas Public Higher Education

Description: 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.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Faris, Kimberly A

Preferred Qualifications of Collegiate Athletic Directors: Opinions of Presidents and Athletic Directors

Description: 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.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Sheffield, Cinnamon

Accelerated Degree Program Faculty: Motivation to Teach

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Grishkevich, Hanna Hults

Mentors' Perceptions of Online-Educated Principal Interns

Description: 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.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Coomer, Traci

An Educational Intervention to Promote Self-management and Professional Socialization in Graduate Nurse Anesthesia Students

Description: 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.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Maloy, Debra A.

Exploring Student Learning on a Short-term, Faculty-led Study Abroad Course Through a Student Development Lens

Description: 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.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Garcia, Hope F.

Early Second-career Faculty: a Phenomenological Study of Their Transition Into a New Profession

Description: 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.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Assaad, Elizabeth A.

Establishing a History and Trajectory of LGBT and Queer Studies Programs in the American Research University: Context for Advancing Academic Diversity and Social Transformation

Description: 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 ...
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Date: August 2015
Creator: Kessler, M. David

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

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

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

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

Sovereign Immunity: a Study of Higher Education Cases

Description: 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.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Mancone, Nichole A.

Predicting Latino Male Student Retention: the Effect of Psychosocial Variables on Persistence for First-year College Students at a Southwest University

Description: 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.
Date: May 2015
Creator: McGuire, Melissa

Examining Self-efficacy in Community College Adjunct Faculty

Description: 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.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Weisel, Jessica W.

The Relationship of Peer Leadership Employment to Academic Outcomes in Texas Institutions of Higher Education

Description: 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.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Buggs, Michelle L.

Alternative Certification Teaching Programs in Texas: A Historical Analysis

Description: 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.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Etheredge, David K.

The State of the Field of Critical Information Literacy in Higher Education

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Downey, Annie L.

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

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

Self-determination of Military Students in Postsecondary Education

Description: 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).
Date: August 2014
Creator: Placido, Robert B.

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

Description: 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.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Harris, Sheryl

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.