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The Relationship Between Supplemental Instruction Leader Learning Style and Study Session Design

Description: The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the learning styles of supplemental instruction leaders at a large, public university during the fall 2010 semester and determine whether or not their personal learning styles influenced the way they designed and developed out-of-class study sessions. The total population of supplemental instruction leaders was 37, of which 24 were eligible to participate in the study. Of the 24 eligible supplemental instruction leaders, 20 completed the entire study. Participants in the study included nine male and 11 female supplemental instruction leaders with a median age of 22.25 years-old. Seventeen participants indicated their classification as senior, two as junior, and one as sophomore. Of the participants, 16 indicated white as a race or ethnicity, one indicated Asian, two indicated African American, and one indicated both American Indian/Alaska Native and white. Supplemental instruction leader learning style was assessed using the Kolb Learning Style Inventory. Leaders were then interviewed, and their study sessions were analyzed. Through triangulation of data from learning style, interviews and actual study session documents, four major themes emerged. The four themes were: 1) incorporation of personal experience into study session design, 2) the sense of impact on student learning, 3) a feeling of the need to incorporate varied activities into study session design, and 4) the concept that students must take ownership over their own learning. No consistent pattern emerged among the themes; however, the results attributed out-of-class study session design to both the incorporation of personal learning style preferences as identified through the Kolb Learning Style Inventory and training conducted by the institution. Implications for future research include the need for continued research addressing how and if supplemental instruction leader learning style influences out-of-class study session design. Also, as institutions of higher education seek to expand academic support services to ...
Date: May 2011
Creator: Adams, Joshua

Predictive Relationships among Learner Characteristics, Academic Involvement, and Doctoral Education Outcomes

Description: The literature identifies multiple factors pertinent to learner characteristics and learning experiences that may promote doctoral education outcomes, and yet little quantitative research has examined relationships between those factors deemed important in the effectiveness of doctoral education. This study sought to examine predictive relationships among doctoral students’ learner characteristics, their involvement in mentorship and intellectual community, and doctoral education outcomes. Using Astin’s theory of involvement and the literature on signature pedagogies in doctoral education as conceptual guides, a survey instrument was constructed for the purpose of measuring variables identified as relevant to the effective formation of scholars. Central to the conceptualization of this study was academic involvement as represented by mentorship and intellectual community. The instrument was validated in a two-stage pilot testing process and administered to doctoral candidates at three public Texas higher education institutions. Of the 217 participants, the majority were female, White (Non-Hispanic), US citizens, and were pursuing education doctorates. Data were analyzed using multivariate statistical analyses. Reliability and validity estimates indicated psychometric integrity of the 20 observed variables measured to represent the constructs of mentorship and intellectual community. Results indicated that doctoral students’ learner characteristics were not notably predictive of doctoral students’ degree of involvement in mentorship and intellectual community (p < .05, R2 = .23). Doctoral students’ degree of academic involvement was strongly predictive of outcomes (p < .001, R2 = .58), particularly student satisfaction with the doctoral education experience and self-efficacy in conducting various forms of scholarly work. Of this effect, more tangible outcomes such as scholarly productivity and degree progress were not meaningfully related to academic involvement. Regardless of the frequency of academic involvement, students perceived faculty mentorship and intellectual community as very important. The predictive value and perceived importance of faculty mentorship and intellectual community highlight the critical role faculty and peer ...
Date: December 2011
Creator: Anderson, Baaska

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

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

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.

Evaluation Practices of Community College Faculty Development Programs

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 2014
Creator: Bunyard, Magen Lynn

The Influence of Classroom Community and Self-Directed Learning Readiness on Community College Student Successful Course Completion in Online Courses

Description: The relationships between community college students’ sense of community, student self-directed learning readiness, and successful completion of online courses were investigated using a correlational research design. Rovai’s Classroom Community Scale was used to measure classroom community, and the Fisher Self-directed Learning Readiness Scale was used to measure self-directed learning readiness, including three subscales of self-management, desire for learning, and self-control. The study participants were 205 students (49 males, 156 females; 131 White, 39 Black, 15 Asian, 10 Latino, 10 Multi-racial, 1 Native American) taking online courses during a summer term at a Texas community college. The research hypotheses were tested using Pearson r correlation coefficients between each of the seven independent variables (student learning, connectedness, classroom community, self-management, desire for learning, self-control, and self-directed learning readiness) and student successful course completion data. Contrary to prior study results, no association was found between students’ sense of community in online courses and student successful course completion. Although statistically significant differences were found between successful course completion and self-management (r = .258), desire for learning (r = .162), and self-directed learning readiness (r = .184), effect sizes were small suggesting a lack of practical significance. Possible reasons for the outcome of this study differing from prior research include relatively shorter semester length (summer term) during which data were collected and relatively smaller sample size.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Cervantez, Vera Ann

Baptist Pastoral Leadership: An Analysis for Curriculum Development

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

Bridging the Gap Between Access and Success: a Study of the Impact of an Access and Success Program on Academic Outcomes of Low-income College Freshmen

Description: In response to the increasing cost of college, colleges and universities are leveraging financial aid and academic support services to implement access and success programs intended to help financially disadvantaged students afford and persist through a baccalaureate degree program. This research is a study of the efficacy of one such program at a large research university in the southwestern region of the United States. The study sample included low-income program participants in four cohorts of freshmen enrolling for the first time in college from fall 2007 (Cohort 1) to fall 2010 (Cohort 4) and a comparison group of almost 400 low-income freshmen who enrolled for the first time in college in fall 2006 (the year prior to program implementation) for a sample total of over 2150 students. Approximately 64% were female, 36 % were males, over 60% were African American and Hispanic, and over 75% were first generation college students. Logistic regression was used to measure probability and odds of their academic success and retention in the first year of college utilizing gender, ethnicity, parental degree attainment, and program participation as the independent variables. The logistic regression models illustrated that participation in the program netted a consistently positive and significant impact on academic success across all cohorts, increasing the odds ratio for academic success no less than three times in favor of program participants vis-à-vis the comparison group. The statistical models illustrated that the program netted a slight positive impact on the odds of retention, particularly for African American students. Therefore, the principle implication that might be drawn from this study is that by strategically leveraging financial aid and academic support services, access and success programs can facilitate higher rates of academic success and retention for financially disadvantaged college students.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Collins, Sarah R.

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

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

Perceived Effects of a Mid-length Study Abroad Program

Description: The focus of the study was the University of Dallas’ Rome Program, a mid-length study abroad program on the university’s campus in Rome, Italy. The program is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to encounter firsthand Western tradition by integrating the core curriculum through classroom teachings and class excursions, thus solidifying the foundation of the participants’ undergraduate education. Beyond this purpose, the Rome Program does not operate from established goals and objectives for student experience. I consulted relevant research literature to construct a schema of domains of development appropriate to this qualitative study. These domains were intellectual development, global perspective, career development, and spiritual development. I interviewed 20 University of Dallas seniors who participated in the mid-length study abroad program between fall 2009 and spring 2011, using an extended, semi-structured interview protocol. The participants included 11 females and 9 males; 19 White and 1 Hispanic. The findings were supported by subsequent review by 4 of the interviewed students. I found generally strong but inconsistent support for student development in each of the domains. A number of sub-themes are reported. Through the interviews, an additional theme of personal development emerged and is reported. Although the findings generally support the conclusion that the Rome Program is successful, good education practice leads to a recommendation of more explicit setting of goals by higher education program planners and administrators. Such goal setting provides rationale for program construction, provides students with their own goal framework, and establishes a tangible framework for ongoing program evaluation.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Corbin, Jill K.

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

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

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.

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

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

Student Engagement As a Predictor of Intent to Persist Among Latino Students at Community Colleges in Texas

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of student-faculty interactions, student-staff interactions, and student-peer interactions of Latino students to their intent to persist toward graduation in community colleges in Texas. Parental educational level (for both mother and father), first generation status, gender, and English as a second language served as additional predictor variables. The existing data used for this investigation were collected by the Center for Community College Student Engagement and included longitudinal data from the years 2012, 2011, and 2010. Data from 12,488 randomly selected Latino students enrolled in Texas community colleges were obtained and used for the study. The research design method was non-experimental using extant data. To assess the relationships between student engagement variables and Latino student intent to persist, correlations and logistic regression were used. Though no relationship was found between intent to persist and student-faculty interactions (r = -.017, p = .066, n= 11,824) or student peer interactions, (r = -.012, p = .208, n = 11,766), a positive relationship was found between intent to persist and student-staff interaction (r = .048, p = .000, n = 10,794) with an extremely small effect size (r2 = .002). Among the variables of parental level of education, first generation college student status, gender, and English as a second language status, only mother's educational level emerged as a significant predictor for intent to persist, R2 = .048, ?2 (8, N = 7,862) = 62.606, p < .0001. The findings suggest the possibility that staff availability and accessibility is important for Latino student persistence. In order to retain Latino community college students, knowledgeable staff able to facilitate students' successful navigation of the educational system is recommended to be a part of the community college's student success strategies. In addition the findings regarding parental education indicate that ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Del Rio, Roxanne

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.

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

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

Relationships of Approaches to Studying, Metacognition, and Intellectual Development of General Chemistry Students

Description: This study investigated approaches to studying, intellectual developments, and metacognitive skills of general chemistry students enrolled for the spring 2011 semester at a single campus of a multi-campus community college. the three instruments used were the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST), the Learning Environment Preferences (LEP), and the Executive Process Questionnaire (EPQ). the subjects were 138 students enrolled in either general chemistry 1 or 2. the results revealed that the preferred approach to study was the strategic approach. the intellectual development of the students was predominantly Perry’s position 2 (dualist) in transition to position 3 (multiplicity). Correlation statistics revealed that deep approach to studying is related to effective employment of metacognitive skills. Students with a deep approach to studying were likely to utilize effective metacognitive skills. Students with a surface approach to studying used no metacognitive skills or ineffective metacognitive skills. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted to ascertain which of the three variables, namely approaches to studying, ability to metacognate, or level of intellectual development, was the most salient in predicting the success of general chemistry students. No single variable was found to predict students’ success in general chemistry classes; however, a surface approach to studying predisposes general chemistry students to fail. the implication of this study is that students’ study approaches, intellectual developments, and metacognitive skills are requisite information to enable instructional remediation early in the semester.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Egenti, Henrietta N.

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 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

Examining the Engagement of Transfer Students in Texas Universities

Description: The success of transfer students plays a critical role in improving the baccalaureate attainment rates of undergraduates attending 4-year higher education institutions in Texas; however, current indicators suggest transfer students have lower persistence and graduation rates relative to students who begin and complete their college education at one university (i.e., non-transfer students). Additionally, the research literature indicates a link between degree completion and engagement; however, transfer students are reported to be less engaged and less likely to persist than their counterparts. This quantitative study compared the engagement experiences of 2-year transfers, 4-year transfers, swirl transfer, and non-transfers by using National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) 2008 data to determine if there are any differences among these groups, and if these differences persist after controlling for individual and institutional covariates. the sample consisted of 2,000 seniors attending 4-year higher education institutions in Texas. the engagement scores of each group were compared using a multivariate analysis (MANOVA). This study found non-transfers were more engaged than each type of transfer student on Student-Faculty Interaction and Supportive Campus Environment factors; moreover, these differences generally persisted after controlling for residence, enrollment status, and institutional control (i.e., public vs. private).The data indicated no difference among the three transfer sub-groups for any of the engagement variables, which suggests their engagement experiences were similar. This research suggests that efforts to increase the participation and success rates of Texans, particularly those described as transfers, may be informed by how students perceive their engagement experiences; consequently, institutions may consider modifying and implementing policies that promote student participation in educationally purposeful activities leading to persistence and graduation.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Fernander, Keith A.

Analysis of Graduation Rates for Four-year Colleges: A Model of Institutional Performance Using IPEDS

Description: Under the George W. Bush U.S. presidential administration, the federal government pushed for greater accountability among institutions of higher education for educational outcomes. Graduation rate is a key performance indicator of institutional accountability. Previous researchers of student attrition focused primarily on the effects of student level factors on student persistence/withdrawal behavior. Recently, researchers put more focus on the effects of institutional characteristics on graduation rates, but most of these studies were exploratory and based on multiple regression models. No institutional model has existed to synthesize their results within a theoretical framework. Such an institutional model is needed to explain the process of student persistence at the institutional level. The purpose of this study was to develop a model of institutional performance in graduation rate for four-year, public and private not-for-profit, Title IV institutions in the United States. This study validated the institutional model based on the IPEDS dataset using the structural equation modeling (SEM) technique. Further group comparison analyses are conducted by fitting the same SEM model to several subgroup datasets based on grouping variables such as control, geographical region and state. Benchmarking analyses were conducted to demonstrate how administrators and policy-makers can use the institutional model to compare the performance of an institution with its peers and what policy changes can they pursue to improve graduation rates.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Fung, Terence Yip-hung

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.

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