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Community of Inquiry Meets Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA): A CDA of Asynchronous Computer-Conference Discourse with Seminary Students in India

Description: The purpose of this study was to better understand student learning in asynchronous computer-conference discourse (ASD) for non-native speakers of English in India through the Community of Inquiry (COI) framework. The study looked at ASD from an online course taught in the fall of 2015 to 25 students in a seminary in South India. All but one of the students were non-native speakers of English. The class consisted of 22 men and 3 women. Eight students spoke languages from the Dravidian family of languages (Malayalam, Tamil, Telegu and Kannada). Eight students were from the Northeastern states of Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura, where most languages are from the Sino-Tibetan family. Three students were native speakers of Indo-Aryan languages (Odiya and Assamese). Five students were from Myanmar representing several Sino-Tibetan languages. The COI is a framework used to understand learning in ASD, often used in online learning. To study the ASD of this group, critical discourse analysis (CDA) was used with the COI to capture the unique socio-cultural and linguistic conditions of this group. The study revealed that non-native speakers of English often reach the Exploration phase of learning but rarely show evidence of reaching the Resolution phase. This phenomenon was also observed in native English speakers as reported in the literature. Also, the structure of ASD showed that students took an examination approach to discussion shaped in part by their epistemology. This examination approach shaped how knowledge was constructed. CDA also showed that the discourse acquired an instructor-centered structure in which Resolution and Repair were initiated and finalized by the instructor. The study advances the COI framework by undergirding it with a theory of asynchronous discourse using critical discourse analysis and capturing cognitive, social and teaching presence phenomena for non-native speakers that were not observed through the traditional COI framework. These ...
Date: August 2017
Creator: George, Stephen J

Educational Uplift along the US-Mexico Border: How Students, Families, and Educators Cultivate a College-Going Culture in Contested Terrain

Description: Using critical race theory and LatCrit as conceptual frameworks, I conducted a qualitative instrumental case study of a cadre of self-identified Mexican-American and Hispanic college students who bring college knowledge, goodwill, and aid to their border town communities. The purpose of this study was to explore how college knowledge and other forms of academic capital are transmitted and co-constructed in the contested terrain of the borderlands. Primary data sources included semi-structured interviews, participant and non-participant observation, and personal artifacts (e.g. newspaper articles, college admissions essays, social media, etc.) collected from 17 full-time undergraduate student participants, 11 males and 6 females, ranging from 19 to 22 years old, who were active members of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. Supplemental data sources included semi-structured interviews with 23 family members and 9 educators identified by student participants, as well as a review of public records regarding student participant's border town communities (e.g. newspaper articles, census data, educational statistics, etc.). Findings detail how this group of college students manages the 'scholar' distinction in their hometown and utilizes distinct methods to promote academic capital formation. Specifically, this study delineates the following four types of scholars: (1) pioneers, (2) guardians, (3) ambassadors, and (4) advocates. Ultimately, this research highlights the importance of college students' ingenuity in response to enduring system inequality in higher education, particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border, with implications for research theory, policy, and practice.
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Date: August 2017
Creator: Sanchez, Nydia C

Narratives on College Access and Academic Undermatch: Understanding Latinx Students and Their Families

Description: When students are academically qualified to attend a four-year college or university but instead enroll at a community college, they are considered academically undermatched. Research suggests that Latinx students are more likely to academically undermatch than their peers yet they remain the least likely to complete an upward transfer to a university and earn a baccalaureate degree. The purpose of this study was to explore the enrollment decisions of, and familial influences on, Latinx students who were admitted to a university but who initially enrolled at a community college. Using community cultural wealth and funds of knowledge as theoretical frameworks, I examined the narratives of 13 Latinx students and the parents of five of those students. Nine student participants were female and four were male, ranging from 19 to 31 years old. Parent participants were four females and two males, ranging from 43 to 52 years old. Findings from this study are divided into two parts. Student findings revealed navigating the pathway to college was fraught with limited information, even though students acknowledged they had access to resources and their high school counselors and teachers helped in the college search process. However, students still did not feel that crucial information they wanted or needed was available. Parent findings uncovered how parental aspirations and perceptions of opportunities in the United States served as a foundation for helping students aspire to attend college. Based on these findings, higher education practitioners would do well to use inclusive frameworks, such as community cultural wealth, to create programs that address Latinx students and their families, including providing materials in Spanish. Through use of inclusive frameworks, research on Latinx student college choice continues to elevate the complexities and realities these students encounter. Additionally, policymakers should continue to reevaluate the shifting burden of costs for higher education ...
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Date: August 2017
Creator: Olivarez, Catherine Prieto

Community College Student Retention and Completion based on Financial Expenditures and Hispanic-Serving Status

Description: Despite declining community college funding being allocated increasingly on the basis of student success, U.S. community college student retention and completion rates over the past decade have either remained steady or decreased, especially for Latino students. Using descriptive statistics and multiple regression models with secondary data procured from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), I analyzed student success rates—full time student retention and completion rates—based on community college financial allocations and Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) status. To equitably analyze community colleges in the sample (n = 909), I separated them into four groups based on institutional size as defined by the Carnegie Classification. Descriptive results indicated that instructional divisions spent an average of 43% of the college's total allocated budget—often more than three times the allocated budget of any other division. Regression results indicated that instructional expenditures had the most consistent impact on student success regardless of college size and that scholarship expenditures and academic support expenditures generally had a negative impact on student retention and completion rates. Regarding Latino student success in particular, findings indicated that the manner in which colleges allocated their funds impacted only small and medium-sized community colleges. Of the nine different types of institutional expenditures, only student services expenditures and public services expenditures had a statistically significant impact on Latino student success. Additionally regression analysis indicated that community college HSI status did not have a large impact on overall full-time student retention and completion rates but did have a significant impact on full-time Hispanic student retention and completion rates for all institution sizes. Findings of this study confirmed that HSI status does impact Latino student success in public community colleges. This finding is consistent with prior studies on the positive impact of instructional expenditures on student success rates. Further research on the specific elements within ...
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Date: May 2017
Creator: DaSilva, Jose E.

A Content Analysis of Medical School Problem-Based Learning Cases

Description: Problem-based learning (PBL) was developed for use in medical education to incorporate more active, learner-centered instruction. Central to problem-based learning is the problem, which in medical education is usually case a case presentation, revealed in stages to allow learners to form and research learning objectives. The purpose of this study was to identify themes present across the PBL cases, including the patient-centeredness of the cases. Content analysis was used to examine 62 PBL cases that comprised the first and second years' core curriculum at a public medical school. The cases included a patient population similar to the local population, but care was more hospital-centric than would be expected from the actual patterns of medical utilization in the United States. Analyzing along two axes of patient-centeredness, the PBL cases demonstrated a good understanding of the patient (knowing the patient), but other qualities such as shared decision making was not as exemplified. Medical educators can use the results to understand elements that contribute to patient-centeredness and apply the analysis framework to evaluate future cases.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Kinkade, Scott Edward

Impact of the Clery Act: An Examination of the Relationship between Clery Act Data and Recruitment at Private Colleges and Universities

Description: The problem this study addressed is the relationship between Clery Act crime data and student recruitment at private colleges and universities. For this quantitative study, I used secondary data from the Department of Education and the Delta Cost Project (2013) to conduct ordinary least squares regression analyses to determine the predictive ability of institutional characteristics, specifically the total number of crime incidents reported in compliance with the Clery Act, on the variance in number of applications and applicant yield rate at private four-year institutions in the United States. Findings showed that the total number of reported incidents was a significant positive predictor of the total number of applications. Conversely, findings also showed that the total number of incidents had a significant negative impact on institutional yield rates. An implication of this study is that although crime statistics required by the Clery Act may not serve as variables used in the student application process, they are part of numerous variables used in the student's decision to enroll at a particular school. The findings highlight the importance of prioritizing and investing in safety and security measures designed to reduce rates of crime; especially for private, enrollment-driven institutions of higher education.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Hall, Dennis H. H.

The Lived Experiences of African American Community College Achievers in Developmental Education

Description: Developmental education courses are typically defined as courses offered at postsecondary institutions below college level instruction. More than 60% of community college students are deemed non-college ready and required to enroll in non-credit bearing developmental education courses. Research shows that developmental education can be either a bridge or barrier to degree attainment for racial/ethnic minority students, particularly African Americans, who require developmental education more than any other racial/ethnic groups. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of African American community college achievers who were required to enroll in two or more developmental education courses. Achievers were defined as students who passed all developmental education courses and were enrolled in their final college gateway course at the time of the interviews. Utilizing a phenomenological approach and anti-deficit framework, 15 semi-structured interviews were conducted to capture the essence of how African American achievers described, interpreted, and understood their journeys from developmental education to becoming college ready to completing college level courses. Twelve participants were female and three were male, ranging from 20 to 52 years old. Results revealed seven major themes. The first research question addressed how achievers described their developmental education experience from pre-collegiate years through inside the classroom, and four themes emerged: (a) Achievers experienced difficulty from childhood through college matriculation; (b) achievers experienced support from familial and institutional agents; (c) achievers experienced chilly instructional environments; and (d) achievers experienced positive interactions with peer tutors. The second research question addressed factors that contributed to the persistence of achievers, and three themes emerged: (a) Achievers persisted because of clearly defined goals; (b) achievers persisted because of help seeking behaviors; and (c) achievers persisted because of intrinsic motivation that stemmed from difficult life experiences. Although the majority of participants were discouraged by the requirement to enroll in two ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Hicks, Janice Marie

A Panel Analysis of Institutional Finances of Medical Residencies at Non-University-Based Independent M.D. Granting Medical Schools in the United States

Description: Traditionally, medical residency positions have been primarily funded by the federal government. However, due to declining governmental funding support over time, medical schools have resorted to fund these programs through other means such as clinical fees and payments for services. This change has affected the number and types of residencies available to medical school graduates. The purpose of this study was to measure how the availability of fiscal resources shape mission-related outputs, particularly medical residency positions at medical schools. Using academic capitalism as the theoretical framework provided a lens through which to examine how federal policies have shaped the availability and funding of medical residencies today at the institutional level. This concept has been studied in traditional colleges and universities and how they balance mission and money, but less so in the context of medical schools. This study used a fixed effect panel analysis to study the impact of selected variables over a 10-year period on financing of medical residencies. Findings included that tuition revenues, paid for by undergraduate medical students, are increasingly funding medical residency positions. There was little to no effect from hospital revenues and federal research monies on increasing the number of medical residency positions. The funding of university based medical education is particularly timely and of national importance to understand the consequences of federal policies for medical schools and how medical residency funding caps and limits have affected one of the missions of medical schools which is to train physicians.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Cho, Ah Ra

A Phenomenological Study of Gay and Lesbian College Students' Spiritual Experiences at Religious Higher Education Institutions

Description: Despite recent scholarly interest in college students' spirituality and spiritual development, as well as research indicating that students are interested in spirituality and have a strong desire to integrate spirituality into their lives, few researchers have addressed the spiritual experiences of gay and lesbian college students. Utilizing a phenomenological qualitative approach, I explored the spiritual experiences of nine gay and lesbian college students at two religiously affiliated universities in the southwest region of the United States. The ages of the participants ranged from 19 to 23, with a mean of 21. There were five female, three male, and one gender queer participants. Seven participants identified as white, while the other two participants identified as Hispanic. I identified three major themes related to their lived experience of spirituality: (1) spiritual quest characterized by struggle and pain, (2) finding reconciliation and acceptance, and (3) the importance of support from the university, student groups, friends, and family. Implications for practice included the importance of establishing an official recognized student organization to support gay and lesbian students, creating spaces for personal reflection, meditation, prayer, and solitude as well as safe spaces, the need for educational and outreach programs for faculty, staff, and students, and an evaluation of institutional policies the might negatively impact gay and lesbian students. Suggestions for future research are discussed including the exploration of the impact that faculty members have on students' spiritual growth.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Bryan, Vanessa Roberts

Public Research Universities as Gendered Organizations: Institutional Rewards and the Faculty Salary Gap

Description: Gendered organizational conditions create the context for persisting differences between men and women in the workplace. Within, higher education, this manifests as a salary gap between male and female faculty members. The academic capitalistic policy environment creates the conditions for increasing competition for external funding, especially in the areas of research and science and engineering. The change in the academic climate may sustain or intensify the gendering of universities as organizations. Universities with the highest level of research activity were chosen for this study and formed the 130 public institution sample. This study used fixed effects panel regression analysis to explore the relationship between the faculty gender salary gap and institutional emphasis on research as well as science and engineering. In addition, the relationship between institutional emphasis and the faculty gender salary gap was explored over time with the inclusion of a time trend and temporal interaction terms. Results showed that the higher the percentage of female faculty members, the greater the faculty gender salary gap for assistant professors. In addition, science and engineering emphasis over time had a significant impact on the professor salary gap with a decreasing effect both at the mean and one standard deviation above the mean, but with an increasing effect on the salary gap for institutions one standard deviation below the mean. When taking action to increase gender equity, it is important for universities to recognize that the faculty gender salary gap occurs in an organizational context impacted by institutional-level conditions.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Johnson, Jessica Ann

Smartphones and Tablets: Patterns of Usage among College Student Populations

Description: This study offers insight into students' use and desire to use mobile devices for educational purposes. I examined college students' mobile device usage on the basis of demographic factors including sex, age, ethnicity, class standing, mode of delivery, and socioeconomic status. This study also investigated factors that affect students' likelihood to use mobile devices for academic pursuits. I utilized data from the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research's (ECAR) 2015 Student Technology Survey. Of the 10,000 undergraduate respondents, 56% were female, 70% were between the ages of 18-24, 73% attended college full time and the breakdown of ethnicity included 59% Caucasian, 16% Hispanic, 13% African American, 8% Asian and 1% Native American. The results indicated that traditional aged students reportedly used smartphones more frequently, whereas non-traditional aged students reportedly used tablets more. Students most frequently reported using their devices in class to connect to the learning material. Institutional technology infrastructure and support were strong factors impacting students' use of smartphones. Results of this research can assist higher education faculty and administrators in devising comprehensive training and technology plans to support and encourage students' use of mobile devices for educational purposes.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Phillips, Ann

Study Abroad and Student-Athlete Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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