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Determining the Reliability and Use of the Center for Community College Student Engagement Survey of Entering Student Engagement As a Tool to Predict Student Success in a Large Urban Community College District

Description: As community colleges have gained more recognition as a viable pathway for students to enter higher education, they have faced greater accountability that has prompted both practitioners and policy makers to attempt to find solutions and tools, such as National Survey of Student Engagement, Community College Survey of Student Engagement, and Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), to aid in improving student success outcomes. This study addressed the validity and reliability of the SENSE instrument using a three-pronged approach via student data collected over 3 years of SENSE administrations at a large urban community college (n = 4,958). The instrument was first factor analyzed against the SENSE benchmarks for effective educational practice through generalized least squares and principal component exploratory factor analysis. Although the instrument did not deliver a chi-square factored fit for the six benchmark categories, consistent loadings were observed. Second, construct reliability was tested for each benchmark category, and the survey as a whole using Cronbach’s alpha. All categories did not yield sufficient coefficient scores for establishing construct reliability. However, the overall survey produced a Cronbach’s alpha of .85, clearly indicating construct reliability for all items combined. Third, correlations between SENSE perception scores and community college students’ grade point averages, fall to fall retention, semester credit hours, course completion for developmental and college gateway courses, and degree and certificate completion were calculated. Although no strong correlations were observed, the SENSE may be useful to community colleges seeking to increase completion rates.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Harris, Sheryl

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

A Historical Study of the Paris Small Business Development Center in Paris, Texas: 1986-2006

Description: This historical study chronicled events of the development and implementation of the Paris Small Business Development Center at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas from 1986-2006. Data was collected from primary and secondary sources and oral histories through personal interviews. The analysis included a brief history of higher education and the service mission and situated the study in the broader context as an extension program in higher education. This study provided a brief history of the U.S. Small Business Administration and America’s Small Business Development Center Network as a background for the study. This study is significant to scholars in the field of higher education for a number of reasons. It provides a historical analysis of a service program that extends the college to the community and demonstrates higher education and its role in economic development. It adds to the current body of research by advancing an understanding of a past to contemporary knowledge. Finally, by integrating historical perspectives from multiple disciplines in higher education, what happened and the context in which it happened can be more fully appreciated. This study also contributes to practical knowledge as it deepens the understanding of significant events and processes that contributed to the success of an outreach program in higher education.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Smith, Donna Gayle

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

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

Academic Self-efficacy of Adult First-generation Students Enrolled in Online Undergraduate Courses

Description: This study examined differences between adult first-generation (AFG) and adult-continuing generation (ACG) students’ academic self-efficacy with regard to the online courses in which they were currently enrolled. The study used an online survey methodology to collect self-reported quantitative data from 1,768 undergraduate students enrolled in an online course at a mid-sized, four-year public university in the southwestern United States; 325 cases were usable for the study. The t-tests revealed no statistically significant differences between the academic self-efficacy of the AFG and ACG students. Parents’ level of educational attainment was unrelated to adult students’ academic self-efficacy with online courses. Ordinary least-squares analysis was used to evaluate student characteristics that might be associated with academic self-efficacy in the online environment. A combination of gender, GPA, age, race/ethnicity (White, Black, Hispanic, and other), and number of previous online courses predicted a statistically significant 12% of the variance in academic self-efficacy in an online environment (p < .001). Age (p < .001) and self-efficacy were positively correlated, meaning that adult students reported greater academic self-efficacy than did younger students; and number of previous online courses (p < .001) was also positively correlated to academic self-efficacy, indicating that students with greater experience with online courses reported a greater sense of academic self-efficacy in that environment than students who had completed fewer online courses. This study has implications of providing additional insight for higher education practitioners working with adult learners. Identifying additional factors influencing adult learners’ academic self-efficacy in an online academic environment may be useful when building effective strategies to improve online retention and completion rates for these students. Future research should examine a wider variety of variables beyond demographic characteristics. External and internal factors, along with existing theories of behaviors should be investigated to help explain adult persistence and retention online and in face-to-face ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Jackson, Delores

Children’s Experiences in the Therapeutic Relationship: Development and Validation of a Self-report Measure

Description: Most counselors agree that the therapeutic relationship is essential in counseling. However, the current evidence-based treatment movement has resulted in a focus on treatment protocols and techniques in outcome research. Researchers have called for the inclusion of relationship variables in future outcome research. Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is an empirically-supported, developmentally responsive intervention for children that emphasizes building a therapeutic relationship based on the philosophy of person-centered theory. Exploring the impact of the relationship on CCPT outcomes would be beneficial, but no current quantitative measure exists for obtaining the child’s view of the therapeutic relationship. The purpose of this study was to create a developmentally appropriate instrument to measure children’s perceptions of the therapeutic relationship. Established instrument development procedures were followed to create the Relationship Inventory for Children (RIC), a 15-item instrument for use in outcome research that measures the child’s perspective of the therapeutic relationship. Participants were 33 child experts who participated in interviews and preliminary testing of the instrument as well as 100 children whose scores on the 31-item pilot instrument were submitted to exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Children (62% male) ranged in age from 6 to 9 years (M = 6.92) and 53% identified as Caucasian, 14% as Hispanic, 14% as African American, 2% as Asian American, 0.8% as Native American, 8% as Multiracial, and 9% unreported. The EFA resulted in three factors: Positive Regard, Unconditional Acceptance, and Empathy. Implications for further development of the RIC, for use of the RIC in research, and for application of the RIC to person-centered theory are discussed.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Purswell, Katherine E.

Community College Choice and the Role of Undermatching in the Lives of African Americans

Description: This study explored why academically qualified African American students, those eligible to attend four-year institutions, choose to attend community colleges and are, thereby, undermatched. This qualitative study investigated how these students navigated the college choice process, what influenced their decision to attend a community college, what their experience at a community college was like, and their aspirations to obtain a baccalaureate degree. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 19 African American students attending community college in Dallas, Texas. The sample included 14 females and five males. Data were collected through 40-60 minute semi-structured interviews and a brief demographic survey. The conceptual frameworks for this study included Kassie Freeman’s predetermination model that includes cultural considerations in college choice and the Somers et al. model that addresses factors that increase the likelihood of a student choosing to attend a community college. This integrated framework captures the role that family and culture play in African American community college choice. Findings suggest that the community college choice influences for academically eligible African American students vary from traditional college choice models. Whereas factors such as cost, location, and the role of peers played somewhat of a role in their choice, participants were also heavily influenced by sports, self-perceptions of maturity, and the perceptions of their families. Another key finding was that the effects of undermatching vary. All of the participants in this study felt that attending a community college fostered transfer preparedness, supported personal development, and promoted their academic success. However, some of the participants also felt that attending a community college hindered their sense of autonomy and limited their social engagement. This variation leads to the conclusion that undermatching effects vary and are dependent upon a variety of contextual factors. Policy and practice recommendations are provided for parents, teachers, counselors, and ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Lowry, Kimberly M.

Experiences Learning Interpersonal Neurobiology: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Description: Neuroscience is increasingly part of the national dialogue regarding mental health. The field of interpersonal neurobiology may offer a framework for helping mental health professionals identify and apply the most relevant neuroscience principles to counseling. This study explored mental health professionals’ experiences learning IPNB. I conducted semi-structured interviews with participants (n = 6), all of whom were licensed mental health professionals and had completed a year-long study in the application of IPNB through Nurturing the Heart with the Brain in Mind. I analyzed the data, along with a research partner, according to interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) protocol. Four super-ordinate themes emerged from the analysis: (1) learning process as dynamic and engaging, (2) deepening knowledge and understanding of self and others, (3) personal and professional growth, and (4) impact on therapeutic practice. A number of sub-ordinate themes also emerged through the analysis , including experiential learning; learning through group process; influence of the past on the present; increased understanding of the change process; increased compassion, empathy, and acceptance for self and for others; increased confidence; using IPNB to educate clients; using IPNB to conceptualize clients; and using IPNB to select interventions. Finally, I identified three higher-order constructs that appeared embedded within and across themes: learning as ongoing, person of the participant, and person of the instructor. The findings in this study suggest that participants’ learning of IPNB had a significant impact on their personal and professional development, specifically in areas related to characteristics of effective counselors. The findings also suggest that these meaningful changes occurred in a learning environment characterized by emotional engagement, experiential activities, and group process. Limitations to this research, as well as further discussion of the results are included. Implications for future research, clinical practice, and counselor education are also offered.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Miller, Raissa

Marianismo and Community College Persistence: a Secondary Data Analysis of the Educational Longitudinal Study 2002

Description: Hispanics represent the greatest U.S. population growth, yet Hispanic women are the least educated of all U.S. ethnic female groups and reflect the lowest college enrollment as a percent of their total population. Since nearly half of Hispanics enrolled in college are served by community colleges, this research sought to understand if marianismo, i.e., the cultural expectations that Hispanic women females must focus on caretaking and mothering while reflecting passivity, duty and honor, and self-sacrifice, might provide some explanation for the low levels of degree attainment among Hispanic female community college students compared to their female peers from all other ethnic groups. Marianismo was once a construct that limited the role of women to the home. However, today’s Hispanic female is expected to juggle home priorities along with other roles in which she may engage. These various role demands may influence Hispanic female college persistence and success. Using secondary data analysis of the national Educational Longitudinal Study 2002 (ELS), this study examined the relationship between marianismo and persistence (semester to semester enrollment) of Hispanic females (n = 368) enrolled in community colleges. To create a marianismo scale, 13 items were selected from the ELS and reviewed by individuals familiar with Hispanic culture and marianismo. Confirmatory factor analysis was then used to generate a reliable marianismo scale (Cronbach’s alpha = .82). Logistic regression revealed that of marianismo, socio-economic status, generational status, and high school GPA, only high school GPA was statistically significant for predicting persistence.
Date: August 2014
Creator: LaCoste, Linda

Play Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a Single-case Design

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) on the social competence, empathy, and self-regulation of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The constructs of social competence, empathy, and self-regulation were measured using the Social-Emotional Assets Rating Scale (SEARS). This study utilized a single-case design; the researcher collected data throughout the duration of the study, including baseline, treatment, and follow-up phases. The sample included 5 children ranging from ages 6 to 8 years old: 3 Caucasian males, 1 African-American female, and 1 Latin-American female. Mothers of the participants completed the parent form of the SEARS once per week throughout all phases of the study. During the treatment phase of the study, the children participated in CCPT approximately 2 times per week for 30 minutes each time. Visual analysis of the data indicated play therapy was beneficial for three participants, as they demonstrated improvements in social competence, empathy, and self-regulation. Two participants responded to the intervention with mixed results. Discussion includes implications for clinical practice and future research as well as limitations of the study.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Ware, Jenifer N.

The Relationship Between Institutional Expenditures and Student Completion of Momentum Points: a Community College Perspective

Description: This study investigated the relationship between community college institutional expenditures and student success in reaching momentum points. The 3 years of student cohorts of a large community college district in Texas formed the population. Student characteristics and institutional context characteristics served as control variables. Institutional financial data functioned as the independent variables. Student success variables (milestones and momentum points) served as dependent variables. Because each of the three cohorts contained over 10,000 students and displayed equivalent characteristics, the random sample of 7,634 students was drawn from the combined cohorts. Institutional financial variables predicted the milestones of reading readiness (χ2 = 315.10, df = 17, n = 3,495, p < .001) and writing readiness (χ2 = 296.64, df = 17, n = 3,149, p < .001). Financial variables contributed to the completion of English-1301 (χ2 = 1004.14, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001), college-level math (χ2 = 615.24, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001), 30 college-level credit hours (χ2 = 833.85, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001), and reenrollment the second fall semester (χ2 = 375.41, df = 17, n = 7,634, p < .001). Student services expenditures provided high odds for completion of English-1301 (odds ratio = 4.85 x 1014), college-level math (odds ratio = 5.24 x 1018), 30 college-level credits (odds ratio = 1.60x1015), and for re-enrollment in the second fall semester (odds ratio = 7.32 x 1014). Instructional expenditures and operations & maintenance expenditures also predicted student enrollment in the second fall semester. Student services’ influence on student engagement and success should inform decisions about programs for improving student success. Institutional policymakers may utilized these expenditure results support momentum point attainment. Finally, the influence of full time enrollment on student completion of milestones and momentum points in every regression ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Isbell, Teresa

The Relationship Between Registration Time and Major Status and Academic Performance and Retention of First-time-in-college Undergraduate Students at a Four-year, Public University

Description: This quantitative study utilized secondary data from one large four-year, state university in the southwestern US. The relationship between registration time and academic performance was examined as well as the relationship between registration time and retention of first-time-in-college (FTIC) undergraduate students during their first semester of enrollment at the university. The differences between decided and undecided students were tested regarding students’ academic performance and retention of the same population. The study population for the fall 2011 semester included 6,739 freshmen, and the study population for the fall 2012 semester included 4,454 freshmen. Through multiple and logistic regression models, registration time was shown to statistically have a relationship with academic performance and retention (p < .05). Later registrants showed to have a negative relationship with GPA and were less likely to return the following spring semester. The explained variance (R2) for both measures of academic performance and retention along with descriptive statistics are also presented. A Mann Whitney U test and chi square test indicated that a statistically significant association between decided and undecided students exists for academic performance and retention (p < .05). Decided major students performed better as measured by semester GPA performance and were more likely to return the following spring semester. Recommendations and implications are issued regarding future research, policy, and practice.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Smith, Marian Ford

Self-determination of Military Students in Postsecondary Education

Description: The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine undergraduate military veteran students’ self-determination and academic effort in relation to their nonveteran college peers. A total of 734 undergraduates attending 4-year institutions in Texas completed a survey, including: 76 veterans (63% males, 37% females); and 658 non-veterans (26% males, 74% females). This research created a more holistic survey of self-determination by adding the 8-item New General Self-Efficacy Scale to the 10-item Self-determination Scale. The survey also included 13-items drawn from the National Survey of Student Engagement. A factor analysis with a varimax rotation of the items identified six factors: competence, autonomy, relatedness, reflection, learning strategies, and quantitative reasoning resulting in a significant Bartlett’s test of sphericity (2 (465) = 12324.53, p < .001). The first hierarchical ordinary least squares (HOLS) analysis results showed that undergraduate veteran students have statistically significant higher levels of self-determination than students without military experience with a small effect size (R2 = .022%, p < .001); however, a meta-analysis of self-determination revealed a large effect size of d = 1.33 between veterans (M = .81, SD = .12) and freshmen undergraduates (M = .65, SD = .12). The second HOLS analysis revealed that self-determination is a positively related, statistically significant factor in academic effort potentially adding 6.8% variance explained to the multi-factored general causal model of college impact (GCMCI).
Date: August 2014
Creator: Placido, Robert B.

Silent Voices: the Experiences of Deaf Students in Community College

Description: Most students with hearing loss attend community college, yet very little research on this population of students exists in higher education. This dissertation is one of the first to explore the experiences of mainstreamed d/Deaf students in community college. This research was conducted in order to gain a better understanding of how students who are d/Deaf interact navigate the mainstream postsecondary environment. Purposeful sampling was used to gather data from 19 individuals who attended postsecondary institutions not designed specifically for d/Deaf students. These participants were enrolled in an urban community college district in the southwestern U.S. and were receiving accommodations from their campus accessibility office. The sample included six Black females, one Black male, five Latinos, three Latinas, two White males, one White female, and two females who identified as multiracial. Data were collected through 30-60 minute semi-structured interviews in American Sign Language or spoken English, and a brief demographic survey. The interviews conducted in American Sign Language were then interpreted into English; one participant did not know ASL, and relied on oral communication. The theoretical framework of this study was Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory. Individual development does not occur inside a vacuum; utilizing this theory allows for the analysis of how a student interacts with his or her environment, and how the environment affects the student. Findings from this study provide insight on participants’ reasons for enrolling in college, their perception of academic rigor as compared to high school, and familial support during their college experience. Participants reported financial difficulty, despite their utilization of the state’s tuition waiver program for students with hearing loss. The need for communication access, and especially the quality and quantity of sign language interpreters featured prominently in participant responses. Participants also expressed a desire for more interaction between students with hearing loss and the general ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Johnson, Serena Gail

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.

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

Description: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the association between student involvement and self-authorship among African American undergraduate students enrolled at a medium-sized, North Texas STEM-focused university. Self-identified African American undergraduate students at the university completed an online, researcher-developed survey focused on co-curricular involvement activities, degree of involvement in those activities, and perceived self-authorship indicators. From the completed survey pool (N = 49), 10 females and 5 males participated in follow-up focus group sessions. The survey data analysis was limited to descriptive statistics of student involvement and demographic data. Survey results showed that African American undergraduate students at the university were actively involved in co-curricular activities and generally satisfied with their involvement experiences. The focus groups provided a more in-depth picture of the involvement experiences showing that students believed that their commitment to co-curricular activities contributed significantly to their interpersonal and intrapersonal growth—characteristics of self-authorship. The survey and qualitative data combined suggested a positive association between the involvement of African American undergraduate students in co-curricular activities at the university and the development of self-authorship characteristics in those students. Findings from this study support the practice of intentional outreach to African American undergraduate students in order to promote their active involvement in campus activities and events.
Date: August 2014
Creator: McNulty McCoy, Netreia Z.

Academic Advising Professional Characteristics and Standards: Do Academic Advisors Follow Recognized Professional Standards in Their Work?

Description: There were two main purposes of this quantitative study. The first purpose was to identify characteristics associated with the selected sample of academic advisors that comprise study. Secondly, the study sought to determine how well work related activities of a selected population of academic advisors correlate with professional characteristics constructs and professional standards constructs of academic advising as a profession. The study used Habley’s (1986) characteristics of a profession to derive the studies professional characteristic construct, education activities, research activities, and professional development activities as it relates to a selected group of academic advisors work related activities. The studies professional standards construct was derived from five Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) professional standards for academic as it relates to a selected group of academic advisors work related activities. The study of 78 out of 210 identified full-time academic advisors at two-and four-year public colleges and universities in the North Texas Region utilized a multidimensional researcher-developed Web survey instrument designed to measure professional standards and characteristic within the field of academic advising. Study results reinforced current criticism of research and education activities within the field of academic advising showing that the lack of scholarly research and education activities among academic advisors decreases significantly their efforts towards professionalization. Also, professional standards construct results suggest that the utilization of CAS standards for academic advising as an evaluation tool may enhance an academic advisor’s knowledge of professional standards within the field.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Shelton, Kiesha R.

Community College Student Success in Developmental Mathematics Courses: a Comparison of Four Instructional Methods

Description: The student success rates for three developmental mathematics courses (prealgebra, elementary algebra, and intermediate algebra) taught through four instructional methods (lecture, personalized system of instruction [PSI], hybrid, and online) were examined. The sample consisted of 9,211 students enrolled in a large Texas community college from fall 2009 through spring 2011. Student success was defined as a grade of C or better. Chi-square tests were used to compare the three developmental mathematics courses success rates. Statistically significant differences in student success were found between all four methods of instruction for all three mathematics courses (prealgebra: χ2 [df = 3] = 107.90, p < 0.001; elementary algebra: χ2 [df = 3] = 88.39, p < 0.001; intermediate algebra χ2 [df = 3] = 254.18, p < 0.001). Binary logistic regression modeling was used to determine to what extent age, gender, ethnicity, residency, Pell eligibility and mode of instruction accounted for the community college students’ course success for each of the three developmental mathematics courses. For prealgebra, the independent variables of gender, race, age, residency, and mode of instruction made statistically significant contributions to the model (χ2 [df = 14, n = 1,743] = 159.196, p < .001; Nagelkerke R2 = .119), with greater success among female, White, younger, out of country students taking the course through lecture. For elementary algebra, the independent variables of race, age, residency, and mode of instruction made statistically significant contributions to the logistic regression model (χ2 [df = 14, n = 2,731] = 816.223, p < .001; Nagelkerke R2 = .358), with greater success among , younger, out of country students taking the course through lecture, hybrid or PSI. For intermediate algebra, only race and Pell eligibility made a statistically significant contribution to the logistic regression, with greater success among White, Pell-eligible students, and mode of instruction ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Keller, Judith

Declining Participation in Fraternity and Sorority Life: a Comparison of Perceptions of Greek-lettered Organizations Between Affiliated and Non-affiliated Students

Description: This quantitative study was used to determine the perceptions that may have caused a decline in membership in fraternities and sororities and to examine active organization involvement between affiliated and unaffiliated students at a single higher education institution in northeast Texas. Eight perceptions were given regarding fraternity and sorority life and why students chose to remain unaffiliated with fraternities or sororities. The instrument used was a modified version of the Extracurricular Involvement Inventory, created by Winston and Massaro (1987) and was administered to participants online via Survey Monkey. There were 206 participants total: 55.3% were female, and 44.7% were male. Regarding ethnicities, 47.0% were African American, 37.5% were Caucasian, and 15.5% were Hispanic/Latino. Out of the participants, 20.9% were in their freshman or sophomore year, 23.8% were juniors, 33.5% were seniors, and 21.8% were graduate students. Participants’ ages ranged from 18 to 32, with a mean of 22.89 (SD = 2.81). The research questions were analyzed using two techniques: logistic regression for the first question and multiple regression for the second question. Findings for the first research question indicated that lack of values, lack of diversity, poor academic attitudes, and a requirement of too much time were primary reasons unaffiliated students chose not to join a fraternity or sorority. Findings for the second question indicated that Greek-affiliated students averaged higher involvement intensity scores when compared to unaffiliated students. Practical implications and future research are discussed.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Shirley, Zachary E.

Effects and Mediation of Child-centered Play Therapy on Young Children Who Are Anxious

Description: Anxiety is one of the most pervasive childhood disorders, with a poor prognosis if left untreated. Traditional methods of treating anxiety have been less effective with young children. Based on theoretical assumptions regarding the potential effectiveness of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) as a treatment approach, I sought to explore the effects and mediating factors of CCPT on young children with symptoms of anxiety. Fifty-three participants between the ages of 6 to 8 years old were recruited from four elementary schools, including 36 males and 17 females. Of participants, 11 were African American, 24 were Caucasian, 10 were Hispanic/Latino, one was Asian, and seven were biracial. Twenty-five participants were randomly assigned to an experimental group receiving a mean of 15 sessions of individual CCPT, and 28 participants were assigned to an 8-session active control group. Five factorial analyses of variance (ANOVA) were conducted applying an alpha level of .05 for interpretation of statistical significance and Cohen’s d to assess practical significance. ANOVA results indicated a statistically significant interaction with a large effect size on Total Anxiety score of the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale-2nd edition (p = .013, d = .715). Subscale ANOVA results indicated a statistically significant interaction effect with large effect size on the Worry subscale (p = .006, d = .795), no statistically significant interaction on the Defensiveness subscale (p = .710, d = .110), no statistically significant interaction but moderate effect size on the Physiological subscale (p = .076, d = .506), and no statistically significant interaction but moderate effect size on the Social Anxiety subscale (p = .162, d = .398). Statistically significant differences with large practical effects were found in total anxiety and worry, suggesting that children who received CCPT decreased their overall levels of anxiety and worry whereas children who were in the active ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Stulmaker, Hayley L.

Leadership Styles and Cultural Sensitivity of Department Chairs at Texas Public Universities

Description: As the U.S. population diversifies, so do its higher education institutions. Leadership at these institutions should be prepared for this diversification of students, faculty, and staff. The purpose of this study was to gain greater knowledge about the leadership styles and cultural sensitivity of department chairs. Survey research was used to determine if department chairs’ leadership styles correlated with their cultural sensitivity. The target population was department chairs from public universities in the state of Texas. The survey was distributed to 406 randomly selected department chairs. The participants completed three measures: Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire (LDBQ) for leadership style, the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) for cultural sensitivity, and a demographic questionnaire (gender, age range, race/ethnicity, and years of service as department chair). The sample included 165 usable surveys (40% return rate). The department chairs were primarily male (72%), White (78%), and over 50 (71%) years of age. First, a statistically significant negative correlation (r = -.431, p < .0001) occurred between LBDQ overall scores and overall ISS scores: As chairs scored higher on leadership ability, they scored lower on intercultural sensitivity. Second, leadership style by demographic variable displayed mixed results. No significant difference was found for leadership style by age, gender, years of service, or region of service. For ethnicity, White participants scored significantly lower than Minority participants on the LBDQ scales of consideration (t [162] = -2.021, p = .045), structure (t [162] = -2.705, p = .008), and overall (t [162] = -2.864, p = .005). Minority participants might work more diligently to increase their leadership abilities based on their higher LDBQ scores. Third, findings on intercultural sensitivity by demographic variable were mixed. No statistical significance was observed between any of the ISS scales and age, gender, years of service, and region. For ethnicity, Minority participants’ scores showed ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Hernandez-Katz, Melissa

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

Description: The problem of not enough African American males enrolling in masters level teaching programs was addressed in this study. This phenomenological study examined the experiences of African American males in master of arts teaching (MAT) programs to understand why they enrolled and what factors led to persistence throughout their program enrollment. Six African American males currently enrolled in MAT programs in the southern, southwestern, and western regions of the United States participated. Data gathered for each participant included an individual, semi-structured interview and a demographic survey. Audio-recordings were used to capture the fullness of the interviews, and transcription software was used to code, analyze, and sort the data to help identify themes. This study looked through the lens of Strayhorn’s graduate student persistence and Albert Bandura’s self-efficacy theories. Factors that influenced African American males to enroll into a program were (a) education as a necessary credential, (b) desire to give back to society, (c) minority scholarship support, (d) making a connection to passion, and (e) desire to enhance teaching skills. External and internal factors were identified as assisting the males to persist within their programs. Academic institutions and policy makers may find the results useful for understanding the unseen educational barriers likely to limit African American males from enrolling in MAT programs, the issues likely to occur during the process of obtaining the degree, and the factors likely to be assistive to them for achieving program completion.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Smith, Dantrayl

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

Description: This phenomenological study investigated the transition experiences of clinical respiratory therapists who pursued second careers as respiratory faculty. Situated Learning Theory and Workplace Learning Theory were the frameworks for interviews with 11 second career respiratory faculty who had taught fewer than five years in baccalaureate degree programs. The goal of this study was to identify the major themes of their experiences. Thematic analysis revealed five common experiences: under-preparation, challenges, overwhelmed feelings, personal responsibilities, and rewards. The common theoretical framework for all participants was the critical need to understand their communities of practice within their organizations. From this study, respiratory department chairs and administrators may better understand the challenges and needs of clinical therapists as they transition into faculty positions. Positive experiences such as improved orientations and continued effective faculty support may promote a more rewarding and long-term practice.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Gresham, Jennifer L.

The Academic and Athletic Experiences of African-american Males in a Division I (Fbs) Football Program

Description: This study investigated the academic and athletic experiences of African-American males in a Division I football bowl subdivision football program. Critical race theory, identity development model, and social learning model were the theoretical frameworks used as the critical lenses in a qualitative design to examine the participants. The participants’ responses were analyzed and interpreted using thematic analysis. A qualitative research design, which included individual interviews with 10 second year African-American male football players, was used to address this research problem. The goal was to bring together both the psychological and sociological perspectives and to challenge participants to candidly describe their academic and athletic experiences and attitudes toward obtaining an undergraduate degree. Four themes were determined in the data analysis: differential treatment and determining oneself, time management, relationships, and career aspirations. In relation to the theoretical frameworks, the development of self-confidence and knowledge of balancing their academic and athletic schedules was critical for all participants. The sense of feeling different and challenged because of the differences in culture and experience was evident. From this study, university and collegiate athletics administrators may better understand the backgrounds, challenges, and learning needs of this population. As a result, higher education personnel may improve the services they provide these young men in hopes of educating and developing whole persons—physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually—to become well-rounded and functional in contemporary society.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Salinas, Silvia M.