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Preparing high school students for transition to community college

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ABSTRACT

Although it is generally acknowledged that a college degree is foundational to achieving success in the 21st century, only 19.5% of those entering public community colleges graduate with an associate's degree within three years (NCES, 2014). Many challenges have

ABSTRACT

Although it is generally acknowledged that a college degree is foundational to achieving success in the 21st century, only 19.5% of those entering public community colleges graduate with an associate's degree within three years (NCES, 2014). Many challenges have impeded students including being underprepared to transition from high school to college, being a first-generation college student, and having limited support networks.

The purpose of this action research project was to implement a college-going readiness program designed to increase the social and personal readiness of high school students making the transition from high school to college. The College Transition Project, the intervention, offered a series of face-to-face class sessions for students and online supplemental materials for students and parents (a) guiding and assisting students in navigating the college system, (b) improving social readiness, and (c) increasing goal setting, time management, communication, and stress management. The curriculum was designed to include key topics including potential pitfalls or challenges common to previously unsuccessful college students. Goal orientation, co-regulation, and self-regulation theories provided frameworks supporting the intervention. Over a five-week period, an instructor taught students who received information on these topics; while students and parents could review online resources at any time.

A concurrent mixed methods research design was employed and data included pre- and post-intervention surveys, field notes, and post-intervention interviews. Results indicated some modest outcomes were attained. Quantitative results indicated no changes in various study measures. By comparison, qualitative data showed students: recognized the usefulness of co-regulation as it related to college preparedness, realized self-regulation efforts would aid their transition to college, and developed some college navigation skills that would facilitate transition to college. Most students acknowledged the need to identify goals, engage in self-regulation, and practice self-efficacy as critical components for students transitioning from high school to college. The discussion explained the outcomes in terms of the theoretical frameworks. Implications focused on additional ways to develop self-efficacy and employ co-regulated activities and relationship building to aid in developing motivation and to nurture emerging identities in students who were transitioning from high school to college.

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Date Created
2017

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Increasing Affinity toward a University through Meaningful Student-Centric Activities

Description

How does a university create a culture of affinity where students seek and maintain life-long connections to the institution? The purpose of this action research study was to examine how affinity increased or developed for undergraduate students at the

How does a university create a culture of affinity where students seek and maintain life-long connections to the institution? The purpose of this action research study was to examine how affinity increased or developed for undergraduate students at the Arizona State University Polytechnic campus through meaningful student-centric activities. Three theoretical frameworks guided the study including the work of Baumeister and Leary, Kuh, and Ajzen.

In this mixed method study, quantitative data about affinity, attitude, toward Arizona State University was collected using pre- and post-intervention surveys and qualitative data were gathered through individual semi-structured interviews at the conclusion of the study. Study participants were degree-seeking, undergraduate students whose degree programs were affiliated with the Polytechnic campus. The study was conducted during the first semester for first-year students. The intervention was implemented over a four-week period and consisted of providing information and opportunities to students to initiate connecting to the institution.

Quantitative data exhibited slight upward changes or slight to modest decreases in the dependent variables between pre- and post-intervention assessments. Qualitative data provided a content-rich explanation that helped in understanding the quantitative results. For example, students indicated high behavioral beliefs, attitudes toward involvement, and intentions. Moreover, they demonstrated high levels of connectedness and loyalty to the institution. Discussion focused on describing the complementarity of the data, explaining outcomes relative to the theoretical frameworks, limitations, implications for practice and future research, and lessons learned.

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Date Created
2019

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Harnessing Emotions: The Impact of Developing Ability Emotional Intelligence Skills on Perceptions of Collaborative Teamwork in a Project-Based Learning Class

Description

The purpose of this action research study was to implement and analyze an intervention designed to improve perceptions of working with others as well as practice and improve emotional tools related to such interactions through the systematic development of ability

The purpose of this action research study was to implement and analyze an intervention designed to improve perceptions of working with others as well as practice and improve emotional tools related to such interactions through the systematic development of ability emotional intelligence (EI) related skills. The present study sought to: (1) explore high school students’ perceptions of their role as part of a team during teamwork; (1a) investigate how perceptions differed by EI level; (2) examine how students’ perceptions of their role in teamwork were influenced by being paired with more advanced (ability EI) peers or less advanced peers, based on ability emotional intelligence test scores; (3) determine if ability emotional intelligence related skills could be developed over the course of a 7-week intervention.

The intervention took place in a 12th grade US Government & Economics classroom with 34 participants for examination of general trends, and 11 focal participants for focused and in-depth analysis. Students were taught about emotion theory and engaged in two weeks of ability emotional intelligence skills training, followed by a five-week project cycle in which students were required to work together to achieve a common goal. The research design was mixed methods convergent parallel. Quantitative data were collected from post- and retrospective pre-intervention surveys regarding student perceptions about working with others and their ability EI related skills. Qualitative data were collected through on-going student reflective journal entries, observational field notes, and interviews with the focal group of participants.

Results suggested the intervention had a significant effect on students’ perceptions of working with others and perceived ability emotional intelligence related skills. Significant positive change was found through quantitative data analysis, revealing students’ perceptions about working with others in teams had improved as a result of the intervention as had their perceptions about their ability EI related skills. Qualitative analysis revealed rich, thick descriptions exploring this shift in perception among the 11 focal students, providing the evidence necessary to support the effectiveness of the intervention. Results suggested the possibilities for improved teamwork in the classroom.

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Date Created
2019