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Analysis of Learning Retention throughout Aging

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In this paper, it is determined that learning retention decreases with age and there is a linear rate of decrease. In this study, four male Long-Evans Rats were used. The rats were each trained in 4 different tasks throughout their

In this paper, it is determined that learning retention decreases with age and there is a linear rate of decrease. In this study, four male Long-Evans Rats were used. The rats were each trained in 4 different tasks throughout their lifetime, using a food reward as motivation to work. Rats were said to have learned a task at the age when they received the highest accuracy during a task. A regression of learning retention was created for the set of studied rats: Learning Retention = 112.9 \u2014 0.085919 x (Age at End of Task), indicating that learning retention decreases at a linear rate, although rats have different rates of decrease of learning retention. The presence of behavioral training was determined not to have a positive impact on this rate. In behavioral studies, there were statistically significant differences between timid/outgoing and large ball ability between W12 and Z12. Rat W12 had overall better learning retention and also was more compliant, did not resist being picked up and traveled more frequently at high speeds (in the large ball) than Z12. Further potential studies include implanting an electrode into the frontal cortex in order to compare neuro feedback with learning retention, and using human subjects to find the rate of decrease in learning retention. The implication of this study, if also true for human subjects, is that older persons may need enhanced training or additional refresher training in order to retain information that is learned at a later age.

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2014-05

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Leveraging faculty and peer leaders to promote commuter student co-curricular engagement: a collegiate retention intervention study

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It is commonly accepted that undergraduate degree attainment rates must improve if postsecondary educational institutions are to meet macroeconomic demands. Involvement in co-curricular activities, such as student clubs and organizations, has been shown to increase students' satisfaction with their college

It is commonly accepted that undergraduate degree attainment rates must improve if postsecondary educational institutions are to meet macroeconomic demands. Involvement in co-curricular activities, such as student clubs and organizations, has been shown to increase students' satisfaction with their college experience and the rates by which they might persist. Yet, strategies that college administrators, faculties, and peer leaders may employ to effectively promote co-curricular engagement opportunities to students are not well developed. In turn, I created the Sky Leaders program, a retention-focused intervention designed to promote commuter student involvement in academically-purposeful activities via faculty- and peer-lead mentoring experiences. Working from an interpretivist research paradigm, this quasi-experimental mixed methods action research study was intended to measure the intervention's impact on participants' re-enrollment and reported engagement rates, as well as the effectiveness of its conceptual and logistical aspects. I used enrollment, survey, interview, observation, and focus group data collection instruments to accommodate an integrated data procurement process, which allowed for the consideration of several perspectives related to the same research questions. I analyzed all of the quantitative data captured from the enrollment and survey instruments using descriptive and inferential statistics to explore statistically and practically significant differences between participant groups. As a result, I identified one significant finding that had a perceived positive effect. Expressly, I found the difference between treatment and control participants' reported levels of engagement within co-curricular activities to be statistically and practically significant. Additionally, consistent with Glaser and Strauss' grounded theory approach, I employed open, axial, and selective coding procedures to analyze all of the qualitative data obtained via open-ended survey items, as well as interview, observation, and focus group instruments. After I reviewed and examined the qualitative data corpus, I constructed six themes reflective of the participants' programmatic experiences as well as conceptual and logistical features of the intervention. In doing so, I found that faculty, staff, and peer leaders may efficaciously serve in specific mentoring roles to promote co-curricular engagement opportunities and advance students' institutional academic and social integration, thereby effectively curbing their potential college departure decisions, which often arise out of mal-integrative experiences.

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2011

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Corporate mentors and undergraduate students: a qualitative study of the Advancing Women in Construction Mentorship Program

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In a conscious effort to combat the low enrollment of women in construction management, a program was created to retain women through a mentorship program - Advancing Women in Construction. A qualitative analysis, facilitated through a grounded theory approach, sought

In a conscious effort to combat the low enrollment of women in construction management, a program was created to retain women through a mentorship program - Advancing Women in Construction. A qualitative analysis, facilitated through a grounded theory approach, sought to understand if the program was indeed successful, and what value did the students derive from the programs and participating in the mentoring process.

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2013

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The effect of stress on self-reported academic performance measures among Hispanic undergraduate students at Arizona State University

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Research on the impact of stress on the academic performance of Hispanic undergraduate students is limited, leaving institutions of higher education without needed information about how to better support this growing population of students. The purpose of this study was

Research on the impact of stress on the academic performance of Hispanic undergraduate students is limited, leaving institutions of higher education without needed information about how to better support this growing population of students. The purpose of this study was to identify stressors that have a negative impact on academic performance of Hispanic undergraduate students. Themes were derived from focus groups and interviews regarding stress, stressors and related academic performance impacts of Hispanic undergraduate students attending a large multi-campus urban university and incorporated into a survey addressing common stressors, their impact on academic performance, stress impact on other areas of life, stress management ability, and demographic characteristics. The survey was administered to a random sample of Hispanic undergraduate students using an online format (n = 169). Descriptive statistics were used to examine frequencies. Stressors were placed into themes and tested for reliability of fit using Cronbach's Alpha. Pearson's Chi-Square and Cramer's V were used to measure association. Significance was set at ¡Ü .05. Overall stress of respondents resulted in serious performance effects among 32.5% of respondents and moderate performance effects among 43.8% of respondents. Stress impeded academic performance at least weekly among 36.1% of respondents. Stressors resulting in the most serious stress and academic performance effects included family, time factors, finances, and academics. Moderate stress and academic performance effects were evident in stressors related to mental health, technology, commuting, personal concerns, physical health and legal problems. The majority of respondents indicated doing a fair (n = 84, 49.7%) or good (n = 52, 30.8%) job managing stress. The remaining 20.0% (n = 33) of respondents did a poor job managing stress. Students with lower grade-point averages managed stress poorly compared to students with higher grade-point averages, X2 (6, N = 163) = 15.222, p = .019, Cramer's V = .019. These findings provide evidence that stressors related to family, time factors, finances, and academics, and overall stress have considerable negative effects on the academic performance of Hispanic undergraduate students. Institutions of higher education can improve academic outcomes among this student population by addressing and reducing the impact of common stressors affecting these students.

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Date Created
2012

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First generation Latina persistence: group mentoring and sophomore success

Description

The purpose of this study was to help increase success for first-generation Latina students at Arizona State University by providing a group mentoring support experience during the spring semester of their sophomore year. Thirteen first-generation Latinas in their sophomore year

The purpose of this study was to help increase success for first-generation Latina students at Arizona State University by providing a group mentoring support experience during the spring semester of their sophomore year. Thirteen first-generation Latinas in their sophomore year were recruited from the Obama Scholars Program at Arizona State University. These students participated in one or two 90-minute group mentoring intervention sessions during the spring semester of their sophomore year and responded to reflection questions at the end of each session. Additional data were collected through e-journaling and field notes to document the mentoring process and the short-term effects of the group mentoring intervention. Study participants named three themes as critical to their college success: college capital, confidence, and connections. Participants also reported that the intervention of group mentoring sessions helped them increase their knowledge of available resources, feel more confident about their remaining years in college, make connections with other first-generation Latinas, and convinced them to recommit themselves to working hard for immediate academic success to achieve their goal of becoming the first in their families to become a college graduate.

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Date Created
2011

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From gatekeeping to greeting: fostering persistence in first-year online writing courses

Description

Increasing numbers of courses are offered online and increasing numbers of students are pursuing post-secondary studies. At broad-access institutions, such as land grant universities and community colleges, this presents a particular concern around student persistence--that is, the number of students

Increasing numbers of courses are offered online and increasing numbers of students are pursuing post-secondary studies. At broad-access institutions, such as land grant universities and community colleges, this presents a particular concern around student persistence--that is, the number of students who complete diploma, certificate, or degree requirements from an institution. Such increased access and increased enrollment also present unique challenges to first-year writing instructors, who are often the first professionals with whom first-year students are in contact. Here I explore the many reasons why student persistence should interest first-year writing instructors, in particular, those who are teaching online. Student persistence has important civic, economic, ethical, institutional, and disciplinary implications that first-year instructors cannot ignore. I propose a persistence-based pedagogy that involves six essential elements: designing learner-centered online writing courses, demonstrating mattering by valuing student writing, fostering self-efficacy by making assignments relevant, fostering student connections through collaboration and community, engaging virtual learners by fostering a sense of place and presence, and recognizing the challenges and minimizing the risks of teaching online. Such an undertaking is necessarily transdisciplinary and draws on scholarship in rhetoric and composition, instructional design, educational psychology, applied linguistics, and higher education administration. It connects pedagogical principles advanced nearly fifty years ago with digital pedagogies that are in their infancy and attempts to balance the social epistemic nature of writing instruction with the real-world demands of diverse student populations, increasing course sizes, and ever-changing technologies. Perhaps most importantly, this dissertation focuses on strategies that online writing instructors can adopt regardless of their theoretical leanings, academic training, or institutional requirements. While persistence-based instruction does not change the purpose or outcomes of first-year composition and does not replace proper placement measures or address early-term drop rates, it does provide a framework for facilitating online courses that is rooted in rhetorical theory and composition pedagogy and promotes informed teaching and lifelong learning.

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Date Created
2012

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Student retention in higher education: examining the patterns of selection, preparation, retention, and graduation of nursing students in the undergraduate pre-licensure nursing program at Arizona State University

Description

This study is designed to understand the patterns of selection, preparation, retention and graduation of undergraduate pre-licensure clinical nursing students in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University enrolled in 2007 and 2008. The resulting patterns

This study is designed to understand the patterns of selection, preparation, retention and graduation of undergraduate pre-licensure clinical nursing students in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University enrolled in 2007 and 2008. The resulting patterns may guide policy decision making regarding future cohorts in this program. Several independent variables were examined including grades earned in prerequisite courses; replacement course frequency; scores earned on the Nurse Entrance Test (NET); the number of prerequisite courses taken at four-year institutions; race/ethnicity; and gender. The dependent variable and definition of success is completion of the Traditional Pre-licensure Clinical Nursing Program in the prescribed four terms. Theories of retention and success in nursing programs at colleges and universities guide the research. Correlational analysis and multiple logistic regression revealed that specific prerequisite courses--Human Nutrition, Clinical Healthcare Ethics, and Human Pathophysiology--as well as race/ethnicity, and gender are predictive of completing this program in the prescribed four terms.

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Date Created
2012

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The characteristics and experiences of successful undergraduate Latina students who persist in engineering

Description

Females and underrepresented ethnic minorities earn a small percentage of engineering and computer science bachelor's degrees awarded in the United States, earn an even smaller proportion of master's and doctoral degrees, and are underrepresented in the engineering workforce (Engineering Workforce

Females and underrepresented ethnic minorities earn a small percentage of engineering and computer science bachelor's degrees awarded in the United States, earn an even smaller proportion of master's and doctoral degrees, and are underrepresented in the engineering workforce (Engineering Workforce Commission, [2006], as cited in National Science Foundation, 2012; United States Department of Education, [2006], as cited in National Science Foundation, 2009a; United States Department of Education, [2006], as cited in National Science Foundation, 2009b). Considerable research has examined the perceptions, culture, curriculum, and pedagogy in engineering that inhibits the achievement of women and underrepresented ethnic minorities. This action research study used a qualitative approach to examine the characteristics and experiences of Latina students who pursued a bachelor's degree in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU) as part of the 2008 first-time full-time freshman cohort. The researcher conducted two semi-structured individual interviews with seven undergraduate Latina students who successfully persisted to their fourth (senior) year in engineering. The researcher aimed to understand what characteristics made these students successful and how their experiences affected their persistence in an engineering major. The data collected showed that the Latina participants were motivated to persist in their engineering degree program due to their parents' expectations for success and high academic achievement; their desire to overcome the discrimination, stereotyping, and naysayers that they encountered; and their aspiration to become a role model for their family and other students interested in pursuing engineering. From the data collected, the researcher provided suggestions to implement and adapt educational activities and support systems within the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering to improve the retention and graduation rates of Latinas in engineering at ASU.

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Date Created
2012

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Increasing first-semester student engagement: a residential community retention study

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The purpose of this study was to increase first year residential student engagement and participation in residence hall programs during the 2011 fall semester at the Downtown Phoenix Campus of Arizona State University. Six upperclassmen (Taylor Place Leaders) residing in

The purpose of this study was to increase first year residential student engagement and participation in residence hall programs during the 2011 fall semester at the Downtown Phoenix Campus of Arizona State University. Six upperclassmen (Taylor Place Leaders) residing in a residence hall (Taylor Place) were matched by academic major with 17 first year students residing in Taylor Place. During the first eleven weeks of the fall semester 2011, first year students met regularly with their Taylor Place Leader to discuss residence hall program participation, living in Taylor Place, attending Arizona State University, and adjusting to their academic responsibilities. All 23 program participants completed a pre-survey inquiring about their satisfaction with their decision to attend Arizona State University, residence hall involvement, and knowledge of university services. The researcher met with Taylor Place Leaders throughout the study to learn about their experiences with mentoring the first year students. At the conclusion of the study, participants met with the researcher to complete a post-survey inquiring about the same information as the pre-survey and participated in individual interviews discussing their experience in the study. Two major findings were identified. First, participants reported that the Taylor Place Experience peer mentoring program assisted first year students in adjusting to college through identifying student support resources. Second, participants reported that living on campus during the freshman year, with mentoring support, could promote academic success, compared with living at home due to the close living proximity of their peers. Taylor Place also saw an increase in residence hall program participation during the 2011 fall semester in comparison to the 2010 fall semester. However, six of the seventeen freshman study participants decided to move out of Taylor Place and live at home by the end of the 2011 fall semester, for various reasons, such as family and employment obligations as well as being homesick.

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Date Created
2012

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Quality of professional life for teachers: identifying the behaviors and characteristics of teachers which influence their professional lives

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This study examined the quality of professional life at a Title I school that has achieved the Arizona Department of Education's highest accountability rating of Excelling for eight consecutive years. By examining the factors that influence the school environment including

This study examined the quality of professional life at a Title I school that has achieved the Arizona Department of Education's highest accountability rating of Excelling for eight consecutive years. By examining the factors that influence the school environment including teachers' attitudes and the connections within the teacher community at this school, a description emerged of the factors that influenced the quality of professional lives of teachers. This descriptive study sought to describe, "What is the quality of professional life for teachers at a Title I elementary school with a history of high levels of student achievement?" The research was conducted at Seneca Elementary school (a pseudonym) in the Seneca School District (a pseudonym). By examining the quality of professional life for teachers in a highly ranked Title I school, a better understanding of the quality of professional life may lead to recommendations for other schools with high levels of poverty on how to support teachers who work in high poverty schools. Within a theoretical framework of motivation-hygiene theory and socio cultural theory, the study identified principal leadership as a primary supporting factor of quality of professional life. The study also identified lack of input and lack of teacher control over curriculum and instruction as barriers to quality of professional life. Teachers described principal leadership, environment, social factors and teacher identity as contributors to enhancing the quality of professional life. Trust and focus emerged as additional factors that improved the workplace for teachers.

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Date Created
2011