Honoring Transitions: An Examination of Junior and Senior Honors Student Engagement
This action research study took a mixed methods approach to examine junior and senior student engagement at the honors college in the downtown campus of Arizona State University. The purpose of the study was to better understand the lack of engagement with junior and senior students within the college. The study sought to examine the usage of year specific programs and the possibility of influence on the target populations’ engagement. In addition, the study focused on understanding the usage of such programs and its ability to influence student perception of coping with transitions. The growth of honors education and the value of student engagement lead the study. Life Hacks is a series of programs designed to engage the target population by addressing an anticipated transition. This study focused on exploring junior and senior honors student engagement and the utilization of programs to address the student’s ability to cope with transitions. The program was divided into six workshops that spanned the semester and were taught by college partners who were deemed a resource on the subject matter. Two surveys were deployed: one at the beginning of the semester and the other at the end of the semester. Participants were selected based on their academic status as a junior or senior within the honors college on campus and their age rage. All participants traditionally matriculated from high school and were between the ages of 18-25. Two focus groups, with a total of eight participants (4 juniors and 4 seniors), were conducted at the end of the semester to gather qualitative data. Findings indicated that participants allowed their emotions to influence their ability to cope with transitions. Relationships with peers and staff were important to decision making processes and network building for junior and senior participants. Students within the study set expectations for the college and themselves that influence how they relate to college and their relation to adulthood. The implications of practice that resulted from the study involved improving student access to information and assisting students with understanding the need for the resource and how to apply it to their current and future challenges.
- Gatewood, Kira Kevanah (Author)
- Harris, Lauren (Thesis advisor)
- Aska, Cassandra (Committee member)
- Weatherly, Kimberly (Committee member)
- Arizona State University (Publisher)