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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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Date Created
2011

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Learning teaching: reciprocal learning

Description

This research is a reversal of the traditional concept of the student-teaching research experiment. Instead of studying the clear and stated goal of an apprenticeship, that of a pupil learning from the tutelage of a master, the focus here is

This research is a reversal of the traditional concept of the student-teaching research experiment. Instead of studying the clear and stated goal of an apprenticeship, that of a pupil learning from the tutelage of a master, the focus here is on what a mentor-teacher learns from a student-teacher. During the act of teaching a novice, what can a mentor-teacher learn about her own practice, while demonstrating it to a pre-service teacher? Using the conceptual framework of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards' Architecture of Accomplished Teaching, and using it within a framework centered around cognitive coaching and reciprocal mentoring, this action research study implemented an intervention that called for series of five cognitive coaching cycles between a mentor- and student-teacher designed to foster dialogue and reflection between them. The ultimate aim of this case study was to help determine what a mentor-teacher learned about her own practice as a result of mentoring a student-teacher. Qualitative data were collected over sixteen weeks in a charter high school. Five findings were identified created after the data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach, and four conclusions were drawn about the intervention's role in the mentor-teacher's reciprocal learning.

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Date Created
2011

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Supporting National Board Candidates via cognitive coaching conversations and communities of practice

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ABSTRACT There are currently 82,369 teachers nationwide who are National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). In Arizona the number of NBCTs is 678. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect cognitive coaching conversations and participation in a community

ABSTRACT There are currently 82,369 teachers nationwide who are National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). In Arizona the number of NBCTs is 678. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect cognitive coaching conversations and participation in a community of practice had on National Board candidates' self-efficacy and their understanding of the National Board Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). A mixed methods research approach was used to collect data including: surveys, interviews, researcher observations, and cognitive coaching transcripts. I conducted a case study of five National Board candidates at my school. Drawing on the social cognitive theory, this study was framed by the construct of self-efficacy. Through the use of open-ended questions, cognitive coaching conversations pushed candidates' thinking to a deeper level of understanding. The teachers involved in the National Board certification process represented a community of practice as the expectations and language of the NBPTS standards and portfolio directions also provided a common connection. Findings in this study reveal that cognitive coaching conversations and membership in a community of practice have a positive impact on teachers' self-efficacy during the National Board certification process. In addition, on-going cognitive coaching conversations and participation in a community of practice positively impact National Board candidates' understanding and articulation of the NBPTS standards.

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Date Created
2011

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Current Practices and Perceptions of Physical Education Teacher Evaluation Systems

Description

Given the current focus on high-stakes accountability in America's public schools, this study examined teacher evaluation specific to physical education. This study revealed current teacher evaluation practices used in physical education, perceptions of school administrators related to the value of

Given the current focus on high-stakes accountability in America's public schools, this study examined teacher evaluation specific to physical education. This study revealed current teacher evaluation practices used in physical education, perceptions of school administrators related to the value of the physical education evaluation process, and the perceptions of the physical education teachers related to the value of the evaluation process. The first phase of this study was an interpretive document analysis study conducted on four separate teacher evaluation systems commonly used within the public school system to evaluate physical education teachers. Those four systems were: Marzanos teacher evaluation model, Danielson framework for teaching (FFT), Rewarding Excellence in Instruction and Leadership (REIL), and Teacher Advancement Program (TAP). A separate evaluation instrument specific to physical education created by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) was used as a comparative evaluation tool. Evidence suggests that two of the four teacher evaluation systems had a high percentage of alignment with the NASPE instrument (TAP 87.5%, FFT 82.5%). The Marzano teacher evaluation model had the least amount of alignment with the NASPE instrument (62.5%). The second phase of this study was a phenomenological approach to understanding administrators' and physical education teachers' perceptions to teacher evaluation specific to physical education. The participants in this study were administrators and physical education teachers from an urban school district. An informal survey and formal semi-structured interviews were used to reveal perceptions of teacher evaluation specific to physical education. Evidence from the administrator's informal survey and formal semi-structured interviews revealed four common themes: (1) "I value PE, but I live in reality" (administrators value physical education, but practice in reality); (2) "good teaching is good teaching"; (3) "I know my limitations, and I want
eed help" (relative to teacher evaluation in PE); and (4) where's the training beef? Evidence from the physical education teacher's informal survey and formal semi-structured interviews revealed three common themes: (a) physical education is valued, but not prioritized; (b) teacher evaluation in physical education is "greatly needed, yet not transparent; (c) physical educators are not confident in their evaluator.

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Created

Date Created
2014

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How close reading influences reading comprehension

Description

Assessments at the international, national, state, and local levels demonstrate that students’ reading scores in Arizona lack growth. Current trends in education encourage teachers to engage in close reading as a strategy to help improve reading efficacy. The close reading

Assessments at the international, national, state, and local levels demonstrate that students’ reading scores in Arizona lack growth. Current trends in education encourage teachers to engage in close reading as a strategy to help improve reading efficacy. The close reading process helps students learn how to analyze complex text. A mixed method study examined the effect of ten weeks of instruction in close reading on the reading comprehension skills of fifth grade students. Also examined were any differential effects of close reading on literary versus informational texts. Students in an upper income public school community were taught the specifics of close reading procedures approximately four days per week for about 30 minutes daily. Research-based procedures for close reading strategies were followed. Students self-reported changes in their use of strategies prior to receiving close reading strategies and again post-instruction. Six students were interviewed and responded to journal questions concerning their use of the close reading strategies to ascertain how they made meaning from text. Results suggest that close reading was beneficial in helping students to make academic achievements in overall reading comprehension, as well as growth in literary content. Data also reflected that students used close reading strategies to make meaning out of the text and used it to influence their overall reading comprehension. The discussion focused on the triangulation of the quantitative and qualitative data and analyzed connections to current research. Also explored were implications for practice and future research, as well as limitations and the role of the researcher.

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Created

Date Created
2017

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Espacio iluminado: an empowerment model of Latino parent involvement located in the third space

Description

Parent involvement in their children’s education has been a frequently sought after and highly regarded component in education that has repeatedly been identified as a significant influence that contributes to children’s success in school. Historically, Latino parent involvement has been

Parent involvement in their children’s education has been a frequently sought after and highly regarded component in education that has repeatedly been identified as a significant influence that contributes to children’s success in school. Historically, Latino parent involvement has been markedly low in the United States. Researchers’ interest in Latino parents’ involvement in their children’s education has been spurred by this low level of involvement coupled with reports of significant differences in educational achievement between Latino students and students of other ethnic backgrounds. Perceptions of self-efficacy and role construction have been identified as motivators for parent involvement. The purpose of this action research study was to examine the relationship between the Espacio Iluminado Parent Engagement Program as a nontraditional Latino parent involvement opportunity and parents’ perceptions of self-efficacy and role construction as it pertains to supporting the education of their children. The foundation of the program was developed utilizing Third Space Theory (Bhabha, 1994) to generate a framework that had the potential to serve as a model for future parent involvement programs that validated the knowledge of diverse cultures and discourses and encouraged a mediation of the two. Participants’ ratings of Role Construction and Self-Efficacy were significantly improved after their involvement in the parent program. Participants also felt strongly that the program was personally valuable and useful. Future direction might include a longitudinal study to track the academic progress of children of the participants.

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Date Created
2017

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Motivation through relevance: how career models motivate student career goals

Description

This study addresses the problem of high school graduates with learning disabilities who are unprepared for higher education and the workplace because of limited exposure to career professionals and perceived barriers. The purpose of this study is to examine how

This study addresses the problem of high school graduates with learning disabilities who are unprepared for higher education and the workplace because of limited exposure to career professionals and perceived barriers. The purpose of this study is to examine how a career exploration model, entitled CaMPs (Career Model Professionals) influences students’ career decision-making self-efficacy. CaMPs incorporates exposure to career role models, as well as career research and self-reflection. CaMPs proivides students with learning disabilities first-hand accounts of successful career professionals, to assist them in setting academic and career goals that are aligned to their personal strengths. This mixed methods study develops and evaluates a career based innovation for high school students and reviews the relationship between the innovation and students’ self-efficacy. Students completed a self-efficacy survey (Career Decision Self-Efficacy - Short Form: CDSE) before and after the implementation of the CaMPs program. A t-test comparing pre- and post-survey scores indicated that there was a significant increase in self-efficacy after completion of the program. Qualitative data revealed changes in students’ career interests and new considerations to their career preparation process after participating in the CaMPs innovation. This study will be useful in the development of career programs for high school students, particularly those with learning disabilities, to assist them in choosing and preparing for their future careers.

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Date Created
2017

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Self-determination skill development: a qualitative exploration of college students with autism spectrum disorders

Description

This study explored the influence of how the development of self-determination skills affected college students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Five college students who qualified for a university-based disabilities resource program under the category of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

This study explored the influence of how the development of self-determination skills affected college students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Five college students who qualified for a university-based disabilities resource program under the category of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) participated in a five session mentoring program over the course of the first 12 weeks of the fall semester. The mentoring program was designed to develop specific self-determination skills, including, self-awareness, self-advocacy, and confidence. Participants engaged in an interactive dialogue, discussing specific skills and experiences, relative to the development of self-determination skills. Pre- and post-surveys, and a post intervention interview indicated that the students reported positive results in describing that mentoring experience, and found the protocol useful in their development of self-determination skills. Implications identified for further application into practice, include (a) a deeper appreciation and review of the participants’ background and experience, (b) the development and implementation of peer-to-peer mentoring, (c) the need for more intentional collaboration with high school partners, (d) the need to expand the skills being developed, and (e), the need to expand the number of services and resources discussed. This study will be used in the exploration of a broader collegiate mentoring program geared towards students with ASD with the purpose of increasing self-determination skills.

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Date Created
2017

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Developing Social Presence as an Academic Advisor for Online Graduate Business Students

Description

For more than 30 years, social science researchers have studied how students in online learning environments interact with each other. This has led to the development of a construct called social presence. Studies have shown that high social presence can

For more than 30 years, social science researchers have studied how students in online learning environments interact with each other. This has led to the development of a construct called social presence. Studies have shown that high social presence can lead to improved student retention, engagement, and satisfaction. The literature explores how social presence has been measured by faculty or researchers, but lacks insight on how other university staff can affect social presence in online graduate students. This is an action research mixed-methods study conducted by an academic advisor and attempts to measure social presence through a webpage intervention for an online graduate business program. A pre-and-posttest were conducted in a five month span, as well as semi-structured interviews with students of the program. Results suggest that overall, the intervention did not increase social presence in the program. It also suggests that social presence is developed between students in a variety of ways, and can even be developed between their academic advisor and themselves. Overall, this study acknowledges how academic advisors can explore social presence to improve academic advising techniques and interventions for their programs, while also adding to the literature a different perspective through the eyes of a university staff member.

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Date Created
2020