Matching Items (12)

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The Influence of Validating Advising Practices on Intention to Persist for Women and Underrepresented Minority Students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Description

There has been an ever-increasing demand in the United States to produce educated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals. Because more women and minority students have begun their higher

There has been an ever-increasing demand in the United States to produce educated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals. Because more women and minority students have begun their higher educational preparation at community colleges, these institutions have been uniquely positioned to support these students and increase the number of STEM graduates. Nevertheless, to attain this commendable goal, community college staff and faculty members will need to redouble their efforts to provide active and sustained programs and interventions to support and assure student persistence in STEM fields.

To address the problem of practice, the researcher engaged in a variety of validating practices to influence women and minority students’ intent to persist in a STEM degree. Thirteen, first-year women and minority students participated in the study. Validation theory (Rendón, 1994) provided a framework to inform the intervention and forms of validation. The validating practices included two advising visits and intentional email communications to students in their first semester at community college.

A mixed methods approach was employed to examine two objectives: (a) the types of validation students experienced in their first semester and (b) the influence of validating advising practices on intention to persist in STEM. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB; Ajzen, n.d.) guided study efforts in relation to the second objective. Data gathered included survey data, interviews, email communications, and researcher journal entries. Results suggested students experienced academic and interpersonal validation by in-class and out-of-class validating agents. Although not all experiences were validating, students were validated to a greater extent by their academic advisor. Because of validating advising practices, students in this study developed confidence in their ability to be capable college students. Students also felt motivated and expressed intentions to persist toward a STEM degree.

The discussion focuses on explaining outcomes of the four research questions by connecting to the extant literature. In addition, limitations of the study are presented. Finally, implications for practice, implications for future research, and lessons learned are also shared.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Effectiveness of online community college success courses

Description

The purpose of this action research study was to determine the effectiveness of two online college success courses: CPD 150 (College Success, 3 credits) and CPD 115 (Success Strategies, 1

The purpose of this action research study was to determine the effectiveness of two online college success courses: CPD 150 (College Success, 3 credits) and CPD 115 (Success Strategies, 1 credit), at Rio Salado College, a Maricopa Community College in Arizona. The goal of these courses is to prepare students to be college-ready by examining college readiness and learning skills. The Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire measured students' perceptions of their own college readiness in a pre-test/post-test format. Understanding students' perceptions of their own college readiness is the college's first step in understanding the effectiveness of these courses. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to compare the pre- and post-tests to determine whether the average student scores changed after completion of the college success course. Paired samples t-tests (or repeated-measures test) were conducted on 2 scales consisting of 13 subscales of the MSLQ of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. Data analysis revealed that students reported that they had better study skills after the course than before completing the course. Particularly, learning strategies, test anxiety, self-efficacy, effort regulation (self-management), control of learning beliefs, study skills, and time and study environment stand out as showing substantial improvement for the students.  

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Pop culture and course content: redefining genre value in first-year composition

Description

Despite its rich history in the English classroom, popular culture still does not have a strong foothold in first-year composition (FYC). Some stakeholders view popular culture as a “low-brow” topic

Despite its rich history in the English classroom, popular culture still does not have a strong foothold in first-year composition (FYC). Some stakeholders view popular culture as a “low-brow” topic of study (Bradbury, 2011), while others believe popular culture distracts students from learning about composition (Adler-Kassner, 2012). However, many instructors argue that popular culture can cultivate student interest in writing and be used to teach core concepts in composition (Alexander, 2009; Friedman, 2013; Williams, 2014). This dissertation focuses on students’ perceptions of valuable writing—particularly with regards to popular culture—and contributes to conversations about what constitutes “valuable” course content. The dissertation study, which was conducted in two sections of an FYC course during the Spring 2016 semester, uses three genre domains as a foundation: academic genres, workplace genres, and pop-culture genres. The first part of the study gauges students’ prior genre knowledge and their beliefs about the value of academic, workplace, and pop-culture genres through pre- and post-surveys. The second part of the study includes analysis of students’ remix projects to determine if and how students can meet FYC learning outcomes by working within each domain.

Through this study, as well as through frameworks in culturally sustaining pedagogy, writing studies, and genre studies, this dissertation aims to assist in the reconciliation of opposing views surrounding the content of FYC while filling in research gaps on the knowledge, interests, and perceptions of value students bring into the writing classroom. Ultimately, this dissertation explores how pop-culture composition can facilitate student learning just as well as academic and workplace composition, thereby challenging course content that has traditionally been privileged in FYC.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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A multiplicity of successes: capabilities, refuge, and pathways in contemporary community colleges

Description

Community colleges, like all higher education institutions in the United States, have not been immune to the increased national focus on educational accountability and institutional effectiveness over the past three

Community colleges, like all higher education institutions in the United States, have not been immune to the increased national focus on educational accountability and institutional effectiveness over the past three decades. Federal and non-governmental initiatives aimed at tracking and reporting on institutional outcomes have focused on utilitarian academic and economic measures of student success that homogenize the goals, aspirations, and challenges of the individuals who attend these unique open-access institutions. This dissertation, which is comprised of three submission-ready scholarly peer-reviewed articles, examined community college students’ conceptualizations and valuations of “student success.” The research project was designed as a multiple methods single-site case study, and the data sources consisted of a large-scale student e-survey, follow-up semi-structured interviews with a heterogeneous group of students, semi-structured interviews with faculty and administrators, and a review of institutional documents. The interviews also incorporated two experimental visual elicitation techniques and a participatory ranking exercise. Article One introduces and operationalizes the author’s primary conceptual perspective, the capabilities approach, to develop a more comprehensive framework for understanding and evaluating community college student outcomes. This article documents the methodological process used to generate a theoretical and an empirical list of community college capabilities, which serve as the basis of future capabilities-based research on community college student success. Article Two draws on the student interview and student visual elicitation data to explore the capability category of “refuge” – a new, unexpected, and student-valued purpose of the community college as a safe escape from the complexities and demands of personal, home, and work life. In light of recent efforts to promote more structured and prescriptive college experiences to improve graduation rates, Article Three explores students’ perceptions of their pathways through the community college using the participant-generated and researcher-generated visual elicitation data. Findings indicate that students value the structure and the flexibility community colleges offer, as well as their own ability to be agents and architects of their educational experience. Taken together, these articles suggest that student success is less linear and more rhizomatic in structure than it is currently portrayed in the literature.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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College Success Curriculum: Helping Freshman Create New Habits

Description

Incoming freshman at East Los Angeles College were struggling with successfully completing their first semester, leading to low rates of course success and retention. Students reported struggles with adapting to

Incoming freshman at East Los Angeles College were struggling with successfully completing their first semester, leading to low rates of course success and retention. Students reported struggles with adapting to the culture of college, particularly with behaving like a college student and managing time. The purpose of this action research study was to determine if embedding a College Success Curriculum (CSC) into a required class would help students more successfully navigate the first semester. The CSC was embedded into the action-researcher's freshman composition class and covered the following concepts: appropriate classroom behavior, communication, time management, and organization. Quantitative data included retrospective pre-intervention and post-intervention survey data. Qualitative data included the researcher's journal and student-written journal entries. Findings from this study indicated that students learned to communicate via email and to prioritize their time, however, the CSC did not have a measurable effect on students’ behavior, time management, or organization. Course success and retention after receiving the CSC remained at previous years’ rates. There continues to be a need to assist freshmen students in these critical college skills, and perhaps adapt some of the strategies used in this project for future iterations.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Ready, set, succeed!: growth mindset instruction in a community college success class

Description

The purpose of this action research study was to explore the relationship between growth mindset instruction in a community college success class with student academic effort and achievement, among students

The purpose of this action research study was to explore the relationship between growth mindset instruction in a community college success class with student academic effort and achievement, among students enrolled in a developmental reading class. Community college students, especially those testing into developmental classes, face numerous obstacles to achieving their goal of completing a college degree. Research supports that students with a growth mindset - a psychological concept grounded in the belief of the malleability of traits such as intelligence - embrace challenges, exert more academic effort, and achieve more. Fourteen students enrolled in a community college participated in this convergent parallel mixed methods study. A mindset survey was administered three times, at the beginning and end of the semester as well as at Week 3 after initial introduction to growth mindset. Descriptive statistics indicated a slight increase in students’ growth mindset scores by the end of the term. An analysis of variance, however, yielded no statistically significant relationship. Correlational analysis of final mindset scores with effort variables indicated an unexpected result – a negative correlation (p<.05) of growth mindset with time in Canvas (the Learning Management System). An ANOVA using a median split for high vs. low mindset scores indicated an unexpectedly significant (p<.05) positive relationship between missing assignments and a high mindset score. Statistical analysis of mindset with achievement yielded no significant relationship. Qualitative results included data from three journal assignments and semi-structured interviews and suggest that these students could comprehend and support most of the tenets of Growth Mindset Theory. While quantitative results were not significant in the expected direction, triangulation with qualitative data indicated that students’ goal orientation may be a factor in the unexpected quantitative results. This study adds to the growing literature on Growth Mindset Theory by extending it to a new and different population, first year community college students, with reading challenges. Further study is needed to clarify the relationships of growth mindset, malleability of intelligence, and goal orientation with academic effort and achievement over a longer period.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Relationships among personal characteristics, self-efficacy, and conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis of community college engineering students

Description

Conceptual knowledge and self-efficacy are two research topics that are well-established at universities, however very little has been investigated about these at the community college. A sample of thirty-seven students

Conceptual knowledge and self-efficacy are two research topics that are well-established at universities, however very little has been investigated about these at the community college. A sample of thirty-seven students enrolled in three introductory circuit analysis classes at a large southwestern community college was used to answer questions about conceptual knowledge and self-efficacy of community college engineering students. Measures included a demographic survey and a pre/post three-tiered concept inventory to evaluate student conceptual knowledge of basic DC circuit analysis and self-efficacy for circuit analysis. A group effect was present in the data, so descriptive statistics were used to investigate the relationships among students' personal and academic characteristics and conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis. The a priori attribute approach was used to qualitatively investigate misconceptions students have for circuit analysis. The results suggest that students who take more credit hours score higher on a test of conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis, however additional research is required to confirm this, due to the group effect. No new misconceptions were identified. In addition to these, one group of students received more time to practice using the concepts. Consequently, that group scored higher on the concept inventory, possibly indicating that students who have extra practice time may score higher on a test of conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis. Correlation analysis was used to identify relationships among students' personal and academic characteristics and self-efficacy for circuit analysis, as well as to investigate the relationship between self-efficacy for circuit analysis and conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis. Subject's father's education level was found to be inversely correlated with self-efficacy for circuit analysis, and subject's age was found to be directly correlated with self-efficacy for circuit analysis. Finally, self-efficacy for circuit analysis was found to be positively correlated with conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Community college readers in their 21st century "transactional zones

Description

ABSTRACT This mixed methods study examines 126 community college students enrolled in developmental reading courses at a mid-sized Southwestern community college. These students participated in a survey-based study regarding their

ABSTRACT This mixed methods study examines 126 community college students enrolled in developmental reading courses at a mid-sized Southwestern community college. These students participated in a survey-based study regarding their reading experiences and practices, social influence upon those practices, reading sponsorship, and reading self-efficacy. The survey featured 33 structured response prompts and six free response prompts, allowing for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The study¡&brkbar;s results reflected the diverse reading interests and practices of developmental college students, revealing four main themes: -the diversity and complexity of their reading practices; -the diversity in reading genre preferences; -the strong influence of family members and teachers as reading sponsors in the past with that influence shifting to friends and college professors in the present; and, -the possible connection between self-efficacy and social engagement with reading. Findings from this study suggest these college students, often depicted as underprepared or developmental readers, are engaging in diverse and sophisticated reading practices and perceive reading as a means to achieve their success-oriented goals and to learn about the real world.This study adds to the limited field of community college literacy research, provides a more nuanced view of what it means to be an underprepared college reader, and points to ways community college educators can better support their students by acknowledging and building upon their socio-culturally influenced literacy practices. At the same time, educators can advantage students academically in terms of building their cultural capital with overt inculcation into disciplinary literacies and related repertoires of practice. Keywords: college students, reading, sponsorship, multimodal reading practices, developmental education, social networking, and literacy

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Individual and combined impact of institutional student support strategies on first-time, full-time, degree-seeking community college students

Description

Although U.S. rates of college enrollment among 18-24 year olds have reached historic highs, rates of degree completion have not kept pace. This is especially evident at community colleges, where

Although U.S. rates of college enrollment among 18-24 year olds have reached historic highs, rates of degree completion have not kept pace. This is especially evident at community colleges, where a disproportionate number of students from groups who, historically, have had low college-completion rates enroll. One way community colleges are attempting to address low completion rates is by implementing institutional interventions intended to increase opportunities for student engagement at their colleges. Utilizing logistic and linear regression analyses, this study focused on community college students, examining the association between participation in institutional support activities and student outcomes, while controlling for specific student characteristics known to impact student success in college. The sample included 746 first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students at a single community college located in the U.S. Southwest. Additional analyses were conducted for the 440 first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students in this sample who placed into at least one developmental education course. Findings indicate that significant associations exist between different types of participation in institutional interventions and various student outcomes: Academic advising was found to be related to increased rates of Fall to Spring and Fall to Fall persistence and, for developmental education students, participation in a student success course was found to be related to an increase in the proportion of course credit hours earned. The results of this study provide evidence that student participation in institutional-level support may relate to increased rates of college persistence and credit hour completion; however, additional inquiry is warranted to inform specific policy and program decision-making at the college and to determine if these findings are generalizable to populations outside of this college setting.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Lesson study, a means for fostering collaborative reflection: effects on the self-efficacy and teaching practices of developmental education college success course instructors

Description

ABSTRACT Counselors at a public community college who teach a first-year college success course to developmental education students do not have effective opportunities or a systematic method to develop their

ABSTRACT Counselors at a public community college who teach a first-year college success course to developmental education students do not have effective opportunities or a systematic method to develop their teaching practice. Moreover, like a majority of community college and university instructors, many counselors do not have formal training in instruction. Since the retention and persistence rates of developmental education students are low when compared to non-developmental education students, and the purpose of the college success course is to increase developmental education student success, it is imperative that instructors of the college success course are well-trained to provide high quality learning experiences. The researcher implemented the Lesson Study (LS) professional learning experience in order to increase the collaboration amongst counselors in their efforts to improve their teaching practice as well as improve the quality of the learning experience for developmental education students, consequently potentially improving their retention and persistence. The researcher facilitated a mixed-method study to explore how instructors made meaning of their teaching practice as well as what changes they made to their instructional practice while engaging in LS. The researcher utilized qualitative means to analyze the following data: (1) instructors' weekly reflective journals, (2) semi-structured interviews with instructors after each cycle of LS, (3) video recordings of LS debrief meetings, and (4) video recordings of LS planning meetings. The researcher utilized quantitative means to analyze the following data: (1) pre/post instructor surveys on self-efficacy, and (2) 1,235 student questionnaires regarding LS lessons and non-LS lessons. Analysis of the qualitative data demonstrated that how counselors made meaning of their LS experience seemed to correlate with positive features attributed to the practice of LS in the research literature such as increased collaboration and in-depth reflection as well as positive changes in instructional practices and an increased focus on learning from practice. In addition, analysis of the qualitative and quantitative data showed that lessons created through LS produced a higher quality learning experience for students than lessons that were not created through LS. Moreover, the analysis of the data showed an increase in instructors' efficacy for teaching.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014