Matching Items (9)

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The Undergraduate International Student Recruitment Experience and the Effects of Institutional Outreach in Supporting Their Feelings of Belongingness

Description

Over the last decade, post-secondary international student enrollment has grown in the United States (US). In part, this growth has been facilitated by an increasing number of third-party recruitment partnerships; wherein US universities sign agreements to allow parties to engage

Over the last decade, post-secondary international student enrollment has grown in the United States (US). In part, this growth has been facilitated by an increasing number of third-party recruitment partnerships; wherein US universities sign agreements to allow parties to engage in the recruitment and advising of students. By creating and expanding partnerships the university seeks to enroll more students at their university. With these additional parties involved in the advising process, it is more important than ever that students have as much information as possible to make an enrollment decision that makes them feel like they are members of the campus community and that they belong. To attain feelings of membership and belonging the university staff and faculty should be reaching out to students early in their academic career about the resources that are likely to enhance their feelings of membership and belonging at university. To understand and improve students’ feelings of membership and belonging the researcher developed a mixed-method intervention that included a control and experimental group. All groups completed a pre-posttest survey. The experimental group was exposed to 1:1 belongingness advising sessions and debriefing interviews. Twenty-two first-year international students participated in the study. The intervention had two objectives: 1) understand how a semester-long advising program, in the students first-year, enhanced international students feeling of membership and belonging at the university; and what components of the program were most effective and 2) based on how students were recruited to university, how did they differ in their developing feelings of belongingness and membership. The intervention was informed by agency theory, dropout model, and previous research on students’ feelings of membership and belonging. The results suggested that students in the experimental group were more likely to feel like members of the university when compared to their control group peers. Additionally, the results suggest that students in the experimental group were able to build relationships, knowledge, and support systems that enhanced their feelings of belonging. The discussion explains these outcomes as they are related to the research questions and extant literature. It also summarizes, implications for practice, future research, and lessons learned.

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Date Created
2020

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A Comparative Case Study of Internationalization Networks in the Intensive English Programs of Michigan Public Universities

Description

The purpose of this study is to explore how internationalization is formed and operationalized in the Intensive English Programs (IEPs) at three Michigan higher education institutions. Drawing from Latour’s (2005) actor-network theory, this study examined the human and non-human actors

The purpose of this study is to explore how internationalization is formed and operationalized in the Intensive English Programs (IEPs) at three Michigan higher education institutions. Drawing from Latour’s (2005) actor-network theory, this study examined the human and non-human actors involved in constructions of internationalization, which was defined as relational processes (programs and policies) that define and deliver international, intercultural, or global elements into the purpose, function and delivery of postsecondary education (Altbach, 2007; Knight, 2003). As an entry point into the study, I focused on the director of the programs and their mission statements, a written articulation of beliefs, as suggested by Childress (2007; 2009).

To explore these potential networks, I utilized Comparative Case Study (Bartlett and Vavrus, 2016), which allowed for more unbounded cases; Actor-Network Theory (Latour, 1999; Latour, 2005) which allowed for agency among non-human actors that also coexist, transform, translate or modify meaning; and relational network analysis methods (Herz et al. 2014; Heath et al. 2009; Clarke 2005), which helped to explore and make sense of complex relational data. This was in the effort to construct an understanding of the “processual, built activities, performed by the actants out of which they are composed” (Crawford, 2004, p. 1). I mapped actors within each site who were performing their local and contingent processes of internationalization.

The results indicate the formation of complex and far reaching webs of actors and activities that accomplish a form of internationalization that is highly localized. While each program under investigation responded to similar pressures, such as funding shortfalls via student enrollment declines, the responses and networks that were created from these constraints were wildly different. Indeed, the study found these programs engaged in international activities that enrolled various external actors, from campus departments to local community groups. In engaging in relational connections that moved beyond their primary instructional purpose, English language instruction and cultural acclimatization, the IEPs in this study were able to 1) contribute to the internationalization of university departmental curricula, 2) serve their communities in dynamic and impactful ways and 3) develop their own sense of internationalization in a university setting.

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2020

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University Staff; Creativity and Innovation in Higher Education

Description

This action research project was a concurrent mixed method case study design The purpose of this action research study was to begin to understand how an institution of higher education can best support creativity and innovation of university staff members.

This action research project was a concurrent mixed method case study design The purpose of this action research study was to begin to understand how an institution of higher education can best support creativity and innovation of university staff members. More specifically this study looked at the influence of a design thinking workshop on university staff perceived creative and innovative ability. Additionally, this study looked at the influence of individual attributes on staff creativity, and the influence of organizational attributes on staff innovation. Amabile and Pratt’s Dynamic Component Model of Creativity and Innovation in Organizations informed this study. Participants for this study were recruited from the Educational Outreach and Student Services division of Arizona State University at the Downtown Phoenix campus. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected using a Creativity and Innovation Survey (CIS) and individual interviews. The Creativity and Innovation Survey was distributed to staff before and after they participated in a two module design thinking workshop. Interviews with staff occurred after the conclusion of the workshops. In responses to the CIS and in interview staff had a strong belief in their ability to be creative and innovative in the workplace. A correlational analysis of CIS data indicated that a positive and significant relationship existed between creativity and individual attributes, as well as between, innovation and organizational attributes. Staff also expressed these relationships during interviews. The themes of collaboration, supervision, and resources each emerged from the interview data as important influencers of staff creativity and innovation. Although staff expressed there was a value in the design thinking workshops during interviews, a significant difference was not found in staffs’ perceived creativity and innovation after participating in the design thinking workshop. Implications for practice and for future research are discussed.

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Date Created
2020

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Perceptions of New Adjuncts on the Optional Professional Development at University Of California, Los Angeles Extension

Description

This mixed-methods study explored perceptions of new adjuncts on various trainings with regards to satisfying their professional and aspirational needs. Three trainings were offered in fall 2018 quarter as optional professional development: workshop, and two roundtable sessions. These trainings assisted

This mixed-methods study explored perceptions of new adjuncts on various trainings with regards to satisfying their professional and aspirational needs. Three trainings were offered in fall 2018 quarter as optional professional development: workshop, and two roundtable sessions. These trainings assisted adjuncts with their teaching skills, educational technology and pedagogy. Guidance was provided from experienced adjuncts and staff.

Surveys and interviews with adjuncts, along with a focus group with staff were the sources of data for this study. A repeated measures Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) model was utilized. Analysis of data showed that there was a positive and statistical significance of change in perceptions of adjuncts who participated in all trainings towards fulfilling their needs, as compared to those who did not participate in any trainings. Adjuncts perceived an improvement in their professional growth based on Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory and the trainings also fulfilled their higher-level growth needs based on Maslow’s hierarchical needs theory. A large practical significance was also found which measures the practical impact of such trainings at local communities of practice.

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Date Created
2019

Do Attitudes Towards and Knowledge of Mandatory Fees Predict College Student Engagement in Fee Supported Services?

Description

The cost of education is increasing, and the use of mandatory fees to offset costs is increasingly becoming more prevalent. Mandatory fees in higher education are not a new occurrence and have been associated with higher education institutions since their

The cost of education is increasing, and the use of mandatory fees to offset costs is increasingly becoming more prevalent. Mandatory fees in higher education are not a new occurrence and have been associated with higher education institutions since their inception. However, the use and number of mandatory fees have grown, especially within the last decade, to include more fees that support core initiatives that were once covered by higher education institutions. Despite the vast amount of research concerning costs associated with attendance at higher education institutions, there is less research on how undergraduate students understand these costs, and how understanding of educational expenses may influence students’ behavior. Moreover, there is a dearth of research that explores students' engagement in services and programs supported by mandatory fees at higher education institutions.

This investigation fills the gaps, as it studies undergraduate students’ understandings of and attitudes toward mandatory fees while addressing their engagement in fee-supported services and programs. The data collection process utilizes a survey given to undergraduate students at a large research institution in the southwest United States. The survey uses multiple formats (i.e., Likert-scale, open-ended questions, multiple choice), to measure students’ understandings of costs and information about mandatory fees, frequency of use of services, and students’ prior knowledge about higher education institutions before enrollment.

Students’ perceptions of costs differ by individual and family, and the costs associated with fees can be a surprise for many students entering institutions of higher education. While fees are utilized to help retain and graduate all students, increasing fees change the total price for students. There are relatively few studies that measure the extent to which students engage in services or programs funded by the mandatory fees. While price is at the forefront for many federal and state policymakers, the need to make college more affordable for everyone without losing quality services and programs, must be addressed.

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Date Created
2020

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Professional Agency as a Catalyst for Innovative Practice in Academic Advising

Description

Academic advisors play a critical role in student success within United States institutions of higher education. Although uniquely positioned to contribute to important institutional and student outcomes, academic advising is identified in the literature as an emerging profession, often delegitimizing

Academic advisors play a critical role in student success within United States institutions of higher education. Although uniquely positioned to contribute to important institutional and student outcomes, academic advising is identified in the literature as an emerging profession, often delegitimizing advisor authority and limiting their contribution to institutional objectives. A review of the literature explores the history academic advising, and the current state of professionalization of the field. Additionally, entrepreneurial mindset is introduced as a framework of practice for professional agency. As a field working to professionalize itself within the higher education context, academic advisors must be able to fully participate and contribute to the process of developing innovative practices within the contexts of their institutions. This mixed-methods study drew upon proactive work behavior as defined by Hackman and Oldham to understand how academic advisors demonstrate and perceive their professional agency and ability to make decisions when working with students in the context of their role. Findings suggest professional agency as a construct exists not as a stand-alone concept, but rather as part of an ecosystem within the institution that includes layered systems, structures, and cultures which influence advisor behaviors and how they navigate decision-making. Implications include considerations for academic advising leaders and administrators, specifically related to departmental structures and advisor perceptions of their professional agency. This study contributes to the advising literature in the area of professionalization, with implications for scholarship and practice that can address gaps in the current scholarship.

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Date Created
2021

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Examining Instructional Reform Capacity for Teachers’ Science and Mathematics Instructional Practices in Elementary Schools

Description

Efforts to improve student learning in K-12 education in the US are not new; however, educational research has traditionally focused on individual components of schools (e.g., teacher professional development, leadership, social relationships, programs, curricula) targeting teachers to improve student learning.

Efforts to improve student learning in K-12 education in the US are not new; however, educational research has traditionally focused on individual components of schools (e.g., teacher professional development, leadership, social relationships, programs, curricula) targeting teachers to improve student learning. While these innovations provide hope for change, they are limited in their focus and application to other school settings in that school contexts are unique to the individuals making them up and the collaborative missions and goals they pursue. To foster capacity for teachers to implement instructional reforms (i.e., how teachers teach), research must be focused on a holistic interpretation of the school as an organization. This study developed and validated a survey to examine elementary teachers’ science and mathematics instructional practice use as well as their perceptions of instructional reform capacity within their school environment from an ecological organization perspective. Over 300 elementary teachers from a large urban district participated in the survey over the course of four weeks. Findings indicated elementary teachers utilized teacher-centered instructional practices more frequently than reform-oriented (i.e., student-centered) instructional practices. However, teachers reported more frequent use of instructional practices in their mathematics lessons compared to science lessons. Furthermore, data was used to investigate the underlying dimensions of instructional reform capacity and examine the relationship between those dimensions and instructional practice use both within and between subjects (i.e., science and mathematics). Results revealed dimensions underlying instructional reform capacity as well as correlations with instructional practice use are not the same for elementary science and mathematics. Dimensions of professional learning, structure, and policy were more strongly correlated with reform-oriented (i.e., student-centered) instructional practices. Implications from these findings suggest the necessity of a more holistic perspective of instructional reform capacity to better support instructional reforms across subject areas in schools, on both the local level and within research.

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Date Created
2022

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Beyond Admission: Reducing Opportunity Melt and Supporting a Successful Transition by Proactively Assigning Peer Mentors to Incoming Students at a Large Public Regional University

Description

The transition from high school to college can cause an undue amount of attrition for fully qualified, college-intending first-generation students. Although the students may have overcome multiple obstacles to be accepted to a college and arrive at the transition over

The transition from high school to college can cause an undue amount of attrition for fully qualified, college-intending first-generation students. Although the students may have overcome multiple obstacles to be accepted to a college and arrive at the transition over summer, it can feel overwhelming to complete the flood of tasks without access to a supportive network to guide and interpret the intricate steps. Many programs focus on college preparation and access to college but do not devote attention to the delicate transition from access to enrollment during the summer months. The term opportunity melt for students who confirm their enrollment and do not enroll in any institution of higher education in the fall semester. This study identified the influence of strategic peer mentor support during the summer months for Chico State students who applied, were admitted, and accepted their college admission. This action research intervention applies key concepts of academic capital theory and follows up on previous cycles of action research in the California State University system to identify barriers for those who intended to enroll but decided not to attend any Cal State or other institution of higher education in the Fall semester after high school graduation.

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2022

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Methodological Reparations Queering empirical traditions and curricular approaches to address anti-Black racism, homophobia and transphobia in education

Description

Methodological Reparations is a 2-study multi-methods inquiry aimed at illuminating important nuances for engaging counter hegemonic empirical inquiries for Black, gender expansive and Black LGBTQI+ communities. If Black gender expansive youth are studied, they are often studied within the larger

Methodological Reparations is a 2-study multi-methods inquiry aimed at illuminating important nuances for engaging counter hegemonic empirical inquiries for Black, gender expansive and Black LGBTQI+ communities. If Black gender expansive youth are studied, they are often studied within the larger LGBTQI+ umbrella. Unfortunately, this makes them vulnerable to compulsory heterogenderism which often obscures their unique experiences transgressing racialized gender norms and with racialized gender oppression. This study makes methodological considerations called methodological reparations that begin to address the ways empirical research often negates, misunderstands, and obscures students’ identities as singular, stable over time and aligned with their sex assignment. It is important for researchers, data scientists and educators to challenge these hegemonic assumptions to ensure that Black gender expansive communities are visible and to ensure that education policies are data-driven, inclusive and effective. The United States Transgender Survey and the Gay and Lesbian Students Education Network have begun to conduct surveys that begin to address the complexity of gender within LGBTQI+ populations. Their surveys reveal horrific school climates that LGBTQI+ youth of color experience especially Black LGBTQI+ youth. The first study in this dissertation is a mixed methods study that focuses on Black gender expansive students’ experiences. The second study responds to the first study by providing an example of inclusive Black LGBTQI+ curriculum taught through a Black queer pedagogical approach. Since the presence of LGBTQI+ inclusive curriculum in schools has been linked to increased feelings of safety in schools in Black LGBTQI+ student populations, this study showcases James Baldwin’s final novel Just Above My Head, as a piece of blues literature that discusses racialized homophobia in a culturally relevant way. Baldwin’s work can be an important tool for Black LGBTQI+ students who do not have access to Black queer curriculum taught through a Black queer pedagogical approach.

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Date Created
2022