Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Dissertations
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Welcome to Concordia's Collection of Dissertations, submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Ed. D. Program.
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- ItemACADEMIC MOTIVATION FACTORS AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL, RESPONSIVE TEACHING, AND STUDENT VOICES(2019-12) Kind, SofiaIncreasing academic motivation in middle school students is an essential task for every teacher. The researcher assessed academic motivation factors within a large, low socio-economic, and ethnically diverse middle school in Southern California. The study included 140 middle school students (6th-8th), 16 middle school teachers, 2 administrators, and 3 special projects teachers. Participants answered open-ended questions about their experiences with academic motivation to identify factors that directly affect students’ academic motivation. The responses were coded for thematic relationships and frequencies. Findings revealed that middle school students are academically motivated by factors such as grades, encouragement, teaching methods, and access to curriculum. The study found that students listen to and value teachers’ words of encouragement. Administrators and teachers identified teaching methods as a leading motivating factor.
- ItemBEHAVIOR, ACADEMICS AND EQUITY: THE EFFECTS OF POSITIVE BEHAVIOR INTERVENTION SYSTEM ON MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS(2020-06) Rogers, JaredThroughout the nation, schools have successfully implemented positive behavior intervention and support (PBIS) strategies to improve the atmosphere on school campuses and guide student behavior (Gage et al., 2013; Sugai & Simonsen, 2012; Turnbull et al., 2001). While it has been shown that PBIS is an effective tool for student improvement in behaviors and attendance, it is recognized that there are subgroups of students that continue to struggle with conforming to their school site's behavioral, attendance and achievement expectations, particularly in their core academic subjects. This study's main objectives were to examine students’ perceptions about PBIS implementation, the correlations between PBIS implementation and other variables such as student GPA and to examine how PBIS implementation varied by student demographics. By using PBIS strategies, educators can develop a culture that promotes equity for greater student engagement and improved behaviors, in a place where all students believe they can be successful contributors to the school and society, as a whole. The correlation between the implementation of PBIS, behaviors and academic achievement yielded positive correlation coefficients, suggesting that as implementation increases, student academic achievement increases as well. ANOVAs were carried out which showed that the difference in GPA and implementation of PBIS among students of various ethnicities was statistically significant. It is the hope that the findings will support schools in decreasing disruptive behaviors, improving campus culture, and increasing academic achievement.
- ItemTHE BENEFIT OF A SOCIAL LEARNING INTERVENTION TO INCREASE SELF-EFFICACY, ENGAGEMENT AND SOCIAL INCLUSION FOR STUDENTS WITH AUTISM(2020-05) Burke, Elizabeth AnnThe literature on Autism indicates a need for evidence-based practices to be implemented in the classroom. The prevalence of Autism is increasing as well as social learning demands embedded in both Common Core State Standards and Social Emotional Learning in preparation for college and career readiness. However, individuals with Autism are not automatically wired for the social demands which negatively impact their experiences and often manifests as behavior in the classroom. Meeting the needs of all students while creating positive learning experiences that build self-efficacy needed for motivation and increased student outcomes can be challenging. This study built on Bandura’s Social Learning Theory, and the role self-efficacy plays in student achievement. Understanding the impaired cognitive processes in students with Autism supports the need for intervention such as Social Thinking® methodology to teach social competencies. This study includes three components: teacher intervention, student intervention and student perspectives toward inclusion. Quantitative and qualitative methods were utilized, and data analyzed to provide evidence of 1) a shift in the perspective of teachers supporting students with Autism as a result of teacher training to increase understanding of students with Autism, building self-efficacy through the use of Social Learning Tools (Social Thinking® and Reflection Journal) to support social emotional learning and increasing social acceptance; 2) Social Learning Intervention for students with Autism (Social Learning Tools: Social Behavior Map and Reflection Journal) increased selfefficacy, engagement and social inclusion; 3) Embedding a phenomenological design identified student perspectives to be used to further guide instructional practices toward fostering Social Inclusion to build self-efficacy and increase academic achievement for all students.
- ItemBRIDGING THE GAP - GROWTH MINDSET RESEARCH AND EDUCATORS’ PRACTICE(2017-12) Tecker, Sheryl S.This research addresses the problem of low math achievement of middle school students through the use of a Growth Mindset intervention and related strategies. While the research on Growth Mindset interventions and strategies show positive results in controlled settings, there is a need to better understand Growth Mindset implementation from the perspectives of teachers and students in classroom settings. This study looked at Growth Mindset implementation with 449 students and seven teachers in sixth-grade math classrooms from two middle schools in one suburban school district. This study examines teacher and student perspectives of the effectiveness of four Growth Mindset instructional strategies and achievement results after a Growth Mindset intervention conducted by the classroom teachers. Teachers learned to implement four Growth Mindset strategies through an online professional development series provided by the district and shared their perspectives in an online discussion group and subsequent survey. All the sixth-grade students completed a survey and the researcher conducted two focus groups to identify students’ perspectives of the classroom goal orientation and the Growth Mindset strategies. The impact of the Growth Mindset intervention was measured using benchmark test scores and trimester grades, which assisted the district’s goal to improve mathematics achievement in middle school. The results demonstrate that teachers and students perceive both mastery and performance classroom goal orientations and find two Growth Mindset strategies, celebrating mistakes and providing challenging math tasks, to be well received by both groups. Findings also indicate that after the Growth Mindset intervention student achievement on the benchmark test did not improve, however, students’ grade point average did improve compared to students from the previous school year in the same district.
- ItemBRIDGING THE OPPORTUNITY GAP: MOTIVATIONAL FACTORS FOR UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES IN STEM CAREERS(2019-12) Alonso, Francisco JavierOver the last few decades, there has been a decline in the number and quality of skilled workers entering the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. This employment shortage is predicted to create a national economic crisis that threatens to erode the global economic standing of the U.S. Although there has been an effort and attempt to address these issues by investing heavily in policies and programs, there seems to be a lack of accountability and effective validation in managing the multitude of programs funded across multiple agencies. In addition, it has been documented that we, as a society, have neglected to motivate and provide equitable opportunities to certain minority groups in the STEM workforce. This study aimed to investigate effective motivators that would encourage minority students to pursue careers in the STEM professions. The target group for this mixed method study were members of the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) community, successful STEM practitioners and professionals. This study specifically focused on potentially qualified candidates that have been ignored or marginalized for many years, who may be the solution to the employment shortage problem. The data was primarily collected through a 24-item researcher-constructed survey which gathered information about the participants’ educational and life experiences, especially those experiences that influenced and motivated them to pursue their STEM career. Using ANOVAs, the researcher found that parents, family, teachers, schools, and communities provided the highest influence on URMs’ career decisions, as opposed to Non-URMs. The findings and motivational factors could be used to create and shape better and more effective policies aimed at focusing efforts and resources into programs that would motivate the highest number of Underrepresented Minorities (URMs) into STEM careers. These programs should not only be effective, but also be wellmonitored, provide accountability, and ensure that the desired results are met in a timely manner.
- ItemA BROADER VIEW: THE IMPACT OF STUDY ABROAD ON GRADUATION RATES(2019-12) Cochran, SeanStudy abroad is a highly impactful practice in higher education with many benefits (Ingraham & Peterson, 2004). Despite a recent increase in participation, less than 2% of students in the US comparatively go abroad (IIE, 2017). Listed among the known obstacles is the fear that study abroad negatively affects students’ time-to-degree (Kasravi, 2009; Lucas, 2009; Peterson, 2003). The present study provides a broader view on study abroad’s impact on graduation rates by examining how an institution’s practices affect participants’ time-to-degree. The institutional practices investigated were academic advising and course transferability. Through a convergent parallel mixed design, the researcher utilized a post-experience student survey and semi-structured interviews with academic advisors, both faculty and staff, at four large California public universities. The sample population (N = 4,291) included students who had studied abroad during the 2016-2018 academic years. Nine academic advisors from separate colleges and advising units were interviewed in order to shed light on how advisors play a role in the timely graduation of study abroad students. Both quantitative and qualitative techniques were applied to analyze the data and determine findings. Studying abroad was not only found to meet the requirements most students needed to graduate on time, it also appears to have sped up graduation for a small group of students. The amount of transferable coursework a student completed while abroad was the best predictor of timely graduation. Graduation delays were discovered to occur for a variety of reasons other than the lack of transferable coursework. The present study found it clear that academic advisors play a key role in ensuring the timely graduation of study abroad students by being facilitators and advocates.
- ItemBUILD RAPPORT, INSPIRE FEEDBACK, CELEBRATE SUCCESS, AND EXCEED RESULTS (BICE): A LEADERSHIP PROGRAM TO INCREASE ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT AND RETENTION OF BEGINNING SECONDARY TEACHERS(2017-12) Nolan, Catherine E.The purpose of this study was to analyze and evaluate the effects administrative support has on beginning secondary teachers in the state of California. The application of a four-level leadership program, BICE, on secondary school campuses provided beginning secondary teachers support and confidence in their roles as effective educators. The BICE leadership program incorporated a four-level sequential cycle to build rapport, increase feedback, celebrate success, and exceed results for beginning secondary teachers. Administrators used the four levels to reframe their role as leaders at their school site. Three areas of focus were addressed to analyze the effects of the BICE leadership program: professional development, stress, and administration. Beginning secondary teachers developed a higher priority towards professional development with an increase in willingness to observe and collaborate. The BICE leadership program lowered the levels of stress for beginning secondary teachers and increased job satisfaction. The study validated the importance administrative rapport has on beginning secondary teachers. The researcher recommends further study of the BICE leadership program and its impact on veteran secondary teachers or secondary athletic coaches, which could add greater significance to the effectiveness of rapport in the educational field.
- ItemCENTRAL OFFICE SUPPORTS FOR PRINCIPALS AS LEARNING LEADERS AND THE IMPACT ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT(2021-02) McClay, Jodi L.School leaders play a vital role in ensuring student achievement. In fact, they are second only to classroom instruction. All too often, however, principals are immersed in administrative duties with little time or training to become true leaders of learning who can shape the success of a school. This dissertation focuses on the need for central offices to create systems and structures that support the ongoing development of principals as learning leaders. It utilizes a mixed-methods approach, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative tools with a comprehensive review of relevant literature. The study is divided into two phases, a survey measuring superintendents’ and assistant superintendents’ beliefs and behaviors related to supporting the professional development of principals, and one-on-one interviews with superintendents, principals, and directors to assess the types of district office support, the impact of the support on principals’ leadership capacities and retention, and ultimately student achievement. This research produced a number of key findings, including: 1) strong relationships exist between student achievement and three beliefs and behaviors reported by districts: the quality of teaching and learning within classrooms, efforts to build trust with principals, and efforts to support principal mental health; 2) district leaders and principals acknowledge the importance of principal mentoring and believe there needs to be differentiated support for new and veteran principals; and 3) district leaders and principals place immense importance on building and maintaining high levels of trust. The results of this research conclude that in order to maximize the impact on principals as learning leaders, central offices must deliberately and thoughtfully focus on: a) prioritizing the importance of principal mentoring; b) designing systems and structures that allow for and foster principal mentoring; c) training mentors in how to coach and build trust; d) establishing supports for the mental health of principals; and e) ensuring all departments within the district are supporting the work. As a result, principal retention and student achievement will increase.
- ItemClosing the Achievement Gap Using Students' 21st Century Skills: How Fidelity to Rigorous Curriculum Design Units Affects Student Outcomes(2017-05) Eckersall, Michele AnnaThe purpose of this research project was to implement rigorous curriculum design to deliver instruction that effectively results in academically successful and engaged students who take ownership of learning. The goal in implementing rigorous curriculum design was to create academically successful students who were well-practiced in the formative process and 21st century skills in order to increase metacognition as well as college and career readiness. The 90 students in this study were from three junior high schools within the same district in Southern California. The study was conducted over eighteen weeks. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in the form of teacher grades, teacher and student surveys, and state testing results. The data provided by these instruments were analyzed during this process. The results indicated a slight increase in state test scores by gender, for Hispanic students, and for African-American students. There was little to no change in survey results from the beginning to the end of the study. Teachers also rate student ability in 21st century skills higher than the students do. Student responses indicated that more opportunities to practice 21st century skills are needed.
- ItemA COLLABORATIVE SUPPORT-TEAM APPROACH IN EDUCATING PRESCHOOLKINDERGARTEN STUDENTS FOR SCHOOL AND SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL SUCCESS(2019-05) Minardi, Stephanie MichelleThe purpose of this study was to investigate thoroughly the effectiveness of a collaborative support team approach toward a whole-child’s developmental foundation, identify preventive strategies in meeting the needs of all developmental domains, and report on the significance of individual differences and self-awareness on beliefs and perceptions of earlychildhood education. The study took place in a small community in Southern California with a diversity of socio-economic status ranging from extremely wealthy to poverty. This small district consists of five elementary schools in which preschool programs are located on three of the five campuses. The study had 231 surveys completed by parents and or caregivers. There were 52 staff members inclusive of: five preschool teachers; two transitional kindergarten teachers; seven kindergarten teachers; five school psychologists; the Speech Pathologists; two occupational therapists; zero physical therapists; one adapted physical education teacher; twenty behavior specialists; and six administrators. The Kindergarten Readiness assessment was administered to all incoming Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students, this data provided information on actual students’ academic functioning. The teachers were provided with the Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener (SAEBRS) to evaluate their students individually in the areas of social, academic, and emotional behaviors. After collecting the Quantitative data, 10 participants were selected to participate in personal interviews in order for the researcher to identify trends in relation to their beliefs and perceptions on the wholechild’s development, early-childhood school readiness and success, and the effectiveness of a collaborative support-team approach to early-childhood education.
- ItemCOMMUNITY-BASED APPROACH TO READING TO LEARN ACROSS CONTENT AREAS(2022-05) Hunt, MarianneThe purpose of this mixed-method case study is to determine the effect that a grade-wide literacy intervention program implemented through a professional learning community (PLC) has on the motivation, literacy identity, and performance of a cohort of sixth-grade students at a middle school in Norwalk, California. In this study, team of sixth-grade teachers who had adopted the principles of DuFour and Fullan (2013) as well as Fullan and Quinn (2015) sought to create a PLC that could lead to positive change in school culture and literacy rates across the curriculum. The study was guided by the following questions: What does a grade-wide literacy focused PLC intervention to support sixth-grade students’ literacy look like at the systemic level? What is the impact of a literacy-focused PLC project on grade-wide reading comprehension, students’ literacy practices, and students’ confidence as readers? How does this PLC effort change the school system and its leaders’ and students’ buy-in? The researcher analyzed pre and post student and staff surveys as well as meeting agendas, notes, and correspondences to describe the process of implementing a cohesive grade-level PLC and determine the impact that it had on literacy practices and the culture of the school. Ethnographic notes revealed that the teachers made a collective decision to focus on literacy across the curriculum. They collaborated regularly and used data to inform their decisions and the course of their intervention. The researcher compared pre and post i-Ready scores to measure growth in reading comprehension. At the beginning of the year, 103 students were reading below the fourth-grade level (based on i-Ready scores). At the end of the year, there was a significant decrease of 18.4% to 84 students. Surveys and reflections revealed that the project had a positive impact on relationships between teachers and students as students reported feeling supported and cared for by their teachers. There was an increase in the students’ positive literacy practices and their confidence as readers. The effort had an effect on the wider school culture as other grade-level teams agreed to adopt some of the practices of the sixth-grade team.
- ItemCORRELATED STUDY OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT(2021-02) Lin, Shao-HuiThe direct relationship between school administrators’ leadership style and student achievement is inconclusive. Some previous research studies suggest a positive influence of transformational leadership on organizational culture and staff motivation (Ahmad, Abbas, Latif, & Rasheed, 2014; Chen & Baron, 2006; Eriksson, By, & Jonsson, 2016; Quin, Deris, Bischoff, & Johnson, 2015). Further study of the assumed correlation between essential factors of transformational leadership and student academic performance growth as evidenced on the newly implemented California state student performance assessment, is important for understanding leadership style impact on student achievement. This study examines whether a significant relationship exists between school administrators’ transformational leadership style and student growth on one required annual set of English Language Arts and Mathematics state assessments. A quantitative correlational study was designed to investigate leadership style using inventory data from the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire-Form 6S (Kirkbride, 2006; Ozaralli, 2003; Tejeda, Scandura, & Pillai, 2001) and three years of school assessment results. The researcher surveyed school administrators from a large urban district in California. Both leadership and assessment data were tested utilizing the Spearman correlational analysis. Findings of the study indicate no or limited correlation between school administrators’ transformational leadership styles and students' academic performance on the California state assessment. The results imply a complexity of school administrators’ work in sufficiently leading to enhancing student academic achievement. The researcher recommends that future studies with more holistic approaches using larger sample groups can strengthen this study's findings and offer a more comprehensive perspective of the school leadership style relationship to student achievement.
- ItemCORRELATING FORMATIVE SELF-ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATION GRADUATE ONLINE PROGRAMS(2018-05) Spady, RebeccaAs we become more advanced technologically in our online educational courses, it is imperative that we also incorporate effective research-based practices such as the use of formative assessment. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of formative self-assessment to academic achievement and self-efficacy in online graduate courses. The research included a review of online education, formative assessment, self-efficacy, and associated learning theories. A mixed methods study was used that included quantitative and qualitative data for triangulation of the study results. A correlational research design was used for the quantitative approach and a phenomenological research design was used for the qualitative approach. The correlational research design was chosen to examine the relationships between variables and to describe the current state. The phenomenological research design was chosen because the study was focused on the relationship of a particular phenomenon to the participant’s cognitive and dispositional experiences. The subjects included students that were enrolled in Master’s in Education or Doctor of Education courses from three universities located in Southern California. The methodology included student self-assessment through a project rubric, a survey to operationalize academic achievement, and a survey and interviews to operationalize student self-efficacy. While the statistical findings did not reflect strong correlations, the non-statistical findings reflected a positive relationship between formative self-assessment as it related to academic achievement and student self-efficacy in online graduate programs. Formative self-assessment provides online educators with a tool to enhance the course effectiveness and the overall learning process.
- ItemCULTURALLY RESPONSIVE TEACHING PRACTICE AS IT RELATES TO TEACHERS’ PERSPECTIVES(2020-05) Reyes-Aceytuno, ElizabethAs the ethnic and linguistic diversity of school populations continue to increase, it becomes essential for school systems to engage in culturally responsive teaching, which emphasizes the need for students’ culture to be at the forefront of their learning. Culturally responsive pedagogy takes into consideration student culture, teacher relationships, expectations, and curricula as elements contributing to educational attainment. The methodology of the study is a mixed methods explanatory study that used two data collection methods, a survey and interview. The data collection was completed in two phases. The first phase was a self-reporting Likert scale survey gathering quantitative and qualitative data. The next phase involved followup semi-structured interviews with a strategically selected subsample of participants. The sample consisted of 119 teachers from varied age groups and experience levels, ranging from beginning to veteran teachers. Participants also came from various grade levels, primarily the elementary, middle and high school levels. Participants defined Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) as the integration of students’ culture and strengths in their education, allowing them to make connections to what they are learning and to build on their knowledge. The findings suggest that to implement CRT, there should be increased use of instructional practices that encourage social justice, challenge the status quo, and provide different cultural perspectives that need to be applied. The findings also indicated a moderate positive correlation between teacher perception and CRT practices. The barriers identified described participants' experiences related to their load of responsibilities and time constraints. The supports and resources identified were leadership, professional development, and coursework
- ItemDEVELOPING SELF-REGULATION BEHAVIORAL STRATEGIES FOR FIFTH-GRADE THROUGH THE MINDFULNESS YOGA SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING FOCUS – MYSELF INTERVENTION(2021-08) Hande, MarilynFor the past decade, research has indicated that working through social-emotional issues productively within a specific curriculum has a very positive effect on classroom behavior, learning, and achievement (Durlak, Weissberg, & Pachan, 2010; Sklad, Diekstra, Ritter, Ben, & Gravesteijn, 2012). Combining mindfulness within a social-emotional curriculum has been shown to develop emotional balance, improve attention and concentration, and reduce anxiety (de la Fuente-Arias, 2010; Salvador, & Franco, 2010; Goleman & Davidson, 2017; Schoeberlein David, & Sheth, 2012). This mixed-methods study investigated the effects of the Mindfulness Yoga Social-Emotional Learning Focus: MYSELF Intervention (Hande, 2020) on the development of self-regulation strategies for fifth-grade students through a mindfulness intervention. The intervention group received 35 minutes of the MYSELF Intervention activities two days a week during an eight-week period. A pre/post survey was administered. Survey scores for the intervention group were compared to determine the results of the intervention. Quantitative measures included student pre and post survey. Qualitative measures included teacher pre and post semi-structured interviews and researcher journal reflections. The researchers expected the results to have increased in the post-survey after the intervention was completed. Although the effect was not statistically significant, the intervention provided indicated that students and teachers were using the mindfulness strategies to support their well-being.
- ItemDeveloping Social-Emotional Competence Interventions that Facilitate Emotional and Behavioral Self-Regulation(2017-05) Bonillo, Danette BonfieldThe literature on childhood learning has shown that numerous factors lead to student achievement. A student must access personal resources to successfully navigate their educational and social world. This study sought to determine if intervention promotes students’ social, emotional, and behavioral self-regulation, as well as implications for readiness to learn. The study’s sample was comprised of 75 kindergarten students in a general education public school setting that received 90 minutes of intervention weekly in their natural classroom environment. The 10-week intervention consisted of direct instruction within the classroom for 30 minutes twice weekly by the teacher and researcher, with three 10-minute ‘check-in’ periods throughout the week to provide feedback and reinforcement. Several qualitative and quantitative tools were used to analyze the impact of the intervention, including the Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener (SAEBRS), teacher surveys, a post-intervention teacher focus group, home program, researcher’s observations, and parent reports. The major findings included a statistically significant difference between pre- and post-test results following intervention. Consistency and teacher support were reported as contributing factors. Teachers, parents, and students indicated that the researcher’s lessons and intermittent reinforcement made a significant impact on the positive outcome of the intervention program. The results showed that students demonstrated the use of tools and terminology related to self-regulation in their school and home environments. Additional analysis suggested that three quantitatively identified “at risk” students, who consistently participated in the home program, were no longer in the at risk range, following intervention. Based on the Grounded Theory Framework, unique components of an effective self-regulation program emerged to provide implications for practice and further research recommendations.
- ItemDISSECTING VIRTUAL CADAVERS: THE IMPACT OF AUGMENTED REALITY ON UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS’ MOTIVATION TO LEARN HUMAN ANATOMY(2022-05) Stelter, Annette K.This study explores Allied Health undergraduate students' experiences learning human anatomy through Augmented Reality (AR) technology compared to other modalities in a private university. The research used multivariate analysis to measure and understand the impact of AR on the learning of human anatomy by undergraduate allied health students, specifically those in nursing and dental hygiene careers (N = 302). A mixed methods research design using statements on a 5-point Likert scale and open-ended questions was used to collect quantitative and qualitative data. Participants were asked to compare their educational, affective, and physical experiences in a Human Anatomy course. Although there were no statistically significant differences in the impact of AR compared to other modalities, the study demonstrated that positive and negative factors could influence students’ motivation and self-efficacy. While approximately 54% of the participants desired to use AR again, 64% stated that AR increased their knowledge of anatomy. Highlighted was a less affective experience due to unresponsive technology and physical distress. Of the findings, participants' negative physical experience with the device (e.g., eye strain, headaches, dizziness, and neck pain) was significant despite the positive feedback on AR’s benefits. This study found that the physical discomfort that students experienced compared with other modalities was irremissible. Nonetheless, as AR evolves and becomes more adaptive, responsive, accessible, and cost-effective, Allied Health colleges will likely invest in AR as a primary learning modality.
- ItemDRIVING THROUGH THE COLLEGE CHOICE PROCESS: A MULTI-METHODS APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT(2021-12) Tambara-Leviste, KortneyThis dissertation is focused on understanding the expectations, beliefs, and motivations of parental involvement during the college choice process. Many high school students are under a lot of stress and pressure influenced by a culture of achievement. This culture has created a competitive college choice process and has intensified the role of parents to help their child succeed, sometimes resulting in an unhealthy level of parental involvement. The researcher used a multi-methods approach to survey parents of 12th grade students, going through the college choice process, and whose exposure and experience to college admissions was similar based on age-appropriateness. Following the survey, parents volunteered to participate in interviews to share their experiences and provide a deeper understanding of their expectations and beliefs. The information gleaned from this study provided insight into the expectations and beliefs of parents and why and how they are involved in the college choice process using Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler’s theoretical model. One of the key findings from the study was how the college choice process highlights the inequities for parents whose lack of confidence may stem from their life context. Parents who are immigrants, non-native English speakers, less educated, and make less money feel less confident about their ability to support their child in the college choice process. It is the hope of the researcher that the findings of the study can benefit schools by providing insight into how to better serve, educate, and understand parents and their involvement in the college choice process.
- ItemECONOMIC PROSPERITY AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: HOW ONE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA SCHOOL DISTRICT’S HIGH SCHOOL ACADEMIC EXPERIENCES CAN BETTER PREPARE STUDENTS FOR COLLEGE AND CAREER(2017-05) Nelson, William GregoryAs we progress into the 21st century, we find ourselves at a transition point in the field of education. Preparing students for future careers and economic prosperity requires a dramatic change in the traditional American high school education system. The purpose of this mixed methods study is to identify if the participants’ high school experiences provided the skills necessary for college and career preparation after graduation, ensuring their economic prosperity as adults. Three research questions were addressed in this study: (1) If students graduate from high school unprepared for college and career after graduation, what is the economic impact on the community? (2) Does the completion of career-related programs such as career pathways, career technical education (CTE), or science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) prepare students for college and career? (3) Does A-G course completion, participation in honors programs, early college, or dual credit courses completed in high school prepare students for college and career? This population was identified because they would have time after graduation from high school to provide answers if their high school education program affected their college and career success or lack thereof. The findings demonstrated that the participants’ high school college and career preparation could influence students’ future economic success as adults. Also,the findings suggest that the specific types of experiences the participants had while in high school that led to their economic success varied and depended on the type of educational programs, opportunities, experiences, support, and motivation they had in high school.
- ItemEDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP EFFICACY: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DATA USE, DATA USE CONFIDENCE, LEADERSHIP EFFICACY, AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT(2019-12) Rhoads, MatthewThe purpose of this study was to understand the relationships between how educational leaders use data, levels of leadership efficacy with which they use data, and the relationship between data use, efficacy toward data use, and student achievement in K-12 school settings. Also, the purpose of this study was to understand how data practices and data-driven cultures are being established and utilized by educational leaders in different leadership positions at K-12 schools and school districts. This study utilized a mixed methods research design to answer six quantitative and two qualitative research questions. For the six quantitative research questions, the researcher employed a correlational research design to determine if correlational relationships exist between leadership efficacy, data use confidence, data use, and student achievement. For the two qualitative research questions, the researcher employed grounded theory to code the data gathered thematically. The quantitative data results indicated that several relationships existed among several of the variables utilized for this study: data use confidence and educational leadership efficacy; educational leadership efficacy and data use; and data use and data use confidence. However, data use confidence, data use, and efficacy did not have a relationship with the student achievement variable. Qualitative findings demonstrated how educational leaders have the responsibility and obligation to implement, mandate, and model data-driven cultures. In addition, qualitative findings indicated that educational leaders perceived data practices as driving decision making for instructional and school improvement. Lastly, qualitative findings found several constraints, such as the lack of time, lack of capacity to use data, and resistance from staff and teachers impeded the use of data and data practices by educational leaders in K-12 schools and districts.