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Masters Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Education

What To Expect? An Exploration Of International Student Experience, Meagan Mullen Apr 2018

What To Expect? An Exploration Of International Student Experience, Meagan Mullen

Masters Theses

International students face particular barriers when attending higher education in the United States, some of which could be due to misguided expectations of their experiences. This research study used Expectancy Violations Theory to explore the expectations of international students in their first semester in the United States. Using semi-structured interviews, this qualitative study found that participants create expectations for academics, relationships, culture, and lifestyle, and that these expectations are either met or violated, which results in differing experiences. These expectations were created both consciously and unconsciously and were sometimes a result of information found online or learned from other people ...


Privileged And Complicit: Education And Understanding Of White Privilege At A Predominately White Institution, Chase Rourke Dolan Apr 2018

Privileged And Complicit: Education And Understanding Of White Privilege At A Predominately White Institution, Chase Rourke Dolan

Masters Theses

At predominately-white institutions (PWI), students commonly come from racially homogenous backgrounds and may have never had to think about their racial identity or racial issues. The purpose of this study was to examine white students’ understandings of the concept of privilege, the effectiveness of their education at this institution about privilege, and their comfort with racial dialogue. Without an understanding of privilege and oppression, and their complicity in this system, students cannot be expected to engage meaningfully in any discussion about racial injustice. Helms’ white racial identity development model, Watt’s privileged identity exploration model, and critical race theory were ...


An Examination Of The Relationship Between Use Of Counseling Services And Emotional Resiliency Development, Chelse M. Hawkins Apr 2018

An Examination Of The Relationship Between Use Of Counseling Services And Emotional Resiliency Development, Chelse M. Hawkins

Masters Theses

Mental health services remain underutilized and stigmatized within the culture of higher education despite the important role that they play in the development of one’s emotional resiliency competence (ERC). Data suggest that mental health disorders account for nearly 50% of the total burden of disease for young adults in the United States. Students who struggle with mental health concerns in college tend to have lower grade point averages and are at greater risk for dropout than those students who do not struggle with these concerns. Counseling services are able to alleviate the symptoms of mental health concerns through the ...


Using Figurative Language In American English: Challenges And Successes Of Adult English Learners, Abbey L. Ventrone Aug 2017

Using Figurative Language In American English: Challenges And Successes Of Adult English Learners, Abbey L. Ventrone

Masters Theses

English language learners (ELLs) face many challenges when learning English. One of those challenges is the figurative language that is used in every day conversations. Often the lack of understanding or misunderstanding, can result in awkward conversations for English learners. This study aimed to identify what interpretations adult English learners at the advanced level give to American English figurative language and how do those interpretations differ or correspond to native speakers’ interpretations. This case study looks specifically at five adult learners from three different countries. The learners met once a week during the summer of 2016 to listen and interpret ...


Exploring The Relationship Between Athletic Identity And Career Maturity Among High Profile Student Athletes In Revenue Producing Sports Attending A Division Ii Institution, Renida S. Clark May 2017

Exploring The Relationship Between Athletic Identity And Career Maturity Among High Profile Student Athletes In Revenue Producing Sports Attending A Division Ii Institution, Renida S. Clark

Masters Theses

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the relationship between athletic identity and career maturity of high profile male athletes at a Division II institution in the Midwest. The study was guided by Donald E. Super’s (1957) career development theory. Participants were high profile male student athletes, who were currently enrolled at the institution and played a revenue producing sport (narrowly defined as men’s football and basketball). Semi-structured interviews were conducted that prompted participants to describe their experiences as high profile student athletes and how those experiences contributed to their athletic identity and career maturity. Findings ...


“The Cracked Pots Of Humanity”: Post-World War Ii American Literary Perspectives On Psychiatric Treatment/Containment Of Mental Disorders, Jennifer Chichester May 2017

“The Cracked Pots Of Humanity”: Post-World War Ii American Literary Perspectives On Psychiatric Treatment/Containment Of Mental Disorders, Jennifer Chichester

Masters Theses

This thesis examines the ways in which characters in Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and The Bird’s Nest, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces grapple with the concept of “madness” on individual and societal levels. Each of these Post-World War II novels question whether “madness” is a social construct. Is the person mad, or is society? These three novels, written in an era when inpatient psychiatric care was losing its prominence as a method for treating those deemed insane, reflect the growing trend ...


Black Male Persistence Through Stereotypes In College, Taylor B. H. Boyd May 2017

Black Male Persistence Through Stereotypes In College, Taylor B. H. Boyd

Masters Theses

Stereotypes create threatening environments for Black males on campus causing social, psychological, and academic effects of Black male collegiate success. The theoretical underpinnings of stereotype threat and critical race theory drive this study and explain where stereotypes derive from and how they create threatening environments for stereotyped Black male collegians. In addition, this thesis seeks to break the deficit narrative surrounding Black males in college. In doing so, this study highlights how Black males persist through stereotypes and the threatening environments they create in both academic and social settings in college. The qualitative phenomenological research design captures the lived experiences ...


Reasons For Their Departure: A Look At Undergraduate Women Who Abandon Stem Majors, Nicole S. Rombach May 2017

Reasons For Their Departure: A Look At Undergraduate Women Who Abandon Stem Majors, Nicole S. Rombach

Masters Theses

Despite surpassing undergraduate men in degree completion, undergraduate women are still underrepresented in certain STEM majors and depart from these fields at higher rates. Much of the existing research on this topic, however, is quantitative in nature and conducted at large research institutions. This study sought to gain a better understanding of the reasons why undergraduate women switched from STEM to non-STEM majors at a large, Midwest liberal arts institution. A qualitative, phenomenological design was used to identify the reasons students identify as important in their decision to switch majors, the ways in which gender might have been tied to ...


Racial Ideology And Black Students’ Leadership Experiences At A Historically White Institution, Rechard Peel May 2017

Racial Ideology And Black Students’ Leadership Experiences At A Historically White Institution, Rechard Peel

Masters Theses

The purpose of the present study is to understand the relationship between racial ideology and leadership experiences of Black student leaders at a historically White institution (HWI). Using a phenomenological approach, the study seeks to delineate the experiences of Black students as it relates to their leadership and racial identity. Using the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity (MIBI); (Sellers et al., 1997) and one-on-one semi-structured interviews, data was collected from Black undergraduate students at a midsized HWI who were classified as juniors or above and who participated in one or more student organizations or campus activities in a leadership capacity ...


Perception Of Roles Of General Education Teachers & Special Education Teachers In Regard To The Inclusion Of Students With A Cognitive Impairment In The General Education Classroom, Justine B. Keuning-Lafrence Aug 2016

Perception Of Roles Of General Education Teachers & Special Education Teachers In Regard To The Inclusion Of Students With A Cognitive Impairment In The General Education Classroom, Justine B. Keuning-Lafrence

Masters Theses

The field of education has grown and changed to include students with a cognitive impairment being educated in the general education classroom. In order for these students to access the general education curriculum and achieve academic success, general education teachers and special education teachers must collaborate effectively to provide for the needs of these students. Effective collaboration depends on teachers having a perception of their roles and their co-workers’ roles that is compatible with their co-workers’ perceptions. This study looks at the perceptions of both general education teachers and special education teachers in regard to students with a cognitive impairment ...


Building Principals’ Self-Efficacy Regarding Their Ability To Supervise Special Education Programing And Staff, Candida J. Marek Aug 2016

Building Principals’ Self-Efficacy Regarding Their Ability To Supervise Special Education Programing And Staff, Candida J. Marek

Masters Theses

This study uses quantitative data analysis to reveal Michigan building principals’ selfefficacy dependent on number of years on the job and types of certification they hold. These findings reveal the need for principals to have more opportunities to better understand this special population they are leading and are responsible for. Albert Bandura has established much research on self-efficacy and cognitive theory. Applying that research to that of principal responsibility reveals a need for more knowledge and confidence in the area of Special Education. Principals report that this area is not addressed formally in their certification journey and the need to ...


Coming Home: How Identity Plays A Role In Students Who Study Abroad In An Area That Is Representative Of Their Heritage, Mariana I. Naddaf Apr 2016

Coming Home: How Identity Plays A Role In Students Who Study Abroad In An Area That Is Representative Of Their Heritage, Mariana I. Naddaf

Masters Theses

Study abroad participation has more than tripled over the past two decades in the United States and has led to increased research efforts on topics such as the benefits of study abroad and the development of students who study abroad; however, little research exists on students who have heritage connections to the area in which they study abroad. In order to address this need within the field of higher education and study abroad, a hermeneutic phenomenological qualitative study was conducted to explore what factors, if any, affect changes in identity salience for students who study abroad in areas that are ...


Retaining Staff Members Of Color At A Midwestern Predominantly White Institution, Tiffany L. Steele Apr 2016

Retaining Staff Members Of Color At A Midwestern Predominantly White Institution, Tiffany L. Steele

Masters Theses

There continues to be a gap between the growing multicultural student body and predominantly White faculty and staff members who work with students. One factor in increasing the likelihood of persistence in college for minoritized students is the presence of a mentor with a similar ethnic background. Nevertheless, as of 2004, the populations of faculty, staff and administrators are still disproportionately dominated by White Americans. This study investigated how a university or college can better retain staff members of color. The participants were current and past staff members of color who worked at one university within the Midwestern United States ...


Racial Identity Development Of African American Students In Relation To Black Studies Courses, Ja'kia M. Fuller Apr 2016

Racial Identity Development Of African American Students In Relation To Black Studies Courses, Ja'kia M. Fuller

Masters Theses

The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to provide understanding of the reason why African American students choose to enroll or do not enroll in Black Studies courses; and, (2) explore the relationship between racial identity development and Black Studies programs. Using a phenomenological approach, African American undergraduate students who have: (a) participated in a student organization that focuses on the advancement of Black people/African Americans, an organization that was founded with the purpose of creating an organization for Black Americans, or an organization that focuses on racial equality; or (b) be a Black Studies minor were interviewed ...


The Effects Of Three Seating Arrangements On Players’ Preference Of Sound In A String Orchestra, Tammy J. Clark Jan 2016

The Effects Of Three Seating Arrangements On Players’ Preference Of Sound In A String Orchestra, Tammy J. Clark

Masters Theses

The purpose of this exploratory, action research study was to investigate the effect of three seating arrangements on players’ preference of sound in the string orchestra. Research questions included the following: (a) How was the players’ perception of string orchestra sound affected by the repositioning of sections across the orchestra? (b) What seating arrangement do orchestra members prefer? (c) How do the preferences of orchestra members vary by section, gender, grade and years of playing experience? High school orchestra members recorded three different one-minute excerpts each in three different seating arrangements. After listening to the recorded excerpts, they chose which ...


In This Together: Secondary Language Arts Teachers’ Responses To Learning Labs, Lisa A. Britten Jan 2016

In This Together: Secondary Language Arts Teachers’ Responses To Learning Labs, Lisa A. Britten

Masters Theses

Since the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act was signed into law in 2001, literacy leaders and other school administrators have been challenged to increase student achievement to meet the law’s rigorous student proficiency goals and avoid penalties. To avoid the sanctions associated with not making adequate yearly progress (AYP), school and district leaders have been challenged to provide teachers with professional development that effectively equips teachers with the knowledge to meet the unique needs of each student in their classrooms. Because research has determined that high-quality professional development leads to higherquality teaching, and higher-quality teaching leads to increased ...


Measuring The Adult Literacy Rate In English: The Case Of The Grand Rapids West Hope Zone, Lindsay M. Mcholme Aug 2015

Measuring The Adult Literacy Rate In English: The Case Of The Grand Rapids West Hope Zone, Lindsay M. Mcholme

Masters Theses

Research efforts in identifying adult literacy rates have for the most part focused on national and international contexts. Conversely, there has been little to no research conducted on neighborhood literacy rates in medium size cities. The purpose of this study was to identify the adult literacy rate in the West Hope Zone, a neighborhood in Grand Rapids Michigan. The major findings reveal that the English illiteracy rates are higher than the most recent estimations by the National Adult Literacy Survey. Adults who attended college, regardless of the language, had more literacy skills and knowledge than those who had a high ...


Students’ Motivations And Barriers To Online Education, Vladimir Abramenka Jul 2015

Students’ Motivations And Barriers To Online Education, Vladimir Abramenka

Masters Theses

The problem explored in this study stems from the paradox between the growing number of online classes and the decreasing retention rate of students who take online classes. In order to understand the reasons behind this decreasing retention rate the study is aimed at revealing barriers students encounter when taking online courses. The second main area of the study is to determine whether or not differences exist between students who want to take online classes and those who do not want to take online classes. Answers to the first research question were obtained by gathering and analyzing survey responses.

Multiple ...


Nerds: A Reclamation Of An Identity, Angiola L. Gabriel Apr 2015

Nerds: A Reclamation Of An Identity, Angiola L. Gabriel

Masters Theses

The term nerd has seen an alteration in usage since it was first used in the 1950s. Originally, nerd carried a negative connotation and people labeled as such were given or had traits such as being overly studious, socially inept, or physically unattractive. However, the term nerd has seen a change in usage since the 1980s; now, the term nerd is seen as a more positive identifier that denotes passion, as well as individuality and intellectualism. There a number of different studies that address nerd identities and cultures in the K-12 educational setting and a broader societal contexts. Yet, there ...


The Impact Of Study Abroad On Multicultural Competency Among Student Affairs Graduate Students, Matthew N. Musser Apr 2015

The Impact Of Study Abroad On Multicultural Competency Among Student Affairs Graduate Students, Matthew N. Musser

Masters Theses

Research has demonstrated the importance of multicultural competency for student affairs practitioners and their ability to effectively serve students (Pope, Reynolds, & Mueller, 2004). However, there has been little research into the various programs, especially study abroad, designed to impact multicultural competency among student affairs practitioners. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact that a short-term study abroad experience had on student affairs graduate students‟ multicultural competency. The study involved quantitative survey research methods involving 90 former graduate students who participated in the experience between the years 1999-2010 and who were still active in the profession. Participants completed ...


Undocumented Latino College Students And Identity Development: A Qualitative Analysis Of Undocumented Latino College Students’ Movement Towards Developing Purpose, Theresa Danielle Lyon Apr 2015

Undocumented Latino College Students And Identity Development: A Qualitative Analysis Of Undocumented Latino College Students’ Movement Towards Developing Purpose, Theresa Danielle Lyon

Masters Theses

Undocumented Latino college students face numerous legal, social, and financial barriers as they attempt to pursue a postsecondary degree. The psychosocial stressors that accompany being labeled as an undocumented immigrant put these students at risk of disengaging from their postsecondary education as they face limited career options and social rejection. Researchers have noted the psychosocial development that occur as students transition to an adult identity, yet little research has been done on how undocumented Latino college students navigate barriers to their identity develop and attempt to define their purpose as not only college students, but members of U.S. Society ...


Evaluation Of Teachers Of Students With Low-Incidence Disabilities, Martyann Guiney Apr 2015

Evaluation Of Teachers Of Students With Low-Incidence Disabilities, Martyann Guiney

Masters Theses

Current reforms of teacher evaluation systems in the state of Michigan are meant to improve teacher effectiveness, resulting in increased student growth and achievement. However, little research exists to support best practices in the evaluation of special education teachers. The evaluation of special education teachers involves many unique challenges which are especially apparent when evaluating teachers of students with lowincidence disabilities. The tools and processes being proposed by the state are born from research within general education and, consequently, may not be effective in meeting the unique challenges of evaluating special education teachers. The perceptions of special education administrators regarding ...


Reading Intervention Strategies For General Education Middle School Students: Providing A Space For Teachers To Share Effective Methods, Amy Michelle Baas Apr 2015

Reading Intervention Strategies For General Education Middle School Students: Providing A Space For Teachers To Share Effective Methods, Amy Michelle Baas

Masters Theses

While studies have been conducted to highlight intervention strategies that will help struggling readers, very few of these empirical studies have used middle school aged students as participants. And among those studies which have, the results were based solely on quantifiable data; the opinions of the classroom teachers who work with these students daily cannot be found in these or any of the empirical studies. The purpose of this thesis is to fill this gap by offering a space for middle school English language arts teachers to share effective intervention strategies that they use in their classrooms to help struggling ...


Children Birth To Age Three With Feeding Difficulties: Systems Level Perspectives Of Supports, Needs, And Interagency Collaboration, Sondra M. Stegenga Apr 2015

Children Birth To Age Three With Feeding Difficulties: Systems Level Perspectives Of Supports, Needs, And Interagency Collaboration, Sondra M. Stegenga

Masters Theses

Early identification and treatment of feeding difficulties greatly improves outcomes for young children with feeding difficulties (Williams et al., 2006). However, identifying and addressing feeding difficulties in young children, birth to age three, is complex; requiring not only interdisciplinary collaboration (Arvedson, 2008; Bruns & Thompson, 2010; Lefton-Greif & Arvedson, 2008; Williams et al., 2006) but also interagency collaboration due to the various partners involved in service provision for young children, birth to age three (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2004). When such interagency collaboration is needed, systems level structural supports are shown to levy the greatest impact on outcomes (Tseng et al., 2011). Yet, prior to ...


Professional Experiences Of Women Administrators In Student Services, Christy M. Mayo Dec 2014

Professional Experiences Of Women Administrators In Student Services, Christy M. Mayo

Masters Theses

The number of women pursuing higher education now outnumbers that of men. However, the number of women in administration and faculty roles does not mirror that of the student population. Instead, women are often found in midlevel and low level positions, especially within student services and student affairs. This thesis is a qualitative study that employs the phenomenological method to explore and examine the professional experiences of seven midlevel administrators in student affairs and student services at GVSU. The constant comparative method of coding was used to analyze the data, identify themes, and articulate assertions. The themes that emerged from ...


Effects Of Summer School On Academic Achievement: Reducing Summer Learning Loss In Middle School, Angela Joy Aumaugher Aug 2014

Effects Of Summer School On Academic Achievement: Reducing Summer Learning Loss In Middle School, Angela Joy Aumaugher

Masters Theses

Summer learning loss has been implicated in the achievement gap between economically advantaged and disadvantaged students. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of a summer school program on the degree of summer learning loss and academic achievement of middle school students. Participants included a census of middle school students who attended the summer school program at a small public charter school in the Midwest between the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2014. Achievement and learning loss were determined based on fall and spring testing using the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures for Academic Progress ...


The Generational Digital Divide: Understanding Adult Learners’ Self-Efficacy In Online Education, Justin Allen Melick Jul 2014

The Generational Digital Divide: Understanding Adult Learners’ Self-Efficacy In Online Education, Justin Allen Melick

Masters Theses

Higher education is seeing a substantial rise in both the number of adult learners who are returning to college as well as the number of online and blended courses being offered by institutions. Adult learners are returning to higher education and frequently finding themselves in an e-learning environment, which may not have existed during their first stint in college. Online and blended classes often require students to complete technology tasks that they may not be confident performing. This thesis uses descriptive statistics to determine which tasks commonly used in online courses adult learners are least confident performing, giving institutions more ...


(Re)Claiming Spaces Through Story: An Examination Of The Liberatory Potential Of Autobiographical Narrative In Adult L2 Literacy Development, Jessica Elizabeth Peters Apr 2014

(Re)Claiming Spaces Through Story: An Examination Of The Liberatory Potential Of Autobiographical Narrative In Adult L2 Literacy Development, Jessica Elizabeth Peters

Masters Theses

Adult ESL learners at the community education level are frequently undereducated (Lasater and Elliott, 2000, 2005), and fifty percent of limited-English proficient (LEP) adults report having nine or fewer years of formal schooling (NCIIP, 2012). They may be preliterate or only marginally literate even in their L1, which has significant negative implications both for language acquisition and for employment and educational opportunities. Further, many of these adult students also experience feelings of low self-worth with respect to their ability to succeed in any academic setting, let alone a foreign one, which poses a serious barrier to their ability to transition ...


Student Success And Service-Learning: Exploring The Relationship At A Two-Year Public Institution, Leah Renee Kicinski Apr 2014

Student Success And Service-Learning: Exploring The Relationship At A Two-Year Public Institution, Leah Renee Kicinski

Masters Theses

This exploratory study examines the relationship between service-learning and student success at a two-year community college in the urban Midwest. Students who participated in service-learning during the 2010-2011 academic year were identified by institutional research and planning (n=788); additionally, students completed a survey regarding service experiences and learning outcomes (n=280). The data suggest that student success appears to be related to service-learning; 76% of subjects who participated in service-learning met a success indicator compared to 62% of students who were enrolled 2011-2012. Additionally, students reported learning communication, critical thinking, diversity, interpersonal, and personal skills as a result of ...


Postsecondary Inclusion For Individuals With An Intellectual Disability: A Comparative Case Study, Eric Jordan Moore Apr 2014

Postsecondary Inclusion For Individuals With An Intellectual Disability: A Comparative Case Study, Eric Jordan Moore

Masters Theses

Postsecondary education programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities have emerged exponentially in the United States over the last decade. Research regarding these programs has largely been descriptive, and thus there exists a need for qualitative, outcome-based research. In this comparative case study, graduates from two types of postsecondary education programs for individuals with intellectual disability are surveyed regarding employment outcomes and other personal developments. The results from each program are compared with one another and also with a comparison group of individuals with intellectual disabilities who did not attend a postsecondary program (utilizing the 2009 National Longitudinal Transition Study-2). This ...