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Connecting Access And Efficiency: Community College Course-Taking Patterns That Predict Vertical Transfer, Laverne Wingate Ellerbe Jan 2019

Connecting Access And Efficiency: Community College Course-Taking Patterns That Predict Vertical Transfer, Laverne Wingate Ellerbe

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Vertical transfer is a centennial symbol of access that also provides inputs for operational funding and produces outcomes for performance-based funding (PBF). Thus, this mission-critical community college function may be leveraged to decisively impact the higher education completion agenda. Yet, deeper insights into student level data are needed to understand what powers vertical transfer efficiency. Previous research used administrative data, analyzed access, and tracked transfer outcomes, but few studies have used vertical transfer as a single analysis framework to reconcile access and efficiency goals while examining tensions between access, accountability, and resource allocation. The body of research tends to isolate ...


A Program Evaluation Of The One-To-One Chromebook Initiative In A Rural School District In Virginia, Juvenal Enrique Abrego-Meneses Dec 2018

A Program Evaluation Of The One-To-One Chromebook Initiative In A Rural School District In Virginia, Juvenal Enrique Abrego-Meneses

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this program evaluation was to evaluate the implementation of the One-to-one Chromebook initiative in a rural school district in Virginia. The study used the goals of the district's technology plan as a framework to measure the effectiveness in the implementation of the One-to-one Chromebook Computer initiative in Grades 5, 6, 9, and 10. The study sought to collect the perceptions of stakeholders toward the program, the degree to which students engaged in the purposeful and effective use of Chromebooks as well as the application of technology to demonstrate students' knowledge of 21st century skills. The participants ...


Critical And Creative Thinking In General Education: A Descriptive Case Study, Nicholas Richard Marsella Nov 2018

Critical And Creative Thinking In General Education: A Descriptive Case Study, Nicholas Richard Marsella

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Abstract as part of a strategic planning effort begun in 2008, the College of William & Mary began the process of reviewing and changing its general education program. Approved by the faculty in 2013, the university is implementing an innovative curriculum called the "College Curriculum," designed in part to help students acquire knowledge and develop the skills and habits of critical and creative thinking. The purpose of this study was to investigate the institution's and faculty's understanding of how the new curriculum addressed student development of critical and creative thinking. This descriptive case study provided a review of the literature on general education, critical and creative thinking; a review of key documentation; and structured interviews with faculty and other members of the community with an understanding of the problem. Lattuca and Stark's (2009) academic plan model provided a theoretical frame to analyze the data, determining that the impetus for initiation of the curriculum review was primarily driven by internal forces within the college. Using established governance procedures, the faculty played the leading role in its development and approval to include establishing the goal of developing critical and creative thinking as key ...


A State-Level Superintendent Evaluation Policy Analysis, Tracey L. Schneider Oct 2018

A State-Level Superintendent Evaluation Policy Analysis, Tracey L. Schneider

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

It is the superintendent's complex role and ultimate leadership responsibility for all district outcomes that suggests superintendents hold the key to successful reform. Research in the wake of the federal accountability and reform movement has focused on the principal as the mediator of school reform. Consequently, there is a dearth of research focusing on the superintendent's role in school reform, superintendent performance evaluation, and the state's responsibility to ensure a fair, equitable, and high-quality superintendent evaluation process through state-level policy. This study is a comprehensive policy analysis of state-level superintendent evaluation policies nationwide using a basic content ...


A Program Evaluation Of An After-School Reading Intervention Program In A Small Urban Elementary School, Erin Kershner Oct 2018

A Program Evaluation Of An After-School Reading Intervention Program In A Small Urban Elementary School, Erin Kershner

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this study was to conduct a program evaluation of an after-school reading intervention program for reluctant readers. The program is part of a school district initiative to help young students establish positive, productive habits and dispositions toward reading. Program participants included teachers in the after-school program and parents of students who participated for two years. The evaluation questions were designed to assess the perceptions of those stakeholders on the benefit of the program for student participants. Both teachers and parents perceived that the program benefited students' receptive vocabularies. Teachers found that the program significantly improved students' ability ...


A Phenomenological Investigation Of The Lived Experiences Of Female African American Undergraduate Stem Students At An Elite Predominantly White Institution, Reginald O. Johns Aug 2018

A Phenomenological Investigation Of The Lived Experiences Of Female African American Undergraduate Stem Students At An Elite Predominantly White Institution, Reginald O. Johns

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this qualitative study was to gain an understanding of the experiences of being a female, African American STEM undergraduate who is enrolled at an elite Predominantly White Institution and who has a mentoring relationship. A hermeneutic approach to phenomenology was used to gather data through open-ended interviews. Research questions included: What are the lived experiences of female, African American, STEM undergraduate students of the STEM community at an elite Predominantly White Institution? What are the lived experiences of high achieving female, African American, STEM undergraduate students with their mentors? Four themes emerged from the interviews: (a) Discouraging ...


A Case Study Of The Dynamics Of Trust In A Reconstituted Urban Middle School, Lamarr Moses Aug 2018

A Case Study Of The Dynamics Of Trust In A Reconstituted Urban Middle School, Lamarr Moses

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The primary purpose of this case study was to examine the dynamics and dimensions of trust as perceived by teachers, parents, and students in an urban middle school that experienced school reconstitution as a result of failing to meet adequate yearly progress as required under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Research has documented that the quality of relationships within urban schools influences student achievement. Schools with higher levels of trust are also more likely to meet school reform initiatives. an additional aim of this study was to add to the research base on school reconstitution. Data were ...


Exploring Kindergarten Teachers' Self-Perceptions Of Writing Instruction: An Appreciative Phenomenological Approach, Elizabeth Auguste May 2018

Exploring Kindergarten Teachers' Self-Perceptions Of Writing Instruction: An Appreciative Phenomenological Approach, Elizabeth Auguste

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Current data point to the need for more research on writing instruction. The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results showed that 73% of students in Grade 8 and Grade 12 scored basic or below on writing assessments, a trend reflected in college students’ writing. These data co-exist with research that reported teachers’ low self-efficacy with writing instruction .The most effective way to address these troubling statistics is to take a proactive approach that looks at writing instruction from its genesis—kindergarten. This post-intentional phenomenological study (Vagle, 2014) explored two aspects of kindergarten teachers’ self-perceptions of writing instruction (SPWI ...


The Transitional Generation: Faculty Sensemaking Of Higher Education Reform In Ecuador, Mary Amanda Johnson May 2018

The Transitional Generation: Faculty Sensemaking Of Higher Education Reform In Ecuador, Mary Amanda Johnson

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

In response to public sector criticism, higher education reform in Ecuador over the past decade has created a nation-wide transformation of faculty roles. The literature from researchers in Ecuador concerning reform and the role of faculty discusses the desired impact of these new expectations; however, very little is known regarding the substantive reality of faculty navigating new roles and work. This study explored faculty sense making of national reforms relating to their role and work at universities and sought to understand how faculty are navigating both policy and implementation of new work expectations ten years after government top-down reform efforts ...


Factors That Contribute To And Mediate Master’S Level Counseling Students’ Interest In Working With Older Adults, Nathaniel Jacob Wagner May 2018

Factors That Contribute To And Mediate Master’S Level Counseling Students’ Interest In Working With Older Adults, Nathaniel Jacob Wagner

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This research study served to examine factors that may contribute to and mediate masters-level counseling students interest in working with older adults. A review of literature on factors related to counselors’ interest in working with older adults established potential relationships between Contact Knowledge of aging, Attitudes/Ageism (expected to be a negative correlation), Counseling Older Adult Self-efficacy (COASE) and Interest in working with older adults. Based on the Social Cognitive Career Theory, COASE was predicted to be impacted by Contact measures and correlated with Attitudes and Knowledge. A sample of 303 masters-level counseling students completed the Student Interest in Gerocounseling ...


An Exploratory Study Of Leadership, Literacy Assessments And Acceleration For Closing The Reading Achievement Gap By Third Grade, Laura Frances Estes Apr 2018

An Exploratory Study Of Leadership, Literacy Assessments And Acceleration For Closing The Reading Achievement Gap By Third Grade, Laura Frances Estes

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The third grade year is a seminal moment for children moving into a fluent reader stage that continues to evolve well across their school career. Research indicates that not learning to read well by the third grade sets some children on a path of overall diminished school and life success, and thus, school leaders are faced with the challenge of altering the trajectory for students behind their peers in reading development. School leaders and teachers have a limited number of tools to assess literacy progress of beginning readers; therefore, it is important educators understand the connections between two of the ...


Applicable Outcomes: A Program Evaluation Of The Investigations Math Program, Sean Marco Hamer Apr 2018

Applicable Outcomes: A Program Evaluation Of The Investigations Math Program, Sean Marco Hamer

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This program evaluation study focused on the outcomes of a Math program for elementary level students. This mixed-methods study explored the relationship between the implementation of the Investigations Math program and teachers' perceptions of its impacts. The program theory that guided this study stated that teachers who were provided time and resources to examine best practice Math curricula and instructional methods would: adopt and implement a holistic Math program that updated the curriculum; create positive changes in teacher content and pedagogical knowledge; meet the needs of all students, at all proficiency levels; result in a consistent scope and sequence; and ...


Teacher Perceptions Of The Implementation Processes Of The Imagine Learning Program In Title I Elementary Schools, Brigitt Angelica Mcguinness Apr 2018

Teacher Perceptions Of The Implementation Processes Of The Imagine Learning Program In Title I Elementary Schools, Brigitt Angelica Mcguinness

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Closing achievement gaps for students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds is a decades-long issue in public education, particularly for reading instruction (International Reading Association [IRA], 2010; National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2013). Across the United States, initiatives to further integrate technology-based instruction to achieve differentiation are constantly emerging. Selecting which programs to use and how to best implement the technology to produce the highest academic gains remain significant issues. Research has shown that technology-based programs can produce the same positive or negative effects as teacher-led instruction (Ross, Morrison, & Lowther, 2010). Finding and implementing high-quality literacy technology is particularly important for students attending Title I schools. Students from low-income backgrounds may start their schooling at a disadvantage in terms of vocabulary and oral communication skills (Reardon, 2013; Timmons, 2008) which research has linked to higher unemployment rates (Timmons, 2008). The ...


Project Based Learning To Promote 21st Century Skills: An Action Research Study, Jason Michael Allison Apr 2018

Project Based Learning To Promote 21st Century Skills: An Action Research Study, Jason Michael Allison

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This action research study explored how instructional staff members at a rural high school in Central Virginia can improve their PBL instructional practices to promote students to acquire the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Based on the results of this action research study, the top three strengths of PBL were students learning from mistakes, students taking responsibility for their learning, and that projects come in all shapes and sizes. The study revealed that there is not a tight fit or alignment between PBL and the Four Cs of communication, creativity, and critical thinking, and collaboration ...


A Program Evaluation Of A Technology Based Formative Assessment For Algebra Readiness, Cassandra Harris Mar 2018

A Program Evaluation Of A Technology Based Formative Assessment For Algebra Readiness, Cassandra Harris

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Algebra 1 is often called the “gateway” course to higher education and opportunity. In the state of Virginia, the Algebra Readiness Diagnostic Test (ARDT) is the recommended mathematics formative assessment selected to monitor progress of students at each grade level. This program evaluation sought to take a closer look at tasks that teachers practice in the formative assessment process which exceed the mandatory ARDT periods for assessment. Teachers felt strongly about the adverse impact of assessment overload, but they also stressed the need to have continual alternative assessments, such as memory recall practices, to make certain that elementary students retained ...


The Duality Of Dual Enrollment: How The Relationship Between Student Demographics, Academic Metrics, And College Enrollment Adds Up, Tiffany Noel Ferrari Mar 2018

The Duality Of Dual Enrollment: How The Relationship Between Student Demographics, Academic Metrics, And College Enrollment Adds Up, Tiffany Noel Ferrari

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Dual enrollment (DE) programs provide high school students the opportunity to earn credit for college coursework completed while still in high school and help smooth the transition from high school to college by making the unfamiliar familiar—a valuable experience for students from a wide range of economic and academic backgrounds. Yet, the value of DE is largely undermined when students who have completed college credits do not enroll in college after high school graduation. Therefore, this study examined student demographics and academic metrics of Virginia DE students to explore potential patterns between student habitus and college enrollment, providing prototypical ...


Factors That Contribute To Motivation And Burnout Among Teachers Of Students With Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Adam Joseph Brown Mar 2018

Factors That Contribute To Motivation And Burnout Among Teachers Of Students With Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Adam Joseph Brown

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

In this study, I explored motivation and burnout of novice (1-3 years of teaching experience) and veteran (10 or more years of teaching experience) teachers of students with Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBD). The educators who participated in the study work in a regional public day school that serves school districts across a large metropolitan area in the southeastern United States. The study focused on one program within the public day school, which serves students with EBD in self-contained classrooms. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews of teachers who met the experience level of either novice or veteran status. Similar themes ...


The Actions Institutional Agents Take To Support First-Generation Latino College Students At A Catholic Hispanic-Serving Institution: An Embedded Case Study, Diana Marie Hernández Jan 2018

The Actions Institutional Agents Take To Support First-Generation Latino College Students At A Catholic Hispanic-Serving Institution: An Embedded Case Study, Diana Marie Hernández

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of the study was to examine the actions institutional agents took to support first-generation Latino students at a Catholic Hispanic-Serving Institution using Stanton-Salazar’s (2010) framework. All but one of the 14 roles in the framework were present. An in-depth examination of the framework led to the creation of a fluidity model, aligning with Stanton-Salazar (2010) and Jiménez’s (2012) findings that institutional agents fulfilled simultaneous and multiple roles. In addition, the data demonstrated that institutional agents’ roles worked in tandem with Rendón’s (1994) validation theory. Last, context and whether St. Jude’s was Hispanic-serving versus Hispanic-enrolling ...


Principal Support And Academic Optimism In Urban High Schools, Todd Edward Perelli Jan 2018

Principal Support And Academic Optimism In Urban High Schools, Todd Edward Perelli

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between principal support and teacher academic optimism. The conceptual framework guiding this study proposed that the existing relationship between the constructs of teacher academic optimism could be related to principal support. Extant data from high school teachers in an urban setting provided quantitative data analysis of the four types of principal support (emotional, instrumental, informational, and appraisal) and whether they can predict the constructs of teacher academic optimism (teacher self-efficacy, teacher trust in parents and students, and teacher academic emphasis) or academic optimism itself. This study identified the relationship between ...


Knowledge, Perceptions, And Beliefs Of Elementary Principals Regarding Whole-Grade Acceleration For Gifted Students, Allison A. Sheppard Jan 2018

Knowledge, Perceptions, And Beliefs Of Elementary Principals Regarding Whole-Grade Acceleration For Gifted Students, Allison A. Sheppard

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Abstract This study used a case study research design to investigate the knowledge, perceptions, and beliefs of elementary principals regarding whole-grade acceleration for gifted students. The research literature is overwhelmingly positive on student outcomes – academically, socially, and emotionally. However, little research exists on the impact of principal leadership and the use of acceleration as an academic option. The study explored principals’ prior training, personal and professional experiences with whole-grade acceleration. In addition, the research questions aimed to understand what participants considered to be both benefits and challenges with acceleration. The theoretical framework for this study was human capital theory that ...


Distinguished, Endowed, And Underrepresented: A Phenomenological Exploration Of Talent Development Among Expert Black Scholars In Education, Keisha Baylor Jan 2018

Distinguished, Endowed, And Underrepresented: A Phenomenological Exploration Of Talent Development Among Expert Black Scholars In Education, Keisha Baylor

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and gain an in-depth understanding of the lived experiences of talent development toward successful outcomes among 10 expert Black scholars in the field of education. A transcendental phenomenological approach was employed to gather data through open-ended phone interviews. Research questions included: What are the talent development experiences of Black distinguished and endowed faculty in the field of education? How did contexts or situations influence or affect their path toward successful career outcomes? Five themes emerged from the interviews: (a) Background Influences and Preparation, (b) Connections, Mentoring, and Support, (c) Self-Preservation and ...


Promoting Student Success: A Program Evaluation Of A Ninth Grade Transition Program, Micah Lonae Smith Jan 2018

Promoting Student Success: A Program Evaluation Of A Ninth Grade Transition Program, Micah Lonae Smith

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this mixed-methods study is to evaluate the impact of Morrison High School’s ninth grade transition program, the Freshman Academy, on student outcomes. Based on the outcomes, decisions will be made to determine if the Freshman Academy is meeting students’ needs or if the program elements need to be revisited to improve student achievement. Participants included teachers, school counselors, and administrators at Morrison High School in southeastern Virginia. The study employed the product component of the CIPP model of program evaluation to guide the data collection and to determine the merit, worth, and significance of the program ...


A Program Evaluation Of The Behavioral Intervention Component Of The Virginia Tiered Systems Of Support In Three Middle Schools, Anna Weigel Thomas Jan 2018

A Program Evaluation Of The Behavioral Intervention Component Of The Virginia Tiered Systems Of Support In Three Middle Schools, Anna Weigel Thomas

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The Virginia Tiered Systems of Support (VTSS) represents the merger of the behavioral side Positive Behavioral Supports (PBIS) and the academic side Response to Interventions (RtI) (Mann & Leutscher, 2014). VTSS is the Commonwealth of Virginia's adaptation of the federally required systemic response program schools are expected to adopt to address the behavioral and academic needs of students (Landers, Courtade, & Ryndak, 2012; Prasse et al., 2012). The development of specific implementation guidelines has been assigned to local levels of leadership. Thus, VTSS programming differences are common between both districts and schools. The purpose of this study is to assess the implementation levels of the behavioral components of three middle schools within the same school district. Three middle schools were selected for this study. The schools operate in the same school district and are separated by ...


Rural Students’ Experiences At Selective Four-Year Colleges: Pathways To Persistence And Success, Amy Sikes Jan 2018

Rural Students’ Experiences At Selective Four-Year Colleges: Pathways To Persistence And Success, Amy Sikes

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the lived experiences of rural students at two selective four-year colleges. Using the framework of cultural, social, and academic capital, I explored aspects of 17 rural college students’ experiences that show how they are able to attain success at college in spite of their potentially disadvantaged backgrounds. Data were collected by interview; the participants were college students who mostly were seniors at the time of the interviews. Two major themes emerged from the data analysis: 1) the challenges students encountered in their rural high schools and 2) the challenges students encountered ...


Knowledge And Experiences With Dropout Prevention Strategies Of Virginia Secondary Administrators, School Counselors, And Graduation Coaches, Cathy Bacote Jan 2018

Knowledge And Experiences With Dropout Prevention Strategies Of Virginia Secondary Administrators, School Counselors, And Graduation Coaches, Cathy Bacote

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

High school dropout is a national crisis, the effects of which disproportionately affect the most susceptible youth and vulnerable communities. There are many factors that contribute to student dropout. Dropout is influenced by individual and institutional factors, as well as academic and social problems; student dropout, in turn, impacts the individual and society. This study examined the knowledge and experiences of secondary school administrators, school counselors, and graduation coaches with dropout prevention strategies. Further, the study incorporated a survey to collect, analyze and present information. The survey was distributed to an intact group of secondary school administrators, school counselors and ...


Teacher Perceptions Of Teacher Performance Pay And Performance Evaluation In Yunnan Province, China, Yi Hua Dec 2017

Teacher Perceptions Of Teacher Performance Pay And Performance Evaluation In Yunnan Province, China, Yi Hua

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

In China, teacher performance pay has been implemented for eight years, but teachers’ perceptions regarding its implementation have been examined seldomly. Exploring teachers’ perceptions is a path to hear teachers’ voices, inspect implementation practice, and evaluate impacts. This mixed-method study explored teachers’ perceptions toward performance pay in Panda School District of Kunming City, Yunnan Province, China through surveys, interviews, and artifacts. A total of 333 valid responses to the survey were collected and 14 teachers participated in follow-up semi-structured interviews. The quantitative results indicate low to moderate teacher support for performance pay. The qualitative themes generated through content analysis present ...


A Program Evaluation: Fidelity Of Implementation Of The Wilson Reading System In A Mid-Atlantic School District, Amy H. Stamm Dec 2017

A Program Evaluation: Fidelity Of Implementation Of The Wilson Reading System In A Mid-Atlantic School District, Amy H. Stamm

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Reading is at the heart of education and it is the basic skill upon which all others are built. Reading difficulties underlie much of the differences in academic achievement between students with specific learning disabilities in reading and non-disabled students; addressing these challenges when children are young is the key for long-term success (Borman, 2005; Cortiella & Horowitz, 2014; Juel, 1988; National Reading Panel, 2000; Torgesen et al., 2001). The purpose of this mixed methods program evaluation was to provide information to stakeholders about the implementation of the Wilson Reading System in the Mid Atlantic School Division (MASD). By examining the fidelity of ...


Novice Educator Perceptions Of The Influences Of A New Teacher Mentoring Program In A Hard To Staff School, Jennifer Lee Vaughan Dec 2017

Novice Educator Perceptions Of The Influences Of A New Teacher Mentoring Program In A Hard To Staff School, Jennifer Lee Vaughan

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Abstract Supporting and retaining new teachers is an ever-growing challenge faced by school districts across the nation (Anhorn, 2008; Ingersoll & Strong, 2011; Lieberman, Saxl, & Miles, 1988; Lorti, 1975). One way that many schools approach this opportunity to support new teachers is through teacher mentoring programs (Goldrick, 2016; Gray & Gray, 1985; Moody, 2009; Strong & Baron, 2004). as school leaders implement mentoring programs, it is important to know whether the programs are meeting their stated goals (Stufflebeam & Shinkfield, 2007). The purpose of this program evaluation was to look at the perceived influence of a teacher mentoring program upon novice educators within a single hard-to-staff school in an urban ...


An Evaluation Of Southeast School District's Special Education Program's Compliance, Jennifer Anne Tingley Nov 2017

An Evaluation Of Southeast School District's Special Education Program's Compliance, Jennifer Anne Tingley

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This study is a program evaluation of a small, rural school district’s special education program’s compliance with key processes, including the child study, eligibility, and individual education plan (IEP) processes. The goals of the evaluation were to identify potential weaknesses in the special education program implementation, and to provide suggestions for improvement. The program evaluation model used is the Context, Input, Process, Product (CIPP) model, which was developed by Daniel Stufflebeam. The research questions assessed the alignment of the school district’s special education handbook with federal and state guidelines for special education, as well as the implementation ...


The Implementation Of A Principal Mentoring Program And The Corresponding Impact On Leadership Practice, Paula Massey Huffman Oct 2017

The Implementation Of A Principal Mentoring Program And The Corresponding Impact On Leadership Practice, Paula Massey Huffman

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

With the challenges facing principals today, the question of how best to support new principals in meeting these challenges remains. The leadership abilities of new school leaders matter more today than ever with increasing accountability and additional responsibilities. The focus of this study was to determine participants’ perceptions of the impact of mentoring on the development on first and second-year principals in a suburban school district located in a fast growing metropolitan area within the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The overarching question of the study was: What impact does mentoring have on first and second-year principal performance? Secondary ...