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Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Families First: Impact On Parent Knowledge, And Association Between Program Quality And Child Symptom Severity, Cibrian Johnson Apr 2020

Families First: Impact On Parent Knowledge, And Association Between Program Quality And Child Symptom Severity, Cibrian Johnson

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The Families First parenting workshops were developed for caregivers of children recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The primary site hosts inperson workshops, but webcasts the workshops to remote sites in different areas of the United States. The purpose of this study was to assess whether parents have an increase in knowledge after participating in Families First workshops at a remote site, and to assess whether program quality ratings and child symptom severity are associated with parent knowledge. The current study addressed the following research questions:

1. Do parents participating in the Families First workshops at a remote site ...


Research Into Practice: Exploring Teacher Practices With Young Gifted Learners, Andrea Lauren Heming Apr 2020

Research Into Practice: Exploring Teacher Practices With Young Gifted Learners, Andrea Lauren Heming

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This research study investigates teacher practices with young gifted learners and provides recommendations to increase the effectiveness of the Primary Talent Pool through examination of the program as it is implemented in four Kentucky school districts. Gifted coordinators were interviewed and primary (kindergarten-third grade) teachers were surveyed. Though each school has different methods for meeting the needs of high potential learners, there are commonalities across all seven schools represented. The present findings indicate teachers feel confident in their ability to recognize high potential in academic areas. Teachers are comfortable using differentiation, and often differentiate to support gifted learners.


Positive Behavior Intervention And Support: Barriers And Facilitators To Implementation, Kendall Blanche Jarboe Apr 2020

Positive Behavior Intervention And Support: Barriers And Facilitators To Implementation, Kendall Blanche Jarboe

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

PBIS is a comprehensive prevention framework utilized in schools to teach positive, prosocial behaviors and to prevent problem behaviors from developing. Although PBIS has been introduced in many schools in the U.S., almost 75% of public schools have not yet implemented PBIS. Despite evidence suggesting PBIS improves behavior and academic achievement in students of all ages and is associated with positive long-term outcomes, many public schools still refrain from exploring implementation of school-wide or district-wide positive behavior supports (Reinke, Herman, & Stormont, 2013). In order to improve the efficiency and fidelity of implementation, it is imperative to understand the variables ...


Plcs And Shifting School Culture: A Case Study, Ashley R. Gorman Oct 2019

Plcs And Shifting School Culture: A Case Study, Ashley R. Gorman

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The purpose of this action research was to effectively measure and evaluate the extent to which implementing professional learning communities in a high school setting can shift the school toward a more collaborative culture. Additionally, the study set out to aide school leadership in analyzing their role in designing and implementing PLCs so that they might make informed decisions regarding PLCs for collaborative school culture and improvement in the future. Data was collected utilizing staff surveys before and after the implementations of PLCs. Additionally, a focus group of staff was interviewed and provided feedback regarding PLCs and the role of ...


The Effectiveness Of Mobile Eye-Tracking To Enhance Guided Show Cave Experiences, Jenna Michele Hammond Jul 2019

The Effectiveness Of Mobile Eye-Tracking To Enhance Guided Show Cave Experiences, Jenna Michele Hammond

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Karst terrains are landscapes with a distinctive hydrology and set of landforms that arise from a combination of high bedrock solubility and well-developed secondary (fracture) porosity. Karst areas are easily polluted due to the rapid transport of unfiltered percolating water through the systems. While many individuals are able to identify karst landforms such as sinkholes and caves, an understanding of the interconnectedness of the surface and subsurface in karst landscapes, as well as the vulnerability of karst areas to degradation, is often limited. Show caves, which are caves made accessible to visitation by humans through built infrastructure, can serve as ...


Self-Efficacy Of School Psychologists: Developing A Scale For Working With And For Lgbtq Youth, Shelby Monahan Jul 2019

Self-Efficacy Of School Psychologists: Developing A Scale For Working With And For Lgbtq Youth, Shelby Monahan

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) students report higher levels of harassment and assault, exposure to prejudiced language, and diminished feelings of safety at school compared to their non-LGBTQ counterparts. Due to the difficulties these young people experience at school as well as their increased risk for psychological distress and suicidality, these students may need additional support to be successful. Although professional organizations support school psychologists acting as advocates to support LGBTQ students, research suggests that practitioners’ knowledge about issues faced by LGBTQ students as well as training related to their needs may lag behind this appeal for ...


Examining Collegiate Students’ Perceptions Of Date Rape And Sexual Assault, Jalen Rhodes Jul 2019

Examining Collegiate Students’ Perceptions Of Date Rape And Sexual Assault, Jalen Rhodes

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The purpose of this study was to examine how collegiate males and females perceived date rape and sexual assault by looking into their views on sexual scripts, consent, and alcohol in dating situations. Participants consisted of 323 male and female undergraduate students enrolled in psychology classes at a mid-south university. All participants were directed to an online questionnaire and were randomly assigned to one of four versions of a vignette where a man and a woman are at a party together. After reading their vignette, all participants answered researcher-created questions pertaining to the behavior of the people in the vignette ...


A Review Of Written Expression Curriculum-Based Measurement With A Focus On English Language Learners, Shelby Montgomery Jul 2019

A Review Of Written Expression Curriculum-Based Measurement With A Focus On English Language Learners, Shelby Montgomery

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The purpose of this study was to review the literature on English Language Learners and written expression curriculum-based measurement. In recent years, there has been little research completed in the area of curriculum based measurement for writing for English Language Learners. A systematic review of the literature was conducted and all available literature on the use of written expression curriculum-based measurement since 2006 was identified and reviewed. Given the increasing diversity in our schools, particularly non-native English speakers, this review focused on studies including this group. There were differences in some of the technical features such as sample durations, writing ...


A Look Into The College Readiness Needs Of First Time College Students, Lindsey Coomer Cox Apr 2019

A Look Into The College Readiness Needs Of First Time College Students, Lindsey Coomer Cox

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This study examines the college readiness needs of first year college students based on experiences from students and staff involved with a first year transitional initiative program at Western Kentucky University. The purpose of the study is to share students’ college readiness needs with public school systems in hopes to intervene with these needs before students arrive at college. A total of 45 participants volunteered to be in focus groups, an interview, and complete a survey. Two research questions were proposed: What college readiness needs still exist for first time college students upon entrance to a four year public university ...


From Education To Incarceration: A Study Of School Process Affecting Disproportionate Minority Contact Within Hardin County’S Juvenile Justice System, Krystal Carver-Dickens Apr 2019

From Education To Incarceration: A Study Of School Process Affecting Disproportionate Minority Contact Within Hardin County’S Juvenile Justice System, Krystal Carver-Dickens

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This study seeks to understand how school processes affect disproportionate minority contact within the Hardin County Juvenile Justice System. A study completed by Lovell and Drummond (2016) in conjunction with the Hardin County BRIDGES Council, is used as the foundation for the current research. The original research, along with several others, examined disproportionate minority contact (DMC) after the student had been referred from their respective schools to the juvenile court system. The current study investigates 858 juvenile court records, with permission of the Hardin County Juvenile Judges, and examines school information included in the court records related to the student ...


Participation In Extracurricular Activities And Academic Achievement: A Comprehensive Review, Erin Morris, Apr 2019

Participation In Extracurricular Activities And Academic Achievement: A Comprehensive Review, Erin Morris,

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

At school, students are provided numerous opportunities to use their skills and abilities to complete tasks or solve problems. Students are considered to have academic success when they meet specific criteria on outcomes such as grade point averages (GPA), scores on standardized tests, and skill acquisition across areas like reading and math. Given the importance of academic achievement (AA) as an outcome measure, researchers have attempted to study certain variables that may relate to or predict AA. Extracurricular activities (EAs) are defined as school-sanctioned activities that students can participate in outside of the traditional school day. Participation in EAs has ...


Factors That Positively Affect Agricultural Educator Longevity And Retention In Kentucky: A Delphi Study, Loren Clifford Gross Apr 2019

Factors That Positively Affect Agricultural Educator Longevity And Retention In Kentucky: A Delphi Study, Loren Clifford Gross

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The purpose of this study was to determine the favorable factors that positively affect the longevity and retention of agricultural educators in the state of Kentucky. This issue was examined by answering the following questions: What are the primary reasons you decided to become an agricultural teacher? Why have you decided to stay in the agricultural education profession for five or more years? What are some of the barriers that you have encountered during your teaching career that you have had to overcome that may have caused you to leave the profession? A three-round Delphi study was utilized to capture ...


Nontraditional Students Success In Compressed Courses Within A Community College Cohort, Elizabeth Kinter Tanner Oct 2018

Nontraditional Students Success In Compressed Courses Within A Community College Cohort, Elizabeth Kinter Tanner

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Nontraditional students are an untapped population for American higher education institutions. Private baccalaureate-granting universities have taken the lead on creating programs for this population’s needs. These programs typically include combinations of online instruction, cohorts, compressed or accelerated courses, and prior learning assessment. Similarly constructed programs for nontraditional students at public community colleges are less common. A review of the Council for Accelerated Programs’ website reveals only twelve of the 98-member institutions are community or technical colleges, and only one is in California (Council for Accelerated Programs, n.d.). In 2016, Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint Community College District in California created the ...


School Psychologists And Suicide Risk Assessment: Role Perception And Competency, Kristen Herner Erps Jul 2018

School Psychologists And Suicide Risk Assessment: Role Perception And Competency, Kristen Herner Erps

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

As the second leading cause of death for adolescents, suicide has become one of the biggest concerns for school personnel. School psychologists are often expected to be the most competent and able to lead in suicide prevention efforts, however, studies have shown a lack of preparedness in crisis intervention and, more specifically, suicide risk assessment. This study surveyed practicing school psychologists (N = 92) to explore their perception of both their role and competency in suicide risk assessment. While school psychologists reported having varying roles within their district related to suicide risk assessment, the majority endorsed having a role at the ...


Enhancing A Middle School Student's Self-Management Skills In The Classroom, Lanie Jean Rudisill Jul 2018

Enhancing A Middle School Student's Self-Management Skills In The Classroom, Lanie Jean Rudisill

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Self-regulation (SR) and executive functioning (EF) are important factors for successful student outcomes. Research suggests that executive skills facilitate the process of behavioral self-regulation. Well-developed SR and EF skills make learning more likely. Proper SR has the ability to improve attention levels and EF includes the use of working memory, both of which are essential components of the information processing system that students use continuously. One type of SR, referred to as self-management, involves a cycle of observing and recording one’s own behavior, then evaluating one’s self-assessments against those of an external observer. Self-management interventions have previously been ...


The Effects Of Teacher Demographics, Self-Efficacy, And Student Gender On Behavioral Referrals, Morgan E. Hestand Jul 2018

The Effects Of Teacher Demographics, Self-Efficacy, And Student Gender On Behavioral Referrals, Morgan E. Hestand

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The current study examined the most common reason for behavioral referrals and the effects of student gender, teacher age, teacher experience, and school setting on reasons for behavioral referrals to the schools intervention team or the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team. Additionally, it examined the self-efficacy of teachers and compared the self-perceptions of teaching general education students with behavior problems with perceptions of teaching students identified as having an Emotional Disturbance (ED). Participants included 179 general education teachers, grades K-12, from the state of Kentucky and additional teachers recruited from Facebook from across the U.S. Participants completed a survey ...


Effect Of Bullying On Emotional Distress In A Fourth And Fifth Grade Sample, Katherine Koper Marcum Jul 2018

Effect Of Bullying On Emotional Distress In A Fourth And Fifth Grade Sample, Katherine Koper Marcum

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The purpose of this study was to examine the difference of self-reported emotional problems between low levels and high levels of victimization. Participants included 214 fourth and fifth grade students from a southcentral county in Kentucky. Students answered demographic questions and completed a series of surveys including the Personal Experiences Checklist and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. The study was completed via computer-based questionnaire and focused on victimization within the last month. Results show that students who reported higher levels of victimization reported higher levels of emotional problems when compared to students who reported lower levels of victimization. The current ...


Making ‘The Ask’ To Internal Stakeholders: The Influence Of Organizational Identification On University Faculty And Staff Giving, Lora Haley Ashley Jul 2018

Making ‘The Ask’ To Internal Stakeholders: The Influence Of Organizational Identification On University Faculty And Staff Giving, Lora Haley Ashley

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The purpose of this study was to explore faculty/staff identification with their employing university and how that, in turn, may influence their decision to financially support the institution, or not. This study employed a case study approach and a mixed methods research design utilizing both qualitative and quantitative data. An online survey using Cheney’s (1982) Organizational Identification Questionnaire measured faculty/staff members’ identification with the organization and with their specific departments. The survey also collected data on faculty/staff past charitable giving. Following the survey, qualitative focus groups and interviews were conducted with faculty/staff members to explore ...


Professional Development And Its Influence On Teacher Practice And Student Achievement, Jettie Pearl Payne Jul 2018

Professional Development And Its Influence On Teacher Practice And Student Achievement, Jettie Pearl Payne

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This paper examines the characteristics of effective professional development (PD). It discusses the change process in a system and how it applies to an educational setting, including teacher practice and student achievement. This study uses a survey, interviews, and student benchmark assessment data to assess the influence of PD on a district. Four main themes surfaced from the research in this study: past experiences mold beliefs and practices, coherence throughout a system clarifies expectations, individualized professional learning leads to authentic change in practice, and professional development influences the entire system.


Interval Sprinting: Impact On Reading Fluency And Self-Efficacy, Laura C. Duncan Jul 2018

Interval Sprinting: Impact On Reading Fluency And Self-Efficacy, Laura C. Duncan

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Reading fluency is the ability to decode connected text with accuracy and speed (Archer, Gleason, & Vachon, 2003; Daly, Neugebauer, Chafouleas, & Skinner, 2015), and is generally measured by how many words a student can read in a minute. Selfefficacy is the judgment people make about their own performance levels for specific abilities, which affects their motivation and behaviors concerning those abilities (Bandura, 1977). It is unknown if repeated reading or interval sprinting reading interventions have an effect on reading self-efficacy. Two third-grade students with low reading fluency participated in an alternate treatment design, using repeated reading and interval sprinting reading interventions. After each session, reading self-efficacy was assessed using the Children’s Intervention Rating Profile (CIRP; Witt & Elliot, 1985). Results indicated that neither student’s reading fluency increased as expected with single session dosage, but their reading self-efficacy did increase for both the repeated reading and interval sprinting interventions. Student 2 demonstrated an increase in reading fluency and reading self-efficacy following the repeated reading intervention when the intervention dosage was increased. Both students reported increases in reading self-efficacy, even when their reading fluency did not increase, suggesting these interventions may provide benefits beyond simply increasing the number of ...


Teacher Attitudes Towards Gifted Education In Rural School Districts, Jennifer Smith Sheffield Apr 2018

Teacher Attitudes Towards Gifted Education In Rural School Districts, Jennifer Smith Sheffield

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of teachers in rural locales towards giftedness and gifted education. Gagné and Nadeau’s (1991) Opinions About the Gifted and Their Education was used as the survey instrument. A total of 78 teachers from four public school districts in Kentucky classified as rural participated in the study. The respondents indicated slightly positive attitudes toward the need for specialized instruction for gifted students and the social value of giftedness but slightly negative mindsets towards acceleration. These results as a whole mirrored the findings of several previous studies utilizing the same survey ...


Developmental Readers, New Literacies, And The Impact Of Direct Instruction, Kristine Elizabeth Wilson, Apr 2018

Developmental Readers, New Literacies, And The Impact Of Direct Instruction, Kristine Elizabeth Wilson,

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Many students enter college underprepared for the rigors of college-level reading, and these students are often placed in developmental courses. Furthermore, many students, with and without the developmental label, face challenges when reading online and in print, and research shows that these reading processes are not exactly the same. Research into new literacies finds that online reading comprehension gaps exist that are different from print reading. Varying reading strategies as well as metacognitive strategies can help assist students in successfully comprehending texts at the college level. This study investigated how explicit instruction in new literacy strategies impacts a reader’s ...


The Impact Of Exercising At A Self-Selected Intensity On Concurrent Academic Task Performance, Carrie Ann French Apr 2018

The Impact Of Exercising At A Self-Selected Intensity On Concurrent Academic Task Performance, Carrie Ann French

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The goal of this study was to examine the impact of exercising while completing an academic task on performance on the academic tasks. Participants were 71 undergraduate students at a midsized southern university who were asked to complete reading and math tasks while exercising on a stationary bike. Performance on reading and math tasks completed on the stationary bike was compared within-subjects to performance on parallel tasks while seated. Working memory scores were assessed as potential covariates. Order of experimental tasks was evaluated as a between-subjects factor. Within-subjects ANCOVA’s indicated that performance on math tasks was significantly worse while ...


Changing Pre-Service Teachers’ Beliefs About Prevalent Brain-Based Myths In Education, Megan Sparks Apr 2018

Changing Pre-Service Teachers’ Beliefs About Prevalent Brain-Based Myths In Education, Megan Sparks

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The present study examined if a conceptual change intervention would decrease pre-service teachers’ beliefs in four prevalent brain-based myths in education, including Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic (VAK) learning styles, Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory, left- or right-brained hemispheric dominance, and that humans only use 10% of their brains. Participants included 87 college students from one large, comprehensive university who were enrolled in an educational psychology course. All participants received the conceptual change intervention, which consisted of reading an article refuting the brain-based myths, submitting a paper showcasing evaluative thinking and reflection about the brain-based myths, and discussing cognitive development and the brain-based myths ...


Policy Communication And The Influence Of Agricultural Communities On Karst Landscapes: A Case Study In Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, Vietnam, Elizabeth Willenbrink Apr 2018

Policy Communication And The Influence Of Agricultural Communities On Karst Landscapes: A Case Study In Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, Vietnam, Elizabeth Willenbrink

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Karst landscapes are vulnerable to human influence, especially agricultural practices. The interconnectedness between surface activities and subsurface environments make karst landscapes particularly susceptible to soil erosion and water contamination. The likelihood of these two phenomena happening increases when agricultural intensification, irrigation, or fertilizer application occurs. This situation arises frequently in Vietnam, where 18% of the country is karst terrain and 60% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods (Farming First 2009). In order to mitigate the negative consequences of agriculture on karst landscapes, effective implementation of policy to regulate human activities and increased communication of these policies to ...


Investigating The Influence Of Esri Story Map Design On Partcipation In Sustainability-Related Activities, Brittany Grace Austin Apr 2018

Investigating The Influence Of Esri Story Map Design On Partcipation In Sustainability-Related Activities, Brittany Grace Austin

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Decades of scientific inquiry have conveyed evidence in support of sustainability efforts to mitigate some of the greatest challenges and dilemmas facing modern and future societies. The solutions to these dilemmas may not be achievable in the short-term, yet, through increased public participation in sustainable community development, smallscale, localized solutions can be obtained. This preliminary research explored the influence of Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) story map designs on participation in sustainability-related activities among individuals who expressed interest in sustainable lifestyles. Specifically, this exploratory study was designed to demonstrate the applicability of interactive web geographic information systems (GIS) applications as ...


Parent Implemented Adapted Dialogic Reading With Preschoolers With Autism, Mckenzie Ward Apr 2018

Parent Implemented Adapted Dialogic Reading With Preschoolers With Autism, Mckenzie Ward

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The current study examined the role of a novel, adapted dialogic reading curriculum and its impact on preschoolers with autism and their interactions with their parents during shared book reading. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of the curriculum on the effects of child social reciprocity and parents’ feelings of competence and confidence when trained on implementation strategies. Pre- and post-test measures were conducted for four parent-child dyads to measure the impact of adapted dialogic reading on child social reciprocity and parents’ feelings of competence and confidence. Although the sample size was small, clear trends were ...


Educator Perceptions Of Gifted English Language Learners, Michelle C. Lynch Apr 2018

Educator Perceptions Of Gifted English Language Learners, Michelle C. Lynch

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This paper explores educator perceptions of gifted and talented (GT) English language (ELL) students. This study identifies barriers for identification and service for GT/ELL students and highlights ways to support students through current efforts for students who fit these criteria. Educators from two elementary schools were interviewed in this qualitative study. The schools were chosen due to their high population of ELL students. The roles of professional development (PD) and best practices for identification of underrepresented students are discussed. Five main themes emerged from interviews of educators that work with GT/ELL students. The themes are obstacles, perception, referral ...


Temporal Context-Specificity In Predictive Learning Produced With Visual, But Not Musical, Primes, Catherine Woosley Luna Apr 2018

Temporal Context-Specificity In Predictive Learning Produced With Visual, But Not Musical, Primes, Catherine Woosley Luna

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

In this study we investigated whether a musical prime would produce a contextspecificity effect in predictive learning. Participants were divided into six conditions of a spy-radio predictive learning task. The six conditions were comprised of a combination of three primes (i.e. visual, music, or both) and two learning phase groups (i.e. retrieve, default). The primes indicated the type of stimulus used to prime the temporal context for the test cue-outcome association. The learning phase groups indicated which temporal context would be primed. In the retrieve group, learning Phase 1 was primed; in the default group learning Phase 2 ...


The Skills Gap In U.S. Manufacturing: The Effectiveness Of Technical Education On The Incumbent Workforce, Robert Michael Deal Oct 2017

The Skills Gap In U.S. Manufacturing: The Effectiveness Of Technical Education On The Incumbent Workforce, Robert Michael Deal

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This thesis explores the skill sets of the current American workforce, the skills required in modern, technically advanced U.S. manufacturing facilities, and the multiple approaches postsecondary education has employed to bridge the gap between the two. Millions of dollars are spent each year educating and training the incumbent workforce without any definitive measure of whether the financial investment or effort is actually providing a return.

To illustrate, organizations typically require a projected return-on-investment (ROI) before committing funds to a project. However, the same approach does not seem to be applied when investing in human capital for the purpose of ...