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Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

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Full-Text Articles in Education

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Stem Lessons For Promoting 21st Century Learning Standards, Cynthia Faye Sage Jul 2017

Stem Lessons For Promoting 21st Century Learning Standards, Cynthia Faye Sage

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The purpose of this study was to identify if and how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) lessons help student progress toward achieving benchmarks in AASL (American Association of School Librarians) 21st Century Learner Standards. This study was conducted in the library media center with 48 kindergarten students participating. The researcher taught mini-lessons for the AASL Standards prior to students participating in the STEM activities. The data were collected on 23 benchmarks included in the AASL Standards. Students were rated on these Standards as beginning, progressing, or achieving. Data analysis indicated that the STEM lessons were an effective means for providing ...


Exploring The Prevalence Of Learning Styles In Educational Psychology And Introduction To Education Textbooks: A Content Analysis, Mary Katherine Ryle Jul 2017

Exploring The Prevalence Of Learning Styles In Educational Psychology And Introduction To Education Textbooks: A Content Analysis, Mary Katherine Ryle

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The implementation of learning styles models in the classroom remains a heavily debated topic in education. Notable problems with utilization of learning styles in the classroom include a lack of empirical research support and potential maladaptive effects on student learning and motivation. The primary research questions focused on the presence and quantity of learning styles discussion in the text, which definitions, models, and recommendations were presented, and which of the cited references were based on empirical data. The answers to these questions were compared between educational psychology and introduction to education textbooks. A content analysis of introduction to education (n ...


Effect Of Student Classroom Cell Phone Usage On Teachers, Daniel Pulliam Apr 2017

Effect Of Student Classroom Cell Phone Usage On Teachers, Daniel Pulliam

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The increase in student cell phone use in classrooms has led to a decrease in academic performance and satisfaction with instruction (Dietz & Henrich, 2014). Currently, it is unknown as to whether student classroom cell phone usage has any effect on the teacher. The purpose of this study was to determine student and teacher opinions of classroom cell phone usage and perceived distraction. Surveys were conducted with a sample of college students (N = 163) and college faculty (N = 289), from a university in the Southeastern region of the United States. Data indicate there are differing opinions on classroom cell phone usage between students and teachers. Results revealed teachers believe significantly more than students that cell phones should not be used during class. A majority of teachers also reported they have been distracted by students using their phones, while only about half of the students believe their teachers have been distracted by cell phones. Students using cell phones during class may affect more than just their individual academic performance; student cell phone use may actually have a negative impact on the entire class and the quality of teaching.


The Effects Of Provided Powerpoint Presentations On Student Perceptions Of Personal Responsbility, Sarah Elizabeth Mannon Cravero Apr 2017

The Effects Of Provided Powerpoint Presentations On Student Perceptions Of Personal Responsbility, Sarah Elizabeth Mannon Cravero

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Psychologists have examined the effects of numerous variables on classroom performance, but little research exists to demonstrate how specific teaching techniques, specifically the provision of printed presentation notes (such as presentation slides), affects student perception of responsibility. This study sought to discover the impact that providing presentation slides for use during lecture would have on students’ performance, as well as their perceptions of personal responsibility. In order to determine the effects of provided presentation notes on performance and perceived responsibility, this study examined the self-efficacy and locus of control of students assigned to either take their own notes or to ...


An Examination Of Facilitators And Barriers To Academic Careers For Women In Stem, Jacqulyn M. Cavanaugh Apr 2017

An Examination Of Facilitators And Barriers To Academic Careers For Women In Stem, Jacqulyn M. Cavanaugh

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the facilitators and barriers to women in STEM through comparison to men and non-STEM faculty members. The Pipeline Model and The Vanish Box model were examined to explain the underrepresentation of women in STEM. The current study, using the established facilitators and barriers to women in STEM by Bolton (2016), examined 12 categories that were identified through existing literature, critical incidents (CIs), and a subject-matter expert (SME).

It was hypothesized that Teaching, Service, Research Funding, Mentoring, Professional Development, Administrative Leadership, Hiring Policies, New Child Leave/FMLA policies, and Promotion and Tenure ...


Administrator And Teacher Perception Of School Culture, Luke Eugene Pniewski Apr 2017

Administrator And Teacher Perception Of School Culture, Luke Eugene Pniewski

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This study measured the culture of Barren County High School using the School Culture Triage Survey. The survey was administered to the teachers and administrators separately to assess the difference of the perception of the school culture within that school. The research suggests that improving a schools culture will increase teacher moral, teacher and administrator cohesiveness, and increase students’ achievement. The results of this research show that the overall school culture is perceived very similarly between the two subgroups (teachers and leadership) but there are areas of the schools culture that are perceived differently, and if improved, can lead to ...


Using Explicit Social Skills Instruction Combined With A Restricted Interest Group To Increase The Frequency Of Social Skills In Students With Autism, Krista Shea Cummings Apr 2017

Using Explicit Social Skills Instruction Combined With A Restricted Interest Group To Increase The Frequency Of Social Skills In Students With Autism, Krista Shea Cummings

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The literature suggests that adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are characterized by restricted interests and deficits in social skills (White, Keonig, & Scahill, 2007). Due to the deficits associated with ASD, adolescents with ASD do not typically engage in social interactions at a rate similar to their same age typicallydeveloping peers (Wagner, Cadwallader, Garza, & Cameto, 2004). This study assessed whether explicit social skills instruction in a restricted interest group in an afterschool club setting increased the frequency of specific social skills in two students identified with ASD. A multiple baseline experimental design was implemented across behaviors. During baseline measures, the ...


A Review Of Lead Pd Writing In The Content Areas: Measures Of Teacher Self-Efficacy And Student Performance, Andrea Paige Greene Apr 2017

A Review Of Lead Pd Writing In The Content Areas: Measures Of Teacher Self-Efficacy And Student Performance, Andrea Paige Greene

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Data from recent college and career readiness measures indicate an alarming number of students are beginning college courses unequipped with the necessary writing skills to meet the demands of these courses. This, in addition to the Common Core State Standards, leave many teachers feeling underprepared to effectively teach writing. The current study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of LEAD PD: Writing in the Content Areas, a writing professional development initiative for teachers grounded in the writing standards and best practices of writing instruction. In partnership with a university of higher education, teachers from a local middle school were trained to ...


Using Professional Development To Build Pre-Service Teachers' Self-Efficacy For Helping Students With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder To Learn, Natalie J. West Apr 2017

Using Professional Development To Build Pre-Service Teachers' Self-Efficacy For Helping Students With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder To Learn, Natalie J. West

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The current study determined if a professional development on PTSD would improve pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy for helping students with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to learn. Participants consisted of 59 college students from one large, comprehensive, Mid-Southern university who were enrolled in an education program and an educational psychology course. Using a quasi-experimental method, participants either received the PTSD professional development (treatment) or regular instruction (control group). All participants completed a measure of demographics, a pre-test measure of selfefficacy for helping students with PTSD to learn, which was further dissected into four constructs (i.e., self-efficacy for identifying students with PTSD ...


Noncontingent Reinforcement And Decreasing Problem Behaviors With Students With Special Needs And Its Effect On Teacher Behavior, Leah D. Pritchett Apr 2017

Noncontingent Reinforcement And Decreasing Problem Behaviors With Students With Special Needs And Its Effect On Teacher Behavior, Leah D. Pritchett

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

A pilot study of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) was conducted using NCR statements to (a) decrease target behaviors, (b) increase unprompted praise statements from the teacher and decrease reprimands, and (c) increase proximity to the participants by the teacher implementing NCR. Data were collected using a single-subject research design on two participants and one teacher. The target behaviors were physical and verbal aggression and inappropriate gestures. Teacher behaviors targeted with this study were praise statements, reprimands, and proximity to students. The participants included were one 16-year-old student with an emotional behavior disability, one 18-year-old student identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD ...


Using An Inclusive Restricted Interest Group To Improve Social Skill Accuracy In Children With An Autism Spectrum Disorder, Hillary Y. Jenkins Apr 2017

Using An Inclusive Restricted Interest Group To Improve Social Skill Accuracy In Children With An Autism Spectrum Disorder, Hillary Y. Jenkins

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

There are a number of evidenced-based practices which aim to improve the social skills of children with high functioning autism (HFA). An emerging field of study is to develop social skills interventions that incorporate restricted and repetitive interests to increase social skills. Their results are promising and suggest improved social skills in students with HFA. The current study has aimed to incorporate a common interest among elementary age children with HFA in social skill instruction within a structured setting. A multiple baseline across behaviors single subject design was used to collect data on the accuracy with which two young males ...