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Theses/Dissertations

2014

The University of Southern Mississippi

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Articles 1 - 30 of 54

Full-Text Articles in Education

Online Versus Face-To-Face Biology: A Comparison Of Student Transactional Distance, Approach To Learning, And Knowledge Outcomes, Mary Erin Riggins Dec 2014

Online Versus Face-To-Face Biology: A Comparison Of Student Transactional Distance, Approach To Learning, And Knowledge Outcomes, Mary Erin Riggins

Dissertations

Community colleges are among many other institutions increasing course offerings online, but there is still some concern about the quality of online learning. Educator concerns, a lack of empirical evidence on biology courses offered online, and the need for an equal opportunity for education support the need for clarification of the quality of distance education in biology, especially in the community college setting. Student attitudes, approaches to learning, and performance should all be studied in order to formulate a better evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of online courses (Svirko & Mellanby, 2008).

The purpose of this study was to determine ...


Development Of Workforce Skills: Student Perceptions Of Mentoring In First Robotics, Katie Joan Veal Wallace Dec 2014

Development Of Workforce Skills: Student Perceptions Of Mentoring In First Robotics, Katie Joan Veal Wallace

Dissertations

In today’s global economy, new workforce competencies are needed for success at both individual and societal levels. The new workforce skills extend beyond basic reading, writing, and arithmetic to include higher order processes such as critical thinking and problem solving. Technical job opportunities have grown by approximately 17%, yet the United States continues to decline in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Further, U.S. students earn average or below average test scores when compared to other developed countries. Researchers cite the need to incorporate the learning of workplace skills into secondary education curriculum, and advocates call for ...


Elementary Teachers' Sense Of Self Efficacy And Professional Development Experiences Of Teaching Informational Text, Mary Desiree Lee Dec 2014

Elementary Teachers' Sense Of Self Efficacy And Professional Development Experiences Of Teaching Informational Text, Mary Desiree Lee

Dissertations

According to the International Reading Association, becoming a successful citizen in one’s career and personal life requires the use of literacy skills (International Reading Association, 1999). However, students in the United States have scored low on the literacy portions of the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the ACT prompting the National Governor’s Association to author a set of standards with a goal of providing students a balance between narrative and informational text (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010). Scores were below the national average in the southeastern region of ...


Comparing Mississippi's Public University Graduation Rates For Community College Completers And Non-Completers, Andrew Clark Dale Dec 2014

Comparing Mississippi's Public University Graduation Rates For Community College Completers And Non-Completers, Andrew Clark Dale

Dissertations

This study is based on the notion that in Mississippi, a large number of Mississippi community college academic students transfer to 4-year universities in-state, as is the case in Alabama (Sacksteder LaClair, 2010). Mississippi community colleges have had a hard time tracking students who leave the institution without graduating. This study sought to document the most accurate numbers in community college completers and discover how many of Mississippi’s community college students are successful at the university level. Data were collected on former community college students at five of the state’s eight public four-year universities. The study revealed that ...


Teacher And Administrator Perceptions Of The Implementation Of The Teacher Incentive Fund (Tif) Grant In Mississippi Pilot Schools, Albert William Carter Dec 2014

Teacher And Administrator Perceptions Of The Implementation Of The Teacher Incentive Fund (Tif) Grant In Mississippi Pilot Schools, Albert William Carter

Dissertations

The purpose of this research study was to assess administrators and teachers’ perceptions of the key components of the Mississippi Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant in Mississippi pilot schools. The study examines the difference in perceptions between administrators and teachers. The study also investigated if there was a relationship with the TIF grant and student achievement by comparing the percent of students who scored a minimum of proficient on the MCT2 in TIF schools before and after the grant. Achievement was also examined by comparing percent of proficiency of TIF schools with comparable, non-TIF Mississippi schools.

The participants in the ...


A Study Of The Teaching Beliefs Of The Modern Post Secondary Science Instructor And Implications They May Hold For The Future Of Science Education, Michael Charles Howard Dec 2014

A Study Of The Teaching Beliefs Of The Modern Post Secondary Science Instructor And Implications They May Hold For The Future Of Science Education, Michael Charles Howard

Dissertations

It was the purpose of this study to examine the teaching beliefs of community college science instructors and discover whether their teaching beliefs were student oriented or instructor oriented. In addition, this study sought to examine demographic factors and find their relation, if any, to these teaching beliefs, as well as explore topics that may be useful in the future to helping community colleges science instructors’ curricula and beliefs come together and work in unison. To do this, the study built on the foundation laid by Sampson et al., in their creation of the Beliefs about Reformed Science Teaching and ...


Effective Instructional Strategies Utilized In Successful And High Performing Secondary Schools In The Southern Region Of Mississippi, Jeanifer Lynn Pearson Dec 2014

Effective Instructional Strategies Utilized In Successful And High Performing Secondary Schools In The Southern Region Of Mississippi, Jeanifer Lynn Pearson

Dissertations

The schools in the United States have implemented measures intended to close the achievement gap for over fifty years (Solomon, 2009). The mandates handed down by the federal government cannot be altered. Therefore, schools are required to determine specific measures that increase student academic success. Prior research has demonstrated that schools can be successful if effective leadership at the district, school, and classroom level was present (Gregory, 2003; Johnson, Livingston, & Schwartz, 2000). At the classroom level, it was the leadership of the individual teacher to determine the creation of innovative techniques aimed at academic success of all students (Farr & Teach ...


Relationships Between Participation In Extracurricular Activities, Act Scores, Gpa, And Attendance In Select Public High Schools In Mississippi, Lance Kelvin Reed Dec 2014

Relationships Between Participation In Extracurricular Activities, Act Scores, Gpa, And Attendance In Select Public High Schools In Mississippi, Lance Kelvin Reed

Dissertations

There are contemporary concerns about improving and sustaining positive student outcomes in secondary schools today. In light of student needs and limited time and resources available to address those needs, educational leaders are faced with making difficult decisions about what should and could be offered to students through their schools. In addition to the general curriculum, schools generally offer a variety of extracurricular activities. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between extracurricular participation and select student outcomes. The findings of this study can provide valuable insight to school leaders as they make decisions about how to ...


Does Video Game Use Exacerbate The Relation Between Neurophysiological Deficits And Adhd Symptoms In Children And Adolescents?, James Kenneth Goodlad Iii Dec 2014

Does Video Game Use Exacerbate The Relation Between Neurophysiological Deficits And Adhd Symptoms In Children And Adolescents?, James Kenneth Goodlad Iii

Dissertations

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is diagnosed based on behavioral symptoms but is thought to have a significant heritable neurological basis, and several brain structures have been implicated. Recent research has focused on the role of environmental factors that may influence the behavioral expression of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity in children and teens, particularly when a biological predisposition exists. This study sought to broaden the literature base by examining the extent to which one environmental factor—video game use—moderated the relation between neuropsychological deficits in attention and inhibition and the behavioral symptoms of ADHD. It was hypothesized that gaming frequency and ...


The Self-Directedness, Metacognitive Awareness, Self-Efficacy Beliefs, And Grammatical Competence Of College Students Studying Spanish, Juan Guillermo Loaiza Dec 2014

The Self-Directedness, Metacognitive Awareness, Self-Efficacy Beliefs, And Grammatical Competence Of College Students Studying Spanish, Juan Guillermo Loaiza

Dissertations

Differential performance is a frequent issue in formal education in general and in second language education in particular. Three variables that may have an effect on college language learners’ performance were identified in the literature on adult education and second language acquisition, namely, self-directed learning, metacognitive awareness, and self-efficacy beliefs. The relationship among those three predictors as well as their relationship with academic performance (in the form of college learners’ grammatical competence in Spanish) was explored using a multiple regression analysis. The statistical analysis showed that none of those three variables predicted learners’ grammatical competence in Spanish. However, participants’ answers ...


The Effects Of Language Complexity On Natural And Emotion Concept Formation In Early Language Learners, Stephanie Eileen Jett Dec 2014

The Effects Of Language Complexity On Natural And Emotion Concept Formation In Early Language Learners, Stephanie Eileen Jett

Dissertations

The present study investigated the role of language complexity in natural and emotion concept formation ability in young children (two- to five-year-olds). Language complexity was measured by selections from the Brigance Diagnostic Inventory of Early Childhood Development II, and concept formation was assessed at three levels of abstraction. The natural concepts were presented as two alternative discriminations on a touch-screen computer, as follows: subordinate level (lions versus tigers), basic level (cats versus dogs), and superordinate level (animals versus nonanimals). The following emotion categories were discriminated: subordinate level (anger versus sadness), basic level (positive [happiness and positive surprise] versus negative [anger ...


The Influence Of Observational Learning On Self-Reported Physical Activity, Self-Efficacy For Physical Activity, And Health-Related Fitness Knowledge For Physical Activity, Charles Gregory Bullock Dec 2014

The Influence Of Observational Learning On Self-Reported Physical Activity, Self-Efficacy For Physical Activity, And Health-Related Fitness Knowledge For Physical Activity, Charles Gregory Bullock

Dissertations

The obesity epidemic has caused tremendous burden to our economy and healthcare system. Physical activity is one method that can reduce the obesity rate. However, physical activity declines in high school and does not recover. The likelihood of adolescents continuing their involvement in physical activity depends on how they navigate the highs and lows of their physical activity experiences (Feltz & Magyar, 2006). The purpose of this study is to look at the role of observational learning in physical activity and behaviors in an adolescent population. Specifically, this research examines the influence of observational learning on self-reported physical activity, self-efficacy for ...


Exploring Perceived Norms And Protective Strategies: Self-Consciousness And Gender As Moderators, Jeremy James Noble Dec 2014

Exploring Perceived Norms And Protective Strategies: Self-Consciousness And Gender As Moderators, Jeremy James Noble

Dissertations

College alcohol abuse has been a staple in the college environment over the past 30 years (Johnston, O’Malley, Bachman, & Schulenberg, 2011) resulting in numerous negative consequences (Hingson, Edwards, Heeren, & Rosenbloom, 2009). Protective behavioral strategies (PBS) reduce the negative consequences typically associated with alcohol use (Martens et al., 2004). A positive relationship exists between perceived norms of PBS use and PBS use (Benton, Downey, Glider, & Benton, 2008), and an individual’s level of self-consciousness moderates the relationship between perceived norms and alcohol use (LaBrie, Hummer, & Neighbors, 2008). The relationship between perceived norms and PBS use under the conditions of self-consciousness has yet to be assessed. The current study aimed to assess to what extent perceived norms predicted PBS use with private self-consciousness, public self-consciousness, and social anxiety as moderators. Due to gender differences observed in these variables (Johnston et al., 2011; LaBrie, Pedersen, Neighbors, & Hummer, 2008), gender was also assessed as a moderator. Results revealed that perceived norms predicted an increase in PBS use. Private and public self-consciousness also predicted an increase in PBS use. A three-way interaction emerged between descriptive norms, private self-consciousness, and gender. Implications for college student intervention and prevention programs are discussed, as well as limitations of the study and directions for future research.


Examining Student Perceptions: Ethics And Misconduct In Today's Police Department, William Andrew Davis Aug 2014

Examining Student Perceptions: Ethics And Misconduct In Today's Police Department, William Andrew Davis

Master's Theses

Police ethics and decision making are issues of concern to both academic scholars and police leaders. While previous studies have focused on perceptions of police officers, little research has focused on the perceptions of young people about police ethical decision-making. This study aims to capture such perceptions from a cohort of college students majoring in criminal justice. Students from an undergraduate criminal justice program (n=263) were surveyed to determine their attitudes toward various ethical components of police work, including the prevalence of misconduct and the impact of a college education on ethical decision-making. Moreover, the effect of successful completion ...


Examination Of High School Students' Understanding Of Geometry, Brantley Grant Pierce Aug 2014

Examination Of High School Students' Understanding Of Geometry, Brantley Grant Pierce

Master's Theses

Not every student learns geometry instruction the same. Inside today’s classroom, one will find a diverse collection of students with different learning styles, background knowledge, and cognitive abilities. Students with high cognitive skills may sit next to those who struggle to maintain the material of a single subject. It is the job of an educator to accept the students as they are and guide them through a successful academic journey. This process is called Differentiated Instruction. Gregory and Chapman, authors of Differentiated Instructional Strategies: One Size Doesn’t Fit All, state that the term differentiation is a philosophy that ...


The Implementation Of Common Core Standards And Teacher Intent To Persist, Eddie Miles Louis Smith Aug 2014

The Implementation Of Common Core Standards And Teacher Intent To Persist, Eddie Miles Louis Smith

Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to determine if the implementation of the Common Core Standards (CCS) into schools had an impact on teacher intent to persist in the classroom. Specifically, this study sought to determine if the implementation of the CCS was a factor of novice and veteran teachers’ intent to persist in schools located in south Mississippi. A review of the literature indicated that teacher shortages were not primarily due to recruitment and training, but rather, to a significant extent, were the result of teachers leaving the profession long before retirement (Ingersoll & Smith, 2004).

Data were collected and ...


Teacher Expectations Of Students In A Predominantly African American School District, Durand Duron Payton Aug 2014

Teacher Expectations Of Students In A Predominantly African American School District, Durand Duron Payton

Dissertations

Wong and Wong (2004) reported teachers‟ perceptions could become a self-fulfilling prophecy when addressing the students. According to Haycock (2001) once teachers‟ perceptions had developed, even if they were inaccurate, teachers would begin to act as if their beliefs were factual. By acting as though the beliefs were real, teachers could essentially cause their perceptions to materialize into the expectations of students. The purpose of this study is to explore teachers‟ expectations of students in a predominantly African American school district. Ferguson (1998) had considered the behaviors in which teachers' perceptions of the students‟ impact their expectations towards the students ...


Principal Emotional Intelligence And Teacher Perceptions Of School Climate In Middle Schools, Ashley Dawn Meadows Allred Aug 2014

Principal Emotional Intelligence And Teacher Perceptions Of School Climate In Middle Schools, Ashley Dawn Meadows Allred

Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to determine the correlational relationship of principals’ emotional intelligence on the perceptions that teachers have of a school’s climate. The Organizational Health Inventory for Middle Schools (OHI-M) served as the assessment for teachers’ perceptions of the school climate or the overall health of the organization. Principals’ emotional intelligence competencies were assessed using the Mayer Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test version 2, hereinafter referred to as the MSCEIT V.2.0. Participants of the study included 22 principals of public middle schools in Mississippi. There was an average of 45 teachers employed at each middle ...


Conceptualizing Doctoral Student Mentoring, Flint L. Brent Aug 2014

Conceptualizing Doctoral Student Mentoring, Flint L. Brent

Dissertations

In this study, there was a convenience sample of 145 doctoral students from 35 states and the District of Columbia. The demographic breakdown of the participants was 101 females and 44 males, with an age range of 22 through 68 years of age, and there were 98 Caucasian and 23 African American participants. The modal doctoral student was 36 years old, heterosexual, Caucasian, and female in the dissertation phase of pursuing a PhD. In this study, the modal doctoral student defined an ideal mentor as someone who functions as a role model, and demonstrated integrity, provided guidance, and developed a ...


Federal Aid And College Success Of Students In The Community College, Jana Lee Jenkins Causey Aug 2014

Federal Aid And College Success Of Students In The Community College, Jana Lee Jenkins Causey

Dissertations

Financial aid helps many students gain access to college, and the federal government spends a great deal of money to fund financial aid programs. Community colleges serve a large amount of students who enter the higher education system and there is very limited published research that provides conclusive evidence as to whether or not financial aid promotes success in community college students. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship of federal need-based aid with the achievement of community college students by analyzing grade point averages, earned semester hours, and graduation frequencies among students who fall into the ...


Comparing Professonal Development Practices Of Low Performing Public Schools And High Performing Public Schools In The State Of Mississippi, Lori Rogers Wilcher Aug 2014

Comparing Professonal Development Practices Of Low Performing Public Schools And High Performing Public Schools In The State Of Mississippi, Lori Rogers Wilcher

Dissertations

This study was designed to investigate the professional development practices of public schools in Mississippi. More specifically, the causal comparative design sought to discover if there were differences in professional development practices between low-performing public schools in Mississippi and high-performing public schools in Mississippi. For the purposes of this study, high-performing schools were classified A or B and low-performing schools were classified D or F by the Mississippi Department of Education. Classifications were based on student performance measures from the statewide testing system for the 2012-2013 school year.

The review of literature guided the examination of differences in perceived value ...


Parental Perceptions Of Early Childhood Education Programming For Children With And Without Disabilities, Brittany Greer Herrington Aug 2014

Parental Perceptions Of Early Childhood Education Programming For Children With And Without Disabilities, Brittany Greer Herrington

Dissertations

This study examined the factors influencing parental selection of early childhood education programs for their children with and without disabilities. Factors explored were severity of disability, parental choice in programming, inclusion, parental satisfaction, type of disability, and availability of programs that take part in early childhood education. Parents with at least one child with a disability and one child without a disability age eight or younger participated in this study by responding to items from a researcher-adapted instrument. Though no findings were statistically significant, conclusions drawn both support the literature and suggest that parents want the same programming for their ...


Reflective Practice In A Coach Education Practicum, Clayton Roth Kuklick Aug 2014

Reflective Practice In A Coach Education Practicum, Clayton Roth Kuklick

Dissertations

Researchers have explored how practicing sport coaches learn through reflection (Gilbert & Trudel, 2001); however, there is a paucity of research that explains how and why higher education coach preparation students learn through reflection. The purpose of the current study was to understand how and why 21 coaching students enrolled in a practicum course at a southeastern United States institution engage in reflective practice. This research was conducted using a one group pretest posttest mix methods research design and draws upon Schön’s (1983, 1987) work on reflective practice, which underpinned a set of online structured reflective journaling prompts used as an intervention ...


Csi Effect And Forensic Science/Criminal Justice Degree Programs, Megan Dutton Mccay Aug 2014

Csi Effect And Forensic Science/Criminal Justice Degree Programs, Megan Dutton Mccay

Dissertations

This research sought to determine the relationship between obtaining a criminal justice or forensic science degree and the CSI Effect followed by whether the students were satisfied with their major selection. Additionally, this research sought to determine if there were discrepancies between students’ expectations before entering the forensic science or criminal justice degree program and students’ attitudes while enrolled in the forensic science or criminal justice degree program. One hundred and ninety-six participants responded to a 33-item survey instrument over a three week time period. It was determined there was a television influence on students’ major selection in the forensic ...


Making Meaning Of The Reel: The Media's Portrayal Of Community Colleges, Jena Lee Hawk Aug 2014

Making Meaning Of The Reel: The Media's Portrayal Of Community Colleges, Jena Lee Hawk

Dissertations

Due to its seemingly unclear and ambiguous mission, the community college has somewhat of a stigma attached to it as a four-year institution defines the American college experience (LaPaglia, 1994). Although only a few studies concerning media portrayals of community college students have been published within the last twenty years, the existing studies (Bourke, Major, & Harris, 2009; LaPaglia, 1994; Tucciarone, 2007) have failed to address if the media’s portrayal of community colleges influences students’ decisions or actions with regard to enrolling in a two-year institution. Using the theoretical framework of critical media literacy, the researcher will examine if media portrayals determine ...


Evaluating The Use Of Tootling For Improving Upper Elementary/Middle School Students' Disruptive And Appropriate Behavior, Abigail Melanie Lambert Aug 2014

Evaluating The Use Of Tootling For Improving Upper Elementary/Middle School Students' Disruptive And Appropriate Behavior, Abigail Melanie Lambert

Dissertations

The purpose of the current study was to extend the literature on a positive peer reporting procedure called Tootling. There has been limited research on the effectiveness of the Tootling intervention for reducing disruptive behavior in the classroom (Cihak, Kirk, & Boon, 2009; Lambert, 2012). Additionally, Tootling has primarily been utilized with lower elementary school students, and the present study evaluated the intervention procedures with upper elementary/middle school students (i.e., sixth and seventh grades). The current study also examined the effects of the Tootling intervention on individual target students referred for disruptive behavior in addition to classwide student behavior. An ABAB ...


Evaluating The Effectiveness Of The Good Behavior Game With General Education High School Students Utilizing A Changing Criterion Component, Rachel Ritter Mitchell Aug 2014

Evaluating The Effectiveness Of The Good Behavior Game With General Education High School Students Utilizing A Changing Criterion Component, Rachel Ritter Mitchell

Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the interdependent group contingency procedure known as the Good Behavior Game (GBG) with upper-level (i.e., 10th, 11th, and 12th grade) general education high school students utilizing a changing criterion design. The effectiveness of the GBG has been investigated with a variety of behaviors across many developmental levels; however, limited research has been done at the high school level. To date, only a few studies have examined the effectiveness of the GBG with a general education high school population, one with a single 9th grade classroom (Kleinman & Saigh, 2011 ...


Using Online Education To Transition Teaching Assistants To Teacher Certification: Examining The Differences Among Teacher Education Programs, Billie Jean Tingle May 2014

Using Online Education To Transition Teaching Assistants To Teacher Certification: Examining The Differences Among Teacher Education Programs, Billie Jean Tingle

Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to compare The University of Southern Mississippi elementary education teacher candidates that completed the online or traditional route to determine if there was a significant difference in professional knowledge and skills using Praxis II test scores. The participants included 60 Teacher Assistant Program (TAP) online teacher candidates and 564 traditional face-to-face teacher candidates. This study also compared the two groups’ perceptions of self-efficacy. The instrument used in this part of the research study was the Teacher Education Preparation Program Exit Survey (Appendix A). A selection of the participants that completed their teacher internship during ...


Divorce And Forgiveness: A Comparison Between Genders, Alison Kathleen Johnson May 2014

Divorce And Forgiveness: A Comparison Between Genders, Alison Kathleen Johnson

Dissertations

Divorce has become more commonplace throughout time. This study was conducted to determine if there were any differences between genders concerning forgiveness of their ex-spouses. Four instruments including the Enright Forgiveness Inventory, Fisher Divorce Assessment, Learning Activities Survey, and structured qualitative interviews were used to determine the differences specifically with regard to how men and women forgive and at what rate they forgive.

The sample included divorced adults employed by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and graduate students in the Department of Educational Studies and Research at a local university. A total of 31 completed surveys were returned, and ...


Bridging The Gap: Understanding, Anticipating, And Responding To The Needs Of Student Veterans In A Bachelor Of Science In Nursing Program, Larry Michael Stowers May 2014

Bridging The Gap: Understanding, Anticipating, And Responding To The Needs Of Student Veterans In A Bachelor Of Science In Nursing Program, Larry Michael Stowers

Doctoral Projects

The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA) of 2008 and the Post-9/11 Veterans Assistance Act of 2008 have afforded veterans the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education. Since October 2001, over 2 million American men and women in uniform have deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). While thousands of returning combat veterans take advantage of recent legislation that helps pay for their education, they face new challenges in the classroom. This nation’s veterans represent a group of diverse individuals who bring different experiences, thus different perspectives than traditional ...