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Doctoral Dissertations

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Examining Social Capital And Its Role In Special Education Leadership, April K. Rist Mar 2024

Examining Social Capital And Its Role In Special Education Leadership, April K. Rist

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to analyze the relationships that existed between the special education leaders and other members of a district leadership team in order to measure their access to social capital. Quantitative data were collected using surveys of one school district’s leadership team and social network analysis (SNA) was used to visually analyze the connections between members of the team. Qualitative data were subsequently collected via semi-structured interviews of each of the 19 members of the leadership team. What types of ties do the special education administrators have to fellow administrators within district leadership teams? What …


Interrelationship Among Students’ Ict Usage, Attitude, And Academic Performance In Nordic Countries: Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling On Pisa 2018 And Timss 2019, Dukjae Lee Mar 2024

Interrelationship Among Students’ Ict Usage, Attitude, And Academic Performance In Nordic Countries: Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling On Pisa 2018 And Timss 2019, Dukjae Lee

Doctoral Dissertations

The usage of digital devices has been an interest in the field of education as one of the useful instructional methods for students’ better learning. Although the usage seemed to be related to their academic performance (e.g., Pekto et al., 2017; Skryabin et al., 2015), it was still unclear if the usage itself directly affected better academic results. Therefore, this dissertation explored an interrelationship between students’ usage of digital devices and academic performance with a mediation effect of their attitude toward using digital devices. The study analyzed the datasets of five Nordic countries collected from PISA 2018 and TIMSS 2019, …


Impact Of Reasonable Accommodations On Disabled Student–Veteran Higher Educational Achievement, Michael A. Buoniconti Mar 2024

Impact Of Reasonable Accommodations On Disabled Student–Veteran Higher Educational Achievement, Michael A. Buoniconti

Doctoral Dissertations

Objectives: The purpose of this study was (a) to investigate the degree to which reasonable accommodations affected the educational achievement (graduation and GPA) of U.S. Student–Veterans with military service–connected disabilities and (b) to categorize the accommodations according to impact (positive, mixed, none, and negative). Research Design: Archival and survey data were used to investigate whether there was a relationship between U.S. Student-Veteran level of military service–connected disability, Student-Veteran utilization of reasonable accommodations support, and Student-Veteran higher educational achievement. Two variables (a) U.S. Student-Veteran military service–connected disability severity rating (both continuous and categorical) and (b) U.S. Student-Veteran utilization of reasonable accommodations …


The Impact Of Institutional Support On African American Male College Students: A Phenomenological Analysis, Samuel Leron Speed Mar 2024

The Impact Of Institutional Support On African American Male College Students: A Phenomenological Analysis, Samuel Leron Speed

Doctoral Dissertations

This study is a powerful call to action for higher education institutions to recognize and address the unique challenges of African American male college students. Through a qualitative phenomenological approach grounded in Swail's (2004) Framework for Student Success, the study sheds light on the institutional factors that impact the lives of these students. The research design utilized semi-structured interviews with seven African American male participants, and the analysis reveals codes, clusters, and themes that emerged from their narratives, providing valuable insights into the impact of institutional support on their lives. The study highlights the importance of peer support, the challenges …


A Narrative Inquiry On Chinese International Doctoral Students’ Perspectives On Developing Critical Thinking In The U.S., Shuaipu Jiang Dec 2023

A Narrative Inquiry On Chinese International Doctoral Students’ Perspectives On Developing Critical Thinking In The U.S., Shuaipu Jiang

Doctoral Dissertations

Guided by transformative learning theory and Perry's scheme of intellectual and ethical development, this dissertation study examines Chinese international doctoral students' critical thinking development process in the US. The two research questions that guided this study are: (1) How do Chinese international doctoral students understand and conceptualize critical thinking? and (2) How have Chinese international doctoral students developed critical thinking during their doctoral studies in the U.S.? Narrative method design is applied to the study, which interviews eight participants. Using narrative thematic analysis of data, four key themes emerged from the study: a) awareness of critical thinking in Western versus …


The Other Side Of The Story: An Exploratory Case Study Of Barriers Experienced By Tennessee Transfer Pathways Students, Alexis Hartley Dec 2023

The Other Side Of The Story: An Exploratory Case Study Of Barriers Experienced By Tennessee Transfer Pathways Students, Alexis Hartley

Doctoral Dissertations

The vital topic of improving the experiences of transfer students is investigated comprehensively in this research. A qualitative method was used in the design of the case study to explore the experiences that transfer students had while participating in a state transfer pathway program. In particular, this approach focused on the barriers that transfer students faced and the knowledge and actions that were required to overcome these barriers. After completion of an accredited associate's degree, students who have participated in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway (TTP) are eligible to transfer into a four-year program at one of the state's participating four-year …


Experiences With Student Loan Debt: A Phenomenological Study Of First-Generation, Low-Income College Graduates, Sarah Leigh Gardner Thomas Dec 2023

Experiences With Student Loan Debt: A Phenomenological Study Of First-Generation, Low-Income College Graduates, Sarah Leigh Gardner Thomas

Doctoral Dissertations

First-generation and low-income (FGLI) individuals currently represent a large percentage of the total undergraduate student enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities. Student loan debt in the United States is also at an all-time high with approximately 43 million Americans sharing the $1.75 trillion total. Because FGLI individuals, like many other college students, often take on large amounts of student loan debt to successfully graduate college, it is worth learning more about the long-term effects that student loan debt has on the experiences of FGLI college graduates within the first ten years of graduating with a baccalaureate degree. The purpose of …


Counselor Influences On College Decision Making, Jordan Mccarter Dec 2023

Counselor Influences On College Decision Making, Jordan Mccarter

Doctoral Dissertations

Although numerous studies have been devoted to understanding the role of the counselor in schools, few studies have been conducted to understand the specific influence that counselors have on girls throughout their college admissions process (Bryan, Farmer-Hinton, Rawls, & Woods, 2017; Bryan, Holcomb-McCoy, Moore-Thomas, & Day-Vines, 2009; Bryan, Moore‐Thomas, Day‐Vines, & Holcomb‐McCoy, 2011). The purpose of this study was to examine the interactions between girls and their high school college admissions counselors and the resources and programmatic offerings of the college counseling office that girls experience. Perna’s (2006) proposed conceptual model of college student choice served …


Mentor Teacher Positioning During Pedagogical Documentation With Early Childhood Preservice Teachers, Melissa Renee Westfall Dec 2023

Mentor Teacher Positioning During Pedagogical Documentation With Early Childhood Preservice Teachers, Melissa Renee Westfall

Doctoral Dissertations

Teacher education research shows that partnerships among mentor teachers and preservice teachers facilitate meaningful professional development when both are afforded the opportunity to assume dynamic positions of teacher and learner. The purpose of this qualitative, descriptive case study was to explore mentor positioning and pedagogical documentation at a university-based early childhood center with five mentor teachers (MTs) and five undergraduate preservice teachers (PTs). It explored the efficacy of pedagogical documentation review as a tool to facilitate moments of reciprocal mentoring. Through the framework of cultural-historical activity theory and subject positioning theory, I investigated how mentors positioned themselves during pedagogical documentation …


Understanding Faculty Use Of Learning Management Systems In U.S. Higher Education, Minghui Tai Nov 2023

Understanding Faculty Use Of Learning Management Systems In U.S. Higher Education, Minghui Tai

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this dissertation is to understand why and how faculty use a learning management system (LMS) and what demographic factors and barriers influence faculty LMS use in U.S. higher education. Nearly 98.1% of higher education institutions in the United States have invested in at least one LMS to facilitate student learning and faculty teaching (LMS Data, 2023). However, there have been a limited number of studies exploring factors that influence U.S. faculty use of LMS. Faculty (n=191) across the United States responded to an online survey answering open-ended, and Likert-scale questions about LMS use, as well …


The Professionalization Of Collegiate Recreation And The Educational Pathways Of Its Practitioners: An Exploratory Study, Jason R. Incorvati Nov 2023

The Professionalization Of Collegiate Recreation And The Educational Pathways Of Its Practitioners: An Exploratory Study, Jason R. Incorvati

Doctoral Dissertations

ABSTRACT THE PROFESSIONALIZATION OF COLLEGIATE RECREATION AND THE EDUCATIONAL PATHWAYS OF ITS PRACTITIONERS: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY SEPTEMBER 2023 JASON R. INCORVATI, B.A. UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST M.E.S.S., UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Ph.D. UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST Directed by: Ezekiel Kimball, Ph.D. The professionalization of collegiate recreation, like many fields, has led to attempts to standardize training, create shared language, come to an agreement amongst practitioners on what essential knowledge the work should be based upon, and have collective understanding as to how new members to the field should be socialized (e.g., Arminio, 2011; Duran & Allen, 2020; Wilensky, 1964). Professional associations …


Connecting And Developing Through Facebook: An Exploration Of Impact On College Women, Christine R. Sharry Nov 2023

Connecting And Developing Through Facebook: An Exploration Of Impact On College Women, Christine R. Sharry

Doctoral Dissertations

Social media continues to change global society, while providing the opportunity to access information, but also build and sustain relationships with others. These online tools have become a part of everyday life (Greenwood et al., 2016) and have an impact on the way people interact, connect, and learn from one another. College students today have been surrounded by social media since elementary school (Alquist, 2017). Therefore, college administrators and faculty need to understand the impact of these online tools on students’ learning and development to ensure their success. All foundational student development theories were created when digital environments were non-existent. …


I’Ve (Urn)Ed This: An Application And Criterion-Based Evaluation Of The Urnings Algorithm, Ted Daisher Nov 2023

I’Ve (Urn)Ed This: An Application And Criterion-Based Evaluation Of The Urnings Algorithm, Ted Daisher

Doctoral Dissertations

There is increased interest in personalized learning and making e-learning environments more adaptable. Some e-learning systems may use an Item Response Theory (IRT)-based assessment system. An important distinction between assessment and learning contexts is that learner proficiency is expected to remain constant across an assessment, while it is expected to change over time in a learning context. Constant learner proficiency during an assessment enables conventional approaches to estimating person and item parameters using IRT. These IRT-based systems could be abandoned for alternative approaches to modeling learners and system learning content, but assessments may provide more functions than adapting learning material …


The Puzzle Of Debutant Ingo Participation In Guatemala’S National Reading Program Leamos Juntos: A Comparative And Multi-Sited Case Study, Jacob A. Carter Nov 2023

The Puzzle Of Debutant Ingo Participation In Guatemala’S National Reading Program Leamos Juntos: A Comparative And Multi-Sited Case Study, Jacob A. Carter

Doctoral Dissertations

The dynamics of nongovernmental organizations (NGO) working in Guatemala can be understood as processual, evolving with and being shaped by social and cultural events in Guatemala and around the world. Central to understanding these dynamics is NGOs’ historical relationship to the State, which has ranged from collaborative to homicidal. However, as the number and activity of NGOs increase globally and in Guatemala, specifically within the education sector, some scholars characterize them less by their opposition to the State and more by their provision of education and myriad affiliations with the State. The purpose of this dissertation is to situate …


Aberrant Response Detection: Incorporating Cumulative Sum Control Chart And Change-Point Analysis, Siyu Wan Nov 2023

Aberrant Response Detection: Incorporating Cumulative Sum Control Chart And Change-Point Analysis, Siyu Wan

Doctoral Dissertations

The detection of aberrant responses in psychological and educational testing is crucial for maintaining the validity and reliability of assessment scores. This dissertation evaluates the performance of a new detection method, known as the bootstrap method, specifically targeting random guessing behaviors. A simulation design is used to compare the bootstrap method with traditional cumulative sum control chart (CUSUM) and change-point analysis (CPA) methods, considering various test lengths and severity rates. The findings indicate that the bootstrap method did not exhibit superior performance in detecting aberrant responses compared to the traditional methods. It demonstrated lower detection power and higher type I …


Harnessing Untapped Potential: A Theory For Engaging Recent Graduates In Alumni Advocacy To Support Institutional Advancement Goals, Erin M. Valencik Nov 2023

Harnessing Untapped Potential: A Theory For Engaging Recent Graduates In Alumni Advocacy To Support Institutional Advancement Goals, Erin M. Valencik

Doctoral Dissertations

At the same time institutions and advancement offices are struggling to effectively engage recent graduates who are essential to the health and longevity of the engagement and philanthropy pipeline, public institutions are attempting to constrain rising college costs that threaten quality and accessibility. A large and ongoing contributing factor to increased college costs is reduced state funding for higher education that remains below historic levels. Given the current environment of declining numbers of new donors, the funding challenges that face higher education, and recent graduate motivations to participate in cause-based philanthropy, political advocacy may be one approach that can effectively …


A Feasibility Study Investigating The Implementation Of Social-Emotional Learning Programming In A Clinical Day Treatment Program, Laura M. Findlay Nov 2023

A Feasibility Study Investigating The Implementation Of Social-Emotional Learning Programming In A Clinical Day Treatment Program, Laura M. Findlay

Doctoral Dissertations

Students with emotional-behavioral disorders are particularly vulnerable to adverse mental health consequences as they often experience less school success than any other group of students, with or without disability (Beaudoin et al., 2008; Wagner et al., 2005). Existing research indicates that students who participated in social-emotional learning programs, such as Second Step, demonstrated significant improvement with social and emotional skills, behavior, and academic performance, than students who did not (Durlak et al., 2011). However, less is known about the science related to systems-level implementation to support applied practices (Fixsen et al., 2005), and little is known about implementing SEL programs …


Cultural Humility In Education: A Qualitative Case Study Of Teacher Practice And Development Of Concrete Skills In The Upward Bound Program, Onasheho Valerie Toweh Nov 2023

Cultural Humility In Education: A Qualitative Case Study Of Teacher Practice And Development Of Concrete Skills In The Upward Bound Program, Onasheho Valerie Toweh

Doctoral Dissertations

CULTURAL HUMILITY IN EDUCATION: A QUALITATIVE CASE STUDY OF TEACHER PRACTICE AND DEVELOPMENT OF CONCRETE SKILLS IN THE UPWARD BOUND PROGRAM Even though it has been several decades since the Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board of Education, ruled against racial segregation in schools (Yell, 2019), students of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds continue to experience systemic barriers that adversely impact student outcomes across their academic, behavioral, and postsecondary attainment (Musu-Gillette et al., 2016). Using a qualitative methodology case study approach, this study examined teaching practices within the Upward Bound (UB) Program using a case study approach across three …


The Mental Health Of First-Generation College Students Of Color, Devin Hallquist Aug 2023

The Mental Health Of First-Generation College Students Of Color, Devin Hallquist

Doctoral Dissertations

College students who identify as a person of color and are also the first person in their family to attend college must navigate challenges related to white supremacy, institutional racism, and structural inequality. Though the amount of research on first-generation college students of color is steadily increasing, there remains a lack of research on the mental health of these students. Through an intersectional approach, the current study explored the mental health of first-generation college students of color during their sophomore year of college. Participants in the current study completed questionnaires related to psychological symptoms, experiences of racial/ethnic stress, and ethnic …


The Evaluation Of "The Wrong Answer Project" As Validity Evidence For The Social Consequences Of Testing, Darius D. Taylor Aug 2023

The Evaluation Of "The Wrong Answer Project" As Validity Evidence For The Social Consequences Of Testing, Darius D. Taylor

Doctoral Dissertations

The use of educational tests for making high stakes decisions has had societal consequences for decades. Parents, teachers, and administrators have been willing to pay off, lie, cheat, and steal so that their children, students, and they themselves would not fall prey to the negative consequences of subpar performance on educational assessments. Respected psychometric scholars have supported Samuel Messick’s claim over the years, but their advocacy has caught minimal traction. I founded an initiative in 2019 – The Wrong Answer Project – that shows promise as a vehicle for collecting validity evidence based on the social consequences of testing and …


An Analysis Of Puerto Rican Testimonios Of Oppression And Resistance In Postsecondary Education, Juan M. Ruiz-Hau Aug 2023

An Analysis Of Puerto Rican Testimonios Of Oppression And Resistance In Postsecondary Education, Juan M. Ruiz-Hau

Doctoral Dissertations

College enrollment rates for Puerto Ricans in the United States and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have been steadily increasing over the last twenty years; however, enrollment rates for 18- to 24-year-old Latinos remain low compared to whites of the same age groups. The rationale for this gap often portrays Latinos as deficient, using terms such as “academic underachievement” and “at-risk.” This framing—centered on the individual—shifts the focus away from systemic barriers, such as limited financial resources for Latinos, culturally relevant pedagogy, intergenerational transfer of disadvantage, and systemic racism, among other factors explored this this study. This study contributes …


The Impact Of Special Education Status And Text-To-Speech On Test-Taker Engagement, Maura O'Riordan Aug 2023

The Impact Of Special Education Status And Text-To-Speech On Test-Taker Engagement, Maura O'Riordan

Doctoral Dissertations

If a student is not engaged during a test, their test score will not be an accurate representation of what they are capable of. This is a concern because of the possible negative impact on the validity of test score interpretations and decisions being made based on such test scores that are not in the best interest of the student. If this is negatively impacting an entire subgroup of students, such as special education students, differentially, there may be larger-scale impact. To date, limited research has examined the relationship between test-taker engagement and special education status. The purpose of this …


Scaffolding Narrative Writing In A Fourth-Grade Classroom Through Accela’S Expanded Teaching And Learning Cycle: A Case Study, Juan P. Jimenez Aug 2023

Scaffolding Narrative Writing In A Fourth-Grade Classroom Through Accela’S Expanded Teaching And Learning Cycle: A Case Study, Juan P. Jimenez

Doctoral Dissertations

The socio-political context of education reform of the last two decades in the United States (e.g., No Child Left Behind Act, Race to the Top, anti-bilingual education laws in several states, The Common Core State Standards, and the Every Student Succeeds Act) has limited the capacity of urban public schools to address the academic literacy needs of the increasingly growing population of emerging bilinguals in this country; which as of fall of 2019 represented 10.4 % (5.1 million students) (NCES, 2022). This problem has been exacerbated when large numbers of emerging bilinguals have been placed in mainstream classrooms with inadequately …


Ensuring Culturally Inclusive Online Learning For International Students: A Delphi Study To Identify Requisite Instructor Competencies, Kristen Lina Heaster-Ekholm Aug 2023

Ensuring Culturally Inclusive Online Learning For International Students: A Delphi Study To Identify Requisite Instructor Competencies, Kristen Lina Heaster-Ekholm

Doctoral Dissertations

The dramatic expansion of online learning in U.S. higher education has been accompanied by a notable shift in the demographics of students enrolled in these courses. International students are among those participating in online courses in growing numbers, infusing the virtual space with greater cultural diversity. Many instructors are unprepared for this change. Culture plays an influential role in how we learn, yet instructors rarely consider it in the design and facilitation of their online courses. This can have a negative impact on learners and often affects international students in disproportionate ways. The purpose of this study was to identify …


For The Love Of Teaching: Pre-Service Teachers’ Experience Of Moral Education, Anne Marie Foley Ruiz Aug 2023

For The Love Of Teaching: Pre-Service Teachers’ Experience Of Moral Education, Anne Marie Foley Ruiz

Doctoral Dissertations

Moral aspects of teaching arise each and every day, yet we lack information about how prepared teachers feel about this critical aspect of teaching. This multi-case study explores perceptions of five pre-service teachers in an elementary teacher education program in Western Massachusetts. A series of interviews explore their histories prior to the program and their experiences in the program as related to the pre-service teachers’ orientations to the moral work of teaching. Research questions address the awareness and self-efficacy of student teachers in implementing the moral aspects of teaching. Using Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clark, 2006), this study explores beliefs …


Youth Producing Voice: A Video-Cued Ethnography Of A Media Education Classroom, Isabel C. Castellanos Aug 2023

Youth Producing Voice: A Video-Cued Ethnography Of A Media Education Classroom, Isabel C. Castellanos

Doctoral Dissertations

From mini screens on our cell phones to large flat screens hanging in institutional hallways, visual digital media are part of our everyday lives. This is especially true for youth, who in their leisure time increasingly spend time watching and making video content. Yet there are few opportunities for youth in either their community or school settings to access formal instruction in digital media literacy, including video production. In this dissertation, I examine the possibilities and challenges for doing youth media inside schools. What do youth allow themselves to say when doing media production in school and how do they …


Mandated Learning: Administrators' Perceptions Of Unfunded Mandates In Online Education, Ronald Aaron Hennen Aug 2023

Mandated Learning: Administrators' Perceptions Of Unfunded Mandates In Online Education, Ronald Aaron Hennen

Doctoral Dissertations

Online education has become a solution for many states to facilitate the growing requests from state legislatures to lower educational costs while meeting the academic needs of students. Legislation from Florida provided the impetus for this study, after Florida CS/CS/HB 7197 mandated that all students enroll in an online class for 1 credit as a graduation requirement. While the rationale for such legislation may be cost savings, for most school districts, implementation may be viewed as an unfunded state mandate. The purpose of this study was to examine administrator’s perceptions of mandated online teaching as an additional financial burden on …


Resource Use And Success In Life Science Graduate Education, Maryrose Weatherton Aug 2023

Resource Use And Success In Life Science Graduate Education, Maryrose Weatherton

Doctoral Dissertations

Given that attrition rates for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) graduate programs have been higher than 50% for more than a decade, increasing student success in graduate programs has long been a focus of research in higher education. However, previous research has paid little attention to the opinions and experiences of graduate students themselves. Graduate students’ lived experiences may be critical to understanding factors driving graduate attrition and to improving STEM graduate programs broadly. This dissertation explored two understudied aspects of the graduate student experience: students’ definitions of success and their use of resources.

I used interviews and surveys …


Sexual Assault Survivors’ Experiences Of Campus Spaces: A Photovoice Study, Amber Giffin Aug 2023

Sexual Assault Survivors’ Experiences Of Campus Spaces: A Photovoice Study, Amber Giffin

Doctoral Dissertations

Sexual violence continues to be a widespread issue for women, and many survivors of sexual assault face numerous challenges in higher education when they are working to achieve their educational goals. The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of how women adult learners who are also sexual assault survivors experience the university campus. Two research questions framed this study: 1) What types of spaces on university campuses engender feelings of safety for women adult learners who are sexual assault survivors? 2) How can universities create more inclusive learning spaces for women adult learners who are sexual assault …


“Every Dollar Counts”: An Exploration Of The Experiences Of Students Persisting In A Four-Year, Institutional Promise Program, Ashton Braddock Aug 2023

“Every Dollar Counts”: An Exploration Of The Experiences Of Students Persisting In A Four-Year, Institutional Promise Program, Ashton Braddock

Doctoral Dissertations

This study explored the experiences of students participating in UT Promise, a free-tuition program in the state of Tennessee that requires completion of community service and participation in a mentoring program. With a variety of Promise program designs and limited research on the experiences of students participating in these programs, this qualitative study sought to explore the perceptions and experiences of students in the program. Findings revealed that the UT Promise influenced college access, college affordability, and student success. Being offered free tuition changed the college-going conversation for students and had implications for college choice. The scholarship made college more …