Research

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Author Dissertation
Santiago, Jason Paul, Ed.D.
Student-Soldiers Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Post-9/11 GI Bill at Two Institutions: A Critical Examination
by Jason Paul Santiago, Ed.D. | email: jasonpaul80@yahoo.com
2012
Abstract

This quantitative study explores the factors that contribute to the academic success of soldier-students using the Post-9/11 GI Bill for undergraduate programs. The perspective of military members transitioning from military to civilian life is examined through educational benefits offered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The development and implementation of the GI Bill gives qualified military veterans the opportunity to receive a college education and provide a higher standard of living for their families. The GI Bill helped remove the national stigma of a college education being available only to those who could afford it, and assured reinvestment of an economic value to military veterans for generations to come. This study offers common conclusions on how institutions for higher education are addressing the needs of returning veterans during their transitioning process. It also suggests the responsibility of these institutions to go beyond the education of returning military members and address the social, mental, and physical elements of the soldier-student’s overall well-being.

Keywords:

Quantitative, GI Bill, Soldiers

Perry, Anne, Ed.D.
The Impact of a Cognitive Information Processing Intervention on Students in First-Year Non-Career Development College Courses
by Anne Perry, Ed.D. | email: aperry1970@yahoo.com
April 2012
Abstract

This study examined the impact of an intervention on students’ dysfunctional thoughts toward career problem solving and decision making. Participants were 116 college students enrolled in freshman level core-college courses at a for-profit/proprietary university in Illinois, divided into two groups, an intervention group and a control group, based on their enrollment in core college coursework. The intervention group completed a pre-test, a workbook intervention, and a post-test, while the control group completed only the pre-test and post-test.

The Career Thoughts Inventory (CTI) (Sampson, Peterson, Lenz, Reardon, & Saunders, 1996a) was used for the pre-test and post-test, and the intervention was based on the Cognitive Information Processing approach (Sampson, Lenz, Reardon, & Peterson, 1999) and incorporated Improving Your Career Thoughts: A Workbook for the Career Thoughts Inventory (Sampson, Peterson, Lenz, Reardon, & Saunders, 1996b). Both the CTI and intervention were administered during regular scheduled classes by the researcher and a research assistant from the guidance services office of the institution trained in the use and interpretation of CTI in service delivery. Results of this study indicate that dysfunctional career thoughts of the intervention group were significantly reduced, and examination of individual content areas for the intervention group revealed decreased scores, indicating improvement in all areas. Because the control group had only slightly decreased scores, the improvement can be attributed to the intervention.

Keywords:

Career development, Cognitive Information Processing, career decision-making, career assessment

Woolsey, Matthew, Ed.D.
Becoming a Leader in a New Land: Sociocultural Perspectives of First Generation Asian Indian Leaders on the U.S. System of Higher Education. An Ethnographic Study
by Matthew Woolsey, Ed.D. | email: matthewallenwoolsey@gmail.com | phone: 1.847.942.4932
April 2012
Abstract

The bell tolls for United States (U.S.) higher education to embrace a global perspective essential to future survival (Lynn & Salzman, 2006). Reports show increasing Indian prominence on the world stage, including a call by President Obama and India’s Prime Minister Singh to join efforts in educational advancements. Over the past century, Indians have slowly migrated (diaspora) to the U.S., increasing student enrollment and dramatically increasing faculty from 1960–1970 in America’s colleges and universities. For Asian Indians entering U.S. post-secondary education, very few have made it to the rank of president. This dissertation begins with a review of existing scholarly work on leadership evolution since the Industrial Revolution and includes considerations of U.S. higher education leadership. The study then continues where earlier inquiry leaves off by focusing on the leadership experiences of Asian Indians at the executive level in U.S. higher education. A qualitative ethnographic approach was employed to answer the question: How do Indian expatriates view their highest professional attainments in U.S. higher education from their sociocultural perspectives? Data collection involved semi-structured interviews with five university and college leaders of Asian Indian descent along with researcher field notes, artifacts, and documents (Creswell & Clark, 2011, p. 174). The goal was to offer a lantern that sheds light on this unchartered territory with resulting insights for future Indians seeking a similar path.

Keywords:

Asian American, Leadership, Higher Education, India, Qualitative Research

Lehmacher, Andrea, Ed.D.
Successful Practices and Models of Enrollment Management in Illinois Community Colleges: An Explanatory Mixed-Methods Research Case Study
by Andrea Lehmacher, Ed.D. | email: ALehmacher@elgin.edu | phone: 847-214-7756
May 2012
Abstract

State budget crises, rising tuition costs, unpredictable enrollment trends, shifting demographics, and varying economic shifts are just a few of the external forces affecting community colleges. Enrollment management (EM) can be a model for addressing market and accountability forces because it allows community colleges to adapt to the changing environment, influence fiscal health, and improve student success (Bontrager & Clemetsen, 2009). Bontrager and Clemetsen (2009) define enrollment management as “a concept and process that enable the fulfillment of institutional mission and students’ educational goals” (p. 3). Responding to and managing enrollment, demographic, economic, and financial issues are central to the viability of community colleges. If current trends continue, the most successful institutions will be those that identify best practices and implement enrollment management principles.

The theoretical framework for this study includes three constructs: community colleges are open systems adapting to the internal and external environment; enrollment management should become an integral process throughout the community college system; and collaboration among internal departments is critical for successful enrollment management. The research method used is an explanatory mixed-methods case study that explores and describes enrollment management practices and models in two Illinois community colleges. The quantitative component to the study will utilize descriptive statistics from community college participants through a Likert scale survey. The qualitative component of this study intends to portray current enrollment management practices and models through individual interviews with administrators and faculty from the two community colleges.

Keywords:

Community College, Mixed-Methods, Enrollment

Maraist, Carolyn, Ed.D.
University and College Presidents’ Perceptions of Their Successful Dyadic Partnerships
by Carolyn Maraist, Ed.D.
May 2012
Abstract

This study explores how university and college presidents within institutions in United States higher education perceive their experiences of their successful dyadic partnerships. The presidents in the study represent institutions from across the Carnegie sector classifications and were selected for the study using convenient sampling. The research methodology involved a qualitative approach utilizing constructivist grounded theory and semi-structured interviews with an appreciative inquiry focus. The findings of the study show the emergence of three salient thematic factors that are present in the successful dyadic partnerships of all five presidents: trust, common mission, and the situational use of power. The thematic factors that were present for four of the five presidents were communication, complementary strengths, and time/longevity. The findings also show that the thematic factors within these successful dyadic partnerships are interactive in ways that are characterized by complexity. The nature of this complexity is unclear. However, there is a finding from the study that some of the most salient common factors are also the most interactive factors. The prevalent interactive factors are trust, communication, common mission, and relationships. Further findings indicate some stereotypic gender differences in the ways in which male and female presidents partner, as well as differences in patterns of trusting within their partnerships.

Keywords:

partnerships, presidents, dyads, trust, leadership, higher education, university, college

Collins, Timothy, Ed.D.
An External Perspective on Institutional Catholicity in Higher Education
by Timothy Collins, Ed.D. | email: collinstim@me.com
2013
Abstract

Catholic colleges and universities in America have significantly changed philosophically, demographically, legally, and financially during the past 5 decades. Since the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, there has been considerable focus on attempting to accurately describe the Catholic identity for institutions affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Called to embrace the modern world, Catholic institutions of higher learning have been challenged to retain their distinctiveness even as they have become more closely aligned with secular institutions within the academy. Because of this convergence of institutional similarities, how does a potential student come to understand institutional Catholic identity during the search process? With over 230 Catholic degree-granting institutions to choose from in the United States alone, the task of determining a “best-fit” for the student can be challenging. It is important to have a framework for independently determining the strength of institutional Catholicity for a student seeking a uniquely Catholic undergraduate experience.

Specifically, this research identifies a set of 15 signal features for identification of a distinctively Roman Catholic institution of higher education within a framework for understanding institutional positioning with respect to the Roman Catholic Church from an external, or off-campus, perspective. In addition to the exploration of public documentation and the campus environment, select faculty and student leaders were interviewed at “Holy Catholic College” (a pseudonym) to understand their perspectives on the strength of Catholicity of their particular institution in the development of the framework and associated signal features.

Keywords:

Case Study, Catholic, Catholicism, Undergraduate

Hill, Melinda Craig, Ed.D.
Career Coaching Program Participants: Their Experiences and Persistence as Underrepresented Community College Students
by Melinda Craig Hill, Ed.D. | email: mrs.melindahill@gmail.com | phone: 540.819.2231
2013
Abstract

This study examines the lived experiences of underrepresented college students who participated in a career coaching program while in high school and now attend a local community college in the Southeast. The purpose of this research study is to understand how career coaching and other internal and external factors influenced the beliefs, motivations, academic success, career goals, and self-efficacy of these underrepresented students. This qualitative study used a phenomenological approach, specifically a social constructionism perspective, and semi-structured interview research design. Using an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) interview technique, students who have successfully completed one year of college were chosen as participants for this study. Four themes emerged: Motivations for Attending College, Challenges Faced by Underrepresented Students, Contributing Factors for Overcoming Challenges and Their Success, and Career Coach Support While Navigating the College Transition. The Appreciative Inquiry Career Coach Model, a five-step process, has been developed for underrepresented student populations based upon their specific needs and perspectives. The insights and results of this study can be used by high school and postsecondary administrators, counselors, faculty, and career coaches to re-examine current best practices, assess the influence of career coaching programs on individual students, and launch services specifically designed for underrepresented student populations based upon their specific needs and perspectives.

Keywords:

Community College, Coaching, Underrepresented

Stubbs, Dawn, Ed.D.
The Bologna Process: Impact of Tuning on Teaching and Learning: A Case Study
by Dawn Stubbs, Ed.D. | email: dawnstubbs@earthlink.net
2013
Abstract

The higher education system in the United States has come under increasing pressure because of the lack of accountability, transparency, and quality of its graduates. It has also been criticized because of the time it takes students to complete a degree. All of these factors threaten the ability to produce enough qualified graduates to meet the needs of a growing global economy. To address the quality issue, and related accountability and transparency issues, the U.S. Department of Education recommended the adoption of a comparable measure of student learning. Current accountability mechanisms, however, do not take into account authentic student learning that occurs within the classroom where actual learning takes place. Therefore, there is a need for this type of authenticity.

The Lumina Foundation for Education conducted a pilot project intended to ensure the quality of postsecondary degrees and enhance degree attainment. The project focused on developing measurable discipline-specific learning outcomes through Tuning, a faculty-led process. Tuning originated in Europe and is part of the Bologna Process that was initiated in 1999. To obtain a better understanding of this process, a qualitative case study was conducted to determine the impact of these outcomes on teaching and learning at one of the pilot project institutions. Five faculty members who were utilizing the learning outcomes were interviewed. Documentation and a video presentation were also analyzed. Six themes emerged that provide an understanding of the effect of these outcomes on the academic program studied. The themes are transparency, autonomy, preparation and improvement, intentionality, diverseness, and under development. The results of this study add to the growing discussions about Tuning and could influence the way student learning is measured.

Keywords:

Tuning

Jacobson, Leslie, Ed.D.
Classroom Scheduling in Higher Education: A Best Practices Approach
by Leslie Jacobson, Ed.D. | email: l.jacobson@live.com
2013
Abstract

Classroom scheduling in higher education is a complicated process involving many different stakeholders across the campus. These stakeholders may include, but are not limited to faculty, students, administrators, and boards of trustees. Due to the culture and practices, as well as the conflicting interests of each of these groups, the scheduling process of academic classrooms and instructional laboratories may not always be efficient. This inefficiency often results in the underutilization of an institution’s space. This study supplements the limited research available by examining and benchmarking best practices in efficient classroom scheduling in higher education at private, non-profit institutions of higher education in the United States. An electronic survey instrument was developed to serve a variety of purposes: to assess factors affecting the classroom scheduling process; to explore internal and external forces that influence classroom scheduling from the viewpoint of the institution’s registrars tasked with classroom scheduling; and to develop a list of best practices in efficient classroom scheduling from feedback and input that can be adapted by any institution. The survey was pilot tested on a panel consisting of five registrars recruited through an announcement placed on the LinkedIn group entitled College and University Registrars. The data resulting from survey and registrar feedback were then used to develop a list of best practices in classroom scheduling. These practices formed the framework for developing a benchmarking self-score sheet to evaluate institutional practices and identify opportunities for improvement.

Keywords:

Classroom, Scheduling

Zachariah, Sujith G., Ed.D.
Perceptions of First-Generation Nursing Students: A Qualitative Study of Academic and Social Factors Related to the Successful Completion of an Associate Degree in Nursing
by Sujith G. Zachariah, Ed.D. | email: sujithzachariah@triton.edu
2013
Abstract

First-generation students comprised 61% of all community college students. However, first-generation students have the highest drop-out rate from college compared to all other student populations. Many first-generation students are from low-income families, immigrants, adults, single parents, working, not prepared academically, and feel less socially and academically connected to campus. Numerous studies focused almost exclusively on their demographics, challenges, experiences, and background. Little data exist on the experiences of first-generation students in a professional undergraduate program such as nursing. The purpose of this study was to gain insight on the experiences of first-generation nursing students. Specifically, this inquiry explored the needs and support services a first-generation student needed to graduate from a rigorous undergraduate professional program such as nursing. Five strong themes with some sub-themes were identified from the participant’s responses: 1) Strong personal drive, 2) Cost, work, and financial aid, 3) Support of family and friends, 4) Academic activities, 5) Social activities. The current study determined that Tinto’s theory on academic and social activities played a role in the retention and graduation of first-generation students in the nursing program at Midwestern community college.

Keywords:

Nursing, First Generation, Qualitative, Associates

Pressimone, John Michael, Ed.D.
Preserving the Sponsoring Tradition: A Study of Catholic Colleges and Universities Founded by Religious Orders
by John Michael Pressimone, Ed.D.
2013
Abstract

The majority of private higher educational institutions in America can trace their origins to Protestant Church denominations beginning with the founding of Harvard University in 1636. Catholics in the United States began planting colleges and universities beginning in 1789 with the founding of Georgetown University. Most Catholic institutions of higher learning were founded by religious orders of priests, brothers or sisters which are referred to as sponsors in today’s parlance. The identity of each of these institutions was formed by the sponsoring order which established them. The institutions were dependent on the sponsor for leadership, faculty, staff, financial resources and religious identity through the middle of the 20th century. The tremendous growth in college and university enrollments after World War II, combined with the post Vatican II decline of priests, brothers and sisters in the late 1960s, has weakened the sponsor identity on Catholic college and university campuses.

This mixed methods exploratory study examines a purposeful sample of three Catholic colleges and universities, each founded by a religious community of priests, brothers or sisters, to identify best practices in preserving sponsor identity. These best practices were identified through interviews with key campus personnel and leadership. The researcher examined campus programs, symbols, artifacts and icons for evidence of sponsor identity. The study demonstrates that sponsor identity animates the mission and ethos of each institution in a way that creates meaningful identity and market distinction. The study provides examples for other institutions to emulate as each seeks to proclaim its identity and secure a place in an ever increasingly competitive higher education marketplace.

Keywords:

Catholic

Woo, Wilson K., Ed.D.
A Framework for Collaboration: Bridging the Gap Between Adjunct Faculty and the Collegiate Environment
by Wilson K. Woo, Ed.D.
2013
Abstract

This study explores the use of personal branding and motivation strategies that have increased the job satisfaction of adjunct faculty within a school of continuing studies at a postsecondary institution. Recent studies reported by NCES (2011) have shown that the adjunct faculty population has grown substantially since the 1960s; the use of adjunct faculty is clearly increasing in public, private, and for-profit educational institutions (AAUP, 2011). From the perspective of some tenure-track faculty (TTF), adjunct faculty were not truly integrated or recognized as faculty within the institutions where they taught (Dolan, 2011). University athletic departments have done a good job of branding and marketing their programs to bolster the student athletes and coaches for more ticket sales. Personal branding with adjunct faculty is no different; branding of oneself can be used to bolster and market oneself within the institution. This dissertation offers a qualitative phenomenological narrative research design that attempts to understand the importance of branding from the perspectives of adjunct faculty. Through face-to-face and telephone interviews, video conferences, and a qualitative survey, this dissertation will also show that adjunct faculty must be perceived as leaders in their field through their own branding. The purpose of this study is to examine how the branding methods and strategies impact the adjunct faculty’s overall job satisfaction within a school or department of continuing studies for a University of Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) institution within Illinois.

Keywords:

adjunct, part-time, contingent, nontenure track, branding, job satisfaction, motivation, continuing studies, UPCEA

O'Neal, Jr., Wendell B., Ed.D.
African-American College Students: A Qualitative Study of Selected Factors Affecting Dropout
by Wendell B. O'Neal, Jr., Ed.D. | email: wendellonealjr@gmail.com
2013
Abstract

This qualitative study explored African-American students’ perceptions of personal and institutional factors that contributed to their dissatisfaction and eventual withdrawal from a community college in a major Midwest city. Nine former students of the community college participated in the study. Data was collected through individual, in-depth interviews with the participants to address three primary research questions that directed this study: 1) How do non-completer African-American students previously enrolled at a two-year community college perceive their experiences at the institution? 2) Are there common perceptions of these African-American students related to their personal and academic lives? 3) How did their experiences impact or influence their decision to withdraw from pursuit of their postsecondary education? Through analysis of the data, insight was provided into the various social and academic factors impacting the former community college students. Subsequently, three major themes emerged: (1) institutional environment, (2) institutional support, and (3) decision to withdraw. Findings from this study indicate that the majority of the participants were dissatisfied with their experience at the college. Furthermore, while some participants cited the institution’s failures as their reason for leaving and not planning to return to the college, other participants indicated they left for personal reasons and would return to the college even though they were dissatisfied with their experience.

Keywords:

Minorities, African American, Qualitative, Dropout

Boone, Elizabeth, Ed.D.
A Study of the Business Adjunct Faculty Peer-Mentoring Program at a Private Midwestern University
by Elizabeth Boone, Ed.D. | email: eboone62@gmail.com | phone: 630 829-6209
2013
Abstract

This study explores the business adjunct faculty peer-mentoring program at a private Midwestern university and its contributions to the quality of adjunct faculty instruction. The research utilizes case study as an umbrella design to investigate what constitutes high quality instruction by business adjunct faculty and how it can serve as a model of peer-mentoring for other higher education institutions. Semi-structured qualitative individual and focus group interviews comprise the primary data for analysis, supplemented by institutional documents and years of observations. Peer-mentoring can be one of the best teaching practices designed for adjunct faculty who make transitions from business to academic careers. The findings of this study can aid in research, which aims to ensure that quality teaching is being performed in the classrooms of higher learning. The results of this study have the potential to inform recruitment strategies and strengthen the overall creditability of the adjunct faculty workforce.

Keywords:

Adjunct, Faculty, Business, Mentoring

Spilovoy, Tanya Marie, Ed.D.
Motherhood and the Pursuit of Higher Education: A Phenomenological Study of College Student Mothers Completing Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs
by Tanya Marie Spilovoy, Ed.D. | email: tanya.spilovoy@gmail.com
August 2013
Abstract

This study examines ways in which college student mothers experience the pursuit of online higher education while mothering. The twelve participants—mothers who were enrolled in and completed online bachelor’s degree programs at various institution types on the great plains—testified to a myriad of experiences in higher education online learning environments. In-depth qualitative interviews with the participants provided major data for analysis in this phenomenological study. The participants’ responses addressed their individual paths to higher education and the successes and challenges that they faced on the way to completing their online bachelor’s degrees. The results of this study are intended for higher education faculty and administrators who are involved in designing online programs to better meet the needs of non-traditional students such as student mothers so these women can persist and graduate from online bachelor’s degree programs. Seven major themes and sixteen subthemes emerged on topics of motherhood, reasons for returning to college, reasons for choosing online programs, persistence, retention, and participant recommendations for college personnel.

Keywords:

Phenomenological, Mothers, Motherhood

McConnell, Barbara Sue, Ed.D.
Student Loan Default Rates as a Function of Availability of College Career Development Service Interventions
by Barbara Sue McConnell, Ed.D. | email: barbarasmcconnell@att.net
February 2013
Abstract

The cost of a college education is skyrocketing. Those pursuing their college degree are borrowing more money both through federally guaranteed as well as private student loans. Jobs, even for college graduates are difficult to find. Graduates able to find a job related to their field of study are not finding the salaries that they anticipated prior to choosing a field of study. Increasing percentages of student loans are falling into default. Post-secondary educational institutions are looking for ways to prevent student loan default to avoid significant penalties to be imposed by federal government enforcement of the Gainful Employment Act of 2011. The question was whether focusing effort on certain interventions provided to students through their institution’s career development center would have an effect on the institution’s student loan default rate. This quantitative study obtained data from responses (n=313) to a survey sent to career development centers at four-year, degree granting, regionally accredited post-secondary institutions within the United States and her territories (n=1430). Using intervention categories and definitions (Spokane, 1991), career development staff were asked to provide information on the frequency of interventions provided to students in order to develop a predictor model using forward stepwise regression. This model indicated those interventions that have the greatest effect on lowering institutional student loan default rates.

Keywords:

Career Development, Student Loan

Tulloch, Joan Y., Ed.D.
First-Generation Latino Student Identity and Persistence at a Two-Year Hispanic-Serving Institution in the Southeastern United States
by Joan Y. Tulloch, Ed.D. | email: dentullo@aol.com
August 2013
Abstract

Graduation rates nationally for community college students have continued to be low. This is an issue that has perplexed policy makers and college administrators alike for quite some time. In this phenomenological study, eight first-generation Latinos—one sector of the diverse groups that constitute the community college student population—were interviewed to discover how their perceived sense of self as mediated through their lived experiences shaped their decisions to persist at a community college in the southeastern United States.

The four themes that emerged from the data revealed that although the study‘s participants experienced college in different ways—some rewarding, others stressful, some encouraging, others disappointing,—all of them had fundamental beliefs coupled with determined spirits, which were strong enough to keep them focused on their goal of persisting in college.

Keywords:

Latino, Persistence

Hughes, Susan, Ed.D.
A Quantitative Investigation of the Relationships Among Graduate Student Scholarly Writing, Instructor Feedback, and Student Tolerance for Ambiguity
by Susan Hughes, Ed.D.
December 2013
Abstract

In this quantitative dissertation I examined what graduate students at the master’s degree level and their faculty mentors know and understand about the scholarly writing process by investigating the practices and perceptions of a group of master’s level faculty members and graduate students from four distinct disciplines at a small, private university in the upper Midwest. Data were collected via four online surveys: (a) Professional Writing Survey, (b) Tolerance—Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale, (c) Feedback Survey—Student Version, and (d) Feedback Survey—Instructor Version. Fifty graduate students and fifteen faculty members participated in the study and provided data that were analyzed in order to determine relationships between several of the factors: what students perceive about scholarly writing at the master’s degree level, how students prefer to receive formative feedback as part of the scholarly writing process, and how their faculty mentors provide formative feedback and support, and how students’ tolerance or intolerance of ambiguity plays into what they know about themselves as scholarly writers. Student participants generally were confident about their scholarly writing abilities, were motivated to improve with assistance from their mentors, and held the belief that feedback was an important part of the writing process. These beliefs were present both in terms of providing formative assistance, as well as for guiding the overall learning in the process of scholarly writing. For the Tolerance-Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale, the mean score for the participants from the present study was greater than the benchmark of the original Budner (1962) scale. No clear correlation between a person’s ability to tolerate ambiguity and his or her attitude toward scholarly writing were found for the present study. Additional research on the relationship between the ability to tolerate ambiguity and success in the scholarly writing process is indicated in the future.

Keywords:

Quantitative, feedback, ambiguity, tolerance

Numme, Rolf, Ed.D.
Redefining Aging: A Phenomenological Study of Alaskan Boomers’ Pursuit of Higher Education
by Rolf Numme, Ed.D.
2013
Abstract

The world’s population is greying and living longer. In the U.S., societal understanding of the aging process seems to be changing along with rapid changes in economic and sociocultural contexts. Inevitably, these changes have significant implications and ramifications for the baby boomer generation in the United States. Historically, the persons who are between 48 and 69 years of age comprise the baby boom generation. Many in this generation are choosing to continue working later in life and attend college for work-related purposes. This phenomenological study explores the ways in which Alaskan baby boomers perceive aging and experience their pursuit for higher education and career change as a unique group of non-traditional students. The participants were adult college students identified as baby boomers who reside in the Anchorage/Matanuska-Susitna region. In-depth interviews with the participants provided major data for analysis and interpretation with the purpose to uncover meaningful structures of experience of these students as they made their choices regarding new learning experiences and changing careers. Higher education faculty, students, and administrators can benefit from this study in terms of a more nuanced understanding of motivational and identity factors of adult baby boomer college students. The study contributes to the existing motivation, college choice, adult learner, adult identity, and career development theories and literature in adult and higher education.

Keywords:

Phenomenological, aging, higher education

Clevenger, Aaron, Ed.D.
A Phenomenological Study: Motivation as Experienced by Engineering Design Competitors at a Selective Engineering University
by Aaron Clevenger, Ed.D. | email: aclevenger@gmail.com
April 2014
Abstract

This study focuses on the life experience of motivation for competitors of the International Robosub and Roboboat Competitions from a selective engineering university. A phenomenological study, using in-depth interviews and document/artifact analysis, was conducted. The competitors’ responses were analyzed to answer the research question which follows: while preparing for and participating in International Robosub or Roboboat Competitions, what experiences – actual acts, specific behaviors, or other moments – brought about motivational responses for student contestants? The results of the study are intended to provide educators with a better understanding of how to use engineering competitions in a way that will motivate their students to learn the design process. In addition, their responses provide educators with further insight on student motivation and the effectiveness of learning-centered education such as experiential learning, collaborative learning, and project-based learning.

Keywords:

Phenomenological, Motivation, Engineering

Greenhill, Lisa, Ed.D.
Drivers of Resistance: A Mixed Methods Study of Leader Values and Changing Veterinary Medical Education Models
by Lisa Greenhill, Ed.D. | email: lisamgreenhill@gmail.com
March 2014
Abstract

The goal of this study was to understand the relationship between leaders’ values and the desire to use accreditation to control veterinary medical education models. This two-phase, sequential mixed methods study identifies the values associated with the desire to use accreditation as a tool to of control in the development of new veterinary education models by leaders in the veterinary medical profession. Findings from this study suggests that veterinary leaders, while modestly resistant to change, are open to the use of new veterinary education models and do not seek use accreditation as a tool to variation among education models. Further, the findings suggest that veterinary leaders are primarily driven by values associated with protecting the image of the profession and the wellbeing of current and future veterinarians. The findings produced by this study enhance existing literature on value- driven leader behavior with respect to change in graduate and professional education. The study concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of the findings and recommendations for future study.

Keywords:

Resistance, Mixed Methods, Veterinary

Hesterman, Jennifer, Ed.D.
Exploring Deliberate Leader Development in Higher Education: Do We Ensure the Right Leaders are in the Right Place at the Right Time?
by Jennifer Hesterman, Ed.D. | email: jennihesterman@aol.com
March 2014
Abstract

Not all leaders in higher education will become college presidents, but all college presidents must be leaders. Despite an impending presidency crisis, prescriptive activities to cultivate a deep pool of ready, tested and willing candidates are nonexistent. Leadership is both science and art, requiring a holistic developmental approach that is lacking in academe. The purpose of this mixed method study is to identify how to best align leader development activities with the needs of the presidency position. Survey and interview data indicates some leader development activities are present, however they are informal and unevenly applied. Leaders are identified early, then lost in the system due to lack of career path, mentoring and succession planning activities. Human capital management activities are negligible. Presidents are unprepared for the most daunting tasks, and often must individually procure and fund training and education. This study proposes a new deliberate development model for higher education to cultivate and prepare leaders to meet the demands of the modern presidency.

Keywords:

Leader Development, Higher Education

Garcia, Albert, Ed.D.
Bridging the Gap: A Study to Determine Competencies Necessary for Community College Deans to Manage and Lead Former Colleagues
by Albert Garcia, Ed.D.
2014
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine competencies and leadership behaviors of ten academic deans in one community college district that supervise faculty in the same division in which they previously taught—and to create a competency model for effective deans in this situation. These competencies illustrate a skill set community college deans need to successfully manage and lead their former colleagues. This study’s grounded theory, qualitative methodology incorporated individual interviews, a focus group, and two questionnaires. Analysis of this data determined the advantages as well as the challenges faced by community college deans when faced with supervising, managing, and leading colleagues from the same division in which they taught and what competencies increase their chances to succeed in this circumstance. The study answered the questions of how close familiarity with the faculty impacts the dean’s job, how competencies for deans in this situation fit in the context of the American Association of Community College’s (AACC) Competencies for Community College Leaders (2005) and other competencies mentioned in the literature, and how faculty aspiring to a dean position can best prepare for a transition into that role. Results revealed that the deans rely on 11 competencies; of those, three—communication, collaboration, and professionalism—are central and are related to the other eight competencies. All the competencies were presented in the context of challenges that deans face in their position. Results also revealed four kinds of preparation for faculty considering a move into a dean position: preparing psychologically, getting experience, knowing what they are getting into, and having a plan.

Keywords:

Competencies, Community College, Deans, Leadership

St. Germain-Driscoll, Constance Ann, Ed.D.
Women Disrupted: Female Academic Leaders’ Perspectives & Experiences in For-Profit, Online Higher Education
by Constance Ann St. Germain-Driscoll, Ed.D.
2014
Abstract

Customarily, women have had difficulty acceding to positions of leadership in higher education. The reasons for this are varied; among them are a tradition of men in leadership positions within the academe, unfriendly policies that directly impact women during their childbearing years (i.e. tenure), and the hidden, and sometimes overt, beliefs, norms, and stereotypes that create gender prejudice. Literature abounds on these subjects and their impact on women aspiring to leadership. However, one area of women’s leadership in higher education has been heretofore unexamined: that of women academic leaders in for-profit, online higher education.

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how women in situations of academic leadership at for-profit, online colleges and universities consciously experienced their roles, relationships, and development as women leaders at such institutions. For-profits are a unique hybrid of a corporation and an institution of higher education; the researcher sought to understand the emergence, success, and role of women in this sector. Using a feminist phenomenological method, the researcher raised the issue of gender as a philosophical question through the application of phenomenological methods of inquiry to feminist issues such as the division of domestic labor, invisible barriers, and social inequality vis-à-vis the women academic leaders’ experiences. The study discovered several factors that contributed to their leadership success in the for-profit sector: conscious personal and professional choices, support systems, education, mentorship and sponsorship, and flexibility. Through its findings the study hopes to improve practice by curing a deficiency in the literature and creating a profile of this unique niche of women academics with the intent to ascertain an emerging model of leadership.

Keywords:

Women, Leaders, Online Higher Education, For-Profit

Yannuzzi, Laura, Ed.D.
Community College Female Faculty Transitioning to Leadership Positions: A Phenomenological Study of Liminality of Professional Lifeworlds and Identities A Dissertation Submitted
by Laura Yannuzzi, Ed.D.
2014
Abstract

The past thirty years have marked incredible growth for women in community colleges and the impending wave of mass retirements represents a “prime opportunity” for women to advance in the community college leadership ranks. While great strides have been made with respect to women’s advancement in faculty positions, women continue to be underrepresented in academic leadership constituting 49% of full time faculty, but only 29% of presidencies in the community college. Little is known concerning how and why women transition from faculty into academic leadership. However, the development of female faculty into leaders represents an urgent need if community colleges are to successfully address the impending leadership shortage suggested in the literature. Therefore, this study sought to explore the ways in which women experienced their liminal period, where they have shed their faculty identities thus transitioning to new roles, with new responsibilities, expectations, and social rules. These women’s diverse experiences and the meaning that they gave to these experiences were considered as both the source of knowledge and the lived phenomena. Nine female deans from southeastern community colleges participated in this phenomenological investigation. Four essential structures emerged from the data to represent the essence of their liminal period, as they transitioned from faculty into academic leadership; (a) Being Open, (b) Drawing Boundaries, (c) Becoming Visible, and (d) Giving Light. As community colleges prepare for the impending leadership gap, this study offers significant insight for institutions, leadership development programs, and individual women in the community college setting.

Keywords:

Community College, Female, Faculty, Leadership, Phenomoenological, Liminality

Jones, Chimere, Ed.D.
Dual Enrollment Program Participants: Their Experience and Persistence as Hispanic College Students
by Chimere Jones, Ed.D.
September 2014
Abstract

This qualitative, phenomenological study explores the influence that dual enrollment and other factors have had on the persistence of Hispanic students currently enrolled at the sponsoring university located in the southwestern United States. This study answers the main research question: How have the Dual Enrollment Program and other internal and external factors influenced the beliefs, motivations, academic success, and persistence of a small group of Hispanic college students at East Bay Area University.

The factors that students believe as having an impact on persistence have been examined via qualitative research. A phenomenological approach is used. This study is beneficial because it adds to the current body of knowledge on students’ experiences in a college access program and underrepresented minority student persistence in college. The five themes that emerged, based upon the research questions and the sub-questions, were: (a) Desire to Attend College and Have a Better Life; (b) College Perceived as a Viable Option; (c) The Role of the Dual Enrollment Program in Postsecondary Persistence; (d) The Role of East Bay Area University in Postsecondary Persistence; and (e) Influence of Family and Friends on Postsecondary Persistence. The study is unique in that it focuses on the persistence of Hispanic college students who participated in a college access program while in high school, a dual enrollment program provided by the university they currently attend.

Keywords:

Qualitative, Phenomenological, Hispanic,

Dudley, Donna, Ed.D.
Student Voices: Factors, Characteristics, and Qualities that Lead to Success for Potential Graduates at a Public Four-Year University
by Donna Dudley, Ed.D.
October 2014
Abstract

In the United States, college degree completion rates in higher education are a major concern, and completion is a key issue tied to higher education performance and accountability. The current study was designed to identify and explore institutional factors and student characteristics and qualities that lead to the success of potential college graduates at a public four-year university. The study was a mixed methods analysis of institutional factors, student characteristics (i.e. gender and race) and qualities that support graduation rates. Participants were prospective student graduates identified by a college or department within the university. Student academic experiences and outcomes, as well as personal and social skills, were incorporated in the analysis examining their influence on graduation rates. The study included student perspectives, definitions and clarification of the institutional factors, personal characteristics, and other attributes that affect increasing college degree completion. The primary goal of the study was to identify and understand, from a student viewpoint, actions and interventions that positively contribute to completing a degree. The current study provides information and research on effective strategies and programmatic activities that lead to the success of potential college graduates.

Keywords:

Performance, Accountability, Mixed Methods,

Blacksmith, Lourdes, Ed.D.
Community College and Business Partnerships: A Collaborative Leadership for the 21st Century: A Case Study of a Workforce Investment Board in the Midwest
by Lourdes Blacksmith, Ed.D.
September 2014
Abstract

The United States continues to face high unemployment. Even though employers claim they have jobs, they are unable to find qualified individuals. Federally funded workforce programs can play an important role in bridging gaps between the skills available in the workforce, and the skills needed for today’s job market. The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) aimed at strengthening the collaborative partnerships between workforce programs, employers, education, and other stakeholders to develop effective labor force initiatives; however, research has found that collaboration among stakeholders remains a challenge. The purpose of this study is to investigate ways in which community colleges and business leaders develop and implement effective programs that can assist Americans in obtaining and mastering the skills necessary to compete in local and global job markets. This inquiry focuses specifically on the collaborative partnerships formed between business leaders—members of a local Workforce Investment Board (WIB)—and local community college leaders who join in their efforts to provide individuals with academic and employment skills in a Midwestern regional area.

The findings of this qualitative case study illustrate how a WIB’s effective strategies are spread through collaboration and alignment of education (K-12—Higher Education), employers, labor unions, government, economic development organizations, and related agencies, and how its purposeful cross-sector collaborative partnership model can be effective at both meeting labor market needs and creating pathways to employment.

Keywords:

Community College, Business, Collaborative, Workforce

Doughan, Dany, Ed.D.
The Relationship Between Persistence Rates and The Alignment of Traditional Sophomore Student Religious Beliefs With Institutional Missions: A Multi-Institution Focus Approach
by Dany Doughan, Ed.D.
July 2014
Abstract

Compared to other student subpopulations, do Catholic students persist better at Catholic institutions? Such was the central question of this study. To elucidate an answer to this question, a relationship between (1) the persistence rates of traditional sophomore students at three Benedictine institutions of higher education and (2) the alignment of these students’ religious beliefs with the missions of the three institutions was revealed following an examination of student retention data and a quantitative analysis of questionnaires completed by the aforementioned sophomore students. Through including a total of three Benedictine Catholic institutions of higher education—one college and two universities—whose identities remained unknown, this quantitative study confirmed the observed trend at a small size Benedictine University where traditional sophomore level students whose religious beliefs were closely aligned with the institutional mission persisted better on campus. This study established a correlation between the alignment of the sophomore students’ religious beliefs with the missions of the three institutions and the persistence rates of the sophomore students at the three institutions. The study did not imply causation between the two variables.

Keywords:

Persistence, Religious

Carter, David, Ed.D.
Dream Deferred? Re-Storying The Experiences of For-profit College Graduates Through Counter-narrative
by David Carter, Ed.D. | email: dcarter@ben.edu
May 2015
Abstract

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. —Proverbs 13:12 (NIV) ABSTRACT The American Dream is a powerful ideal. It is a Dream that has sailed countless ships, filled with dream chasers, to our shores; a Dream that has caused many to risk life and limb to cross our borders in pursuit of it; a Dream that has even shaped our outlook on life. Odds, risks, and sacrifices mean little in its presence—the return on an investment in this Dream is considered too great (Rank, Hirschl, & Foster, 2014). Increasingly, earning a college degree has become the credential necessary for realizing the American dream. For many students, a college degree opens the doors of opportunity and it is therefore considered to be worth the financial sacrifice (Mettler, 2014). But does the idea of an educational meritocracy, where those who invest heavily in technical skills and knowledge in order to achieve social mobility, hold true for all graduates of for-profit colleges and universities? This qualitative counter narrative study explored the career pathways of for-profit graduates in the Midwest within approximately five years after graduation to understand the contexts that shape their decisions to pursue higher education and professional careers. Eight for-profit graduates, representing five separate institutions and degree fields participated in this study. The lived experiences of these graduates were examined through their narratives, which revealed insights concerning the issues of affordability, accountability, gainful employment, and the American Dream ideology. This study discovered that the participants crafted in their narratives a social fulcrum—built on the American Dream—where education and training are invested on one side and the individual rises on the other. However, the weight of their investments in for-profit education did not elevate them on the socioeconomic ladder. To the contrary, the narrative data in this study ran counter to the American Dream and disclosed the frustrations of for-profit graduates who go deeply into debt with little to show for it monetarily. The lived experiences of for-profit graduates offer an understanding and awareness of students’ perceptions about higher education attainment and the challenges they face after graduation—opening the discussion for improvement. More importantly, the narratives explored in this study may inspire and comfort for-profit graduates who have endured similar struggles, chasing the American Dream, but have remained voiceless.

Keywords:

For profit College, Dream Deferred, Counter Narrative

Biddings-Muro, Regina, Ed.D.
THE COURAGE TO LEAD: THE JOURNEY OF THE FIRST MEXICAN AMERICAN WOMAN COLLEGE PRESIDENT IN THE UNITED STATES
by Regina Biddings-Muro, Ed.D. | email: reginad714@sbcglobal.net
June 2015
Abstract

ABSTRACT Higher education is challenged to find leaders who can meet the increasing and complex demands associated with leading the nation’s colleges and universities. The American Council on Education reports that diversity among university CEOs has improved slightly, but representation among Latino college presidents remains stagnant at disproportionately low levels. This study examined the lived experiences of the nation’s first Mexican American woman college president, Dr. Juliet V. García, who served more than 20 years as the head of the University of Texas Brownsville/Texas Southmost College. Relatively few studies have been conducted on Latino college leaders in general and even fewer have focused on their lived experiences as presidents. This narrative study on one such exceptional leader observed the various facets of her leadership—and her life. Narrative portraiture of Dr. García captured the breadth of her life story, beyond existing biographical sketches and news briefs to provide significant insights to future leaders and a rare, well-developed picture of a woman pioneer. Dr. García’s journey to the university presidency offers an enlightening narrative of how leaders and leadership may be defined and developed in the academy in the 21st century.

Keywords:

Mexican, American Woman, College, President

Graham, Clifford, Ed.D.
A Phenomenological Study of Midlife Career Changers Who Have Pursued Teaching through an Alternative Teacher Licensure Program
by Clifford Graham, Ed.D. | email: cgraham0813@gmail.com
May 2015
Abstract

ABSTRACT Midlife professionals change careers for a number of reasons. Some want to do work that they find more meaningful or that makes better use of their skills than their current jobs. Others might be acting on a long-deferred dream or simply pursuing new career interests. Still others may be motivated by a job loss. Regardless of their reasons for doing so, for these professionals, a career change may be a formidable challenge. Why? Pressure from a down economy, along with the continuous migration in the workforce from manufacturing based jobs to an information technology environment and service industry economy has spurred many to retool their skills to meet the demands of this evolving marketplace. The increasing globalization of the workforce has expanded the boundaries so that more competitors vie for the same employment opportunities sought by career changers. Additionally, midlife career changers must overcome the negative perceptions that exist within the marketplace toward older workers. An increasing number of midlife and second-career professionals consider leveraging their education, know how, and experience into a teaching career. Hence, they require a means by which they can qualify as teaching professionals and continue their careers as productive members of the labor force. This phenomenological study explored the experiences and perceptions of a small group of midlife professionals who pursued making a career to the teaching field change via an alternative teacher licensure program at a university in the Midwest. The results of this study are intended to provide educators with a better understanding of the needs of midlife career changers, and to provide insights to other midlife professionals who may be contemplating a career change.

Keywords:

Midlife Career Changers, Alternative Teacher Licensure Program

Essien, Hope, Ed.D.
A Correlational Study of Active Learning, Academic Proficiency and Completion Rates of African American Students Enrolled in Developmental Mathematics Courses
by Hope Essien, Ed.D. | email: hessien@ben.edu
August 2015
Abstract

Abstract Nationally, according to Bahr (2010), one in four students (22%) were enrolled in developmental mathematics, whereas 46% of African American students were enrolled in developmental mathematics and earned credit in these courses. Only 54% of students enrolled in Fundamentals of Arithmetic and Intermediate Algebra at HCC (Hope Community College, a pseudonym) were successful in completing these developmental mathematics courses with a grade of “C” or better. To address these issues and explain alternative methods to help African American students become more successful at HCC and proficient in developmental mathematics, this research measures the effectiveness of active learning on the academic proficiency and completion rates of African American students enrolled in developmental mathematics at a two-year college. Active learning is a method of teaching that promotes student-centered learning, which intends to raise the student’s motivational level and encourage thinking beyond the information and details provided during instruction (Brody, 2009; Boylan & Bonham, 2012; Bailey, Jeong, & Cho, 2010). Active learning also correlates with academic proficiency, success rate, persistence, and completion (Nash, 2005). However, the need to find alternate methods is supported by the fact that only 43% of freshmen at two-year colleges are ready to succeed in college-level mathematics courses (Li et al., 2013). A quantitative method (Creswell, 2011) will be utilized to gather, investigate, and analyze data for this study.

Keywords:

Correlational Study of Active Learning, African American Students, Developmental Mathematics Courses

Spencer, Stephen, Ed.D.
THE IMPACT OF ACHIEVING THE DREAM ON STUDENT SUCCESS OF FIRST-YEAR, FULL-TIME DEGREE-SEEKING STUDENTS AT A STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
by Stephen Spencer, Ed.D. | email: Stephen_Spencer@ben.edu
August 2015
Abstract

This study was conducted to determine whether a significant relationship exists between Achieving the Dream (AtD) efforts and student success among first-year, full-time degree-seeking students at a state community college. For this study, student success was measured in terms of student engagement, student persistence, and academic performance, measured by grade point average (GPA). The data on student persistence and grade point average were retrieved from the institution where the study was conducted, for students in their first to second semester of full-time enrollment. The data for student engagement were retrieved from results on the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), administered by the institution. The data were grouped into longitudinal periods of 2002-2004 and 2005-2011, to track pre-AtD and post-AtD student performance and engagement. The selected student population excluded students in certificate and specialized non-credit programs and part-time students. The study was conducted using a non-experimental exploratory research design. Data were collected from fall and spring semesters each year from 2002-2011, and aggregated for analysis to explore significant relationships and trends prior to and after the implementation of AtD. Specifically, data was analyzed for statistically significant relationships among variables, using Pearson's correlation coefficient. In addition, statistically significant differences in student success before and after the implementation of AtD was explored through the use of t-tests and Analyses of Variance (ANOVA). The results of this study provided information about student success in relation to Achieving the Dream in the sample population. The AtD implementation was correlated between the variables of student engagement benchmarks, GPA, and student persistence rates

Keywords:

THE IMPACT OF ACHIEVING THE DREAM ON STUDENT SUCCESS OF FIRST-YEAR, FULL-TIME DEGREE-SEEKING STUDENTS AT A STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Grant, Anne, Ed.D.
How We Know It Works: A Case Study Examination of the Role of Advertising in Pre-Nursing Students’ Career and College Choice
by Anne Grant, Ed.D. | email: agrant@ben.edu
August 2015
Abstract

ABSTRACT This exploratory case study contributes to the area of advertising in higher education to recruit nursing students in the state of Michigan – a topic that has been scarcely researched and is necessary in order to help enrollment officials shape and refine their recruitment strategies to meet the needs of both the institution and pre-nursing students. This study employs various qualitative methods to uncover the phenomenon related to advertising strategies as well as career and college choice among pre-nursing students. The theoretical framework for this study is developed by the interpretive use of advertising for college and career choice, reactions and interpretations of advertisements and the image of nursing. The primary focus of this study uses the nursing field as a way to uncover issues that might occur with enrollment officials and marketers to uncover perceptions of what students perceive advertising to be and how it influences enrollment choice among pre-nursing students in Michigan. The insights of this case study can better prepare institutions of higher education on which advertising methods are both value-added and cost effective.

Keywords:

How We Know It Works: A Case Study Examination of the Role of Advertising in Pre-Nursing Students’ Career and College Choice

Haas, Lisa, Ed.D.
BURNOUT AND JOB SATISFACTION INONELINE STUDENT SUPPORT STAFF
by Lisa Haas, Ed.D. | email: lhass@ben.edu | phone: 630-829-6018
December 2015
Abstract

BURNOUT AND JOB SATISFACTION INONELINE STUDENT SUPPORT STAFF LISA HAAS ABSTRACT This study measured burnout and job satisfaction in online student support staff at higher education institutions. Online education continues to grow, but the effects on staff members have not been studied. Data were collected online and the Maslach Burnout Inventory—Human Services Survey was used to measure burnout and its components exhaustion, cynicism, and self-inefficacy; the Job Satisfaction Survey was used to measure job satisfaction and nine facets of it; and a general demographics questionnaire was used to gather background information. Burnout emerged as an emotional reaction, while job satisfaction was an attitudinal response. The findings indicated that approximately 57% of the participants showed indications of burnout and, in general, had an ambivalent attitude toward job satisfaction. There was a strong relationship between burnout and job satisfaction among the participants, and the strongest correlation was among emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction. The Maslach Burnout Inventory variables emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and inefficacy, when combined with demographic variables, predicted about 60% of the variance of job satisfaction.

Keywords:

BURNOUT AND JOB SATISFACTION INONELINE STUDENT SUPPORT STAFF

Thompson, Marcy, Ed.D.
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF BEST PRACTICES IN COMMUNITY COLLEGE COURSES TAUGHT BY PART-TIME FACULTY
by Marcy Thompson, Ed.D. | email: MThompson@elgin.edu
February 2015
Abstract

ABSTRACT Community colleges are faced with the challenge of meeting the college completion agenda espoused by the Department of Education, Lumina, Achieving the Dream, and other education entities. Given the focus of the national agenda on completion and given the nature of the community college culture to often utilize part-time faculty, successful teaching practices need to be identified, proven effective, and practiced by both full- and part-time faculty. The challenge, however, is especially difficult for community colleges because the majority of their teaching faculty are part-time employees who are less attuned than their full-time counterparts to the culture of their institutions. They are responsible for providing quality instruction, integrating active and collaborative learning in the classroom, and assisting students to achieve the course outcomes; yet, many are not familiar with the resources and services provided to students within the institution. It is crucial that community colleges identify best practices that part-time faculty can utilize in and out of the classroom. Part-time faculty members have the potential to make the biggest impact on student success because they make up the majority of faculty teaching students in community colleges today. The findings of this quantitative study illustrate how best practices employed in and out of the classroom successfully impact course completion and retention in a community college.

Keywords:

The Effectiveness of best practices, community college courses

Black, Tyrone, Ed.D.
A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY: THE EXPLORATION OF COLLEGE STUDENTS’ FAITH, SPIRITUALITY AND ENGAGEMENT WHILE ATTENDING A MEDIUM-SIZED JESUIT UNIVERSITY IN NEW ENGLAND
by Tyrone Black, Ed.D. | email: tyrone.black@woosterschool.org | phone: 860-803-6309
July 2016
Abstract

ABSTRACT Colleges aim to educate the whole person, instilling a sense of purpose in each student. A major goal is to provide a platform upon which a student can find his or her true identity and build his or her own life’s philosophy. Many traditional age students, as they embark upon their college search, seek colleges that not only offer their intended major, but also fit their ever evolving personality. It is a great task for students to find a university that will challenge their intellect, encourage healthy social and physical development, and provide opportunities for them to grow spiritually. This social phenomenological study explores college students’ faith, spirituality, identity development, and purposeful engagement while attending a medium size, Jesuit university in New England. In-depth interviews and document analysis were used to collect the data. The responses of each participant were documented and analyzed to answer the overarching question: How do a small group of traditional age college students attending a medium size Jesuit university experience the evolution of their faith, spirituality, identity, and engagement while enrolled in college? Three major themes surfaced: (a) Ways of Viewing Faith and Spirituality; (b) My Spirituality and Identity Have Changed; and (c) Spiritual Development: Part of the Human Experience. The results of this study have the ability to benefit administrators and faculty in both academic and student affairs at religiously affiliated institutions, especially Catholic colleges and universities, as they assess their overall mission of educating their students in their faith. This study can also benefit administrators and faculty at non-sectarian colleges as they seek additional ways to purposefully assist college students in their spiritual evolution. Furthermore, the responses of the participants provide educators with greater insight on how external influences such as social settings, family beliefs, and life challenging events can affect students’ spiritual development, which in turn, can alter students’ i

Keywords:

Faith, Spirituality, Students

Fedrizzi-Williams, Linda, Ed.D.
Mothers as Leaders in Higher Education: The Pathway to Leadershipfpr College Presidents
by Linda Fedrizzi-Williams, Ed.D. | email: fedrizziwilliams@gmail.com | phone: 845-800-2825
July 2016
Abstract

ABSTRACT This study is based upon the lives of eleven women who are not only college presidents, but are also mothers. The purpose of this study was to understand the lived experiences and perceptions of mothers in college presidencies and how the skills of being a mother relate to the skills or experiences of being the president of a college. The study examined the challenges of being a mother in a presidency and also detailed the successes closest to the participants’ hearts. To understand the experiences and perceptions of mothers serving as college presidents, I chose a qualitative, phenomenological study and used in-depth interviews and document/artifact analysis to highlight the major motivations, successes, and challenges in these women’s lives. I used the results of the study to identify themes related to being successful as both a college president and a mother. Eleven major themes and 26 subthemes emerged from the data collected in this study, including: The women felt called to the presidency, the need for support, feelings of guilt and sacrifice, work-life balance concerns, challenges of earning a doctorate degree, leadership skills learned from mothering and mothering skills learned from being a president, putting family first, challenges on the path to the presidency, team-led leadership approaches, and staying true to one’s values. This study adds to the literature on women in leadership positions and is also intended to assist women planning a career in higher education. It helps higher education leaders understand what is needed to support working mothers, including implementing new or altering current institutional policies and procedures.

Keywords:

Mothers, College Presidents, Leadership, Work-Life Balance

Weaver, Melanie, Ed.D.
The Role of the Net Price Calculator in the College Choice Process: A Mixed Methods Case Study of a High-Cost Private University in the Midwest
by Melanie Weaver, Ed.D. | email: melanie.weaver@gmail.com | phone: 419-302-5687
July 2016
Abstract

Abstract This study employed a mixed methods approach to research the role of the federally mandated net price calculator (NPC) in the college choice process. Quantitative data containing student-submitted entries from one university’s NPC were analyzed to answer research questions regarding the timing and significance of NPC use on application and enrollment at the university. Following the quantitative data analysis, student users of the NPC were interviewed and responses analyzed using qualitative methods to answer research questions related to perceptions of NPC results, reasons for NPC use, and the role of the NPC in college choice. Findings from the quantitative analysis demonstrated that very few students used the NPC tool. Of those students who did use the tool, those who used the NPC as an initial contact with the university were less likely to subsequently apply and enroll than students who used the NPC later in the inquiry process. The quantitative analysis also found that students with a higher GPA, students living in-state, students from a household with multiple family members, and those with a lower parent AGI were more likely to apply. Students with a higher GPA and those living in-state were more likely to enroll. Findings from the qualitative analysis revealed six themes and three sub-themes including: (a) use of the NPC to narrow college choice; (b) concerns about accuracy of the tool; (c) surprise at the results of the NPC; (d) limited parental involvement; (e) use of inaccurate information; and (f) factors beyond price which include the subthemes of athletics, location, and academic major.

Keywords:

Financial aid, net price calculator, enrollment management

Holloway, Kathleen, Ed.D.
The Impact of Economic Change on Employment Outcome and Career Choice of Doctoral Graduates in Education from Louisiana Universities
by Kathleen Holloway, Ed.D. | email: katmholloway@gmail.com | phone: 915-2019-8190
July 2016
Abstract

ABSTRACT The goal of this study was to examine employment options and career choice of doctoral graduates to determine their employment status at the start of the economic downturn in 2007 and through the period of economic recovery until 2014. This two-phase, sequential mixed-methods study identified graduates’ knowledge of employment options and their opinions of career choice based on those options. Findings from this study suggest that doctoral graduates in education secure employment in academic fields based on contextual factors such as a desire for career progression. Those that work in non-academic careers do so based on choice, not for lack of academic positions. Further, the findings suggest that graduates are driven to degree attainment for intrinsic reasons and reasons related to advancement, goals, and opportunities. The results produced from this study enhance existing literature on employment choice and career options for doctoral graduates in education during economic change. The study concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of the findings and recommendations for future study.

Keywords:

Economy, Graduates, Career Choice

Henrich, Joy, Ed.D.
Competency-Based Education: A Mixed-Methods Study of the Employers’ Perspective
by Joy Henrich, Ed.D. | email: joy.henrich@rasmussen@gmail.com
July 2016
Abstract

ABSTRACT Competency-based education is an alternative approach to education, which makes student learning, not the number of credit hours that a student completes, the focus of the education process. There is currently a renewed interest in the competency-based educational model across the higher education landscape. The goal of this research study was to understand how employers viewed degrees earned through competency-based education programs and, specifically, how employers perceived graduates from these programs for hiring. This two-phase, sequential mixed methods study explored whether employers valued such degrees and whether they considered job applicants possessing credentials from competency-based education programs to be equally academically prepared for the workplace as candidates who had graduated from traditional, credit-hour-based programs. The participants in both phases of this study were human resource professionals and hiring managers who were members of a targeted human resource organization. Examining the perspectives of human resource professionals is essential for effectively structuring higher education programs and establishing their focus. Participants in this study were from a range of business models, industries, and employee population sizes. These participants were significant to the research, as they were the individuals who established policies around hiring practices and making hiring decisions, which this study endeavored to understand in regard to competency-based education programs

Keywords:

Competency-Based Education, Mixed Methods

Bigard, Heather, Ed.D.
PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION TO LEAD: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF RESILIENCE AMONG COLLEGE WOMEN PRESIDENTS
by Heather Bigard, Ed.D. | email: hbigard@gmail.com | phone: 502-642-6661
August 2016
Abstract

ABSTRACT Colleges and universities are facing unprecedented challenges related to access and accountability, while its leadership pipeline is weakening. Although females outnumber males, in terms of student enrollment, the majority of college presidents are men. Gender inequity among college presidents, combined with the number of impending retirements, creates an opportunity for more women to advance to the presidency. Preparing them to effectively overcome potential barriers and achieve professional success can strengthen the pipeline of leaders. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to investigate the ways in which female leaders experience their presidencies and perceive resiliency as a construct and lived experience conducive to their success as higher education professionals. This study was guided by three research questions. How do female college leaders perceive and experience resilience on their paths to the presidency? What does professional advancement mean to these women? What are their perceptions of themselves as successful and resilient leaders? Using an interpretive lens, new meaning was constructed from the ways in which these women described their experiences and perceived resilience as an influence in their own leadership development. The research revealed three dimensions of resilience that constitute the essence of the phenomenon as experienced by the seven participants in this study: (a) resilience as a response to adversity, (b) resilience shaping identity and the capacity for personal and professional success, and (c) resilience enhancing the meaning and purpose of the participants’ personal and professional lives.

Keywords:

College Women President, Next Generation

Snyder, Jackie, Ed.D.
Case Study: An Exploration of Distributed Leadership and its Relation to Establishing a Culture of Evidence at a Two-Year Public Institution
by Jackie Snyder, Ed.D. | email: jackie.e.snyder@gmail.com
September 2016
Abstract

Abstract Higher education leaders are responsible and answerable to many constituents. Society and national accreditors have used countless factors to measure levels of institutional success and to provide evidence that meet accountability expectations. This culture of evidence is the expectation and it encompasses reliable measures that are systemic, data-driven, and comprehensive in nature to understand the quality of an institution. It is a working assumption that higher education leadership is often organized and executed in a variety of ways depending on the higher education institution. A distributed view of leadership incorporates the activities of multiple groups of individuals in an institution that works at guiding and mobilizing individuals within the institution to implement an initiative or change process. At a theoretical level, distributive leadership is an exploratory framework for understanding leadership practice. The purpose of the study was to explore how a distributed model of leadership practice influences the organizational development of a culture of evidence at a higher education institution. The relevant theories for this study include Schein’s organizational culture theory and 2010 culture-embedded mechanisms, distributive leadership practice as defined by Spillane (2008), and Suskie’s leadership and culture of assessment concept. To complete the case study, the following questions were explored through interviews, historical documents, observations, and artifacts: how does this institution apply distributed leadership to advance a culture of evidence?; who are the institutional members involved and engaged as distributed leaders at this institution?; what demonstrated behaviors and actions do these distributed leaders use to nurture the current culture of evidence at this institution?; how effective is the distributive leadership model in meeting the expectations associated with a culture of evidence?; and, what distributive leadership themes are identified with promoting a culture of evidence? Through this exploration, best practices and models of leadership practices to meet contemporary expectations surrounding a culture of evidence were identified, and the effectiveness of a distributive leadership model was evaluated by an external accreditation body. A flexibility to the distributed leadership model was found that allows for different groups to lead the culture of evidence. The leaders, regardless of group, identified a shared responsibility to foster the culture of evidence that resulted in parallel routines being executed by various leaders, and the work was often been duplicated across the campus. Thus, not one person or office was identified as responsible for leading the evidence culture. Two committees were identified as promoting and organizing activities to meet a culture of evidence expectations. Primary embedded mechanisms speak to the visible actions of the leaders. These include leaders’ actions, or role modeling, that is often emulated by people in the organization. Secondary mechanisms identified by Schein (2010) are considered to be methods that a leader may indirectly change in an organization’s culture. The secondary mechanisms, those behind the scenes engagements that are indirectly altered by actions and often affect culture, were evident at this institution. The term organic process surfaced as a theme throughout the research. This acknowledgment of owning the culture of evidence and being flexible in how to address stakeholder expectations are central to the success and effectiveness of meeting accreditation standards.

Keywords:

Case Study: An Exploration of Distributed Leadership and its Relation to Establishing a Culture of Evidence at a Two-Year Public Institution

Delatorre, Francis, Ed.D.
Examining the Relationship Between Midwest Community College Veteran Outreach Programs and the Academic Success of Veterans That Participate in Veteran Outreach Programs
by Francis Delatorre, Ed.D. | email: Frank.Delatorre2@illinois.gov
February 2016
Abstract

ABSTRACT This quantitative study examines the relationship between United States military veteran outreach programs and the academic success of student veterans who participate in veteran services at an urban community college system, herein termed Metropolitan College System. This study is based on Schlossberg’s Theory of Adults in Transition that correlates with Tinto’s work on group differences in rates of degree completion. The academic success rate of military veterans transitioning through postsecondary institutions is examined in relationship with reported individual use of veteran outreach services. Veteran services are designed to assist veterans self-manage the transition to higher education by building strong relationships with higher education practitioners and providing resources that foster support and help veterans to devise a personal strategy for achieving academic success. Assessment of the veteran outreach activities at Metropolitan Colleges may identify actions that provide resources for achieving academic success. This study was designed to establish a correlation between use of Veteran services at community colleges and the academic success of individuals who used these services. Due to the unique characteristics of each participant and multiple variants in the Veterans services, no statistically significant correlation could be established; however, very clear tendencies emerge from this study indicating the likelihood that, with additional controls, a correlation could be discovered. Though not establishing a statistically significant correlation, the data from this study does point to a likely relationship between use of the Veteran services and academic success. This study does provide an excellent roadmap for further research to pin down the exact services that impact a veteran’s academic success.

Keywords:

Midwest community college, veteran outreach programs

Fernan, Cecelia, Ed.D.
AN EXPLORATION OF CAREER PATHWAYS OF MALE NURSES TO THE DEANSHIP POSITION IN HIGHER EDUCATION THROUGH NARRATIVE INQUIRY
by Cecelia Fernan, Ed.D. | email: cecefernan@gmail.com
February 2016
Abstract

ABSTRACT The career path to deanship for female nurses is a well-investigated topic. However, the case of male deans is still largely unexplored. Male deans leading nursing schools is a fairly new trend. This narrative study explored the career pathways of male nurses to their leadership positions in colleges of nursing and investigated how and why men choose to pursue leadership positions, what meaning they ascribe to their identities, and how they position themselves as leaders in the contexts of their professional lives. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four male deans of schools of nursing in the Southwestern U.S. The themes that emerged as a result of the analysis of their personal narratives are: (a) impetuses—strong work ethics, turning obstacles into opportunities, and altruistic reasons; (b) career trajectories; (c) necessary skills and attributes—effective communication skills, it’s all about people, scholars of highest repute, emotionally smart, change drivers, business literacy; and (d) evolving leadership styles. This study fills important gaps in existing knowledge regarding barriers men encounter in pursuing deanship. In addition to shedding more light on gender-related issues in nursing practice and its leadership, this study’s findings can serve as a career compass for male nurses aspiring to academic positions; provide encouragement for more men to join the nursing profession; help solve the dean and faculty shortage, thus contributing to a more gender-balanced workforce; and aid educational institutions in planning career development programs.

Keywords:

AN EXPLORATION OF CAREER PATHWAYS OF MALE NURSES TO THE DEANSHIP POSITION IN HIGHER EDUCATION THROUGH NARRATIVE INQUIRY

Meeks, Theresa, Ed.D.
DIVULGE: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF STIGMA CONSCIOUSNESS AMONG AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE COLLEGE STUDENTS
by Theresa Meeks, Ed.D. | email: tmeeks617@gmail.com
April 2016
Abstract

ABSTRACT This phenomenological qualitative study investigated African American male college students’ perceptions of stigma consciousness and ways in which they experience it at a predominantly White collegiate institution in a Midwest U.S. state. Five African American students participated in this study. Data were collected through individual, face-to-face, in-depth interviews with the participants that addressed four primary research questions. What are the perceptions and lived experience of stigma consciousness of African American male college students? How do these students construct and negotiate their identities within and outside their collegiate experience? What are the factors that contribute to or prevent African American male students from being academically successful? What role, if any does the relationship with their peers, faculty, and staff play in enhancing the level of their persistence? Through analysis of the data, insights surfaced regarding how African American men experience stigma consciousness. Subsequently, five major themes emerged: (a) motivation for attending college, (b) acknowledging and accepting stigma, (c) institutional support, (d) campus culture, and (e) decision to persist. Findings from this study indicate that while participants understood, accepted, and acknowledged their stigma as well as at times harsh campus environments, they were able to advance to their second year in school because they were persistent. Their advancement was a result of their own intrinsic motivations, understanding of the importance of higher education, and desire to succeed collegiately.

Keywords:

DIVULGE: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF STIGMA CONSCIOUSNESS AMONG AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE COLLEGE STUDENTS

Ryan, Mary Angela, Ed.D.
Exploring the Learning Experiences and Sense of Readiness of Adult Students Who Participate in a Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio Program
by Mary Angela Ryan, Ed.D. | email: ryan6087@sbcglobal.net
May 2016
Abstract

ABSTRACT Prior learning assessment (PLA) portfolio programs have been around for over 30 years; however, they continue to be underutilized in spite of a known success rate. Such programs can be the answer for adult students who want to earn a degree at a savings of time and money. By 2020, more than 65% of jobs will require some type of education; and finding ways for adult students to complete their degrees will be critical. The PLA portfolio option has the potential for increasing the number of adult students returning to school. Research regarding PLA has demonstrated numerous benefits but, heretofore, has lacked the students’ own voices. The primary goal of this qualitative, phenomenological study was to explore the learning experiences and sense of readiness of adult students who completed a minimum of three essays as part of their portfolios at a Midwestern university. Findings from this study suggested the following: (a) students are more apt to choose a school that has a PLA portfolio option once they become aware of this program, (b) students should have a choice about when they will participate in PLA, (c) transformative learning will occur regardless of the timing, (d) a student’s confidence to take on challenging collegial and non-collegial tasks increases as a result of writing, and (e) a forum to help students connect their learning outcomes to program objectives should be in place. The study concludes with theoretical and practical implications along with recommendations for future research.

Keywords:

Exploring the Learning Experiences and Sense of Readiness of Adult Students Who Participate in a Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio Program

Stankiewicz, Donna, Ed.D.
Organizational Change: The Experience of Community College Employees In An Achieving the Dream Initiative
by Donna Stankiewicz, Ed.D. | email: DStankiewicz@pccc.edu
July 2016
Abstract

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of employees during a major organizational change in a higher education institution. In this interpretive study utilizing a phenomenological approach the study investigated the experience of community college employees in an Achieving the Dream (ATD) initiative at a single community college. Focus groups and secondary interviews were conducted with three groups of employees: 1) faculty; 2) administrators; and 3) student support services. Data analysis was conducted utilizing coding procedures and theme identification. Six major themes were identified: responding to change, seeking clarity of purpose, building relationships, focusing on student success, leading change, and continuing change. The findings of this study present the perspective of the higher education employee that can provide insight for leaders to consider when planning and implementing change initiatives. Recognizing those factors that affect the employees’ response to change will allow leaders to identify appropriate change agents and to develop support systems that will assist the employees through the change process. The findings are particularly relevant to those colleges who have recently joined the ATD program or who will in the future. Findings from this study suggest a number of opportunities for future research in organizational change in higher education using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Replicating the study in another community college in the ATD program is advised. In addition, changes in study design to longitudinal design may be of benefit in exploring the employee experience over time.

Keywords:

Organizational Change: The Experience of Community College Employees In An Achieving the Dream Initiative

Gebb, Paul, Ed.D.
REFLECTION WITHIN A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CURRICULUM: A STUDY OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRANSFER USING STUDENT RATINGS OF INSTRUCTION AS AN INDIRECT MEASURE
by Paul Gebb, Ed.D. | email: gebbpm@hotmail.com
June 2016
Abstract

ABSTRACT Centers for Teaching and Learning (CTLs) rely on assessment of faculty programing to demonstrate teaching and learning impact within today’s economically strapped higher education environment. A faculty member’s instructional improvement must be intentionally cultivated because pedagogical skills, knowledge, emotion (associated with interaction), assumptions, beliefs, and values are not fundamentally developed in graduate study nor are they sustained throughout a faculty’s career. The most common CTL impact measurements are faculty member participation and self-reported learning (Belanger, Belisle, & Bernatchez, 2001, p. 133). Additional classroom measurements of change impact must be developed. This quasi-experimental, quantitative study seeks to utilize student ratings of instruction (the IDEA tool) as an indirect measurement of professional development (PD) transfer, which will demonstrate the impact of a purposefully designed reflective curriculum. At the conclusion of the PD curriculum (referred to as the Faculty Teaching Academy or FTA), faculty participants were required to demonstrate reflective practice through the submission of an adjudicated teaching portfolio. The study’s IDEA data, collected from fall 2009 to spring 2015, was then extrapolated to measure CTL impact at a 4-year private university. Pre- and post-score IDEA data for two groups of 37 faculty participants were studied: (1) those who complete a reflective PD curriculum (the FTA), and (2) those who do not participate in the reflective PD curriculum. Resulting data will provide support to (1) encourage faculty to reflect on student ratings feedback, (2) provide guidance of how student ratings can be interpreted and implemented more effectively, and (3) provide examples of how aggregated student ratings data may be used to drive faculty development and subsequent teaching and learning improvement.

Keywords:

Keywords: Centers for Teaching and Learning (CTLs), faculty professional development (PD), training transfer, reflective practice, assessment, student ratings of instruction  

Delaney, Margaret, Ed.D.
ADULT NURSING STUDENTS PERSISTING TOWARD DEGREE COMPLETION: A CASE STUDY OF AN RN TO BSN ACCELERATED COMPLETION PROGRAM AT A MIDWESTERN UNIVERSITY
by Margaret Delaney, Ed.D. | email: MDelaney@ben.edu
May 2016
Abstract

Student persistence is a substantial concern to many postsecondary institutions. Colleges and universities across the United States are paying close attention to retention rate data and other outcome measures centered on the issue. One driving force may be the U. S. Department of Education’s proposed College Rating and Pay for Performance Plan that could, at some point, attach financial aid reimbursement to a college performance rating system. This proposed plan would hold institutions more accountable for student progress towards degree completion. Premature student departure is especially distressing for nursing programs that are under pressure to supply and replenish the nation's nursing workforce, which is projected to need an additional one million nurses by 2020. Therefore, supporting nursing students’ progression is an essential ingredient required to aid workforce capacity and to refill the nursing pipeline to meet the growing demand for health care. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate the experiences of adult students who overcame challenges commonly found in this student population and were able to graduate from a registered nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) completion program at a Midwestern, private, faith-based institution. Aspects were explored that surrounded RN to BSN student retention at this facility and the components that helped these students reach completion. This examination also focused on the external factors affecting these participants and the particular program and institutional components that contributed to their successful completion. The findings of this qualitative case study produced six major themes and 41 subthemes. The main themes uncovered in the case study are: Institutional and Program Fit, Role of Current Professional Climate and Decision to Pursue BSN, Institutional Support Systems and the Role of Critical Bonds, Critical Bonds Formed Among Peers, Family Support and the Role of the Critical Insider, and the Personal Characteristics that Contribute to the Students’ Ability to Complete. The findings of this study add to the limited RN to BSN nursing retention literature and help illustrate why this student subpopulation persists to degree completion rather than depart an institution. Having a more holistic understanding of the concepts surrounding student persistence further allows nurse researchers and educators to place themselves in a strategic position to make a greater impact on improving nursing student retention at large.

Keywords:

ADULT NURSING STUDENTS PERSISTING TOWARD DEGREE COMPLETION: A CASE STUDY OF AN RN TO BSN ACCELERATED COMPLETION PROGRAM AT A MIDWESTERN UNIVERSITY

Pollom, Andrew, Ed.D.
ON PAPER, WE’VE GOT IT RIGHT”: A PORTRAITURE OF THE EXPERIENCES OF PROFESSIONALS OF COLOR AT EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGES IN THE MIDWEST
by Andrew Pollom, Ed.D. | email: pollom@mx.lakeforest.edu
May 2016
Abstract

ABSTRACT This qualitative research utilizes narrative as a way to explore the experiences of two professionals of color working at evangelical Christian colleges in the Midwest. A portraiture methodology is used, drawing upon phenomenological and ethnographic studies. Three questions guided this study: 1. How do these professionals of color make sense of their racialized experience working at evangelical Christian colleges in the Midwest? 2. What have these professionals of color learned about successfully navigating the White space of their evangelical Christian college in the Midwest? 3. What can leadership at these and other evangelical Christian colleges learn about better supporting their professionals of color at their institutions? Applying critical race theory (CRT) in analyzing narratives identified several themes present within their experiences. Evangelical Christian colleges in the Midwest can feel isolated from diversity and be isolating places for professionals of color. Evangelical Christian colleges in the Midwest have a hidden curriculum that privileges the White experience. Institutional historical context and professional networking are important to professionals of color at evangelical Christian colleges in the Midwest. Institutional leadership will either advance or restrict efforts to support professionals of color at evangelical Christian colleges in the Midwest. “On paper, we’ve got it right.” These themes are explored through the racialized lenses of both the informants and the researcher. Suggestions are made for changes at evangelical Christian colleges in the Midwest, and benefits and limitations of the study are outlined.

Keywords:

“ON PAPER, WE’VE GOT IT RIGHT”: A PORTRAITURE OF THE EXPERIENCES OF PROFESSIONALS OF COLOR AT EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGES IN THE MIDWEST

Alanis, Jennifer Deluna, Ed.D.
Persistence of Undocumented Students: Stories of Challenge and Support
by Jennifer Deluna Alanis, Ed.D. | email: juanifera@gmail.com
May 2017
Abstract

ABSTRACT As of 2012, there were 7,000 to 13,000 undocumented students enrolled in universities across the United States (Educators for Fair Consideration, 2012). The population of undocumented university students comes from many regions of the world and they carry with them the dreams of their parents (Gildersleeve, 2010). Perez (2014) noted that “undocumented students at public and private four-year institutions are less likely to complete their bachelor’s degrees on time than are U.S. citizens…Because of the barrier to their continued education, including financial burdens” (p. 9). Factors such as the lack of readiness for college level education and financial constraints contribute to the decline in persistence for college attending undocumented students (Munoz, 2015). Undocumented students typically do not self-disclose their status until their status has created a systematic barrier on campus to obtaining the education and/or the support services necessary to persist on campus (Barnhardt, Ramos, & Reyes, 2013, p. 24). This study examined institutional support systems’ impact on undocumented students’ persistence rates at a Western United States university through an analysis of their perceptions. This study will aid in understanding the institutional support, both financial and emotional, that assists undocumented students to persist at universities. This study will aid university administration, faculty, and staff to understand what is needed by undocumented students to persist to graduation on their campus. CHAPTER ONE

Keywords:

Persistence of Undocumented Students: Stories of Challenge and Support

Carvajal, Lorelei, Ed.D.
A PHENOMENOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF FEMALE VETERANS’ UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR GENDER IDENTITY IN THE COLLEGIATE ENVIRONMENT
by Lorelei Carvajal, Ed.D. | email: psychprofcarvajal@gmail.com
April 2017
Abstract

ABSTRACT Women’s roles in the military transformed since the eighteenth century moving from support personnel into combat and other front line positions. Their military experiences are significant and influential in their lives (Giffey, 2012), both in and out of uniform. The purpose of this phenomenological study is to explore how gender identity of female military veterans influences their college experience. Twelve female veteran students participated in this study, representing three institutions located in the Southwest, with differing Carnegie classification. This study utilizes a qualitative research design under the interpretative system of inquiry; a qualitative framework is best suited for inquiry when the factors are less well known (Creswell, 2015). Semi-structured interviews were the primary method for gathering data, as a way to foster dialogue and build trust with subjects. The data was analyzed using Moustakas’ (1994) five step approach: epoché, horizonalization, clustering for meaning, imaginative variation, and synthesis of meanings and essences. Each phase of data analysis scaffolds to the next layer of meaning to explore the essence

of the central phenomenon (Patton, 2015). Key findings from this study include how the participants: a) credit the veteran centers within their respective institutions with helping them navigate the transitional experience more seamlessly b) felt isolated because they did not perceive themselves fitting in with other students on campus, c) felt a sense of invisibility influencing how xvi they viewed their gender identity on campus, and d) elaborated on the challenges of balancing the role of being a mother, a student and a veteran. The study’s overarching conclusion is female veterans who managed their “femaleness” in a male-oriented setting may not understand their roles within a collegial context (Baechtold & De Sawal, 2009, p. 39) and use their academic pursuits as an opportunity to redefine themselves and shape their new roles.

Keywords:

A PHENOMENOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF FEMALE VETERANS’ UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR GENDER IDENTITY IN THE COLLEGIATE ENVIRONMENT

Chavis, Kimberly, Ed.D.
TO BE BLACK, MALE, AND SCHOLAR: A CASE STUDY OF BLACK MALE STUDENTS PERSISTING TOWARD DEGREE COMPLETION IN A MIDWESTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
by Kimberly Chavis, Ed.D. | email: kchavis1@gmail.com
May 2017
Abstract

Abstract While Black males are gaining access to higher education through the community college sector in unprecedented numbers, academic persistence rates for this group of students continue to fall below that of their peers. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate the experiences of Black male students regarding their persistence toward degree completion in a two-year predominantly White community college, their self-concept, and the institutional practices and policies that serve their needs on the college campus. Additionally, I explored ways in which these students dealt with the occurrences of stereotyping, microaggression, and racism on the college campus. Individual semi-structured and focus group interviews were conducted with eight African American students and three college administrators. The analysis of the interviews with the students revealed the following themes: (a) The Burden of Blackness; (b) The Other Side of Me (c) I’m Not Saying He’s a Racist, but…; (d) Are You Serious? and (e) It’s on Me. Additional themes were identified as a result of the analysis of the interviews with the college administrators: (a) Lack of Black Male Achievement; (b) We’re Not Doing Enough; and (c) Campus Environment. This study provided insights into the lives of Black males in a manner that goes beyond the importance of academic persistence for these men, and includes a rigorous examination of factors such as self-concept, social class, privilege, and equity during navigation of a community college campus in which they are in the significant minority. Working closely with the eight student participants in this study, I gained a much greater understanding of the challenges they face, how they respond to those challenges. While there is no magic formula for success, this inquiry has shown me the importance of students challenging assumptions that are made regarding them and their likelihood of success. The students in the study demonstrated a high degree of resilience, responsibility, and commitment to their pursuit of academic success.

Keywords:

TO BE BLACK, MALE, AND SCHOLAR: A CASE STUDY OF BLACK MALE STUDENTS PERSISTING TOWARD DEGREE COMPLETION IN A MIDWESTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Cunningham, Sarah Knox, Ed.D.
A PHENOMONLOGICAL STUDY OF STUDENT TRUSTEE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE GOVERANCE STRUCTURE AT FOUR-YEAR PUBLIC UNIVERISTIES
by Sarah Knox Cunningham, Ed.D. | email: scunningham@uchicago.edu
May 2017
Abstract

ABSTRACT Higher education in the United States has a long and rich history in which new voices and roles are consistently integrated into the enterprise. U.S. higher education emphasizes values of scholarship, responsibility, civic leadership, diversity, and community service, producing educated and informed citizens who are prepared to become leaders in their professions and in their communities. Student trustees represent an institutional commitment and value to provide leadership development opportunities for students. While another cornerstone component of public American higher education is the concept of shared governance. It is at this intersection of student leadership development and governance that a new research opportunity presents itself: the need to investigate the impact on leadership development of serving as a student trustee within university governance. My tenure in higher education and doctoral studies inspired my desire to tell the story of one of the most complex student leadership role at a four year public university. The position of student trustee provides unparalleled access to information and power not found in any other student leadership role on campus; they are truly one of kind. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of student trustees engaged in leadership development within the institutional governance at four year public institutions. Interviews with nine former student trustees constituted main data analysis. Resulting from this analysis were the themes that unveil the essential structures of what it means to be a student trustees at a four year public institution: (a) leadership is in their DNA, (b) the student trustee hat, (c) student perception of the state influence on university governance, (d) trusteeship is a life-changing experience, and (e) desire to give back.

Keywords:

A PHENOMONLOGICAL STUDY OF STUDENT TRUSTEE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE GOVERANCE STRUCTURE AT FOUR-YEAR PUBLIC UNIVERISTIES

Cuomo, Michele, Ed.D.
A Case Study of an Interdisciplinary Social Pedagogy Practice at an Urban Community College
by Michele Cuomo, Ed.D. | email: michelecuomo@hotmail.com
May 2017
Abstract

ABSTRACT A new culture of learning enabled by technology and collective social media practices has emerged in the 21st century along with the identification of high impact practices for student engagement. Technology-enabled modalities have required a response from faculty across higher education. Faculty development has become very important to the faculty experience in order for college students to experience the potential of new social pedagogies. Community college faculty members are in the sector of higher education where strong teaching is most required. Community college faculty, however, are the least studied faculty group in a sector which has unique characteristics and a mission to assist an underserved population. Three themes emerged from the study: institutional support evolution, faculty in a community of practice and students experiencing social pedagogy. The uncovering of these themes generated two theories: an ecosystem for teaching and learning and a threshold to an academic identity for a college student. A greater understanding of the successes and limitations of an initiative that thoughtfully employed technology-based learning has the potential to support the community college mission of open access and equity, and move toward the notion of learner centered student success. A case study of an initiative viewed through the lens of social pedagogy exploring the structures of a supporting institution and the lived experiences of community college faculty members who participated in it, has the potential to shed light on the role of faculty development and innovative classroom teaching on student success.

Keywords:

A Case Study of an Interdisciplinary Social Pedagogy Practice at an Urban Community College

Shoman-Dajani, Nina, Ed.D.
RACIAL IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION OF ARAB AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENTS: MOVING BEYOND INVISIBILITY
by Nina Shoman-Dajani, Ed.D. | email: ninasdajani@gmail.com
May 2017
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the racial identity construction of Arab American college students enrolled in postsecondary institutions in the Chicago metropolitan area. This study addressed the central question: How do Arab American college students construct, understand, and live their racial identities, and how does the college experience inform these constructions, understandings, and lived realities? Approached with a phenomenological lens, this qualitative study focused on the lived experiences of the participants. The research sample included 14 college students who attended either a community college, a public university, or a private faith-based university. The data gathered were analyzed through a theoretical framework which explores Omi and Winant’s racial formation theory and Chickering’s theory of college student identity development. The combination of the two theoretical perspectives assists in understanding the racial identity formation as well as the college student experience in this study. Five major themes emerged from the data collected: (a) I am Arab American; (b) Pride Starts at Home—Planting the Seeds of Arab American Identity; (c) Growing Up in a Post- 9/11 World—Feeling Different; (d) “We’re not White”: Checking a Box That Does Not Fit; and (e) College: Reinforcing Arab American Identity. The research collected in this study provides the foundation for the Arab American Identity Formation Model, a new racial identity model introduced in the final chapter. This model introduces a framework to better understand the phases of Arab American identity development

Keywords:

RACIAL IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION OF ARAB AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENTS: MOVING BEYOND INVISIBILITY

King, Dana, Ed.D.
A Phenomenological Study of Illinois Community College Students Pursuing a Career in Manufacturing
by Dana King, Ed.D. | email: Dana.King@heartland.edu
May 2017
Abstract

ABSTRACT Despite the fact that there will be more middle-skill level jobs available than middle-skill workers, many students are still choosing to pursue a four-year degree. Manufacturing, a field ripe with middle-skill level jobs, does not have enough qualified workers. Negative perceptions regarding manufacturing—that it is all hard and dirty work—are steering people away from these jobs. This phenomenological study explores the experiences and perceptions of students that led to their choosing manufacturing as a career choice and to enroll in a manufacturing-related degree or certificate program at an Illinois community college. In-depth interviewing and document/artifact analysis were conducted and data collected and analyzed to answer the main research question: What are the perceptions and experiences that lead to manufacturing as a career choice for a small group of students enrolled in manufacturing degree or certificate programs at community colleges in Illinois? Thirteen major themes and two sub-themes emerged. This study has the potential of assisting community colleges, other postsecondary institutions, and high schools in terms of recruitment into career-technical programs. Manufacturing employers may find this information useful to better understand how to recruit more workers into the field to close the skills gap. Furthermore, the information gained from this research could also help shape policy and funding surrounding career-technical education as well as inform the work currently being done on career pathways in the state of Illinois and throughout the country. Finally, this research can impact students and their parents by assisting them in understanding the motivating factors behind the desire to pursue a career in manufacturing.

Keywords:

A Phenomenological Study of Illinois Community College Students Pursuing a Career in Manufacturing

Meeks, Cheree, Ed.D.
FORTITUDE: AFRICAN AMERICAN MOTHERHOOD AND WORK IN STUDENT AFFAIRS
by Cheree Meeks, Ed.D. | email: chereemeeks@email.arizona.edu
May 2017
Abstract

ABSTRACT This study examines the ways in which 12 African American mothers experience working in student affairs at a four-year institution and explores the ways in which those experiences impact the career decisions and career paths of these women. For this qualitative, phenomenological study, I incorporated in-depth interviews, and document and artifact analysis to highlight the participants’ experiences, perceptions, and motivations. This exploration incorporated Black Feminist Theory as a framework for interpretation. The results of the study led to the identification of 12 major themes: (1) Mommy Guilt; (2) Family Support; (3) Mentorship; (4) Reliance on Spirituality and Faith; (5) Navigating Institutional Politics; (6) Outsider-Within; (7) Sense of Purpose as Mother and Professional; (8) Unapologetic, but Not Angry; (9) Professional Sacrifice; (10) Skills from Motherhood Applied to Student Affairs; (11) Work Harder and Do More for R-E-S-P-E-C-T; and (12) Kids at Work. The two sub-themes that emerged under the Mentorship theme were: (1) Lifting as We Climb and (2) Seeking My Reflection. This study contributes to the literature by specifically addressing experiences of African American mothers working in student affairs and the intersection of these roles and identities. The results of the study are intended for higher education leaders who seek to create an environment that welcomes and encourages the success, career advancement, and leadership development of African American mothers working in student affairs. Six recommendations are presented as strategies for higher education

Keywords:

FORTITUDE: AFRICAN AMERICAN MOTHERHOOD AND WORK IN STUDENT AFFAIRS

Miller, Ian, Ed.D.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LIVING-LEARNING COMMUNITIES AND RETENTION
by Ian Miller, Ed.D. | email: Ian.Miller@cwu.edu
May 2017
Abstract

ABSTRACT Student retention is one of the key outcome variables in higher education. It suggests the presence of student success and satisfaction (Levitz, Noel, & Richter, 1999). It also serves as one of the most visible institutional performance indicators (Kahrig, 2005), important from the perspectives of accreditation (given its correlation with graduation rates) as well as the business survival of an institution. This study focused on determining whether or not residential first-year freshman students in a living-learning community (LLC) were retained at a higher rate than those not in one. The study focused on a single, public, comprehensive university located in the Pacific Northwest. Data were collected using archival data from the Making Achievement Possible (MAP)-Works First Year Fall Transition Survey (MAP-Works) administered during fall 2014. The results indicated no significant association between LLC status and retention. Specifically, LLCs do not appear to result in improved retention at the institution studied. Follow-up research may seek replication at other institutions. Additional recommendations for research are suggested. This study has implications for theories of student retention in higher education, the rationale of LLC design, and choices in higher education funding.

Keywords:

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LIVING-LEARNING COMMUNITIES AND RETENTION

Othman, Rola, Ed.D.
TRAILBLAZING PURPOSEFULLY: NARRATIVE ANALYSIS OF FEMALE CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICERS’ ACCOUNTS OF THEIR PATH TO LEADERSHIP IN HIGHER EDUCATION
by Rola Othman, Ed.D. | email: othman@sxu.edu
May 2017
Abstract

The next five to 10 years American higher education institutions will be facing a 50% retirement surge of their executive technology leadership that will result in a shortage of qualified candidates to fill these openings. Furthermore, numbers are on the decline of females in and aspiring to become the chief information officer (CIO) in higher learning. The exodus of those retiring presents opportunities for female jobseekers and institutional leaders to help fill the gap. The field of technology has been historically “imbricated with masculine culture” (Bury, 2011, p. 34). There is a small number of women who have entered and successfully sustained in the role. Who is the female “trailblazer” who penetrated the predominately male field of executive technology leadership in higher education? What is her path to the CIO position? What can we learn from her experiences to help advance the next generation of female technologist as she seeks the CIO leadership role? The goal of this narrative research was to share first-hand accounts of these female leaders’ experiences, illuminate pathways they have taken, and uncover vital information that answers the questions presented as well as add to the limited literature available on the female information technology leaders. In essence, my aim was to explore ways by which women advance their professional careers toward the position of a chief information officer in higher education and define themselves as leaders and persons while on the path to this position. Six female chief information officers participated in this narrative research encircled by the three-dimensions of interaction, continuity, and situation. The seven common threads that emerged from the participants’ narratives are: (a) Importance of Support Systems; (b) Roadblocks to Success; (c) Coming to Terms with Who and What I Am: Identity Confirmed and Problematized; (d) Creating and Diversifying Her Portfolio: What’s in the Tool Belt; (e) Enacting Leadership: The Chief Information Officer; (f) Being the Translator in a Babylonian World; and (g) Inspiring the Next Generation. As these females progressed to the top information technology spot, they not only developed their identities, but they found their voices and used their voices to advance their careers, and become leaders who change and transform institutions of higher learning. This study can assist female aspirants as they prepare for this leadership position as well as give institutions the opportunity to formulate strategies, policies, and approaches to better recruit and retain the next generation of female information technology leaders.

Keywords:

TRAILBLAZING PURPOSEFULLY: NARRATIVE ANALYSIS OF FEMALE CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICERS’ ACCOUNTS OF THEIR PATH TO LEADERSHIP IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Phelan, Sherry, Ed.D.
Giving Students a Voice: A Phenomenological Study of the Student Experience at For-Profit Colleges
by Sherry Phelan, Ed.D. | email: sherryaphelan@yahoo.com
May 2017
Abstract

ABSTRACT Enrollment at for-profit colleges continues to increase, yet persistence of students in the career-based programs at these institutions is a significant issue. Much scholarly attention has been given to the economics, deceptive practices, and customer service of the for-profit sector, yet little qualitative research has been conducted on the student experience and motivation to choose a for-profit school. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of students attending for-profit institutions and the rationale for choosing these institutions. A purposeful sample consisted of 11 current students and alumni of for-profit colleges. Data were collected through telephone and Skype interviews and responses to a web-based questionnaire, using a set of semi-structured open-ended questions developed by the researcher. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed to identify key themes and to develop a composite description of the phenomena. Five themes, or invariant elements, were identified from the rich data collected: 1) student-customer service; 2) interaction with staff, faculty, and peers; 3) cost of attending a for-profit college; 4) value of a for-profit education as it relates to cost versus benefit; and 5) rationale for choosing a for-profit college. From the data, a model of interaction to improve persistence was developed. This study will add to the current literature on the for-profit sector and provide a new perspective on the students who attend for-profit colleges. Data obtained from this study will assist student affairs personnel and higher education administrators in improving services and interactions between organizational constituents and students. Chapter One: Introduction

Keywords:

Giving Students a Voice: A Phenomenological Study of the Student Experience at For-Profit Colleges

Sessler, Jennifer, Ed.D.
An Exploratory Case Study of the Attributes of Clinical Faculty Who Work in Academic Clinical Settings
by Jennifer Sessler, Ed.D. | email: jsessler@nycc.edu
May 2017
Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative case study design was to explore the key attributes that define effective clinical faculty, the aspects of organizational culture that support these attributes and the impact of organizational culture on the academic advancement of clinical faculty at a masters and doctoral level health professional school. The theoretical framework used to address the purpose of the study was Schein’s Organizational Culture Model. The qualitative methods of data collection were interviews, direct observations and document reviews. The qualitative data analysis steps included data organization, reading/memoing, describing the data into codes and themes, classifying the data into codes and themes, interpreting the data, and representing/visualizing the data. Three natural generalizations emerged from the data: (1) Engagement and Dedication; (2) Awareness and Support; and (3) Collaboration and Innovation. There was a high level of engagement and dedication among the clinical faculty. The institution was aware of the importance of providing a supportive environment for its employees so that both the employee and institution could be successful at providing quality patient care, academic excellence and professional leadership. The organizational culture at Lakeside College influenced the professional advancement of its clinical faculty by emphasizing collaboration with its workforce and innovation in the promotion criteria that allowed them to better assess the clinician-educator role in the process of academic rank advancement. The emergence of these three natural generalizations effectively answered the research questions of the study. The inherent limitations of the research were related to its

Keywords:

An Exploratory Case Study of the Attributes of Clinical Faculty Who Work in Academic Clinical Settings

Ruscheinski Herion, Nicole, Ed.D.
AN ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY OF THE SECOND GENERATION GERMAN AMERICANS LEAVING THEIR MARK ON U.S. HIGHER EDUCATION
by Nicole Ruscheinski Herion, Ed.D. | email: nicole.ruscheinski@gmail.com
March 206
Abstract

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to explore the sociocultural contexts in which second generation German American students pave their way to educational attainment in the U.S. institutions of higher learning and identify themselves as a unique cultural group in American multicultural and diverse society. Ethnography as a design was in alignment with this study precisely because it focused on the practice of education embedded within distinct sociocultural contexts and by the participants whose identities have been shaped by these contexts. Autoethnography as a complementary method enabled me to describe and analyze my personal experiences as a second generation German American. Several theoretical perspectives informed this study: sociocultural theory, segmented assimilation theory, intercultural theory, ethnic identity theories, among others. The sources of data for analysis included in-depth, semi-structured, qualitative interviews with 15 participants; extensive field and researcher’s self-reflective notes; and documents and artifacts offered by the participants. Data analysis has resulted in the identification of the following themes and subthemes that speak to the posed research questions: (a) Values and Beliefs, (b) Identity Recognition, (c) Intercultural Mobility, and (d) Educational Values. The subthemes included: temperament, work ethic, tradition, transitioning, assimilation, self-categorized identity, language influence, support, closeness, experiences with coming to America, and difficulties and barriers. This study contributes to the scarcity of literature on cultural peculiarities and educational attainment

of second generation German Americans in higher education. It xvi assists in understanding this unique group of students and can subsequently help higher education professionals to work to bridge gaps on the journey toward academic success. This study also contributes to the existing theories addressing the nature of cultural identity, its development, its interplay with larger social contexts, and ways in which it is being shaped by and is shaping the sociocultural and educational contexts of second generation German Americans. The findings of this study signify that German American experiences are dynamic and fluid and do not rely on community involvement to promote a sense of cultural belonging and meaning. Future research on German American identity might specifically examine the physical and mental processes of identity development in German Americans, resilience factors in German Americans who have experienced difficulties in transitioning, or perceptions of dual identity experienced by individuals with a strong emphasis on

Keywords:

AN ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY OF THE SECOND GENERATION GERMAN AMERICANS LEAVING THEIR MARK ON U.S. HIGHER EDUCATION

College of Education and Health Services
Benedictine University

Ethel C. Ragland, Ed.D., MN, RN
Dean of the College of Education and Health Services

Erica George
Assistant to the Dean

Email: egeorge@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6084

Hours: 8:30 a.m. -  4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
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Kindlon Hall, Room 258
Lisle, IL 60532

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