• AN EXPLORATION OF JOB SATISFACTION LEVELS, PATHWAYS INTO EDUCATION, AND RECRUITING BEHAVIORS OF TEACHERS IN INDIANA

      Johnson, Tricia (Cunningham Memorial library, Terre Haute,Indiana State University, 2017-12)
      Teacher retention and recruitment has been studied from many different perspectives, but there is limited research on the issue from the perspectives of current teachers. The purpose of this quantitative study was to gather data to fill a gap in the research concerning teacher recruiting behaviors by asking teachers if they were likely to encourage different categories of people (friend or relative, community member, current student, other students, recent high school graduate, and their own child) to enter the field of education as a profession. Analysis of the data from 2,083 current Indiana teachers found multiple statistically significant differences in the recruiting behaviors of those teachers with differing demographics, certification pathways, future plans, and job satisfaction levels. In addition, multiple variables (gender, age, years of experience, area of the school, future plans, and job satisfaction level) were found to be significant predictors of recruiting behaviors of teachers. Many teachers were not recruiting others into the profession even if they were satisfied with their jobs. Teachers noted low and stagnant salaries, increased workload and expectations, current legislation that has negatively impacted the profession, and a lack of respect from legislators and the community as reasons for not recruiting. Teacher recruiting levels were lowest for those groups closest to them—friend or relative and own child. The more experience teachers had, the less likely they were to recruit which could indicate mounting frustration with the changes to the professions. Younger teachers were most likely to recruit possibly due to their fresh perspective of the profession. Teachers certified through programs other than a traditional v 4-year degree program were more likely to recruit which could indicate that experience beyond the education field and different motivations could allow for a more positive perspective of the profession. Teachers were more satisfied with support and encouragement from administration and working conditions at the building level but frustrated by issues with the larger education structure including salary, increasing expectations, and lack of respect from those outside the field. Even through their frustrations, teachers were passionate about their profession and were willing to contribute to the conversation by not only completing the survey but articulating their views by answering optional open-ended questions as well. The data indicated that legislators, teacher preparation programs, and teacher organizations could benefit from exploring teacher recruiting behaviors and the factors that contribute to those behaviors. The study provided data to contribute to the research and illustrated that teacher recruiting behavior is a viable topic for further research.
    • RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ATHLETIC IDENTITY AND CAREER DECISION-MAKING SELF-EFFICACY AMONG KOREAN COLLEGIATE STUDENT ATHLETES

      Moon, Jong Joo (Cunningham Memorial Library, Terre Haute, Indiana State University., 2017-12)
      This study explored barriers that Korean collegiate student athletes confront with regard to pursuing careers outside of professional athletics. More specifically, the purpose of the study was to identify the barriers to Korean student athletes’ career development, as well as to examine the relationships among the psychological constructs of athlete identity and career decision making self-efficacy. A total of 321 Korean student athletes participated in the study, including 263 men (81.9%) and 59 women (18.1%). Participants completed demographic information along with a parental influence questionnaire, the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale, Career Decision Making Self-Efficacy Scale Short Form, and two open-ended questions. Stepwise regression analyses were employed to examine the research questions of interest. The results showed that gender (p < .001), self-appraisal (p < .001), planning (p < .001), and goal selection (p < .001) were significant positive predictors of social identity. Gender (p < .001), type of sport (p < .05), self-appraisal (p < .01), planning (p < .001), and goal selection (p < .001) were significant positive predictors of exclusivity. Finally, gender (p < .001), planning (p < .05), and goal selection (p < .001) were significant positive predictors of negative affectivity. The study also explored Korean collegiate athletes’ needs and barriers as they impact their future careers. Korean collegiate athletes felt they needed to improve their personal capability and ability, be more committed and hardworking, have qualifications and certifications, improve their athletic skills and English skills, and obtain more financial support to pursue their future careers. Injury or slump by injury, low salaries or lack of financial support iv from their families, military service, surroundings, and English skills were also perceived barriers to their future careers. The combined findings suggest that more in-depth qualitative inquiry is needed. A deeper understanding of the Korean student experience and how national priorities for athletes interface would further extend this literature which is in its infancy in the Korean context. Nevertheless, this study represents the first of its kind to attempt a comprehensive investigation of the Korean student athlete and the intersection of athletic identity and career decision-making self-efficacy.
    • I AM COMMANDED TO LOVE YOU: THE JOURNEY OF THREE WOMEN COLLEGE PRESIDENTS

      Monroe, Carey (Cunningham Memorial Library, Terre Haute, Indiana State University., 2017-12)
      This was a phenomenological study of the lived experiences of women who serve as college presidents. Three women, who serve as current college presidents, participated in this study. The first was a president at a two-year community college in the upper Midwest for twelve years and served as president in another Midwestern community college for nine years prior. The second woman was a first-time president who had served for three years at a Catholic four-year college established to provide nurses for a health system. The third was a first-time president who served at a Research I institution in the upper Midwest and had been president for 13 years. Semi-structured, 90-minute interviews, observations, and curriculum vitae were used in the data collection process to represent how a woman constructs meaning for her position as president. Themes that emerged from this data analysis may be used to inform women who are potential candidates for presidential positions or women who aspire to become presidents. The information may also be used to provide context into the lived experiences of women who serve as college presidents for hiring committee members, campus constituents, and stakeholders. Women who have recently accepted their first presidential position may find this information helpful while they seek to create a leadership style for themselves and develop relationships with faculty, staff, and students. Moreover, women who possess a tendency to be leaders in their departments but may have never considered applying for promotion or considered a higher-ranking position may be informed and empowered to do so. The stories of these women presidents provide context for women becoming successful leaders in the academy.
    • FAMILY LITERACY BAGS: A RURAL-APPALACHIAN APPROACH FOR PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT AND EDUCATION

      Good Overton, Ashley (Cunningham Memorial Library, Terre Haute, Indiana State University., 2017-12)
      The purpose of this concurrent, mixed-methods study was to investigate the implementation of the non-presumptuous literacy bag program as a critical component of increasing parental involvement in rural Appalachia schools related to student literacy achievement. The program was designed to increase parental involvement in book readings and related activities. The intent of the program was to encourage parents to become actively involved in their children’s literacy and to assist children to develop stronger literacy skills. In an effort to better understand parental involvement in a rural Appalachian community, I conducted a pre-program, parental involvement questionnaire in order to gain a greater insight into their own perception of parental involvement. During the implementation of the Family Literacy Bag program, weekly surveys were collected in the form of quantitative data from parents and the teacher who participated in the research study. After the program was concluded, post-program interviews with parent participants occurred to gain a better understanding of their perceptions on how the Family Literacy Bags impacted their parental involvement at home. Overarching themes emerged from the pre-program, parental involvement questionnaires and the post-program parent interviews. The themes included; (a) parental involvement is contingent on the parents’ enjoyment about their schools and communities, (b) parents’ involvement suggested that schools be conscientious of scheduling of events and time, and (c) parents provided ideas for schools to increase attendance at parental involvement events. Additional sub-themes included the following: school leaders need to be conscientious of event times in order to coordinate with surrounding schools to plan activities, schools need to offer v different event times so that working parents can attend, and schools could offer door prizes and food to help working families. Analysis of the post-program data suggested three key themes. These themes included (a) enjoyment levels of the Family Literacy bags were contingent on activities, (b) reading strategies that were provided in the Family Literacy Bags assisted parents in their children’s reading, and (c) parents felt comfortable using the Family Literacy Bag, but constricted due to the amount of time needed to complete. Subthemes included the following: weekly bags caused fatigue with parents and students, and since the Family Literacy bags were separate from curriculum, families did not see the bags as important. The weekly parent and teacher surveys provided support for the original research questions I presented. Quantitative data collection occurred through weekly parent and weekly teacher surveys. The parent and teacher surveys sought to provide answers to the following research questions: Does a passive program such as a Literacy Bag Lending Library promote a connection between schools and home? Does an intrinsically motivated parental participation program provide parents self-efficacy in helping their children succeed in school? Would a supplementary program including reading strategies intrinsically motivate parents to assist in children’s reading education? Lastly, do school stakeholders see the literacy bag program as a worthwhile tool to increase students’ academic confidence and parental involvement? A descriptive analysis evidenced that the majority of respondents felt that the Family Literacy Bags provided a connection between home and school whereas students were encourage to participate in the reading activities with their parents. Family Literacy Bags intrinsically motivated parental participation due to the excitement that their children had for the Family Literacy Bags. The Family Literacy Bags provided parents with weekly reading skills vi and guides to assist them while working with their children. The descriptive analysis evidenced that reading guides proved to be very helpful to parents. Teacher’s thought the Family Literacy Bags were somewhat effective as a worthwhile tool to increase students’ academic confidence and parental involvement. Parents suggested the literacy bags were an effective, worthwhile tool to increase students’ academic confidence and parental involvement. Implications are also included in Chapter 5 giving school leaders ideas to increase involvement from parents and what contributes to their parental involvement in the home and at school, as well as implications for future research related to this study topic.
    • THE PERSPECTIVE OF EDUCATION FROM BLACK–WHITE–BIRACIAL STUDENTS IN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL

      Jackson, Eric Deville II (Cunningham Memorial library, Terre Haute,Indiana State University, 2017-12)
      The study examined middle and high school Black–White–Biracial (BWB) students’ perspectives of education. In order to accomplish this qualitative research study, the research I sought to (a) gain an understanding of how biracial students viewed themselves in secondary public school systems, (b) understand how BWB students identified within the school environment, and (c) learn how their identities affected their learning. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to gain in-depth understanding of the overall educational viewpoints of BWB students in select rural, urban, and suburban public schools in Indiana. The design of this research included data collection from one-on-one interviews of BWB students. The one-on-one interviews included BWB students from urban, suburban, and rural areas around Indiana. Through qualitative data analysis, I sought to identify any themes that presented themselves among the responses of the participants. The responses to the interview questions were recorded, transcribed, and coded to identify common themes among their experiences as BWB students. Themes identified included the participants strong sense of being described as a regular person, wanting to know more about their biracial history, along with their current schools doing more to promote more programs toward multiracial students, acting in order to fit into the environment they were in, and the advantages and disadvantages of being biracial. The findings of this study serve as a voice for BWB students and to secondary educational institutions. v Because of the challenges faced by the participants is this study, the findings may also be used to provide secondary institution that are experiencing an increase in multiracial student population, a direction in how to provide educational environments for their multiracial students.
    • AN INVESTIGATION OF PRINCIPAL LEADERSHIP BEHAVIORS AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ADULT LEARNING STRATEGIES ON THE PROFESSIONAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT OF A K-12 SCHOOL

      Larson, Christina (Cunningham Memorial Library, Terre Haute, Indiana State University., 2017-12)
      The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the influence of principal leadership behaviors and potential of utilizing adult learning strategies on the development of a school’s professional learning environment (PLE). The intention was also to determine if principals considered themselves prepared to develop and sustain such an environment. Research shows that principals and teachers perceive professional development needs and results differently. To obtain perspective from both groups, two separate surveys were administered. The results from this dissertation came from 262 principals and 433 teachers employed in K-12 public schools in Indiana. With the survey completed by principals, the focus was to determine if principals considered themselves prepared to be leaders of adult learners and well adept at developing a school PLE. Efficacy in developing and sustaining a PLE as well as efficacy in andragogical practices were analyzed to determine if they could result in a variance in a school’s professional learning environment. The survey completed by teachers focused on teacher perception of principal leadership behaviors and the use of adult learning strategies. The impact of a principal’s leadership behaviors and use of adult learning strategies were analyzed to determine if the two variables could result in the variance in a school’s professional learning environment. Results of the study found that there is a perceived need for additional training for principals in developing a PLE as well as understanding more about adult learning theory. Additionally, this research suggests that efficacy in professional learning environment and efficacy in adult learning strategies influence a school’s professional learning environment. iv Upon analysis of data provided by teachers, this dissertation concludes that principal leadership behaviors and implementation of adult learning strategies also influences a school’s professional learning environment. The purpose of this research is to provide possible insight into specific behaviors and practices that may support the development and sustainability of a professional learning environment and that this information can also be used to encourage and support future principal development.
    • TRENDS IN NAEP SCORES AMONG 17-YEAR-OLD STUDENTS IN THE ERA OF ACCOUNTABILITY

      Kyler, Katherine (Cunningham Memorial Library, Terre Haute, Indiana State University., 2017-12)
      Education has undergone a sweeping renovation throughout the last several decades as part of the school accountability movement aimed to increase student success. High school graduation rates are the highest they have been in decades. School accountability measures continue to be implemented and modified with a goal of increasing student success and closing the achievement gap (Maleyko & Gawlik, 2011). Accountability measures are in place that require data analysis and reporting of information such as graduation rates and standardized test scores (No Child Left Behind Act [NCLB], 2008). While it is important to hold schools accountable, many of the currently utilized methods to measure student success can be manipulated to improve school and district ratings (Maleyko & Gawlik, 2011). The purpose of this quantitative study was to better understand the relationship between select student demographics and low-stakes the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for time periods before and after the implementation of numerous school accountability measures. Specifically, I analyzed data sets from 1990 and 1999 for the time period before NCLB (2008) and data sets from 2004 and 2012 for the time period after the implementation of NCLB. This data was examined using independent samples t tests and Cohen’s d statistic. Data analysis showed that there was a significant increase in NAEP Math scores for 17-year old students in the time period before NCLB but not after. NAEP English scores did not show a significant difference before NCLB but did show a significant increase after NCLB. While NAEP scores pre and post NCLB do not demonstrate significant changes in student success, graduation rates continue to rise. This findings and conclusions of this study will benefit school districts and policy makers when v considering the effectiveness of past school accountability measures. Additionally, this study provides an example of the inconsistencies associated with high stakes measures of student success and highlights the importance of alternate indicators of success.
    • Teacher Evaluations: Do Classroom Observations and Evaluator Training Really Matter?

      Pies, Sarah J. (Cunningham Memorial library, Terre Haute,Indiana State University, 2017-12)
      The purpose of this study was to determine if the minimum number of observations stated in a district’s teacher evaluation plan, observation characteristics described in a district’s evaluation plan, and the characteristic of those evaluating teachers had an impact on whether a school would receive a bonus or penalty point for Indiana’s A-F accountability model. This study analyzed both math and English/language arts bonus and penalty points for all schools whose district has been implementing the new mandated teacher evaluation plan since the 2012-2013 school year. This included 3,997 schools within 215 districts in Indiana. Overall, when predicting whether a school will receive a bonus or penalty point, the findings for math were stronger than the findings for English/language arts. When considering whether a school will receive a bonus point for math, the minimum number of observations stated in the district’s evaluation plan was a significant predictor of a bonus point by itself but has a negative relationship associated with a reduction of the probability of getting a bonus point for math. Observation characteristics also had predictors in each model, both centered on the number of required observations in the plan (the actual number or just their presence in the plan). In the models using only the number of observations as a variable, the predictors were associated with an increased likelihood in a penalty and a decreased likelihood in a bonus. For the models with evaluator characteristics data, significant factors found a negative relationship with the likelihood of a school receiving a bonus point for math. When considering whether a school will receive a bonus point for English/language arts, evaluator characteristics did not serve as significant predictors nor does v the minimum number of observations stated in the district’s evaluation plan. One significant relationship was determined in that a district stating in its evaluation plan that both pre- and post-conferences are required, including goal setting, had a positive impact on the likelihood of getting a bonus point for English/language arts versus getting no bonus or penalty.
    • THE EFFECTS OF SECONDARY SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY GRADES ON COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY TRANSFER

      Robinson Kramer, Jill (Cunningham Memorial Library, Terre Haute, Indiana State University., 2017-12)
      Workforce projections indicate that a majority of jobs to be created in the U.S. economy will require some form of postsecondary education (Cappelli, 2015; Carnevale, Smith, & Strohl, 2010). At the same time, colleges and universities are being held accountable for completion and graduation of their students (The Commission, 2014) and secondary schools are being graded under changing accountability systems (Center for Education Policy, 2008; Dee & Jacobs, 2011, Figlio & Ladd, 2008). This study looked at the longer-term implications of high school accountability grades, A–F, and the impact on student transfer, associate’s degree completion, and time to associate’s degree among Twenty-First Century Scholars students who attended Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana’s community college system. There were statistically significant differences in long-term education outcomes, earning associate’s degrees in 11 elapsed terms from the first fall term of enrollment and in transferring out with or without a degree during the same time-period, based on the accountability grade of the high school from which the students came, using two separate chi square tests for independence. However, among graduates, there was no statistically significant difference in the time it took students to complete associate’s degrees between students from A- and F-rated high schools, using an independent samples t-test.
    • AFRICAN AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR COLLEGE COUNSELING EXPERIENCE

      Turner, LaTonya M. (Cunningham Memorial library, Terre Haute,Indiana State University, 2017-12)
      This study looked at high school African American students’ perceptions of their college counseling experiences. Much research has been done to highlight the views and/or perceptions of various stakeholders regarding college counseling with respect to African American students (Cabrera & La Nasa, 2000; Hossler & Stage, 1992; Ng, Wolf-Wendel, & Lomardi, 2014). A few examples of stakeholders are administrators, teachers, parents or guardians, and college-going organizations. However, little research exists on the views and or perceptions of college counseling from the student’s perspective (Howard, 2003). Knowing the perceptions of students provides a better understanding of how African American students in urban settings perceive the college counseling provided to them.
    • ELEMENTARY SCHOOL INCLUSION FOR STUDENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER: ATTITUDES OF GENERAL EDUCATION TEACHERS

      Wareham, Sarah (Cunningham Memorial library, Terre Haute,Indiana State University, 2017-12)
      The emphasis on teaching all students in the general education setting requires school personnel to reimagine the delivery of service for students with disabilities, including those with autism spectrum disorder (autism). This delivery of service relies heavily on the general education teacher’s ability to meet the varying learning needs of his or her students. This study explored if the general education teacher’s attitude toward students with autism in his or her classroom is related to participation of students with autism in the general education classroom as well as collaboration between the general education and special education teacher. These variables and their relationships were studied by administering an electronic survey to general education teachers in Indiana elementary schools. The findings of this study show that there is a relationship between attitude and participation and collaboration.
    • Student Plagiarism and The Use of a Plagiarism Detection Tool by Community College Faculty

      Thurmond, Bradley H.
      This study sought to better inform community college administrators and faculty regarding possible factors that contribute to higher levels of student plagiarism and to suggest appropriate preventative or responsive interventions. The specific purpose of the study was to investigate a set of faculty related factors that may be associated with particular levels of plagiarism. The specific research questions were as follows: 1. Are there particular instructor related factors that are associated with the level of suggestive plagiarism that occurs in the community college classroom? 2. Is there a difference in suggestive plagiarism based upon the campus on which the faculty member teaches? 3. How do faculty who use TII think about plagiarism and their role in educating students on how to properly cite works and avoid it? The quantitative portion of this mix-methods study found no statistical significance between the dependent variable of suggestive plagiarism and the independent variables of class level, instructor age, instructor gender, instructor employment status (full-time or part-time), years since hire, academic division and campus. The qualitative portion of the study interviewed nine faculty users of TII and revealed several convergent and divergent themes. The convergent themes were plagiarism due to ignorance vs. intentionality, lack of student objections to the use of TII, lack of faculty difficulty using TII, impact on teaching strategies, and replacement of TII with an alternative tool. The two divergent themes were faculty experience with training in the use of TII and the extent to which faculty sought to teach their students about plagiarism. The study offers implications for practice and policy as well as limitations and opportunities for future research.
    • Hope and Spirituality and Their Relationship to The Overall Quality of Life in Cancer Patients

      Burt, Nathaniel
      In this study, hope, spirituality, stage of cancer, age, and gender were explored as predictors of the quality of life perceived by 100 cancer patients. The instruments used were the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy—Spirituality Well-Being, the Herth Hope Index, and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy. The patients were being treated at two oncology medical centers in the mid-western region of the United States. The main findings indicated a predictive relationship between spirituality, hope, stage of cancer, age, gender, and quality of life. A simultaneous multiple regression analysis, using quality of life as a dependent variable and spirituality, hope, stage of cancer, age, and gender as independent variables, indicated that patients with a high level of hope and spirituality and an earlier cancer stage reported having a greater quality of life. Age and gender had no significant predictive relationship with patient quality of life. Further findings indicated that spirituality and hope were positively correlated. Hope and stage of cancer, as well as spirituality and stage of cancer were found not to be significantly related, suggesting that neither hope nor spirituality significantly change as a result of the stage of cancer. The results of this study have implications concerning the relevance of hope and spirituality in the treatment of cancer patients and the impact of hope and spirituality on cancer patients' perceived quality of life.
    • Relationship between First Year Success Programs and Second-Year Persistence

      Rupley, Elissa
      Much research has been conducted on the success and retention of first-year students. Little research has been done on second-year students and their experiences. This study was completed to understand the experience of second year students.The purpose of this research study was to explore the attitudes, perceptions, and experiences of current second-year students who participated in the Academic Opportunity Program at Indiana State University to determine if the skills gained during the program transfer to the second-year. Focus groups were conducted to collect data. The results revealed that while the Academic Opportunity Program at Indiana State University is a great opportunity for many students there are changes that could benefit many of the students. Results indicated that motivation, both intrinsic and extrinsic types of motivation, is a key factor in student success and retention.
    • Study of the Lasting Effects of Attending a Leadershape Program

      Stoker, Daniel J.
      This exploratory study investigated the long-term learning resulting from participation in a LeaderShape program. The research examined LeaderShape graduates‘ current practices and definitions of leadership to see if they remain consistent with the program‘s learning goals. Graduates with five or more years since attendance were studied to provide a separation of time for the social experience to dissipate and to allow for possible application of the material beyond a collegiate setting. An electronic survey was distributed to 1,399 LeaderShape graduates who attended a national session between 1986 and 2004, resulting in 207 (14.8%) responses. Quantitative questions were analyzed utilizing SPSS and four open-text questions were thematically coded and analyzed. The quantitative questions resulted in strong responses, with 17 of the 21 scaled questions with over 90% positive results. The data show that LeaderShape continues to be a meaningful experience for the respondents and they continue to identify abilities and behaviors consistent with the LeaderShape outcomes. The qualitative results demonstrated strong social connections facilitated by the environment and atmosphere, personal effects regarding values and leadership style, and continuing memory of specific curricular components most often due to emotional or personal affect. Based upon the data, LeaderShape could be characterized as an emotionally charged, positive growth experience that develops a lasting effect on program graduates by developing strong connections, enhancing personal values, and developing a commitment for leaders to influence positive change. The research demonstrates that program graduates identify, apply, and retain curricular components that enhance their personal development years after attendance with an adequate amount of time for discussion, reflection, and social interaction at the experience.
    • Graduation Success: Identifying and Overcoming Challenging Demographic Factors to Reduce High School Dropouts

      Schultz, Robert W.
      The importance of students completing high school with a diploma is the focus of increasing social, economic, and political attention across the United States. Posing a strong challenge to efforts to increase graduation rates are several key demographic factors. This study examines, through a case study, an Indiana high school that overcame the challenge of negative demographic factors to achieve a graduation rate above the state average for four consecutive years (2006-2009). Researching databases maintained by the Indiana Department of Education revealed specific demographic factors that had a strong correlation to graduation rates in Indiana. The four demographic factors with the strongest negative correlation to graduation rates were percent of students on free lunch, percent of students from single parent families, percent of children in district with at risk mothers, and percent of families in district below the poverty level. The high school examined, through the case study in this project, exhibited student numbers at or above the state average in each of those four negative demographic factors and also achieved a graduation rate at or above the state average for the four consecutive years studied. To overcome the challenges of those negative factors, the high school maintains a child-centered focus that seeks to address both affective and academic needs of students. Seizing every opportunity every day to help every child is not only a stated goal, but a pervasive attitude. Two alternative schools, a vocational career center, online classes for credit recovery, smaller classes targeted for at-risk freshmen, after school tutoring programs, and involvement of community resources are some of the programs employed by the school to reduce dropouts. Staff members of the school work cohesively in support of both students and each other. The demonstrated successes of this high school provide models for other high schools to emulate.
    • An Investigation to Determine Influences on Teachers in Indiana School Districts

      Johns, Elizabeth K.
      The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the influences on teachers, as related to instruction, classroom management, professionalism, and attitude, while considering stage of teaching career, teaching level, and the demographic groups of gender and ethnicity. An analysis was conducted to determine the greatest influences on teachers in the areas of instruction, classroom management, professionalism, and attitude. Additional analysis was conducted to examine if significant differences existed when considering career stage, teaching level, gender, and ethnicity. An analysis was also conducted to test for significant interactions between the main effects of career stage and teaching level for each of the four influences for each of the four constructs. Influences on teachers are important to consider. The research was conducted in this study to further knowledge of influences on teachers in different aspects of teaching, while also considering stage of career, teaching level, gender, and ethnicity. Administrators can strive to improve opportunities for students by knowing what influences teachers. The research design involved a population of 1,786 Indiana K-12 public school teachers. Teacher demographics and beliefs about influences were collected using a 20-item survey. Sixteen items contained prompts for teachers to rate the level of influence exerted from four influences. Teachers assessed the influences by using a Likert-type rating scale. Statistical analysis of the data included descriptive statistics regarding the mean, standard deviation, and frequency of selected items. Significance was identified at the .05 level. In all, 156 teachers of public school teachers responded to the survey instrument, which questioned teachers about what has influenced them. As a result of the analysis, the greatest influences on teachers were discovered in the four constructs of instruction, classroom management, professionalism, and attitude. Analysis was also conducted to consider influences with regard to career stage and teaching level. When considering each of these teaching constructs and the influences within the construct, significance was found in one or more of the 16 possible opportunities in stage of teaching career and teaching level.
    • Mentors’ perceptions of a university–school partnership through a student African American mentoring initiative

      Gilman, Amanda
      The participants in this study were 10 African American male college mentors at Indiana State University who participated in the Indiana State University Student African American Male Mentor Program, one school counselor, and two members of the Student African American Brotherhood administration. The study examined potential benefits to mentors, such as an enhanced feeling of connection and motivation, alleviation of feelings of alienation or isolation, counteracting of negative peer impact, and increased attachment to the university. All participants took part in semi-structured interviews and three mentors took part in a focus group. Grounded theory was used to analyze the data and create a description of the experiences and perceptions of the mentors. Several themes emerged from the data collected. The findings were that being a mentor held significant personal meaning for the mentors. Being a mentor did provide the mentors with a sense of belonging to the university. Mentoring also served to help the mentors stand out as role models and helped them create connections to campus leaders. Sharing experiences and making connections with those that were mentored was a valuable experience for the mentors. Black men’s issues, such as lacking role models, feeling stuck and feeling excluded, and acting White, were themes that were discussed extensively by the mentors. Overall, the participants in this study used their role as mentor to serve the younger generation of African American men they were mentoring. The young African American mentors in this study were not hindered by the stereotypes and negative expectations that have historically plagued them.
    • Examination of Quality Indicators in Public and Private Pre-Kindergarten Classrooms in Indiana

      Peterson, Rhonda M.
      The purpose of this study was to examine the current state of pre-kindergarten classrooms in the state of Indiana through the perspectives of public and private pre-kindergarten program directors. Survey results revealed a high concentration of female pre-kindergarten directors within the state of Indiana. Although directors rated their teaching staffs with a high level of early education background, they themselves felt less confident about their backgrounds in this field. Descriptive data also revealed that private student–teacher ratios are smaller, their instructional days are longer, their programs have been established for longer periods of time, and their directors have had longer tenures than their public counterparts. Statistical testing found that directors of public urban schools reported a higher quality rating than suburban and rural pre-kindergarten programs, based on the quality composite score. It was determined that student–teacher ratio and school type (public, private) both served as significant predictors of the quality composite score. It was revealed that as student–teacher ratio increases, the perceived pre-kindergarten quality decreases. Results also showed that pre-kindergarten directors’ perceived quality is less within the private setting than in the public setting, based on the composite quality score. The overarching purpose of this study was to provide an awareness of the potential benefits that quality pre-kindergarten programming could yield for the future citizens of Indiana as a whole and if perceived quality exists to some degree.