• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Communication Satisfaction and its Relationship to Organizational Commitment Among Secondary Teachers in Kuwait

      Alanezi, Ahmad Salamah
      The purposes of the study were to examine the level of communication satisfaction and to investigate the relationship between communication satisfaction and four teachers’ demographic variables; gender, nationally, years of experience, and school district. Moreover, the study aimed to detect the relationship between communication satisfaction factors and organizational commitment among secondary teachers in the state of Kuwait. The applied instruments were Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ) and Downs’s Commitment Scale (2008). Data for this study was collected from 465 secondary teachers who successfully completed the instruments. Descriptive data revealed that the majority of the sample was satisfied with communication within their schools. Also, t-test analysis revealed that there was no obvious difference between male and female teachers in their communication satisfaction. However, there was a significant difference between Kuwaiti and Non-Kuwaiti teachers. Furthermore, a one-way ANOVA test did not show a significant relationship between communication satisfaction, and both years of experience, and school district. Finally, a Multiple Regression analysis exposed that the following communication factors were the best to predict commitment; supervisor communication, media quality, horizontal communication, and communication with subordinates in addition to a strong predictable relationship between the overall scores of communication satisfaction and commitment was identified.
    • Stay the Course: Superintendent Longevity in Indiana School Districts

      Shand, Celia Herrell
      The purpose of this study was to determine what characteristics contribute to superintendent longevity in a school district for 10 years or more. A qualitative multiple case study was conducted using a sample from 11% of Indiana school superintendents who remained in their districts for 10 years or more. This random sample included superintendents from various districts. Superintendents interviewed responded to a series of five questions that explored the characteristics of community politics, size of the district, superintendent leadership characteristics, community demographics, and support systems. During the qualitative multiple case study, more questions arose as a result of the interview process and were documented. As a result of this study, it was determined that community politics, district size, certain characteristics of leadership styles, changing demographics, and sufficient support systems were integral parts of a superintendency that had these superintendents remaining in a district in Indiana for 10 years or more. The mutually, well-developed relationships created in the different characteristics between the superintendents, their boards, schools and community created a symbiotic relationship necessary for superintendent longevity in their respective districts.
    • A Study of the Perceptions of Administrators and Faculty Regarding the Relevancy and Frequency of Effective Characteristics of Alternative Schools in Indiana

      Edsell, Timothy Owen
      The purpose of this study was to conclude if there is a difference in the perceptions between alternative school directors and alternative school teachers with regards to the extent of existence of effective characteristics and the importance of effective characteristics in their alternative education programs throughout the state of Indiana. Lead directors and teachers were asked to rate the existence of 40 alternative school characteristics and the importance of these same characteristics in their respective alternative schools. Each characteristic was classified into one of seven categories: (1) School Climate, (2) Student Needs, (3) Instruction/Curriculum, (4) Student Services, (5) Faculty Needs, (6) Community Support, and (7) Leadership. The formation of these seven composite variables originated from the Perceptions of Alternative Schools Survey, in which 40 research-based questions were categorized into these seven ubiquitous elements that make the greatest impact upon the effectiveness of successful alternative schools. Demographic data about each school and biographic data on each lead director and teacher were also collected. The research instrument, Perceptions of Alternative Schools Survey, was emailed to 141 lead directors. The directors were responsible for one or more alternative education programs that filed an annual program profile with the Indiana Department of Education. Upon completion the director electronically forwarded the same survey to three certified teachers, where applicable, who were employed in their respective alternative schools. Forty-three percent of the lead directors returned the survey; while, approximately 20% of the teachers responded to the survey. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for all statistical analysis. Frequencies and percentages were calculated for biographic and demographic data. Means and standard deviations were calculated for perceptions of existence and importance of the effective alternative school characteristics for both lead directors and certified teachers. Two MANOVA tests, one for existence and the other for importance, were conducted with the alternative school positions of lead directors and certified teachers as the two different levels of the independent variable and the mean scores of their perceptions of the seven composite alternative school characteristics as the dependent variables. After a multivariate effect was performed, follow-up ANOVA tests were conducted to compare lead directors with teachers on the existence and importance of each composite variable. If a significant univariate effect was discovered, then additional ANOVA tests were conducted to compare lead directors with teachers on the existence and on the importance of each subset of questions within the significant composite variable(s). Both lead directors and teachers reported strong agreement that 83% of the research-based characteristics existed in their alternative schools; while, both groups agreed 95% of these characteristics were very important. With respect to existence and importance, significance was not found between the perceptions of lead directors and teachers across the seven composite alternative school characteristics. However, there existed perceptional differences between lead directors and teachers in the area of school climate, especially with class size and student conduct. Additionally, there were perceptional differences of importance between lead directors and teachers in the area of instruction/curriculum, especially with high student-teacher academic expectations and individualized student instruction.
    • Students' College Preparation Level Based on Quality Factors of the High School Attended

      Richmond, Lori M.
      The present qualitative study examined the views and perspectives of five Executive Directors of Admissions of Midwestern colleges and universities to seek data on high school students‟ college preparation level based on the quality factors of the high school they attended. Interviews were conducted using multiple open-ended questions on various aspects of high school characteristics that had potential to impact college admissions and college success. Themes emerged that encompassed high school size, high school offerings, and factors of high school attended. All high schools were not viewed as providing neither equal opportunity nor adequate educational opportunities for all students sufficient enough for them to be admitted to a four-year college or university and/or to successfully graduate from college. Emerged themes of significance included larger high schools being more effective than smaller high schools; Advanced Placement courses being more effective than dual-credit classes; and the rigor of high school curriculum being unequal amongst schools. Each of these themes is identified in detail with examples, experiential stories, and views by the participants. School leaders can use this data as a piece in their continual search to further student success in high schools and beyond.
    • Principal leadership behaviors in school operations and change implementations in elementary schools in relation to climate

      Whitaker, Margaret
      The two purposes of the study were to: (1) analyze the relationship between teacher perception of school climate and elementary principal instructional leadership behavoir, and (2) investigate the difference between the manner in which the principals of schools with more positive climates and principals of schools with less positive climates conduct school operations and implement change. Principles at 231 public elementary schools within a sixty mile redius of Terre Haute, Indiana were included in the original sample. These principals were surveyed to determine their instructional leadership behaviors. The priciples who responded to the survey were then asked to have ten teachers fill out a school climate inventory. The data from both instruments were tabulated and used to determine relationships between principals' instructional leadership behaviors and teacher perception of climate. On-site, structured interviews were conducted with three teachers and the principal in four of the elementary schools with more positive climate and four of th elementary schools with less positive climates. These interviews were used to determine the differences between the manner in which the principals of schools with more positive climates and principals of schools with less positive climates conduct school operations and implement change.Statistical analysis of the data included descriptive statistics, Stepwise regression, Independent Sample t-test, and Pearson product moment correlation. Significant correlational relationships were found between the principal's perceptions of instructional leadership behavior and teachers' perception of school climate. No significant difference were found in principals' perception of instructional leadership behaviors between principals of more positive and less positive climates. Principal instructional leadership behaviors explained a significant amount of the variance of seven of the teacher climate subscales. Also, important differences were found between the way day to day operationsl were conducted and change implemented in more positive versus less positive schools.
    • Feeling Special: A Study of Local, Named, Need-Based Scholarships for Remediated Community College Students

      Oler, Ronald M.
      The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of local, named, need-based scholarships on the persistence of remediated, community college students. This study sought to connect the research on college-student persistence, remedial education, and need-based scholarships. Although there is a plethora of research on why college students depart without earning a degree, there is a dearth of such work focused solely on community college students. There have also been a considerable number of studies on remedial education, but none have tied-in how the remedial student‘s self-efficacy can be increased by awarding them a scholarship, thereby improving their persistence rates. This is likely due to scholarships normally being limited to exceptional students, not the middling community college students who are required to take remedial reading, writing, or mathematics. However, the situation is a little different at Midwest Community College where such practices have become commonplace. Fifteen participants who matched all of this study‘s criteria were interviewed for this mixed-methods study after descriptive data was collected about them. These 15 participants were culled from the 4,678 first-time, associate-degree seeking students who began in the fall 2004 term at Midwest. This study used the industry-wide standard measurement of 150% time frame to earn a degree, which is three years for a two-year associate‘s degree. The overall graduation rate for this cohort was 22%. The graduation rate for the remedial students in this cohort was only 7%. This study sought to locate and interview as many of the 70 remedial students as possible, who persisted to graduate within the 150% timeframe and who had also received a scholarship. Eventually, over the course of seven months, 15 students were located and interviewed. Their stories shed light on how these, the most at-risk for dropping out, persevered to earn their associate‘s degrees. It also shed light on how receiving a scholarship boosted their belief in themselves, their self-efficacy.
    • Social Class Experiences of Working-Class Students: Transitioning out of College

      Huber, Carey Treager
      Issues surrounding social class are often overlooked and rarely discussed in higher education; however, they affect students and institutions in critical ways. Although research has demonstrated that social class is a predictor of access to college, retention, academic performance, overall undergraduate and graduate experience, and college completion, little is known about the effect of social class on students‟ transition out of college and into the workplace. This transition is critical to explore because research suggests that the way in which students approach their first years of work have an impact on future job success and satisfaction. A phenomenological method of inquiry was used to gain a more thorough understanding of the class-based experiences of college graduates who originated from working-class homes as they transitioned from college to the world of work and pursued their chosen professions. Interviews were conducted with 13 recent graduates of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) who were first generation college students, received a federal Pell grant while attending college, and did not return to their hometown of origin after graduation. Findings indicated that participants were conscious of social class although they lacked language to define it. Participants illustrated three distinct transitions that they experienced related to college: transition into college, transition to life after college, and transition to work. Generally participants indicated that the transition into college was more challenging than the transition to work, as they were more aware of their social class and experienced more social class contrast. In general they experienced very few school-to-work transition issues. In terms of the transition to life after college, participants experienced a variety of challenges and obstacles related to physical relocation to a new city, financial management, and loss of a social network. After college, participants generally experienced changing relationships with family and childhood friends due to social class contrast. Finally, several elements of their undergraduate experiences were identified as aiding their transitions out of college including the curriculum, internship experiences, independent living, and supportive relationships with faculty and staff. The study adds to the general understanding of social class issues in higher education, provides direction for universities, and offers specific insight for RHIT into the experiences of their graduates. Based on the findings, recommendations for policy and practice additions and modifications are outlined for RHIT. Opportunities for future research are suggested.
    • What Educational Initiatives contribute to higher than expected achievement in Student performance for Public Schools in the State of Indiana?

      Keeley, Thomas Allen
      The purpose of this study was to determine whether the areas of teaching methods, teacher-student relationships, school structure, school-community partnerships or school leadership were significantly embedded in practice and acted as a change agent among school systems that achieve higher than expected results on their state standardized testing while controlling for their socio-economic status. Another area of insight gained from the comparison of the specific practices at the building level that were found in high-achieving schools and may not be present in schools identified as low-achieving. Individual characteristics of students impact the learning environment for all children. Educators can make informed decisions by examining what teaching methods, a school‟s structure, teacher-student relationships, school to community partnerships, and what school leadership aspects are common among schools identified as high-achieving. If the identification within these five areas showed a significant relationship for improved student performance for high-achieving schools, the classroom teacher and building administration may use the results as a guide for student improvement. The study used a 50-question survey divided into five constructs. The data showed significant differences in implementation between the high-achieving and low-achieving schools in four of the five constructs. The four constructs that were significantly higher in level of implementation as compared to low-achieving schools were teaching methods, teacher-student relationships, school-community partnerships and school leadership. Of the four constructs showing significance, teacher-student relationships showed the highest amount of variance for high-achieving schools as compared to low-achieving schools. School structure did not show statistically significant differences in variance for high-achieving schools. Interesting findings of differences between high-achieving schools and low-achieving schools were noted in the instructional methods construct for ensuring proficiency in reading and math, frequently assessing reading levels for all students, linking instruction to learning benchmarks, and implementing flexible skill grouping. Differences were also noted for high-achieving schools for facilitating two-way home/school communication, creating partnerships with parents and families and offering career exploration as part of the curriculum.