• “A Great Opportunity”: Persistence and Performance of Hoosier Link Students

      Handy, Lori B.
      Nationally, students who begin at two-year institutions who desire a bachelor’s degree struggle with the realization of their goal. Indiana is striving to make higher education more accessible, seamless, and cost effective. The partnership transfer program between Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) and Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington called Hoosier Link is a unique program that began in 2006 to enhance transfer student success through co-enrollment of a select group of students. This research study determined whether or not the Hoosier Link program had a positive impact on transfer student persistence and performance. Results found that while dependent variables did not show significance for persistence and performance, there was a correlation between students’ pre-transfer GPA and post-transfer GPA. Additionally, an astounding 72% of the Hoosier Link students saw their first term post-transfer GPA dip. This is classified as “transfer shock” (Hills, 1965, p. 1). These students did recover from their shock and actually one of the Hoosier Link cohorts persisted better than other IUB transfer students. Astin’s (1993) I-E-O theory was utilized in this study. The environmental aspect of this theory proved critical to Hoosier Link student success. Recommendations include: Hoosier Link peer and faculty mentors, living/learning residential community, and positive promotion of the program. Further study opportunities include: academic major evaluation, graduation longitudinal study, qualitative study of Hoosier Link students, other Hoosier Link cohorts, and a review of non-IUB transfer students from the Hoosier Link program.
    • A Thorough and Efficient Education: School Funding, Student Achievement and Productivity

      Many school districts are facing stagnant or reduced funding (input) concurrent with demands for improved student achievement (output). In other words, there is pressure for all schools, even those schools with student populations of low socioeconomic status, to improve academic results (accountability for output) without a directly proportionate increase in resources (adequacy of input); in essence, to improve productivity. This study a) examined the productivity of Indiana school districts, b) analyzed the effect of student populations of low socioeconomic status on district productivity, and c) explored the change in district productivity since the passage of accountability legislation. In Research Question #1, archival data on the expenditures and student performance of 292 Indiana public school districts was mined and analyzed. Productivity indicators were developed, revealing in 2008 13.9 students demonstrated mastery of Indiana academic standards on ISTEP+ for every $100,000 of General Fund expenditures. However, the range of productivity indicators between districts varied greatly, even among districts of similar socioeconomic status, calling into question whether demography was as critical a productivity predictor as it was generally argued to be. In Research Question #2, regression analysis revealed a statistically significant negative relationship between the socioeconomic status of its student population and its productivity on an overall basis, however a disaggregated analysis of socioeconomic quartiles revealed the relationship between socioeconomic status and productivity at some levels to be statistically insignificant. Such a finding seemed to indicate again that the predictive value of socioeconomic status to learning results was less reliable than generally suggested. Finally, in Research Question #3 analysis of variance of district productivity revealed that productivity declined steadily in years prior to enactment of the No Child Left Behind and began to improve the year the accountability legislation was enacted, suggesting that accountability measures may have changed educator behavior in a way that resulted in an increase of students able to demonstrate proficiency at state academic standards without a proportionate increase of expenditures.
    • Advanced Accreditation Impact Regarding the Achievement Gap between Schools of Poverty and Schools of Affluence for Secondary Education in a Five-State Region

      Langevin, Michael John
      The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine whether there are significant differences among AdvancED accredited middle and high schools that consist of those with high poverty populations and those affluent accredited schools regarding school effectiveness. This study examined whether there was a significant difference between schools of poverty and affluent schools on reading and mathematics state assessments. This study also examined which AdvancED school effectiveness accreditation standards predict student achievement success through standardized test performance in both reading and mathematics. Is there a significant difference between accredited schools of poverty and accredited affluent schools in the seven AdvancED school effectiveness accreditation standards? Is there a significant difference between AdvancED accredited schools of poverty and accredited affluent schools in state achievement scores in reading? Is there a significant difference between AdvancED accredited schools of poverty and accredited affluent schools in state achievement scores in mathematics? Are the AdvancED school accreditation standards predictors of success on student achievement through standardized test performance in the area of reading? Are the AdvancED school accreditation standards predictors of success on student achievement through standardized test performance in the area of mathematics? Based on the findings, this study determined schools of poverty were being rated significantly lower than schools of poverty in the following standards: governance and leadership, teaching and learning, resources and support programs, as well as stakeholder communication and relationships. Schools of poverty that enter the accreditation process still lag behind accredited schools of affluence, but a significant difference was determined when the accredited schools of poverty were compared to non-accredited schools of poverty. When school effectiveness accreditation scores for each standard were examined a relationship was significant between how affluent schools were scored in documenting and using results, as well as stakeholder communication and relationships and their success on standardized tests in reading and mathematics. When school effectiveness accreditation scores for each standard within schools of poverty a significant relationship between the following standards was determined in regard to standardized testing for reading and mathematics: teaching and learning, documenting and using results, as well as resources and support programs. A negative relationship was determined for schools of poverty between the test results in reading and mathematics and their rating on the commitment to continuous improvement standard.
    • Effects of Monetary Incentives on Academic Performance of Fourth-Grade Students from Low Socioeconomic Status

      Dafiaghor, Sandra O.
      Scientific investigations of monetary incentives on students‘ academic achievement have not explored effects on performance of students from low socioeconomic status (SES), nor has there been exploration of teachers‘ perceptions of how monetary incentives impact academic performance of students from low socioeconomic status. The present study explored how low SES students perceive their academic performances being impacted by extrinsic monetary incentives. The study also explored the fourth-grade teachers‘ beliefs about the impact of monetary incentive on students‘ academic performance. The study found that students believe monetary incentives will increase academic performance, depending on the size of the cash incentive. The results were mixed for teachers. The findings from this study suggest that there is a need to delve deeper into the concept of cash for grades because of unanswered questions: What amount of money is sufficient, and why are teachers‘ beliefs incongruent with their students‘ beliefs?
    • Examining the Impact Parental Educational Attainment Has on Students' Perceptions of Residence Hall Living

      Lawrie, Joshua D.
      The current study sought to examine the impact parental educational attainment had on how students perceived their residence hall environment. This multi-campus study utilized the University Residence Environment Scale, along with a demographic form to gather data. The study occurred on three campuses during the Spring 2012 semester and had 347 participants. The findings suggest there were no differences in how parental educational attainment impacted participants’ perspectives of the residence hall. Parental educational attainment was a significant factor when coded only as two options (i.e. college degree, no college degree). Additional results were that gender and ethnicity played a role in how students perceived their residence halls.
    • Factors Affecting Retention in Online Courses

      Berling, Victoria L.
      The purpose of this study was to expand what is known regarding the factors that relate to successful completion of online, undergraduate college courses. It addressed 13 student factors available through archival data at Northern Kentucky University based on 1,493 students enrolled in fully online courses in fall 2008. It included programmatic membership as the fourteenth variable. The study employed both logistic regression analysis and multiple regression analysis. The dependent variable for the logistic regression analysis was dichotomous based on completion of all online courses with a grade of ―D‖ or better (yes or no). The dependent variable for the multiple regression analysis was a continuous variable, percentage of online courses completed. The following variables were found to have a positive relationship to successful completion of online courses: applying for financial assistance, GPA, senior year in college, major in health and human sciences, major in a STEM field, and tuition residency of metro rate. The following variables were found to have a negative relationship to successful completion of online courses: race of Black and freshman year in college. The freshman year in college only showed as a significant variable in the multiple regression analysis.
    • I Don‘T Know Who I Am—Considering Where I Came from: First-Generation Working-Class College Graduates Describe Their Journeys to Baccalaureate Degrees

      Weirick, Janet K.
      This phenomenological study explored recent memories of some of the struggles and joys that first-generation students faced in their college experiences as they successfully completed four-year degrees at a private liberal arts college in the Midwest. These lived experiences included personal and structural issues of individual identity, class identity, first-generation observations, campus experiences, and family relationships. Their stories will inform research and provide insights for professionals working to improve levels of college retention and student growth. First-generation college students are retained and graduate at a lower rate than second-generation college students and are consequently at risk for dropping out or stopping out of college before graduation. Current retention programs for first-generation students have been only somewhat effective in increasing their completion rate. This qualitative exploration of the lives of successful first-generation college graduates gives insights into how these students achieved their goals of a college degree, in spite of the great odds against them. These graduates were expressly aware of those odds as they negotiated systems of complex bureaucracies and formed relationships in various social settings. While meeting and maintaining academic standards, they needed to learn new middle-class languages, system codes, and geography.
    • 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.
    • School Factors Related to Reading Achievement in Rural Schools with and without High Poverty

      Miller, Seth W.
      This quantitative study identified how rural schools differ on five school-level factors related to student achievement according to their performance on Grade 3 reading. Through use of a MANOVA test, it was shown that principals of high-poverty rural schools that made AYP in Grade 3 reading reported significantly higher levels of guaranteed and viable curriculum than principals of high-poverty rural schools that did not make AYP. There were no significant differences in the presence of the school-level factors in rural schools without high poverty based on the principal reports. Additionally, the study identified which school-level factors predict student achievement in rural schools with and without high poverty. Through use of a multiple regression test, it was determined that the school-level factors did not serve as significant predictors of Grade 3 reading performance in the high poverty rural schools. One factor, guaranteed and viable curriculum, was shown to predict for student achievement in rural schools without high poverty. In conducting this study, additional research questions were addressed. Through linear regression, it was demonstrated that poverty accounted for much more of the variance in reading scores in non-rural schools (58%, N = 1,761) than in rural schools (19%, N = 427). Through multivariate multiple regression testing, it was found that there was not a significant ability for either Grade 3 reading performance or poverty to predict for the school-level factors in rural schools. Finally, through multiple regression testing, it was determined that three predictors (poverty, guaranteed and viable curriculum, and safe and orderly environment) were able to significantly predict reading scores for rural schools. The results of the study provide rural school leaders a better understanding of the overall strengths and weaknesses of a particular school and the potential benefits of school improvement initiatives geared around school-level factors. This knowledge will prove useful to the overall research base on rural school effectiveness. More specifically, this knowledge will help guide the decisions of school leaders concerned with improving student achievement in rural school districts with high poverty.
    • School Size and Student Achievement

      Riggen, Vicki
      This study examined whether a relationship between high school size and student achievement exists in Illinois public high schools in reading and math, as measured by the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE), which is administered to all Illinois 11th-grade students. This study also examined whether the factors of socioeconomic status, English language learners status, special education rate, mobility rate, dropout rate, class size, instructional expenditure per pupil, attendance rate, and/or school enrollment exhibited interaction effects that can be used to predict student achievement as measured by reading and mathematics performance on the PSAE. This study provides quantitative data that will aid educational leaders in school decision-making that can enhance student achievement. Findings of this study revealed a relationship does not exist between school size and student performance in reading. Of nine student and building characteristics investigated, eight had a significant ability to predict student performance on PSAE reading. Socioeconomic status was found to have the most significant effect, with student attendance having the second greatest effect. English language learner status had the third greatest impact. Findings of this study revealed a relationship does exist between school size and student performance in math. Large schools in the state of Illinois outperformed both small and medium schools in math. Of nine student and building characteristics investigated, seven had a significant ability to predict student performance on PSAE math. Socioeconomic status was found to have the most significant effect, with student attendance having the second greatest effect. Instructional expenditure per pupil had the third greatest impact. This study gives educational leaders in small, medium, and large schools access to very specific information regarding the student and building characteristics that can best predict student performance in their schools.
    • School violence and its effects on academic achievement among eighth graders.

      Myers, Kevin A
      The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of school violence on academic performance among eigth grade students.The rational for this investigation was a result of the preoccupation for safety in our educational institutions.Additionally,it investigated the relationship between three specific school violence behaviors and student background characteristics.The three behaviors are negative personal behavior,school violence victimization,and school violence perception.Background varibales included in the analysis are gender,race/ethnicity,socio-economic status,family income and school type(public,Catholic,private other religious and private non-religious).The data used to explore the effect of school violence on academic achievement was taken from the the National Crime Victimization Survey:School Crime Supplement(NCVS:SVS;U.S Departments of Education and Justice,1998).Descriptive analysis was used to describe student's background characteristics and school factors.Findings indicated that negative personal behavior had a significant relationship on student's academic performance.Also,students experiencing victimization and student's perceptions of violence in their schools had a significant relationship on student's academic performance.Also,students experiencing victimization and student's perceptions of violence in their schools had a significant relationship on academic performance.Findings also indicated that students from public and private non-religious schools show similar patterns of associations between levels of school violence and school violence behaviors.
    • Summer learning loss: The influence of summer school programs on student achievement in language usage, Math, and Reading

      Bakle, Bradley R.
      The purpose of this quantitative study was to analyze the effects of summer school remediation on elementary student achievement, while controlling for the effects of gender, socio-economic status (SES), and ethnicity, by comparing the differences between pre-test and post-test scores on the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) for matched pairs (based on pre-test scores) of summer school participants and non-summer school participants for each of five years. The independent variables included summer school participation, gender, SES, and ethnicity.The dependent variables included the student post-test NWEA MAP scores in each of three subject areas (language usage, reading, and math) for each grade level (2–5), in each year of the study. The covariates included the student pre-test NWEA MAP scores in each of the same subject areas and grade levels for each year of the study.Study participants were convenience samples of summer school students and their non-summer school counterparts in grades 2–5 from multiple elementary school sites within a single school district in northeast Indiana. As summer school programming remained the same for each year of the study, scores from each of the five years were combined for analysis according to subject and grade level to lend an overall perspective. For language usage, data was collected for 850 matched pairs of students. For math, there were 828 matched pairs. The study also included 853 matched pairs of students for reading.Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) at the .05 probability level (p=.05) was used to determine if there was a statistically significant difference between student post-test scores for summer school participants and their non-summer school counterparts, while controlling for gender, SES, and ethnicity. In order to isolate the effects of summer school for each grade level (2–5), there were 4 separate analyses, one for each elementary grade level, and 3 sub-analyses within each grade level – reading, language usage and math–leading to a total of 12 sets of ANCOVA analyses.The results of ANCOVA analysis showed a significant interaction effect between summer school participation and SES for both language usage and math in grade 2. However, there were no significant interaction effects or main effects of the independent variables on post-test reading scores for second graders.For third grade, ANCOVA analysis showed a significant interaction effect between summer school participation and SES for language usage. Participation in summer school was shown to have a significant main effect on post-test reading scores with summer school students scoring significantly lower than their non-summer school counterparts.In grade four, ANCOVA analysis revealed a significant interaction effect between summer school participation and gender for language usage. SES showed a significant main effect on post-test math scores, with paid lunch students performing significantly better than their free/reduced lunch peers for both summer school and non-summer school student groups. Participation in summer school was shown to have a significant main effect on post-test reading scores in fourth grade, with summer school students scoring significantly lower than their non-summer school counterparts.For grade five language usage students, each of the main effects of gender, ethnicity, and SES were statistically significant. Ethnicity was shown to have a significant main effect on post-test math scores with White students scoring significantly higher than students of all other ethnicities, regardless of participation in summer school. There were no significant interaction effects or main effects of the independent variables on post-test reading scores for fifth graders.These results indicate a need of review, revision, and refinement at all grade levels (2–5) and in all subjects (language usage, math, and reading) of the summer remediation programming within the study in order to effectively serve the needs of its students. Further, the study serves as a model and a call to action for educational administrators who are ready to engage in an objective analysis of summer school program effectiveness and are willing to embrace whatever shifts in operational or instructional paradigms may be needed for improvement.
    • The impact of racial identity on self-esteem and academic achievement among African American adolescent female students

      Griddine, Ke'Shana Y.
      Utilizing a critical race theory perspective, I investigated how racial identity relates to self- esteem and academic achievement. The sample consisted of 100 African American female adolescents (age 13-17) who lived mostly in the Western regions of the United States. The Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity-Teen and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale were administered to assess racial identity profiles and levels of self-esteem. Grade point averages were collected via self-report as a means of capturing academic achievement. The data were analyzed using cluster analysis with a follow-up MANOVA. The cluster analysis using the combination of hierarchical and non- hierarchical methods resulted in a viable three-cluster solution.The first cluster represented girls who held high humanist and low public regard beliefs (n =29). The second cluster group represented girls who scored higher on the centrality subscale and the nationalist sub-dimension (n = 31). The third cluster consisted of girls who have high levels of public regard and low nationalist beliefs (n = 29). The MANOVA revealed no significant relationship between the participants’ racial identity clusters and grade point average and their levels of self-esteem. The results of this study provide further understanding and evidence of multidimensionality in racial identity among female African American teenage students.
    • The Impact of Remedial Education on Nursing Student Success

      Peters, Laurie F.
      The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of remedial education on nursing student success. This quantitative, retrospective study utilized Alexander Astin’s (1993) Input-Environment-Outcomes (I-E-O) model to explore the relationship between demographic variables (inputs) and the number and type of remedial courses taken (environmental variables) on final cumulative grade point average (GPA) and first-time pass rates on the NCLEX-RN state licensure examination (outcomes). The study examined 1,678 associate degree nursing (ADN) graduates between 2004 and 2007 in a state-wide community college system. The analysis identified MAT 050/Basic Algebra as the only remedial course to have the statistical power to be included in the model as a predictor of final cumulative GPA. However, the model only accounted for .4% of the variance indicating there are other factors influencing students’ GPA besides the MAT 050 course. Results suggest that female students are less likely to need remediation in ENG 032/Reading Strategies for College II and more likely to need remediation in MAT 050/Basic Algebra. Ethnicity and age were found to be weak predictors of final cumulative GPA and pass/fail performance on the NCLEX-RN examination. Number and type of remedial courses showed no statistically significant, predictive relationships with pass/fail rates on the NCLEX-RN examination. Understanding the impact of remedial education on nursing student success can ultimately influence the number of nurses available to meet the needs of an aging population.
    • 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.
    • What Effective Principals Do to Improve Instruction and Increase Student Achievement

      Turner, Elizabeth Anne
      The purposes of this mixed method study were to (a) Examine the relationships among principal effectiveness, principal instructional leadership, and student achievement; (b) examine the differences among principal effectiveness, principal instructional leadership and student achievement; and (c) investigate what effective principals do to improve instruction and increase student achievement within their schools. All 585 pre-K through grade 5 elementary public schools in Indiana were included in the original sample. Phase 1 was quantitative using the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS, Hallinger, 1983) to examine the perceptions of the principal’s instructional leadership, the Principal Leadership Inventory (PLI; Downey, 1999) to measure principal effectiveness, and the Indiana standardized test (ISTEP) to look at student achievement. Statistical analysis of the data for the 232 schools that returned all of the instruments included descriptive statistics regarding the mean, standard deviation, frequency, and standard error. A Pearson product moment correlation, one-way independent measured ANOVA, one-way between subjects ANOVA, and standard multiple regression were used to test the study questions at a .05 level of significance. Findings indicated a teacher’s perception of the principal’s overall leadership ability makes no difference in student achievement data, but the teacher’s perception of the principal’s instructional leadership abilities does positively predict student achievement on standardized mathematics and English/language arts tests. Phase 2 was qualitative, identifying five more effective principals’ schools whose standardized test scores were above predicted and above state average and three less effective principals’ schools whose standardized test scores were below their predicted performance level as well as below the state average for site visits. The quantitative data in this study laid the foundation for the qualitative portion of this study informing the on-site, semi-structured principal interviews and separate teacher focus groups that explored what effective principals do to improve instruction and increase student achievement. Principals and teachers were asked the same open-ended, semi-structured interview questions. Keeping the focus group and interviewing questions in mind, themes for more and less effective principals could be grouped into four categories: (a) principal leadership characteristics, (b) instructional expectations, (c) procedures for change, and (d) measures of student achievement.