• A Study of How Predominantly White Institutions of Higher Education in Indiana Address Retention and Graduation Rates of African American Students

      Smith, Shawn A.
      This primary purpose of this study was to examine practices of Predominantly White Institutions (PWI) of higher education in Indiana that focus on the retention and graduation of African American students. This study was guided by the following research question, are there effective practices found in the K-12 and HBCU literature that can be identified in PWIs in Indiana that positively affect the retention and graduation of African American students? For this study, a qualitative method was used. A review of the literature on K-12 and HBCUs strategies assisted the researcher in developing interview questions that were used to identify practices in retaining and graduating African American students in PWIs in the Midwest. Ten participants from PWIs participated in the telephone interviews to identify common and /or unique practices as compared to the literature. Based on the interviews the following themes were identified: 1. Supportive Environment – All attempt to provide supportive environments. 2. Remediation - The ability to remediate and support students in need of academic help. 3. Faculty - Caring faculty members who are committed to teaching. 4. The Presence of a Racially Diverse Staff - An environment that does not shout “White”. After careful review of the literature and data from this research, it was clear that hiring a caring, diverse staff may be the major difference between HBCUs and PWIs. It must be noted that differences among PWIs also exist as it relates to the retention and graduation rates of African American students.
    • Campus Environment Influence on Women’s Leadership Development at Small Private Institutions

      Weina, Kasie
      The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of women’s leadership and the important influential factors that impact women’s leadership development. Campus environmental factors and gender socialization were examined in an effort to understand women’s leadership identity and development and the potential influences on that development. Data were collected in a semi-structured interview with seven students from two different institutions. Both institutions were private and located in a Midwestern city. One institution had an entire on-campus population of women and the other institution had an on-campus population of 21% women. This study supported the existence of a connection between women’s leadership development, the campus environment, and gender socialization. Perceptions of their leadership were influenced by external factors such as role models, adult and peer affirmation, and the perceptions of others and internal factors such as confidence and initiative. The themes that emerged regarding the campus environmental differences were (a) self-perceptions through language, (b) demonstration of worth, (c) gender versus environment, and (d) expectations for behavior. Overall, the all-women’s institutional environment was perceived as more flexible and less dependent on gender socialization than the male-dominated institutional environment, which supports that the campus environment is an influential factor in how women perceive leadership.
    • Exploring the Lived Experiences of Rural African American Millennials at Predominantly White Institutions

      Guyton, Corey
      The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of rural African American Millennials attending predominantly White institutions (PWIs) and how they make meaning of these experiences. In-depth interviews were conducted with six students (graduate and undergraduate) who identified as being from a rural area, African American (or Black), and a Millennial. Seven major themes emerged from the study: the presence of college aspirations, desire to attend a historically Black college or university (HBCU), experiencing culture shock, lack of academic preparation, experiencing microaggressions, lack of parental involvement, and no desire to return home after graduation. Some major themes had sub-themes. Leaving their rural hometowns and moving to a new location presented various challenges for the research participants. All of the participants had transitional issues with either their new cities or their new college environments. In their new cities, participants struggled with a number of challenges such as traffic and diversity, and on their college campuses they struggled to fit in with other students, were not academically prepared, and did not know how to deal with autonomy. Recommendations for practice include intentional recruitment strategies designed specifically for rural African American Millennials, providing transitional resources for rural African American Millennials, and more training for faculty and staff about this student population.
    • Juggling Toddlers, Teens, and Tenure: The Personal and Professional Realities of Women on the Tenure Track with Children

      Sipes, Jennifer Lynn Baker
      The purpose of this study was to understand the personal and professional experiences of women faculty on the tenure track with children. Despite more than 30 years of conversation about gender equity since the passage of Title IX as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, an inverse relationship persists between the prestige of an academic rank and the percentage of women in that rank. Recent research has drawn attention to differences in marital and family status between men and women faculty in higher education, suggesting that childrearing may serve as an impediment to the career advancement of women faculty in higher education. Discovering and understanding the lived experiences of women on the tenure track with children is critical to the recruitment and retention of talented women faculty. Utilizing a qualitative phenomenological approach, this study examined the unique stories of eight purposefully selected women faculty with children under the age of 18. Participants were selected from three Midwestern universities. Participant demographics varied by institutional type, academic rank, academic field, relationship status, age of children, and ethnicity/nationality. An analysis of the experiences of the participants in this study yielded five themes: enjoying it all…with some compromises, departmental support, sharing 50/50 at home, outside support systems, and challenges. This study recognized challenges for mothers in academia, but emphasized that mothers can be both successful and happy in the academy. The findings of this study serve as an encouragement to women who desire motherhood and a career in academia. Though some personal and professional decisions of academic mothers may need to be purposeful, the academy potentially offers a positive environment for balancing career and family. Because of the challenges faced by the participants in this study, the findings may also be used to influence institutional and departmental policies related to work and family.
    • Presidential Transition: One Woman's First 120 Days

      Davis, Margaret Holzel
      This is a phenomenological study of the presidential transition of a woman who is beginning her first presidency of an independent college. The focus of the study is on the pre-transition period, from the time she accepted the position, through her first 120 days in office. Research for this study took place during the first 120 days of the new presidency. Semi-structured interviews, the president‘s calendar, as well as archival data and meeting minutes are used to construct the story of how a new woman president makes meaning of her transition. Transition preparation and the first 120 days of the presidency are keys to the success of a new president. This study can be used to inform potential candidates for a presidency, as well as search firms and boards of trustees as they plan and conduct a search. Elements of the study have implications for eventual presidential transition. Incoming presidents may find value in having an opportunity to pause and reflect on their actions as the transition progresses. In the case of the trustees, the study will also help them to consider the issues and support needed during the actual transition period.
    • 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.
    • Spirituality and Binge Drinking Among College Students

      One area of great interest to student affairs administrators is the spirituality of college students. Due to recent publications that have opened up communication for more discussion on student spirituality and because of thorough research by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, student spirituality is gaining attention. Also of great interest to college administrators is the importance of reducing high risk drinking behaviors among their students. This study examined the relationship between student spirituality and binge drinking among college students at a large, Midwestern university. Results from this research found that there was a significant and negative correlation between spirituality and binge drinking. Understanding this relationship will help universities tackle binge drinking patterns in an innovative way.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The Black Body as a Counterspace: The Experiences of African American Students at a Predominantly White Institution

      Jones-Malone, Dionne LaShell
      This qualitative study examines the use of counterspaces by eight upperclassman African American students at a predominantly White institution. This study sought to identify how counterspaces were used by African American students and how those counterspaces foster a sense of belonging for students. Field observations and semi-structured, in-depth interviews were utilized as the qualitative techniques for data collection. Based upon the analysis of data, four major themes emerged: (a) the participants‘ impressions of student involvement; (b) the participants‘ encounters with microaggressions; (c) the utilization of individuals as academic and social counterspaces; and (d) the participants‘ comfort with ―being yourself.‖ The findings of the study resulted in implications and recommendations for higher education. In addition, the findings generated recommendations for future research and practice.
    • The Coffee House Classroom: The Difference Between Student and Faculty Perceptions of Classroom Spatial Design in a Community College Environment

      Kent, Katherine
      With the ever increasing need for employees who are capable of problem solving, working in team-based projects, and engaging in professional discourse, it is questionable whether these activities are, or can be, supported and promoted in the typical community college classroom environment containing traditional rows of desks and computers with a professor front and center. These traditional classroom arrangements discourage participatory activities and engagements with peers and faculty due to the very nature of the inflexible and impersonal alignment of side-by-side, row seating. This study investigated the impact of the physical furnishings and the spatial arrangement of a classroom environment on its occupants‘ perceptions and behaviors. Traditional computer classroom settings were compared to a created coffee house style classroom containing a circular seating layout, a variety of seating options, and a mobile instructor‘s station to determine if the difference in furnishings and spatial configuration would produce differing perceptions of a similar academic experience. An examination of the elements of environmental psychology and design provided a background for this study and a foundation for determining the significance and influence of the physical setting in relationship to occupant behavior. This study utilized a quantitative survey instrument supplemented with a qualitative faculty interview and a classroom observation design to investigate the students‘ and faculty‘s perception of English Composition courses held in two different iv classroom settings. Three ENG111 classes were held solely in a traditional computer classroom, three ENG111 classes spent one-half of the class sessions in a traditional computer classroom, for labs, and one-half of the sessions in the coffee house style classroom for discussion and critique. The findings of this study suggests that those students in the classes held in the combination of settings incorporating both the traditional computer classroom and the coffee house classroom had a significantly higher incidence of satisfaction in two items of a seven-item instrument in the areas of Personalization, ×2(2, N = 60) = 3.31, p = 0.025, and Task, ×2(2, N = 60) = 3.01, p = 0.037, than those students who had classes meeting only in the traditional computer classroom. There was only a slightly significant student perception difference in the area of Cohesiveness, ×2(2, N = 60) = 2.36, p = 0.058, in favor of the courses held solely in the traditional computer classrooms. The faculty member teaching all six ENG111 courses reported a high degree of satisfaction with the coffee house classroom environment arrangement and results.
    • The Experience of Baccalaureate Degree Seeking Nursing Students Undergoing The Process of Clinical Evaluation Appraisal

      McCutchan, Judith A.
      This phenomenological qualitative study examines the experiences of nine baccalaureate nursing students undergoing the clinical evaluation process at two institutions. The clinical performance appraisal (CPA), an identified challenge for faculty and students alike, is a tool utilized for assessing nursing students‟ behaviors in the clinical setting. The national need for registered nurses that is projected to increase 22.2% by the year 2018 is cause for alarm. The importance for nursing faculty to understand and implement the clinical evaluation process is an important part of meeting this need while facilitating student learning. The lived experiences of nine student nurses were collected by way of semi-structured, digitally recorded, and in-depth interviews. Based upon the analysis of data, four major themes emerged: (a) the impact of an absent instructor; (b) all instructors are different; (c) input into the evaluation process; and (d) the evaluation process is a formality. Implications and recommendations for higher education are presented. To complete the study, recommendations for research and conclusions are made.
    • The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Process in Public Higher Education Institutions and Effects on Organizational Performance: A Historical Perspective

      Bailey, Bill D
      Public undergraduate higher education institutions face a number of seemingly intractable problems. Among those problems are cost, accountability and access. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award process is designed to help organization of any type address problems of organizational performance. This process has been used by manufacturing, healthcare, and educational institutions among others. The purpose of this study was to explore performance differences between award recipients and non-recipients on measures related to these three challenges in public higher education. Two major research questions were postulated, and tested using historical data. The first questions asked if award recipients performed better than non-recipients against measures related to these three challenges at the time of the award. The second question asked if the rate of change in this performance was different for award recipients and non-recipients in the time period leading up to the award. A theoretical framework was proposed, composed of the three challenges as constructs. Each construct was associated with multiple measures. The first question was tested using MANCOVA procedures to test the theoretical framework. Each construct was then tested with the same procedure. Finally, univariate results were analyzed for each of the 12 dependent variables. The same model and levels of analysis applied to the second question using repeated measures MANCOVA. Significant differences at alpha .05 were found for several spending variables, minority success, and for two year institutions, graduation rates. Support for the theoretical framework as a whole was not found. However, it was also concluded that award recipients performed better on some measures where management actions had a direct effect such as cost. Accountability measures were affected indirectly by management actions, and the results for this construct were more mixed. Finally, it was concluded that access was not responsive to management solutions, and may be more strongly affected by public policy.
    • You’re Supposed to Care: Faculty Motivations to Incorporate Service Learning into Community College Classrooms

      Katowitz, Carol A.
      The purpose of this study was to investigate the motivations that cause some faculty in community colleges to embrace and actively pursue service learning pedagogy in their classrooms. It also identified the catalysts that move faculty to action in implementing this approach to instruction. The qualitative phenomenological case study approach was used to hear the stories of eight faculty members representing different areas of discipline in eight different campus locations in a Midwestern statewide community college system. Four primary themes and two sub-themes were identified through this study. The primary themes were (a) pedagogical connections to previous school experiences and personal and family values, (b) passion and commitment each faculty member had for this approach to instruction, (c) persistence of the faculty participants to use this approach despite the many barriers they faced, and (d) pleasure these faculty members get from watching their students perform in a service learning setting. The identified sub-themes were (a) bottom-up approach to instruction and (b) ability to take risks with instruction.