• 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.
    • Experiences That Impact the Recruitment and Retention of International (Non-Native Speaker of English) Student-Athletes in NCAA Division I Institutions

      Kontaxakis, Evangelos
      International student-athletes as a group are a unique population in any institution because they bring together three characteristics that are challenging through the educational process. Among the challenges for someone who chooses to study in a different country include facing issues such as the language barrier as well as problems in adjusting to the new culture. Moreover, balancing the role as a student and as an athlete is another challenge that international student-athletes face. Earlier research leaves gaps as it is related to international (non-native speaker of English) student-athletes and their experiences, which impact their decision to study in the United States and their adjustment in the new environment. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences that impact the recruitment and retention of international (non-native speaker of English) student-athletes in NCAA Division I institutions. More specifically, the student-athlete experiences in high school were examined which influenced their decision to move to the U.S. and the challenges they faced in the new environment. The goal of this study was to create a model that could be helpful for institutions and international student-athletes to be more prepared before making the decision to study as student-athletes in the United States. This study used a qualitative research design involving narrative, phenomenological, and grounded theory approaches. First, the life stories of the participants were examined, then the essence of these experiences was developed, and finally common themes that built a theory were established.The findings of this study suggest that the experiences that impact decision-making are (a) the U.S. educational system combines education and sport, (b) the U.S. system supports student-athletes and provides financial security through the scholarship system, and (c) international student-athletes want to live a new experience in life. Moreover, this study suggests that the experiences that impact retention are (a) the difficulties in English language, (b) the adjustment in the cultural differences, (c) homesickness, and (d) the time management involving the balance between the two roles (being a student and athlete).
    • 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.
    • The Influence of a Lilly Endowment Grant To Recruit And Retain Part-Time Faculy In a Community College System

      Lepper, Charles Wilmer
      This qualitative study examines the influence of a grant from the Lilly Endowment to recruit and retain intellectual capital of part-time faculty in a community college system. Through the use of grant funds, the college used in this study developed and implemented nine college-wide initiatives. This study examined adjunct faculty members‟ awareness of the grant and the nine initiatives, as well as examined the influence the grant had on their experience. Qualitative data on the lived experiences of adjunct faculty were collected and analyzed. Based upon the analysis of data, five themes emerged in this study: (a) limited awareness of the grant; (b) limited knowledge of the nine initiatives developed and implemented under the grant; (c) lack of formal communication regarding the grant and its initiatives; (d) the adjunct faculty experience was significantly influenced by orientation to the position; and (e) mentoring had a significant influence on their experience. The findings of this study resulted in implications for institutions of higher education, as well as generated recommendations for future practice and research.