• Examining the Decision Making Process of a Literacy Coach for Literacy Implementation in a Secondary School Setting

      Wilson, Sandra J.
      The purpose of this study was to understand the role and responsibilities in the decision making strategies and actions of a literacy coach while implementing literacy practices within secondary school setting. The influence of these decisions upon instructional practice within the school setting through professional development was also explored. The qualitative study utilized a case study theory methodology in the process of data collection and analysis. Purposeful sampling was used to select four secondary schools defined as post-primary grade, including middle school that was currently implementing a coaching model with active literacy coaches. Data was gathered through on-site, semi-structured one-on-one interviews conducted in the school setting where the literacy coach and corresponding teacher worked. Teachers and coaches responded to a series of four questions that explored the coach’s roles and responsibilities impacting student learning at the school level, literacy coaching decisions made focusing on literacy practices at the school setting, how decisions are enacted, and the influence decisions had on school staff’s instructional practices regarding whether they impeded or enabled the practices. Field observations were conducted and examination of school demographic and achievement data were reviewed for each site. As a result of the study, the researcher developed ten themes from the secondary school settings: data collection and analysis is utilized to inform instruction, training provided by coaches gives teachers new knowledge to help struggling readers, coaching techniques enhance teacher responsiveness and student engagement, principal support provides a positive coaching environment, collaborative atmosphere accelerates coaching ability to develop and improve literacy practices, trust and relationships with coach building foundation for professional growth, district level decisions impact schools, communication maintains consistency for all stakeholders, coaching decisions enable purposeful instructional practices, coaching decisions may impede instructional practices in the school setting.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • Exploring the Essence of Student-Athlete Spirituality: a Phenomenological Investigation of NCAA Division I Athletes

      Raikes, Mark H.
      The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to explore the essence of eight NCAA Division I student-athletes‘ experiences related to spirituality while participating in intercollegiate athletics. Discussions of NCAA Division I athletes often reveal ideas and misunderstandings of the student-athlete experience. There exists an increase in contemporary conversations about spirituality in higher education, and with that a need to better understand the student-athlete experience related to this complex construct. This study examined the experiences of student-athletes and how their spirituality, differentiated from religion, influenced how they utilized their athletic abilities. Through semi-structured, face-to-face in-depth interviews which were digitally recorded and analyzed, qualitative data revealed the emergence of four themes: (a) defining spirituality; (b) inseparability of spiritual, student, and athlete; (c) responsibility; and (d) influence on others. The Moustakas (1994) phenomenological research method revealed the essence of the student-athlete spiritual experience. The findings resulted in implications for those who concern themselves with the holistic education and development of college student-athletes, as well as recommendations for future practice and research.
    • 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.
    • Exploring the Principal's Role in High Poverty Schools with High Literacy Achievement

      Jay, Jill E.
      The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore educational aspects which help explain high early-literacy acquisition in high-poverty elementary schools. Through this qualitative study, the perceptions of key staff members, including the principal, in four high achieving, high-poverty schools were explored in three areas: 1) contributing aspects of highlevel, early-literacy achievement in their particular school setting; 2) role of the principal in a high-poverty school that attains a high level of early-literacy achievement; and 3) how high early-literacy achievement occurred in their particular school setting. The schools in the study were located in multiple states that the researcher had access to and met the study criteria. The topics of the related literature reviewed included early-literacy and student achievement, as well as the role of the principal in effective early-literacy intervention. In this study, findings of contributing aspects of high-level, early-literacy achievement included collaboration, reflective practice, a system of progress monitoring that improved the students’ meta-cognition, a resident literacy expert, a positive climate of trust and respect, and distributed leadership. In exploring the principal’s role, three elements emerged; establishment of a tiered system of literacy, creation of a schedule that ensured tiered instruction and collaboration, and releasing ineffective teachers. Elements that emerged from the topic of how early-literacy achievement occurred were high expectations for all students, and over-arching district and/or school-wide literacy goals. Insight gained from this study should assist schools in their endeavor to create a safety net of best practices to meet the goal of literacy acquisition for all students.
    • 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.
    • Factors That Impact the Perceived Confidence of Indiana Public School Principals in the Area of Special Education Practices

      Rinehart, Tara L.
      The purpose of this quantitative study was to identify factors that impact the perceived confidence of Indiana school principals in the area of special education practices. This study utilized a web-based survey to assess Indiana principals‘ perceptions about their confidence related to special education practices. The variables tested included the role prior to becoming an administrator, the years of experience as an administrator, the highest degree attained by an administrator, whether an administrator has ever participated in college coursework in the preparation program related to educating students with disabilities, and whether an administrator has ever participated in any training outside of their preparation program related to educating students with disabilities.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Spirituality: An Intersectional Identity Study

      Birch, Zachary G
      With college students becoming more interested in the spiritual dimensions of their lives (Astin, 2004; Lindholm, 2007), gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) students may have a harder time finding the support to navigate their spiritual selves. Because of this, the intersection of spiritual identity and GLB identity was investigated. Specifically, this study sought to see if students‟ GLB identities affect their spiritual identities, if their spiritual identities affect their GLB identities, and if there was a connection and intersection between the two. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with eight students. This study showed that there could be a relationship between the formation of GLB and spiritual identity. Themes from the interviews were (a) intrapersonal identity, (b) judgments, (c) life changing crises, and (d) moving from independence to interdependence. Additionally, the interviews were connected to Parks‟ (2000) model of young adult faith formation and Fassinger‟s (1998) model of sexual minority identity formation. This research‟s findings offer implications for student affairs and higher educational practice with GLB and spiritual students, as well as potential for further research on spiritual GLB students.
    • Gender differences and retention characteristics for first generation college students.

      Manuel, Ralph Stephen
      The purpose of this study were to determine if any significant differences existed between:a)the retention rate of first generation men and first generation women,b)first generation males and first generation females as measured by the SIQ,c)first generation men who persisted and first generation men who did not persist as measured by the SIQ.d)first generation women who persisted and first generation women who did not persist as measured by the SIQ.The participants of the study were 1026 first generation students who were enrolled at a midwest public university and completed a questionnaire.Additional information was supplied by the university research and testing office.A chi-squared analysis determined there was no difference in retention rates for first generation women and men.A stepwise discriminant analysis was used for the remaining hypotheses.Results showed First generation women and men attend college for different reasons,and men are more tied to financial,occupational and economic goals.Differences existed in what men women viewed as what college is supposed to help you accomplish.The single best predictor of whether a student would be retained or not retained for both the male and female groups was the high school grade point average.
    • Gender Self Concept and Sexual Behavior of Students in Greek-Letter Organizations

      Arthur, Julianne E.
      Originally designed as "gendered clubs" (DeSantis, 2007, p. 19) that reinforce traditional gender roles, modern-day fraternities and sororities create a world where Greek students are exploring what it means to be a sexual being while still maintaining the traditional expectations of what it means to be a man and a woman. "Hooking up" is a common tool that knits Greek sexual behaviors together, allowing for varied perceived levels of promiscuity. Aided by alcohol, expectations from their environment, and their own sex drive, Greek students engage in high-risk sexual behaviors, leading to emotional consequences, increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), or even sexual assault. The conclusion of this research is that students are not conscious of and do not reflect on their gender roles and are therefore subject to engaging in traditional gender roles by default. However, the development of their sexual identities and the social implications thereof seem to play a much more significant role in the lives of Greek students. The social interpretation of sexual behavior influences how students engage in sexual behavior and how they view themselves because of their sexual behavior. Based upon these findings, student affairs professionals may have a more full understanding of how to educate and program for Greek students in regards to healthy relationship development and sexual behavior.
    • Graduation Success: Identifying and Overcoming Challenging Demographic Factors to Reduce High School Dropouts

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

      AlShammari, Iqbal Abeid
      The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of high school principals toward the implementation of electronic administration (E-administration) in public schools in Kuwait. To collect data, the researcher used a questionnaire and employed a quantitative technique. The researcher distributed 135 surveys to all high school principals in public schools in Kuwait. The response rate reached 83.7%. Both descriptive statistics and inferential statistics were conducted to analyze data. For each variable frequency and percentages were calculated. For all Likert-type scale variables, means and standard deviations were calculated. There was no statistically significant difference between respondents regarding all variables. However, the MANOVA analysis in the current study reported only one significant positive interaction between gender (male and female) and having ICDL (p-value= 0.028). Positive response rates in terms of the advantages, the most important factors enabling the implementation and the main obstacles facing the implementation of E-administration were generally high and may reflect the readiness to implement E-administration. Results from this study may provide baseline information for implementing E-administration in Kuwait and the Middle East. This study suggests that governments and policy makers gradually implement E-administration through a well organized plan. Therefore, a well organized plan should include all factors that enable the implementation. Furthermore, the study recommends that policy makers should offer rich professional development regarding E-administration in order to raise the awareness and acceptance of E-administration implementation. Also, it is recommended that governments provide support, financial aid and more decentralization.
    • High-Fidelity Manikin-Based Simulation: A Study of Implications for Interprofessional Healthcare Practitioner Education at the Associate Degree Level of Study

      Fowler, Luster
      Healthcare practitioner training programs, specifically at the associate degree level of study, have historically focused practitioner training efforts on discipline-specific programming and curricula. However, these institutions have now begun to examine the utility and efficacy of incorporating interprofessional experiences into their programs. One of the current pedagogical approaches being investigated is the use of high-fidelity manikin-based simulation in the training of their healthcare students. This study examined the use of interprofessional high-fidelity versus low-fidelity simulation within associate degree-granting institutions and examined potential differences in self-efficacy and learning outcomes of participants incorporating a preand post-assessment. A convenience sample of 75 students participated in this study, which included associate degree-seeking nursing students (n = 36) and associate degree-seeking respiratory care students (n = 39). Participants were divided into two groups: a high-fidelity group (n = 52) and a lowfidelity group (n = 23). Each group was composed of both nursing and respiratory care students. A subsequent assessment of pre-intervention and post-intervention self-efficacy and learning outcomes was also performed that examined students by course of study, identified as either nursing students or respiratory care students. Differences in self-efficacy between the high-and low-fidelity groups were not significant on pre-assessment or post-assessment, p = .529 and p = .246. Additionally, differences between nursing and respiratory care students were not significant on pre-assessment or post- assessment, p = .079 and p = .779 respectively. Differences in perceived learning outcomes between the high-and low-fidelity groups were not significant on pre-assessment or post-assessment, p = .747 and p = .219. Additionally, differences between nursing and respiratory care students were not significant on pre or postassessment,p = .408 and p = .611 respectively.
    • Hope and Spirituality and Their Relationship to The Overall Quality of Life in Cancer Patients

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

      Hardy, Pamela S.
      The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the impact of the knowledge and experience of elementary principals in the area of best practice in literacy instruction for English language learners (ELLs) and the potential impact on student achievement of ELLs. This study explored the principals’experience in education as a predictor of the principals’ knowledge of best practice in literacy instruction for ELLs and found it was not a predictor. Additionally, this study examined the principals’ experience as a building leader as a predictor of the level of implementation of best practice in literacy instruction for ELLs and found it was not a predictor. This study also examined the relationship between principals’ knowledge of best practice in literacy instruction for ELLs and the level of implementation of these same best practices in literacy instruction for ELLs in the principals' schools. Using a Pearson’s correlation, this study found a strong correlation between the principals’ knowledge of best practice in literacy instruction for ELLs and the schools’ level of implementation of this same best practice. Finally, this study examined the impact of the principals’ experience in education, the principals’ experience as a principal, the principal’s experience in the current school, the level of the principal’s knowledge of best practice in literacy instruction for ELLs, and the level of implementation of these best practices in literacy instruction for ELLs on ELL achievement, as measured with the Grade 3 Indiana Reading Evaluation and Determination (I-READ-3) statewide reading assessment. This study found no impact of these factors on student achievement as measured with the I-READ-3 assessment. This study provides additional information to principals who serve student populations with ELLs. It contributes to the growing body of research in identifying factors of principal characteristics that contribute to student learning and achievement. This research provides additional information to educators about the significance of principals being instructional leaders who serve all students.
    • How do Principals' Behaviors Facilitate or Inhibit the Development of a Culturally Relevant Learning Community?

      Kelley, Gwendolyn Julia
      The primary purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the question: “How do principals facilitate or inhibit the development of a culturally responsive learning environment?” A second question asked, “What is the principal’s role in developing a culturally relevant learning community?” The criteria for purposely selecting the 12 principals chosen for the study included finding principals who served in schools with a 50% or greater non-White population and who also had served a minimum of three years as the school’s leader at the time of the study. Additionally, the schools chosen from various districts around the state showed an upward trend in student performance and growth model data for all of their ethnic groups. Based on a literature review, which provided a cursory view of topics related to understanding cultural competency, questions were formulated that explored what creating a culturally responsive learning community looked like. The interviews revealed many practices that described effective schools and what effective principals do. Five themes emerged in the findings. Linked to each of the findings is a range of five to 11 subthemes. With varying degrees of understanding and implementation, principals in the study demonstrated practices that included (a) having high expectations for all, (b) developing a sense of community, (c) using analysis of data and monitoring/evaluation of staff, (d) providing professional development that addressed cultural competency issues, and (e) promoting awareness and knowledge about cultural proficiency practices. Noting their current progress, all of the principals expressed their desire for their staffs to have more training to increase their levels of cultural proficiency.