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Criner, Kimberly R.Teaching Sustainability as a Fundamental Value in Two-Year Colleges: Two Case Studies of Achievement and Adversity
Master of Science (MS), Ohio University, 2012, Environmental Studies (Arts and Sciences)
While the need for environmental education in the U.S. has been recognized for more than 40 years, there is still no widely excepted standard for teaching it as a fundamental value in higher education. The environmental and socio-economic challenges facing society today demand more than just knowledge of the natural world, but of social and economic systems as well. Two-year schools have unique challenges and advantages when it comes to sustainability education. The case studies in this thesis explore these challenges and advantages with the intent of arriving at conclusions as to how two-year colleges are implementing sustainability education in spite of the dominant disciplinary paradigm of education. The key variables identified are constituents and institutional characteristics that either support or impede the integration of sustainability into the curriculum; the effects of external politics on sustainability education; and common barriers to making sustainability education a fundamental value in two-year institutions in the U.S.

Committee:

Ted Bernard (Advisor); Nancy J. Manring (Committee Member); Geoffrey L. Buckley (Committee Member); Stephen J. Scanlan (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Higher Education; Sustainability

Keywords:

higher education; sustainability; environmental education; sustainability curriculum; two-year colleges

Wood, Vicky L.A Case Study of Learning Community Curriculum Models Implemented in Business Programs in Three Public Community Colleges in Ohio
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Toledo, 2012, Judith Herb College of Education
Ohio needs to increase the number of college-educated citizens to improve the state’s economy and to remain competitive in the global economy. The Ohio Board of Regents challenged colleges to develop better methods of retaining students to increase graduation rates. Learning community curriculum models have been used to restructure the curriculum, student learning, and the classroom environments to improve student persistence and academic achievement. However, there is limited research on how learning communities are used in business programs in community colleges. This multi-case study examines how three learning community curriculum models have changed the learning environment and the findings provide a comprehensive, contextually rich description of each learning community based on an insider’s perspective. A document analysis, three classroom observation, and interviews with 34 participants were included in the multi-case study. The findings show how learning communities facilitate student involvement and social and academic integration, and describe best practices of learning communities in community colleges.

Committee:

David Meabon, PhD (Committee Chair); Debra Gentry, PhD (Committee Member); Mary Edwards, PhD (Committee Member); Ron Abrams, PhD (Committee Member); David Hyslop, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Adult Education

Keywords:

learning community; two-year colleges; involvement; active learning; adult education

Ferguson, Lauren M.Student Self-Reported Academically Dishonest Behavior in Two-Year Colleges in the State of Ohio
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Toledo, 2010, Higher Education

This study investigated college students' self-reported academically dishonest behaviors at two-year colleges in the state of Ohio. More specifically, this study investigated two-year students' self-reported perceptions of acts of plagiarism and whether particular characteristics were related to students who chose to plagiarize.

This study replicated research from Donald McCabe's investigations of four-year institutions and students' self-reported cheating behaviors. This survey research used the McCabe Academic Integrity Student Survey instrument. Multi-stage sampling was used to collect data from English Composition I class sections from four two-year colleges in the state of Ohio.

The results from this current research revealed that demographic traits such as age and gender were related to the students who chose to engage in self-reported acts of plagiarism. Women self-reported cheating more than men and younger students self-reported cheating more than older students. Students with grade point averages of 2.49 and higher self-reported cheating more than students with lower grade point averages. Cheating was self-reported most by students ages 18-31. Students between the ages of 18-24 self-reported cheating more than those ages 25-31.The students that identified pressures related to part-time or full-time work and/or caring for children or an older adult self-reported cheating more than students not affiliated with such pressures.

Committee:

David Meabon, Dr. (Committee Chair); Mary Ellen Edwards, Dr. (Committee Member); Bin Ning, Dr. (Committee Member); Dale Snauwaert, Dr. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Higher Education

Keywords:

plagiarism; cheating; two-year colleges; community colleges; cheating; self-reported behaviors; academic dishonesty

Duncan, Robin AStudents' Perceived Value of the Community College Experience: A Mixed Methods Study
Ph.D., Antioch University, 2018, Leadership and Change
The purpose of this study was to explore students’ perceived value of their community college experience and its relationship to other factors often related to student persistence in college, namely satisfaction, academic quality, service quality, and engagement. The research was guided by three focused questions: How do students describe and define perceived value of community college; what components emerge from exploratory factor analysis of items designed to measure perceived value; and how, if at all, is a student’s perception of the value of a community college experience different from related measures such as satisfaction, engagement, or quality? Data were collected from students enrolled at, primarily, three Massachusetts community colleges, employing a three-phased, mixed methods exploratory sequential approach. Phase 1 consisted of focus group interviews with students from one of the participating colleges to identify the themes and language for developing the perceived value construct. Phase 2 consisted of an online survey targeting currently enrolled community college students. Factor analysis identified key components of the perceived value scale and multiple regression analysis determined the relationship between perceived value and other control variables. Phase 3 consisted of a virtual post survey focus group with voluntary survey participants from Massachusetts community colleges to discuss and clarify the quantitative results and narrative survey responses. The dominant theme emerging from the findings was that students described perceived value as “I am valued” by the college. Results also indicated that the perceived value construct was different from other measures and suggested promising ways for further exploring and measuring student persistence. As a result of the study’s findings, a conceptual framework in the form of a Perceived Value Wheel was proposed with recommendations to community college leaders and practical contribution to higher education leadership and change. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, http://aura.antioch.edu/ and Ohiolink ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

Committee:

Jon Wergin, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Carol Baron, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Ruth Slotnick, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Adult Education; Behavioral Psychology; Behavioral Sciences; Behaviorial Sciences; Business Administration; Business Education; Community College Education; Community Colleges; Continuing Education; Education; Education Philosophy; Education Policy; Educational Evaluation; Educational Leadership; Educational Psychology; Educational Sociology; Educational Tests and Measurements; Educational Theory; Higher Education; Higher Education Administration; Management; Marketing; Organization Theory; Organizational Behavior

Keywords:

Perceived Value; Service Quality; Academic Quality; Satisfaction; Student Engagement; Involvement; Student Experience; Higher Education; Two Year Colleges; Community College; Students; Mixed Methods; Regression; Factor Analysis; Persistence; Retention

Wallace-Pascoe, Dawn MarieAssessing the Validity of a Measure of the Culture of Evidence at Two-Year Colleges
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2013, EDU Policy and Leadership
This dissertation explores the validity of a measure designed to assess the extent to which two-year community and technical colleges have a culture of evidence. Culture of evidence refers to an institutional culture in which decisions related to student outcomes are based on evidence and data. The expected result of developing a culture of evidence is that colleges will become more successful at identifying “what works” in efforts to improve student success, which ultimately translates to better outcomes for students. The idea of developing a culture of evidence has gained prominence in higher education in recent years, prompted by increased calls for accountability in education in general and by the implementation of national initiatives specifically aimed at improving outcomes at two-year colleges. While the idea of building a culture of evidence has received attention in the literature, little has been done to measure the concept quantitatively. This study addressed this gap by developing, pilot testing, and conducting a survey designed to measure the extent to which two-year colleges have a culture of evidence. The process used to develop the survey included a literature review, think-alouds with institutional researchers, and expert content review. The online survey was administered to 853 directors of institutional research or institutional effectiveness identified through a query of public, two-year, associate’s degree-granting institutions. A total of 369 individuals responded. The framework for conducting the validation study was the unified conceptualization of validity from the American Psychological Association, American Educational Research Association, and National Council on Measurement in Education’s Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (1999), in tandem with validation methods recommended by Allen and Yen (2002). Following this framework, five aspects of validity were assessed: (a) content, (b) response process/substantive, (c) internal structure, (d) predictive/relationships to other variables, and (e) consequential validity. Data analyses included descriptive statistics, reliability, analysis of variance, principal components analysis, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, and structural equation modeling. The results indicated strong evidence of content, response process/substantive, and consequential validity. However, the results for internal structural and expected relationships validity were more mixed. The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff who work in an institutional research function and membership in the Achieving the Dream initiative had statistically significant and positive relationships to the culture of evidence, but expected relationships to other contextual variables such as institution size were not found. When treated as an aggregate measure, a college’s total culture of evidence score also predicted the extent to which colleges engaged in institutional data practices that are consistent with having a culture evidence such as using student outcomes data in decision-making processes and faculty requesting data for decisions. A single study cannot determine validity-- validity should involve ongoing research to gather evidence for the interpretation of the scores for the intended use of a test or instrument (Cronbach and Meehl, 1955; Kane, 2006). This dissertation demonstrated a first attempt at gathering validity evidence for a new measure that could assist two-year colleges in their efforts to implement changes to improve student outcomes.

Committee:

Ann O'Connell (Advisor); Julia Carpenter-Hubin (Committee Member); Jerome D'Agostino (Committee Member); Dorinda Gallant (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Educational Evaluation; Educational Tests and Measurements; Higher Education; Higher Education Administration

Keywords:

Culture of evidence; two-year colleges; accountability; institutional research; institutional effectiveness