Research

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Author Dissertation
Santiago, Jason Paul, Ed.D.
Student-Soldiers Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Post-9/11 GI Bill at Two Institutions: A Critical Examination
by Jason Paul Santiago, Ed.D. | email: jasonpaul80@yahoo.com
2012
Abstract

This quantitative study explores the factors that contribute to the academic success of soldier-students using the Post-9/11 GI Bill for undergraduate programs. The perspective of military members transitioning from military to civilian life is examined through educational benefits offered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The development and implementation of the GI Bill gives qualified military veterans the opportunity to receive a college education and provide a higher standard of living for their families. The GI Bill helped remove the national stigma of a college education being available only to those who could afford it, and assured reinvestment of an economic value to military veterans for generations to come. This study offers common conclusions on how institutions for higher education are addressing the needs of returning veterans during their transitioning process. It also suggests the responsibility of these institutions to go beyond the education of returning military members and address the social, mental, and physical elements of the soldier-student’s overall well-being.

Keywords:

Quantitative, GI Bill, Soldiers

Perry, Anne, Ed.D.
The Impact of a Cognitive Information Processing Intervention on Students in First-Year Non-Career Development College Courses
by Anne Perry, Ed.D. | email: aperry1970@yahoo.com
April 2012
Abstract

This study examined the impact of an intervention on students’ dysfunctional thoughts toward career problem solving and decision making. Participants were 116 college students enrolled in freshman level core-college courses at a for-profit/proprietary university in Illinois, divided into two groups, an intervention group and a control group, based on their enrollment in core college coursework. The intervention group completed a pre-test, a workbook intervention, and a post-test, while the control group completed only the pre-test and post-test.

The Career Thoughts Inventory (CTI) (Sampson, Peterson, Lenz, Reardon, & Saunders, 1996a) was used for the pre-test and post-test, and the intervention was based on the Cognitive Information Processing approach (Sampson, Lenz, Reardon, & Peterson, 1999) and incorporated Improving Your Career Thoughts: A Workbook for the Career Thoughts Inventory (Sampson, Peterson, Lenz, Reardon, & Saunders, 1996b). Both the CTI and intervention were administered during regular scheduled classes by the researcher and a research assistant from the guidance services office of the institution trained in the use and interpretation of CTI in service delivery. Results of this study indicate that dysfunctional career thoughts of the intervention group were significantly reduced, and examination of individual content areas for the intervention group revealed decreased scores, indicating improvement in all areas. Because the control group had only slightly decreased scores, the improvement can be attributed to the intervention.

Keywords:

Career development, Cognitive Information Processing, career decision-making, career assessment

Woolsey, Matthew, Ed.D.
Becoming a Leader in a New Land: Sociocultural Perspectives of First Generation Asian Indian Leaders on the U.S. System of Higher Education. An Ethnographic Study
by Matthew Woolsey, Ed.D. | email: matthewallenwoolsey@gmail.com | phone: 1.847.942.4932
April 2012
Abstract

The bell tolls for United States (U.S.) higher education to embrace a global perspective essential to future survival (Lynn & Salzman, 2006). Reports show increasing Indian prominence on the world stage, including a call by President Obama and India’s Prime Minister Singh to join efforts in educational advancements. Over the past century, Indians have slowly migrated (diaspora) to the U.S., increasing student enrollment and dramatically increasing faculty from 1960–1970 in America’s colleges and universities. For Asian Indians entering U.S. post-secondary education, very few have made it to the rank of president. This dissertation begins with a review of existing scholarly work on leadership evolution since the Industrial Revolution and includes considerations of U.S. higher education leadership. The study then continues where earlier inquiry leaves off by focusing on the leadership experiences of Asian Indians at the executive level in U.S. higher education. A qualitative ethnographic approach was employed to answer the question: How do Indian expatriates view their highest professional attainments in U.S. higher education from their sociocultural perspectives? Data collection involved semi-structured interviews with five university and college leaders of Asian Indian descent along with researcher field notes, artifacts, and documents (Creswell & Clark, 2011, p. 174). The goal was to offer a lantern that sheds light on this unchartered territory with resulting insights for future Indians seeking a similar path.

Keywords:

Asian American, Leadership, Higher Education, India, Qualitative Research

Lehmacher, Andrea, Ed.D.
Successful Practices and Models of Enrollment Management in Illinois Community Colleges: An Explanatory Mixed-Methods Research Case Study
by Andrea Lehmacher, Ed.D. | email: ALehmacher@elgin.edu | phone: 847-214-7756
May 2012
Abstract

State budget crises, rising tuition costs, unpredictable enrollment trends, shifting demographics, and varying economic shifts are just a few of the external forces affecting community colleges. Enrollment management (EM) can be a model for addressing market and accountability forces because it allows community colleges to adapt to the changing environment, influence fiscal health, and improve student success (Bontrager & Clemetsen, 2009). Bontrager and Clemetsen (2009) define enrollment management as “a concept and process that enable the fulfillment of institutional mission and students’ educational goals” (p. 3). Responding to and managing enrollment, demographic, economic, and financial issues are central to the viability of community colleges. If current trends continue, the most successful institutions will be those that identify best practices and implement enrollment management principles.

The theoretical framework for this study includes three constructs: community colleges are open systems adapting to the internal and external environment; enrollment management should become an integral process throughout the community college system; and collaboration among internal departments is critical for successful enrollment management. The research method used is an explanatory mixed-methods case study that explores and describes enrollment management practices and models in two Illinois community colleges. The quantitative component to the study will utilize descriptive statistics from community college participants through a Likert scale survey. The qualitative component of this study intends to portray current enrollment management practices and models through individual interviews with administrators and faculty from the two community colleges.

Keywords:

Community College, Mixed-Methods, Enrollment

Collins, Timothy, Ed.D.
An External Perspective on Institutional Catholicity in Higher Education
by Timothy Collins, Ed.D. | email: collinstim@me.com
2013
Abstract

Catholic colleges and universities in America have significantly changed philosophically, demographically, legally, and financially during the past 5 decades. Since the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, there has been considerable focus on attempting to accurately describe the Catholic identity for institutions affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Called to embrace the modern world, Catholic institutions of higher learning have been challenged to retain their distinctiveness even as they have become more closely aligned with secular institutions within the academy. Because of this convergence of institutional similarities, how does a potential student come to understand institutional Catholic identity during the search process? With over 230 Catholic degree-granting institutions to choose from in the United States alone, the task of determining a “best-fit” for the student can be challenging. It is important to have a framework for independently determining the strength of institutional Catholicity for a student seeking a uniquely Catholic undergraduate experience.

Specifically, this research identifies a set of 15 signal features for identification of a distinctively Roman Catholic institution of higher education within a framework for understanding institutional positioning with respect to the Roman Catholic Church from an external, or off-campus, perspective. In addition to the exploration of public documentation and the campus environment, select faculty and student leaders were interviewed at “Holy Catholic College” (a pseudonym) to understand their perspectives on the strength of Catholicity of their particular institution in the development of the framework and associated signal features.

Keywords:

Case Study, Catholic, Catholicism, Undergraduate

Hill, Melinda Craig, Ed.D.
Career Coaching Program Participants: Their Experiences and Persistence as Underrepresented Community College Students
by Melinda Craig Hill, Ed.D. | email: mrs.melindahill@gmail.com | phone: 540.819.2231
2013
Abstract

This study examines the lived experiences of underrepresented college students who participated in a career coaching program while in high school and now attend a local community college in the Southeast. The purpose of this research study is to understand how career coaching and other internal and external factors influenced the beliefs, motivations, academic success, career goals, and self-efficacy of these underrepresented students. This qualitative study used a phenomenological approach, specifically a social constructionism perspective, and semi-structured interview research design. Using an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) interview technique, students who have successfully completed one year of college were chosen as participants for this study. Four themes emerged: Motivations for Attending College, Challenges Faced by Underrepresented Students, Contributing Factors for Overcoming Challenges and Their Success, and Career Coach Support While Navigating the College Transition. The Appreciative Inquiry Career Coach Model, a five-step process, has been developed for underrepresented student populations based upon their specific needs and perspectives. The insights and results of this study can be used by high school and postsecondary administrators, counselors, faculty, and career coaches to re-examine current best practices, assess the influence of career coaching programs on individual students, and launch services specifically designed for underrepresented student populations based upon their specific needs and perspectives.

Keywords:

Community College, Coaching, Underrepresented

Stubbs, Dawn, Ed.D.
The Bologna Process: Impact of Tuning on Teaching and Learning: A Case Study
by Dawn Stubbs, Ed.D. | email: dawnstubbs@earthlink.net
2013
Abstract

The higher education system in the United States has come under increasing pressure because of the lack of accountability, transparency, and quality of its graduates. It has also been criticized because of the time it takes students to complete a degree. All of these factors threaten the ability to produce enough qualified graduates to meet the needs of a growing global economy. To address the quality issue, and related accountability and transparency issues, the U.S. Department of Education recommended the adoption of a comparable measure of student learning. Current accountability mechanisms, however, do not take into account authentic student learning that occurs within the classroom where actual learning takes place. Therefore, there is a need for this type of authenticity.

The Lumina Foundation for Education conducted a pilot project intended to ensure the quality of postsecondary degrees and enhance degree attainment. The project focused on developing measurable discipline-specific learning outcomes through Tuning, a faculty-led process. Tuning originated in Europe and is part of the Bologna Process that was initiated in 1999. To obtain a better understanding of this process, a qualitative case study was conducted to determine the impact of these outcomes on teaching and learning at one of the pilot project institutions. Five faculty members who were utilizing the learning outcomes were interviewed. Documentation and a video presentation were also analyzed. Six themes emerged that provide an understanding of the effect of these outcomes on the academic program studied. The themes are transparency, autonomy, preparation and improvement, intentionality, diverseness, and under development. The results of this study add to the growing discussions about Tuning and could influence the way student learning is measured.

Keywords:

Tuning

Jacobson, Leslie, Ed.D.
Classroom Scheduling in Higher Education: A Best Practices Approach
by Leslie Jacobson, Ed.D. | email: l.jacobson@live.com
2013
Abstract

Classroom scheduling in higher education is a complicated process involving many different stakeholders across the campus. These stakeholders may include, but are not limited to faculty, students, administrators, and boards of trustees. Due to the culture and practices, as well as the conflicting interests of each of these groups, the scheduling process of academic classrooms and instructional laboratories may not always be efficient. This inefficiency often results in the underutilization of an institution’s space. This study supplements the limited research available by examining and benchmarking best practices in efficient classroom scheduling in higher education at private, non-profit institutions of higher education in the United States. An electronic survey instrument was developed to serve a variety of purposes: to assess factors affecting the classroom scheduling process; to explore internal and external forces that influence classroom scheduling from the viewpoint of the institution’s registrars tasked with classroom scheduling; and to develop a list of best practices in efficient classroom scheduling from feedback and input that can be adapted by any institution. The survey was pilot tested on a panel consisting of five registrars recruited through an announcement placed on the LinkedIn group entitled College and University Registrars. The data resulting from survey and registrar feedback were then used to develop a list of best practices in classroom scheduling. These practices formed the framework for developing a benchmarking self-score sheet to evaluate institutional practices and identify opportunities for improvement.

Keywords:

Classroom, Scheduling

Zachariah, Sujith G., Ed.D.
Perceptions of First-Generation Nursing Students: A Qualitative Study of Academic and Social Factors Related to the Successful Completion of an Associate Degree in Nursing
by Sujith G. Zachariah, Ed.D. | email: sujithzachariah@triton.edu
2013
Abstract

First-generation students comprised 61% of all community college students. However, first-generation students have the highest drop-out rate from college compared to all other student populations. Many first-generation students are from low-income families, immigrants, adults, single parents, working, not prepared academically, and feel less socially and academically connected to campus. Numerous studies focused almost exclusively on their demographics, challenges, experiences, and background. Little data exist on the experiences of first-generation students in a professional undergraduate program such as nursing. The purpose of this study was to gain insight on the experiences of first-generation nursing students. Specifically, this inquiry explored the needs and support services a first-generation student needed to graduate from a rigorous undergraduate professional program such as nursing. Five strong themes with some sub-themes were identified from the participant’s responses: 1) Strong personal drive, 2) Cost, work, and financial aid, 3) Support of family and friends, 4) Academic activities, 5) Social activities. The current study determined that Tinto’s theory on academic and social activities played a role in the retention and graduation of first-generation students in the nursing program at Midwestern community college.

Keywords:

Nursing, First Generation, Qualitative, Associates

Pressimone, John Michael, Ed.D.
Preserving the Sponsoring Tradition: A Study of Catholic Colleges and Universities Founded by Religious Orders
by John Michael Pressimone, Ed.D.
2013
Abstract

The majority of private higher educational institutions in America can trace their origins to Protestant Church denominations beginning with the founding of Harvard University in 1636. Catholics in the United States began planting colleges and universities beginning in 1789 with the founding of Georgetown University. Most Catholic institutions of higher learning were founded by religious orders of priests, brothers or sisters which are referred to as sponsors in today’s parlance. The identity of each of these institutions was formed by the sponsoring order which established them. The institutions were dependent on the sponsor for leadership, faculty, staff, financial resources and religious identity through the middle of the 20th century. The tremendous growth in college and university enrollments after World War II, combined with the post Vatican II decline of priests, brothers and sisters in the late 1960s, has weakened the sponsor identity on Catholic college and university campuses.

This mixed methods exploratory study examines a purposeful sample of three Catholic colleges and universities, each founded by a religious community of priests, brothers or sisters, to identify best practices in preserving sponsor identity. These best practices were identified through interviews with key campus personnel and leadership. The researcher examined campus programs, symbols, artifacts and icons for evidence of sponsor identity. The study demonstrates that sponsor identity animates the mission and ethos of each institution in a way that creates meaningful identity and market distinction. The study provides examples for other institutions to emulate as each seeks to proclaim its identity and secure a place in an ever increasingly competitive higher education marketplace.

Keywords:

Catholic

Woo, Wilson K., Ed.D.
A Framework for Collaboration: Bridging the Gap Between Adjunct Faculty and the Collegiate Environment
by Wilson K. Woo, Ed.D.
2013
Abstract

This study explores the use of personal branding and motivation strategies that have increased the job satisfaction of adjunct faculty within a school of continuing studies at a postsecondary institution. Recent studies reported by NCES (2011) have shown that the adjunct faculty population has grown substantially since the 1960s; the use of adjunct faculty is clearly increasing in public, private, and for-profit educational institutions (AAUP, 2011). From the perspective of some tenure-track faculty (TTF), adjunct faculty were not truly integrated or recognized as faculty within the institutions where they taught (Dolan, 2011). University athletic departments have done a good job of branding and marketing their programs to bolster the student athletes and coaches for more ticket sales. Personal branding with adjunct faculty is no different; branding of oneself can be used to bolster and market oneself within the institution. This dissertation offers a qualitative phenomenological narrative research design that attempts to understand the importance of branding from the perspectives of adjunct faculty. Through face-to-face and telephone interviews, video conferences, and a qualitative survey, this dissertation will also show that adjunct faculty must be perceived as leaders in their field through their own branding. The purpose of this study is to examine how the branding methods and strategies impact the adjunct faculty’s overall job satisfaction within a school or department of continuing studies for a University of Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) institution within Illinois.

Keywords:

adjunct, part-time, contingent, nontenure track, branding, job satisfaction, motivation, continuing studies, UPCEA

O'Neal, Jr., Wendell B., Ed.D.
African-American College Students: A Qualitative Study of Selected Factors Affecting Dropout
by Wendell B. O'Neal, Jr., Ed.D. | email: wendellonealjr@gmail.com
2013
Abstract

This qualitative study explored African-American students’ perceptions of personal and institutional factors that contributed to their dissatisfaction and eventual withdrawal from a community college in a major Midwest city. Nine former students of the community college participated in the study. Data was collected through individual, in-depth interviews with the participants to address three primary research questions that directed this study: 1) How do non-completer African-American students previously enrolled at a two-year community college perceive their experiences at the institution? 2) Are there common perceptions of these African-American students related to their personal and academic lives? 3) How did their experiences impact or influence their decision to withdraw from pursuit of their postsecondary education? Through analysis of the data, insight was provided into the various social and academic factors impacting the former community college students. Subsequently, three major themes emerged: (1) institutional environment, (2) institutional support, and (3) decision to withdraw. Findings from this study indicate that the majority of the participants were dissatisfied with their experience at the college. Furthermore, while some participants cited the institution’s failures as their reason for leaving and not planning to return to the college, other participants indicated they left for personal reasons and would return to the college even though they were dissatisfied with their experience.

Keywords:

Minorities, African American, Qualitative, Dropout

Boone, Elizabeth, Ed.D.
A Study of the Business Adjunct Faculty Peer-Mentoring Program at a Private Midwestern University
by Elizabeth Boone, Ed.D. | email: eboone62@gmail.com | phone: 630 829-6209
2013
Abstract

This study explores the business adjunct faculty peer-mentoring program at a private Midwestern university and its contributions to the quality of adjunct faculty instruction. The research utilizes case study as an umbrella design to investigate what constitutes high quality instruction by business adjunct faculty and how it can serve as a model of peer-mentoring for other higher education institutions. Semi-structured qualitative individual and focus group interviews comprise the primary data for analysis, supplemented by institutional documents and years of observations. Peer-mentoring can be one of the best teaching practices designed for adjunct faculty who make transitions from business to academic careers. The findings of this study can aid in research, which aims to ensure that quality teaching is being performed in the classrooms of higher learning. The results of this study have the potential to inform recruitment strategies and strengthen the overall creditability of the adjunct faculty workforce.

Keywords:

Adjunct, Faculty, Business, Mentoring

Spilovoy, Tanya Marie, Ed.D.
Motherhood and the Pursuit of Higher Education: A Phenomenological Study of College Student Mothers Completing Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs
by Tanya Marie Spilovoy, Ed.D. | email: tanya.spilovoy@gmail.com
August 2013
Abstract

This study examines ways in which college student mothers experience the pursuit of online higher education while mothering. The twelve participants—mothers who were enrolled in and completed online bachelor’s degree programs at various institution types on the great plains—testified to a myriad of experiences in higher education online learning environments. In-depth qualitative interviews with the participants provided major data for analysis in this phenomenological study. The participants’ responses addressed their individual paths to higher education and the successes and challenges that they faced on the way to completing their online bachelor’s degrees. The results of this study are intended for higher education faculty and administrators who are involved in designing online programs to better meet the needs of non-traditional students such as student mothers so these women can persist and graduate from online bachelor’s degree programs. Seven major themes and sixteen subthemes emerged on topics of motherhood, reasons for returning to college, reasons for choosing online programs, persistence, retention, and participant recommendations for college personnel.

Keywords:

Phenomenological, Mothers, Motherhood

McConnell, Barbara Sue, Ed.D.
Student Loan Default Rates as a Function of Availability of College Career Development Service Interventions
by Barbara Sue McConnell, Ed.D. | email: barbarasmcconnell@att.net
February 2013
Abstract

The cost of a college education is skyrocketing. Those pursuing their college degree are borrowing more money both through federally guaranteed as well as private student loans. Jobs, even for college graduates are difficult to find. Graduates able to find a job related to their field of study are not finding the salaries that they anticipated prior to choosing a field of study. Increasing percentages of student loans are falling into default. Post-secondary educational institutions are looking for ways to prevent student loan default to avoid significant penalties to be imposed by federal government enforcement of the Gainful Employment Act of 2011. The question was whether focusing effort on certain interventions provided to students through their institution’s career development center would have an effect on the institution’s student loan default rate. This quantitative study obtained data from responses (n=313) to a survey sent to career development centers at four-year, degree granting, regionally accredited post-secondary institutions within the United States and her territories (n=1430). Using intervention categories and definitions (Spokane, 1991), career development staff were asked to provide information on the frequency of interventions provided to students in order to develop a predictor model using forward stepwise regression. This model indicated those interventions that have the greatest effect on lowering institutional student loan default rates.

Keywords:

Career Development, Student Loan

Tulloch, Joan Y., Ed.D.
First-Generation Latino Student Identity and Persistence at a Two-Year Hispanic-Serving Institution in the Southeastern United States
by Joan Y. Tulloch, Ed.D. | email: dentullo@aol.com
August 2013
Abstract

Graduation rates nationally for community college students have continued to be low. This is an issue that has perplexed policy makers and college administrators alike for quite some time. In this phenomenological study, eight first-generation Latinos—one sector of the diverse groups that constitute the community college student population—were interviewed to discover how their perceived sense of self as mediated through their lived experiences shaped their decisions to persist at a community college in the southeastern United States.

The four themes that emerged from the data revealed that although the study‘s participants experienced college in different ways—some rewarding, others stressful, some encouraging, others disappointing,—all of them had fundamental beliefs coupled with determined spirits, which were strong enough to keep them focused on their goal of persisting in college.

Keywords:

Latino, Persistence

Clevenger, Aaron, Ed.D.
A Phenomenological Study: Motivation as Experienced by Engineering Design Competitors at a Selective Engineering University
by Aaron Clevenger, Ed.D. | email: aclevenger@gmail.com
April 2014
Abstract

This study focuses on the life experience of motivation for competitors of the International Robosub and Roboboat Competitions from a selective engineering university. A phenomenological study, using in-depth interviews and document/artifact analysis, was conducted. The competitors’ responses were analyzed to answer the research question which follows: while preparing for and participating in International Robosub or Roboboat Competitions, what experiences – actual acts, specific behaviors, or other moments – brought about motivational responses for student contestants? The results of the study are intended to provide educators with a better understanding of how to use engineering competitions in a way that will motivate their students to learn the design process. In addition, their responses provide educators with further insight on student motivation and the effectiveness of learning-centered education such as experiential learning, collaborative learning, and project-based learning.

Keywords:

Phenomenological, Motivation, Engineering

Greenhill, Lisa, Ed.D.
Drivers of Resistance: A Mixed Methods Study of Leader Values and Changing Veterinary Medical Education Models
by Lisa Greenhill, Ed.D. | email: lisamgreenhill@gmail.com
March 2014
Abstract

The goal of this study was to understand the relationship between leaders’ values and the desire to use accreditation to control veterinary medical education models. This two-phase, sequential mixed methods study identifies the values associated with the desire to use accreditation as a tool to of control in the development of new veterinary education models by leaders in the veterinary medical profession. Findings from this study suggests that veterinary leaders, while modestly resistant to change, are open to the use of new veterinary education models and do not seek use accreditation as a tool to variation among education models. Further, the findings suggest that veterinary leaders are primarily driven by values associated with protecting the image of the profession and the wellbeing of current and future veterinarians. The findings produced by this study enhance existing literature on value- driven leader behavior with respect to change in graduate and professional education. The study concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of the findings and recommendations for future study.

Keywords:

Resistance, Mixed Methods, Veterinary

Hesterman, Jennifer, Ed.D.
Exploring Deliberate Leader Development in Higher Education: Do We Ensure the Right Leaders are in the Right Place at the Right Time?
by Jennifer Hesterman, Ed.D. | email: jennihesterman@aol.com
March 2014
Abstract

Not all leaders in higher education will become college presidents, but all college presidents must be leaders. Despite an impending presidency crisis, prescriptive activities to cultivate a deep pool of ready, tested and willing candidates are nonexistent. Leadership is both science and art, requiring a holistic developmental approach that is lacking in academe. The purpose of this mixed method study is to identify how to best align leader development activities with the needs of the presidency position. Survey and interview data indicates some leader development activities are present, however they are informal and unevenly applied. Leaders are identified early, then lost in the system due to lack of career path, mentoring and succession planning activities. Human capital management activities are negligible. Presidents are unprepared for the most daunting tasks, and often must individually procure and fund training and education. This study proposes a new deliberate development model for higher education to cultivate and prepare leaders to meet the demands of the modern presidency.

Keywords:

Leader Development, Higher Education

College of Education and Health Services
Benedictine University

Ethel C. Ragland, Ed.D., MN, RN
Acting Dean

Erica George
Assistant to the Dean

Email: egeorge@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6084

Hours: 8:30 a.m. -  4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 258
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6281