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2021 Dissertations

2021 Dissertations

The Lived Experiences of Chicana/Latina Student Mothers: Their Motivation and Persistence for Academic Achievement

MyHanh Vu Anderson

 

California State University, Long Beach 2021

 

Specialization: Community College/Higher Education

 

Chair: Perez-Huber, Lindsay

 

Abstract

 

Chicana/Latina student parents are an unrecognized and silenced group within community colleges. Using interviews as a vessel for testimonios, this study examines the lessons learned from mothering by ten Chicana/Latina student mothers on their journey of academic achievement at the community college. Using Chicana feminist theory and Chicana M(other)work as theoretical and conceptual framework as lenses to understand the reality of Chicana/Latina student mothers. The student mother’s ability to balance and move in-between their Chicana/Latina, woman, mother, and student identities, along with lessons learned from mothering, provide motivation and persistence as they maneuver through the education system. Findings show that Chicana/Latina student mothers used the lessons from mothering; the value of hard work, making a home wherever you are, and the importance of adaptability as tools to attain academic goals in the pursuit for a better life for themselves and their children. Recommendations call for a federal increase in education funding; state level criteria changes to services supporting students with dependents as well as include student with dependents in all comprehensive data collection systems; institutionally, create a more inclusive campus climate for students with dependents by recognizing their lived experiences, their testimonios.

Keywords: Chicana/Latina, student, mother, motherwork, community college, identity, persistence, Chicana feminist theory, Chicana M(other)work, testimonio

 

Hiring Faculty for Equity and Diversity: The Role of Search Committees

Vicenta Arrizon Maffris

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Community College/Higher Education

Chair: Ortiz, Anna

Abstract

Diverse students actively seek educational opportunities in community colleges, yet representation of faculty of color is disproportionate to these students and there are negative student success outcomes because of this gap (Campaign for College Opportunity, 2018; Cole, 2007; Umbach, 2006). The California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office recognized the imperative problem of disproportionate faculty of color to students of color and in 2016 initiated policy efforts to grow diversity and equity in faculty searches across the community college system. This qualitative study explored the role of hiring search committee members’ and chairs’ perspectives on the hiring process related to equity and diversifying faculty as well as their understanding of the hiring policy. Findings were based on the responses of 26 participants across 15 community colleges who had served on a full-time hiring search committee or had chaired a search committee within the last three years. Utilizing Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a conceptual framework, data analysis resulted in four major themes: community college context; hiring process dynamics; challenges diversifying the faculty; and towards equity. Findings revealed that hiring structures are designed to operate in a way that excludes faculty of color from being hired and limits the ability of equity-minded efforts to make more progress. Additionally, findings suggest that the hiring policy is weak as search committees were not aware of it. Recommendations for policy include increased accountability of the role of college presidents and human resources in equity and diversity hiring. Grounded upon participants responses and data analysis, recommendations for practice include the development of an equity and diversity hiring training series. Future research should focus on community college presidents and gaining understanding about their views on equity and diversity hiring, and what their hiring priorities are..

Nuestras Voces: A Closer Look at Latinx California Community College Students Experience Food Insecurity

Veronica Casillas

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Community College/Higher Education

Chair: Vega, William

Abstract

While food insecurity exists in the United States, research has shown it is felt at larger rates amongst the undergraduate student population (Broton & Goldrick-Rab, 2018; Cady, 2014). Those colleges with higher number of enrolled students of color, also have larger numbers of students who are facing food insecurity (Goldrick-Rab et al., 2017).  The California Community College (CCC) system serves a diverse population with over two million students and more specifically, over 44% of the students being Latina/o (California Community Colleges Chancellors Office, nd).  Therefore, with such a significant presence of the Latinx student population in the state of California, it is important to understand the ways in which food insecurity affects these students. 

The goal of this qualitative study was to obtain the experiences of Latinx California community college students who were facing food insecurity as described in their own voices. The sample included fifteen Latinx California community college students who shared their experiences via interviews conducted over the Zoom platform.

The findings revealed that experiences of Latinx students who were dealing with food insecurity did not vary from those experiences found in the literature.  Students dealt with the same struggles including, transportation, health and academic struggles as have been previously identified. Contrary to the literature, these students did not experience significantly low grades academically as they ranged from a 2.6 to a 4.0 GPA.

The findings provide a greater understanding of the experiences of Latinx students in California community colleges. From the findings, which include student suggestions and the researcher’s gathered data, recommendations have been made to provide college personnel with more information regarding food insecurity, involve students in the decision-making process and develop ways to create more programs for Latinx students at the community college level to address food insecurity.

Supporting Social-Emotional Skills Development in Transitional Kindergarten

Cynthia G. Castillo

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Elementary/Secondary Education

Chair: Hansuvadha, Nat

Abstract

Transitional kindergarten (TK) was established in California in 2010 with the purpose of providing young students opportunities to develop social-emotional competencies, prepare students in becoming well-equipped to fulfill the demands of the classroom, and to prepare them for later in life. However, due to the push down of academics into younger grades and limited research conducted on the practices in TK, social-emotional skills development has been overshadowed. This study aims to contribute to the emerging area of research regarding TK teachers’ experiences and perceptions in supporting the social-emotional development of young children. Using the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning for Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) framework and a general qualitative method design, this study addresses the following two research questions: 1) What are teachers’ perceptions of the role of TK in meeting the social-emotional needs of young children? 2) What are teachers’ perceptions regarding the focus and implementation of TK? The study revealed three key themes. First, TK was an essential “gift of time” for students to develop social-emotional skills. Second, the reality of the grade level was mismatched with what was valued in the standards-based report cards and TK curriculum. Lastly, the TK program implementation was inconsistent district-wide and varied significantly by teacher expertise and ideology as well as expectations of the school community. Two recommendations for future practice are to design a report card specifically for TK and adopt a district wide social-emotional curriculum.

Needing More to Restore: A Case Study on Utilizing a Restorative Justice Curriculum to Address Campus Sexual Misconduct Cases in U.S. Higher Education

Frank A. Cirioni

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Community College/Higher Education

Chair: O'Brien, Jonathan

Abstract

This qualitative case study explored how an existing restorative justice (RJ) curriculum designed for student affairs practitioners in higher education can be expanded to promote an alternative approach to retributive justice in CSM cases at postsecondary institutions in the United States. RJ is a victim-centered and community-based approach to repairing harm, rebuilding trust, and restoring relationships. Although RJ has been used by colleges and universities for student misconduct, applications of RJ for addressing campus sexual misconduct (CSM) remains elusive. 

Three research questions guided this study: (a) how do RJ practitioners perceive the benefits and limitations of utilizing RJ in CSM cases in contrast to the current system of retributive justice in CSM cases? (b) what aspects of the curriculum do practitioners endorse as essential for the implementation of RJ in CSM cases? and (c) what aspects of the RJ curriculum need further development for application to CSM cases? Data collection included documents, interviews, and observations for triangulation. Data analysis was conducted using first- and second-cycling coding and NVivo for thematic analysis. 

Findings suggest that RJ practitioners need specialized training in sexual violence, trauma-informed practices, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism. Furthermore, colleges and universities need to engage in campus capacity-building and become fully restorative campuses for RJ to be successful in CSM cases. Recommendations for practice include intensive training in using RJ for CSM, including opportunities for apprenticeships, observations, and ongoing feedback by advanced practitioners. 

Keywords: higher education, restorative justice, campus sexual misconduct, Title IX

Online Academic Counseling: Examining the Experiences of California Community College Counselors

Cathy E. Fernandez

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Community College/Higher Education

Chair: Olson, Avery

Abstract

This mixed methods dissertation examines the experiences of academic counselors in the California community college (CCC) system who have provided distance/online counseling. As online education increases and is seen as a way to provide access to higher education at a lower cost to institutions, the need for online support services such as counseling is also increasing. Essential to student academic success is the utilization of counselors, yet we know little of the effectiveness of online support services such as academic counseling. Additionally, the process of accessing online student support services can be more difficult as these supports were limited at many CCCs prior to Covid-19. Research participants completed a six-week online college counseling course provided by the Online Counseling Network (OCN) that led to an online counseling certificate. This program is managed by California Virtual Campus - Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI) and is funded by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO). Participants (n=61) completed a Counselor Online Experience Survey and a subset of those participants (n=20) participated in focus groups in an effort to answer the research questions posed in this study. Using the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA): The Global Community for Academic Advising, Academic Advising Core Competencies Model (AACC) was used as a conceptual framework, this study found that CCC academic counselors providing distance/online counseling had a positive experience with online counseling and found that the online counseling training was useful, and counselors felt confident in their abilities to provide effective online counseling services. Recommendations include offering blended services on a consistent basis at CCC institutions and the suggestion that the CCCCO and the Statewide senate support the return of the CCC academic counselor statewide committee and support the creation of a counselor conference to share best practices.

Playing to Learn and Learning to Play in Urban Early Childhood Education

Willa Rose Fynn

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Elementary/Secondary Education

Chair: Slater, Charles

Abstract

Opportunities to play are critical for cognitive, academic, social-emotional, and physical development during early childhood, from birth to age eight. Yet, research over the past decade concludes that play is disappearing from early childhood education (ECE) in the United States. The problem is, diminished opportunities for play in ECE can inhibit children's developmental trajectories over a lifetime. At-risk youth have fewer safe places to play outside of school and are more prone to toxic stress that can derail development. The literature review was organized by a conceptual framework that describes how play fosters positive relationships and promotes optimal development in ECE, critical for buffering toxic stress and closing opportunity gaps. Two questions guided this study, based on responses from a teacher survey: 1. How often do characteristics of play appear in the classroom, as perceived by teachers? 2. What is the most likely teaching scenario: free play, guided play, games, or direct instruction? Descriptive statistics showed there are often characteristics of play, and the predominant mode of instruction varies by subject area. One-way ANOVAs indicated two characteristics, joy and active engagement, as perceived by teachers, were significantly different based on years of experience. Chi-square analysis showed two significant associations: grade levels and the most likely teaching scenario for science, years of teaching experience, and the most likely teaching scenario for language and literacy. A policy for play calls for families, schools, and the community to prioritize play across settings. Recommendations for practice include observation training, outdoor classrooms, and play labs, to make play central to teaching and learning in ECE.

Keywords: play, early childhood education, optimal development, toxic stress, opportunity gaps

Leaders' White Racial Identity Development and Work Towards Racial Equity

Amy Herrschaft

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Community College/Higher Education

Chair: Ortiz, Anna

Abstract

Community colleges serve the most racially and ethnically diverse student population across higher education institutions, yet the highest level of leadership does not reflect the racial diversity, as community college presidents are most likely to be White (American Council on Education, 2017; Campaign for College Opportunity, 2018). Student achievement rates include gaps between students of color and their White peers (Cohen et al., 2014; Crisp & Nunez, 2014; Jain, et al., 2011; Rivas et al., 2007) making it critical to remove barriers and support students of color for success. This qualitative study captured the narratives of five White-identifying community college Presidents to understand how they perceive their racial identity while leading minority-serving institutions and how they work against systemic racism. Findings revealed participants’ racial identity development through Helms’ (1995) White Racial Identity Development (WRID) model as they understood their White privilege and began to work towards racial justice. Findings suggest that White-identifying individuals engage in learning and reflection about their racial identity to move into a position to work towards racial justice. In addition, White-identifying can leaders can change campus culture and climate while working against systemic racism by changing policies and practices to remove barriers, as well as moving aside so that leaders of color take charge. Additional research is needed to expand on Helms’ (1995) WRID model to understand if privilege can be abandoned and to understand how someone can act as an antiracist. Recommendations for practice include changing presidential competencies and qualifications to include racial justice leadership and to infuse identity development in leadership development and graduate programs.

Stepping Out of the Institutional Blind Spot: Addressing Black Female Undergraduate Intersectional Needs at Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Nadine A. Kelley

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Community College/Higher Education

Chair: Perez-Huber, Lindsay

Abstract

With the increased growth of Black female undergraduates enrolled in college, the educational discourse has highlighted the uniqueness of their experiences and challenges they face due to the intersection of their racial and gender identities. Most research on how race and gender affect the college experience and institutional support for Black women occur at Predominantly White Institutions. Utilizing Black Feminist Thought and Intersectionality, this qualitative study explored the lived experiences of Black female undergraduates and the ways they receive support at Hispanic-Serving Institutions. The study expands the understanding of the Black female undergraduate experience through exploration of the various factors that influence academic success. Additionally, the role the institution plays in removing and deconstructing systemic barriers for Black female undergraduates.

Interviews were conducted with 25 Black female undergraduate or recent alumni representing 10 Hispanic-Serving Institutions within the California State University system. The findings of the study revealed four major themes: (1) a racialized experience at Hispanic-Serving Institutions, (2) “the struggle is real” for Black women, (3) institutional support: intent vs. impact, (4) in search of community. Findings reveal that Black female undergraduates felt isolated, overlooked and underrepresented, reporting experiences of their institutions failing to acknowledge their existence and provide them with equitable services and support.

This study informs the application of an intersectional approach to today’s Black female undergraduates in a dynamic and evolving institutional and societal context. Offering actionable recommendations for policy, practice, and research around how Hispanic-Serving Institutions can help improve the campus experience and institutional support for Black female undergraduates.

Keywords: Black female, higher education, Intersectionality, Black Feminist Thought, Student Services

The Transformed Lives and Identities of Formerly Incarcerated Women in California's Community Colleges

Dale Richard Bo Lendrum

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Community College/Higher Education

Chair: O'Brien, Jonathan

Abstract

This qualitative interview study explored the lived and shared experiences of 20 formerly incarcerated women who had attended 20 different California community colleges while imprisoned and/or following their release. Intersectionality was employed as a theoretical lens to understand the multiple ways in which these women have been systematically subjugated throughout their lives and how these experiences serve(d) as barriers to their societal reentry and student success. Additionally, transformative learning and learning in a transformative environment was explored for their value as teaching tools and locales capable of facilitating change in the lives of formerly incarcerated women.

Findings indicate that, as children, formerly incarcerated women were abandoned, abused, and/or neglected by the very individuals and institutions responsible for their human development and maturation into adulthood. As a result, they sought a sense of belonging in gang and drug cultures; engaging in criminal and destructive behaviors that contributed to their incarceration(s) and histories of relapse and/or recidivism.

Attending a California community college provided the women in this study a place from which to identify and understand the oppressive forces that shaped their lives, to liberate themselves from those forces, and to transform their futures through higher education. This study reveals that a California community college education has the potential to disrupt cycles of recidivism and transform the lives of formerly incarcerated women in ways that inform their ability to become successful students, parents, community leaders, and role models. To further accomplish this, California’s community colleges must move away from a male-centric, toward a more gender responsive, approach to pedagogy, programs, and support services for this highly marginalized, non-traditional, but extremely dedicated student population.

The Future of Silicon Valley Begins in Middle School: The Supports and Barriers for Bridging Race and Gender Equity Gaps in Computer Science

Michael Estuardo Lopez

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Elementary/Secondary Education

Chair: Slater, Charles

Abstract

Computer science (CS) in middle school has legislative support and federal funding, yet there are equity gaps in access by gender and race across schools in the United States. The problem is that access, participation, and academic support of underrepresented students in CS courses remain mostly unaddressed at the middle school level. Specifically, research is needed about barriers that impede students as well as supports that empower middle schools to advocate for access, incentivize participation, and support academic success. Using the Educational Equity for Computer Science (EECS) framework, four dimensions were used to understand barriers and supports. The study investigated the views of three groups: 1) Administrators; 2) Counselors; and 3) Teachers. Two research questions guide this inquiry: What are the perceived inclusive pedagogical, normative, political and technical mechanisms related to race and gender equity gaps in computer science (CS) courses? What are the experiences of administrators, counselors, and teachers in implementing CS courses to bridge the race and gender equity gaps?

Data analysis included open concept coding and axial coding. Identified supports include inclusive pedagogy mechanisms that aimed to facilitate experiential learning. Identified barriers include normative mechanisms that prescribed a student’s education based on their deficits. The dominate theme for administrators was social justice reform; for counselors it was a focus on empathy and for teachers it was a search for curriculum direction. The most important policy recommendation is for middle schools to adopt a “CS for All” agenda.

Keywords: access, barriers, CS, equity gaps, gender, PLTW, race, supports.

Creating a culture of care and support: Supporting the basic needs of community college students

Laura Y. Marin

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Community College/Higher Education

Chair: Vega, William

Abstract

The California Community Colleges system is the largest community college system in the United States, with a current enrollment of more than 2.1 million students on 116 campuses (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office [CCCCO], n.d.). Demographically, 67% of these students are people of color and most qualify for federal and/or state financial aid (CCCCO, n.d.). Despite being eligible for financial aid, many students still struggle to achieve financial stability. Furthermore, they struggle with maintaining basic needs on a daily basis; in fact, such struggles are a national problem. To address food insecurity, many community colleges have established food pantries on their campuses. This qualitative study explored the experiences of community college students who are facing food insecurity at one Southern California community college. This study included interviews of 15 students who visited food pantries on campus and their overall experience and what incentivized them to attend and return.

Using trauma informed care (SAMHSA, 2014) and Validation Theory (Rendon, 1994) as conceptual lens, the study found that many students come from a low-income background and that the food pantry served as a vital way to stay within their budgets to afford what is most essential to their livelihood. Additionally, this study found that positive and validating interactions incentivized students to attend and return to the food pantry, especially when those interactions were with people they know and trust (i.e., campus program staff and counselors and instructional faculty members). The recommendations include: 1) create a syllabus statement (2) offer more information about how the pantry works (3) continue drive-through pantry events post COVID-19 (4) create an intake with a counselor for other needs (5) generate automated basic needs referrals. These are general implications for administrators, staff, and faculty who are thinking about creating more pantry awareness, creating a pantry, and/or improving their services.

Accessible Instructional Materials and Disabled Student Success

Nicholas C. Matthews

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Community College/Higher Education

Chair: Richards-Tutor, Cara

Abstract

Accessible instructional materials are materials which can be used by students with disabilities as easily, effectively, and thoroughly as students without disabilities (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, 2018). Unfortunately, policy evidence suggests the California Community Colleges are not ensuring instructional materials are accessible (California State Auditor, 2017). Surprisingly, while accessibility is often discussed as an equity issue (e.g., Shaheen & Watulak, 2019), little evidence links accessible instructional materials to disabled student success. Additionally, there is no existing instrument which measures disabled students’ perceptions of accessibility.

The purpose of this quantitative pilot study was to (1) develop an instrument to measure disabled students’ perceptions of the accessibility of their instructional materials, and (2) determine whether there is a relationship between perceived accessibility and perceived learning. The influence of disability type, use of accommodations, and attitudes towards requesting accommodations on perceived learning were also investigated. In this study, items for the Perceived Accessibility of Instructional Materials (PAIM) instrument were developed based on the four accessibility principles of perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust materials (World Wide Web Consortium, 2019). College students with disabilities (n = 116) completed a survey instrument containing the 33-item PAIM instrument, six items from the CAP Perceived Learning Scale (Rovai et al., 2009), and additional items related to disability type, use of disability accommodations, attitudes towards requesting accommodations (Barnard-Brak et al., 2010), and demographic information.

Results of factor and reliability analyses indicated the four scales of the PAIM instrument are separately valid and reliable indicators of perceived accessibility. Additionally, a regression model indicated perceived accessibility was a significant predictor of perceived learning. Disability type was not a significant predictor of perceived learning, and use of accommodations and attitudes towards accommodations did not significantly moderate the relationship between perceived accessibility and learning. The results suggest the initial PAIM instrument is a promising starting point for further scale development work to measure perceived accessibility. Importantly, this study also provides the first known quantitative evidence of a relationship between accessibility and disabled student learning. Recommendations include the use of the PAIM instrument by practitioners in tandem with an expanded focus on institutional accessibility leadership, faculty professional development, and policy resources.

Student Characteristics and Academic Factors Predicting High School Graduation in a Credit Recovery Program

Lizbeth Pulido Orea

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Elementary/Secondary Education

Chair: Slater, Charles

Abstract

An important milestone for secondary students entering adulthood is achieving a high school diploma (Bloom, 2010). Young people who earn a high school diploma versus those who do not, have higher wages (Alliance for Education, 2020), healthier life outcomes (Hughes, West, Kim, & Bauer, 2018), and lower rates of incarceration (Murnane, 2013). The focus of this study was to investigate student characteristics and academic factors that might predict graduation of secondary students enrolled in a face to face (f2f) credit recovery alternative high school program. The study was framed around the push, pull, fall theoretical framework (Jordan, Lara, & McPartland, 1994; Watt and Roessingh, 1994; Doll, Eslami, & Walters, 2013) that provided an analytical lens. This correlational quantitative study of secondary students in rural and urban schools across California (N= 2472) analyzed specific predictive variables (e.g., gender, special education [SPED], and academic credits) using Chi- Square, and binary logistic regression analysis. The findings demonstrated a strong association between gender, special education (SPED), English learner status (EL), and graduation. The analysis was found to be statistically significant in predicting the probability of graduation. The study predicted higher odds of graduation in girls, and less likelihood of graduation in SPED and EL students. Further research focusing on male secondary students and academic resources for SPED and EL students is recommended to further understand how to support these student groups that had lower rates of graduation.

Keywords: Push, pull, & fall theory, credit recovery, graduation

"Build a Bond with Us": The Significance of Relationships and Respect for Black Boys with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities

Alexander R. Shrewsberry

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Elementary/Secondary Education

Chair: Hansuvadha, Nat

Abstract

Black boys with the special education eligibility of Emotional Disturbance (ED) or Other Health Impairment (OHI) arguably have the most barriers, within and outside of the classroom, related to their educational success. The issues of racism and ableism exist independently and symbiotically to uphold structures of normalcy, creating a need to focus not just on single identities of race, ability, gender, or socioeconomic status. It is necessary to understand the specific relationship their multiple intersecting identities and related oppression have with their educational experience such as teacher perceptions and stereotypes, related to discipline, academic opportunities, and special education placement (Annamma, Connor, & Ferri, 2013; Crenshaw, 1991).

To understand the educational experiences related to instruction, special education services, discipline, and SEL interventions, this qualitative study utilized one-on-one interviews of seven Black boys in South Los Angeles high schools with the special education eligibility of ED or OHI, as well as seven of their teachers. Students’ experiences were highlighted by their aspirations and evidence of educational success in the face of feeling “targeted” and internalizing beliefs that they needed special education services because they “were a bad kid”. Students described situations and experiences in which they attempted to utilize appropriate social emotional learning skills, just to be further punished. These skills were necessary based on feeling “unworthy”, “disrespected”, and “unsafe” within specific classrooms. These emotions, combined with the constant fear and anxiety that exists from police brutality, police presence on campus, and other community trauma, cause difficulties with focusing and maintaining relationships with peers and teachers. In continuing their pursuit of educational and lifelong success despite these obstacles, students have found support in motherly figures within their family as well as Black males in educational or mentoring roles. 

Based on teacher interviews, successfully teaching and supporting Black boys with ED or OHI, requires tremendous levels of care and educating themselves on how systems of oppression impact their students. Teachers identified the necessity of humanizing relationships with Black boys with ED or OHI, that include emotional constancy, appropriate voice and tone, and identifying shared experiences. These experiences lead to student success by providing comfort, safety and feelings of worthiness.  These findings show evidence of students who are inappropriately identified as ED or OHI, as well as ineffective services, instruction and accommodations for students appropriately eligible. Overall, in addressing these inequitable experiences, it is important to understand that the deficits are not those of the students, but those of the educational institutions they are served by.

An Evaluation of Sexual Harassment Prevention Education Programs for University Faculty and Staff

Elizabeth Schrock

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Community College/Higher Education

Chair: Priede, Alejandra

Abstract

Despite widespread use of compulsory online prevention trainings, sexual harassment continues to occur at alarming rates. Most universities use online sexual harassment prevention (SHP) programs to meet state compliance requirements, but there is little research evaluating their effectiveness. The purpose of the current quantitative study was to investigate the impact of SHP, as well as to explore differences in knowledge about sexual harassment, attitudes about sexual harassment myths, willingness to engage in bystander behaviors, and perceptions of organizational tolerance for sexual harassment (POTSH) among groups. Faculty, staff, and administrators from three campuses in the California State University system (n = 1,699) completed a 77-item survey, reporting that they had participated in the compulsory online SHP training an average of 4.59 times. Overall, mean scores for knowledge, attitudes, bystander behaviors, and POTSH scales were high, but non-managerial staff, men, and heterosexual participants scored significantly lower than managers/faculty, women, and lesbian/gay/bisexual/queer participants, respectively, on most scales. Multiple regression models showed that climate, trainings, and characteristics significantly predicted outcomes; however, these models explained a small proportion of the variance in the outcomes. Recency and frequency of participation in SHP were nonsignificant predictors, but POTSH was significantly predictive of knowledge and bystander behaviors. Implications of the study include developing campus-wide interventions focused on POTSH and ensuring that SHP trainings address topics that are identity-specific and culturally relevant. Furthermore, compulsory online trainings are unlikely to have a meaningful impact on knowledge, attitudes, or bystander behaviors. Recommendations for future practice include adapting in-person SHP trainings to build on what is already taught in online trainings, and including topics specific to the campus or identity group included in the training. Future research should use different research designs and investigate the impact of SHP training length, content, and modality to determine best practices for SHP.

Keywords: sexual harassment, prevention, online training, higher education, faculty, staff, Title IX

Problematic Smartphone Use Among High School Students and Its Relationship with Depression, Stress, Self-Esteem, Grit and Academic Performance

Kiva Spiratos

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Elementary/Secondary Education

Chair: Ratanasiripong, Paul

Abstract

The world currently has more than three billion smartphone users. The smartphone is fully integrated into the daily life of individuals, including 95% of American teenagers. Excessive use of the smartphone leads to smartphone addiction and Problematic Smartphone Use (PSU), which has been associated with depression, stress, reduced self-esteem, and decreased academic performance. This study addresses a gap in research by surveying high school students to assess the effects of PSU on their health and academic performance.  This quantitative study of high school students was conducted in a comprehensive Southern California high school district. The purpose of this study was to assess for associations among PSU, depression, perceived stress, self-esteem, grit, and academic performance. This study contributes empirical research to deepen the understanding of the relationship high school students have with their smartphones and the negative outcomes of PSU and device dependency. This study was conducted during the COVID-19 global pandemic during school campus closures, distance learning, and campus hybrid re-openings of the 2020-2021 school year. Participants for this study included 319 high school students. Results of the study indicate significant correlations among the variables of PSU, depression, perceived stress, self-esteem, grit, and academic performance and reveal evidence of PSU among students in each of the grade levels and at different levels of academic performance. Implications of this study include informing families, educators, district administrators, and policymakers to more fully and rigorously utilize the electronic device policy provided in California Assembly Bill 272 (AB272) and to implement more robust and thoughtful classroom smartphone policies. This study also aims to build awareness among students, families, and the educational community regarding PSU behaviors to support teenage high school students experiencing PSU to find productive smartphone uses and establish healthy boundaries between user and device.

Keywords: Problematic Smartphone Use, depression, stress, self-esteem, grit, academic performance, high school students

"I Make Money Moves": Career Decision of Low-Income First-Generation Community College Students

Seranda Sylvers

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Community College/Higher Education

Chair: Olson, Avery

Abstract

First-generation college students are concentrated at community colleges, which educate half of all first-generation college students (Tate et al., 2015). Approximately 50% of all first-generation students come from a low-income background (Engle & Tinto, 2008). This qualitative study utilized a conceptual framework that consisted of elements from Yosso’s (2005) Community Cultural Wealth, and elements of Lent et al.’s (1994, 2000) Social Cognitive Career Theory to understand how LI-FG (low-income first-generation) community college student make career decisions. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 22 LI-FG students from a special program (EOPS) at a mid-sized California community college to gain an understanding of their career decision process. A major finding from this study was that LI-FG students utilized a multitude of sources to make career decisions. From this study, eight bidirectional themes emerged: (1) consultation with self, (2) helping community, (3) career exploration, (4) hands on experience, (5) classroom experiences and institutional agents, (6) financial stability, (7) inspiration, and (8) encouragement. Findings suggest that the career decision for LI-FG California community college students is an iterative process across the school age years. Recommendations suggest that community colleges should build on the social capital that LI-FG students bring with them by developing opportunities for hands on experiences, such as internships and apprenticeship programs. It is also recommended that CC career centers be fully funded, and that they intentionally focus on connecting LI-FG students to helping professions. Finally, it is recommended that all classified professionals, counseling faculty and teaching faculty to engage in career conversations with students.

Factors Which Impact School Stie Administrators' Leadership in Promoting Equitable Inclusion

Diana Vuong Tranaude

California State University, Long Beach 2021

Specialization: Elementary/Secondary Education

Chair: Achola, Edwin

Abstract

In the state of California, students with disabilities are excluded from the general education setting at a higher rate than the national average: 25% in California versus 17% nationally. School site administrators are integral to the inclusion of students with disabilities. They have the biggest impact on the culture and educational programs in schools.  The purpose of this research study is to assist educational leaders and researchers in understanding the factors which most influence school site administrators’ promotion of inclusive special education programs and plan for how to best support them. This study used a survey protocol to gather data from public school site administrators in the state of California. Based on the responses to the survey, a multiple regression analysis and independents samples t-test was conducted. These analyses helped identified which factors most impacted the promotion of inclusion and which professional development topics were most beneficial to support the promotion of inclusion. School site administrator’s special education experience, personal belief, and commitment to family and community engagement were the factors that most directly related to the promotion of inclusion. The professional development topics of best practices in inclusion and collaborative teaching models were reported to be most beneficial to the promotion of inclusion. Recommendations from this study are as follows: ensure school site administrators are who are hired hold the appropriate credentials, include improved special education program in the state LCAP, and implement a qualitative study to supplement this quantitative study to provide more perspective to how these factors and professional development topics impact inclusion.

Keywords: special education, inclusion, school site administrator, administrator, principal, quantitative, professional development