Recent Submissions

  • Leveraging Medical Simulation to Teach Interprofessional Education: A Pilot Study

    Etheridge, Rebecca Johnson; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 2019-05)
    Interprofessional education (IPE) is a term used to describe an educational technique that involves two or more learners from various professions learning from each other and with each other to increase collaboration among the learners and improve health care for their patients. Medical simulation can be described as any type of aid that can simulate a technique that is used in a clinical setting. The goal of this pilot study was to develop, implement, and evaluate an IPE medical simulation faculty training program that employed an IPE teaching method using the example of medical simulation which was lacking on the health sciences campus. A mixed methods study was developed to explore whether medical simulation could be used as a delivery method for an effective IPE faculty training program, and the extent to which IPE knowledge and perceptions changed as a result. A pre- and post-survey was given to faculty participants to evaluate their knowledge and perceptions of IPE. Following the training, faculty participants participated in a focus group. Data analysis included coding of focus groups responses and consolidating the codes into themes, and statistical analysis of the pre- and post-survey data. The findings of the pilot study included a statistically significant increase in knowledge and perceptions of IPE by the participating faculty which was corroborated by the focus group responses.
  • STRONGER TOGETHER: A CASE-STUDY ANALYSIS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A SCHOOL-BASED MENTORING PROGRAM FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS

    Mays, Andrew Stewart; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 2019-05)
    Mentoring has been shown to have a positive impact on student outcomes such as attendance, behavior, and overall connectedness to school. Through strengthening relationships with a non-familial adult, mentoring has also been shown to have a positive impact on student interactions with other adults within the school environment. However, there are many logistical considerations that can adversely impact the implementation of a school-based mentoring program. This study began as a mixed methods study intended to examine the impact of a community-based mentoring program on student discipline referrals and absences. During the course of the study, the scope and methods shifted to become a qualitative study that focused on the implementation of an after-school mentoring program for middle school students. The authors employed a case-study methodology using a variety of data collection methods including interviews with mentors and administrators, a focus group with the mentees, and repeated observations of the mentoring sessions. Thematic content analysis revealed six themes: goals, experiences, perceptions, relationships, challenges to implementation, and sustainability and improvement. Findings suggest that the faculty and staff had a high level of confidence in their leadership which was likely to positively impact the mentoring program, as they were more likely to trust his decisions and work diligently to ensure that his goals for the program were met. Should a mentoring program be implemented, our findings indicated that time and prioritization are imperative to its success.
  • GET THEM HERE: KEEP THEM HERE: A STUDY OF THE RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF BLACK STUDENTS AT GREENWOOD UNIVERSITY

    Green, Garrett; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 2019-05)
    Greenwood University, a Predominantly White Institution (PWI), has had difficulty recruiting Black students and retaining them throughout their undergraduate careers to graduation. Research shows the significant link between students’ perceptions of belonging and satisfaction at a university and their retention at that university. Race on a college campus is complex and requires intentional efforts to understand within the framework of higher education. The aim of this study is to determine specific causes that explain why Black students are not being recruited and retained at the same rate as their non-Black peers at Greenwood University. In doing so, the authors employed a mixed methods approach in which they conducted interviews from Black second and third year students, as well as faculty and staff, to explain the responses gathered from a recent Campus Climate Survey. A focus group of students also highlighted factors that impact the recruitment and retention of Black students. Among the responses received, factors such as support, connection, and representation among Black faculty and staff were shown to have a strong impact on Black students’ feelings of belonging, thus in many cases, their retention at Greenwood University. Based on the findings, it is recommended that universities prioritize intentional incentives to provide specialized support services and “spaces” for its students and to grow the numbers of faculty and staff who represent all of their institution’s student body. Keywords: enrollment, recruitment, retention, Black students, faculty, staff, Predominantly White Institution (PWI), Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Higher Education, Administrators
  • GET THEM HERE: KEEP THEM HERE: A STUDY OF THE RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF BLACK STUDENTS AT GREENWOOD UNIVERSITY

    Hodges, Jamel Antwon; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 2019-05)
    Greenwood University, a Predominantly White Institution (PWI), has had difficulty recruiting Black students and retaining them throughout their undergraduate careers to graduation. Research shows the significant link between students’ perceptions of belonging and satisfaction at a university and their retention at that university. Race on a college campus is complex and requires intentional efforts to understand within the framework of higher education. The aim of this study is to determine specific causes that explain why Black students are not being recruited and retained at the same rate as their non-Black peers at Greenwood University. In doing so, the authors employed a mixed methods approach in which they conducted interviews from Black second and third year students, as well as faculty and staff, to explain the responses gathered from a recent Campus Climate Survey. A focus group of students also highlighted factors that impact the recruitment and retention of Black students. Among the responses received, factors such as support, connection, and representation among Black faculty and staff were shown to have a strong impact on Black students’ feelings of belonging, thus in many cases, their retention at Greenwood University. Based on the findings, it is recommended that universities prioritize intentional incentives to provide specialized support services and “spaces” for its students and to grow the numbers of faculty and staff who represent all of their institution’s student body. Keywords: enrollment, recruitment, retention, Black students, faculty, staff, Predominantly White Institution (PWI), Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Higher Education, Administrators
  • Leveraging Medical Simulation to Teach Interprofessional Education (IPE): A Pilot Study

    Hernlen, Kathleen; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 2019-05)
    Interprofessional education (IPE) is a term used to describe an educational technique that involves two or more learners from various professions learning from each other and with each other to increase collaboration among the learners and improve health care for their patients. Medical simulation can be described as any type of aid that can simulate a technique that is used in a clinical setting. The goal of this pilot study was to develop, implement, and evaluate an IPE medical simulation faculty training program that employed an IPE teaching method using the example of medical simulation which was lacking on the health sciences campus. A mixed methods study was developed to explore whether medical simulation could be used as a delivery method for an effective IPE faculty training program, and the extent to which IPE knowledge and perceptions changed as a result. A pre- and post-survey was given to faculty participants to evaluate their knowledge and perceptions of IPE. Following the training, faculty participants participated in a focus group. Data analysis included coding of focus groups responses and consolidating the codes into themes, and statistical analysis of the pre- and post-survey data. The findings of the pilot study included a statistically significant increase in knowledge and perceptions of IPE by the participating faculty which was corroborated by the focus group responses.
  • STRONGER TOGETHER: A CASE-STUDY ANALYSIS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A SCHOOL-BASED MENTORING PROGRAM FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS

    Moody, Tamara NiCole; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 2019-05)
    Mentoring has been shown to have a positive impact on student outcomes such as attendance, behavior, and overall connectedness to school. Through strengthening relationships with a non-familial adult, mentoring has also been shown to have a positive impact on student interactions with other adults within the school environment. However, there are many logistical considerations that can adversely impact the implementation of a school-based mentoring program. This study began as a mixed methods study intended to examine the impact of a community-based mentoring program on student discipline referrals and absences. During the course of the study, the scope and methods shifted to become a qualitative study that focused on the implementation of an after-school mentoring program for middle school students. The authors employed a case-study methodology using a variety of data collection methods including interviews with mentors and administrators, a focus group with the mentees, and repeated observations of the mentoring sessions. Thematic content analysis revealed six themes: goals, experiences, perceptions, relationships, challenges to implementation, and sustainability and improvement. Findings suggest that the faculty and staff had a high level of confidence in their leadership which was likely to positively impact the mentoring program, as they were more likely to trust his decisions and work diligently to ensure that his goals for the program were met. Should a mentoring program be implemented, our findings indicated that time and prioritization are imperative to its success. Keywords: mentoring, relationships, leadership, school-based, improvement
  • Stronger Together: A Case-Study Analysis of the Implementation of a School-Based Mentoring Program for Middle School Students

    Young-Norris, Tiffany; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 2019-05)
    Mentoring has been shown to have a positive impact on student outcomes such as attendance, behavior, and overall connectedness to school. Through strengthening relationships with a non-familial adult, mentoring has also been shown to have a positive impact on student interactions with other adults within the school environment. However, there are many logistical considerations that can adversely impact the implementation of a school-based mentoring program. This study began as a mixed methods study intended to examine the impact of a community-based mentoring program on student discipline referrals and absences. During the course of the study, the scope and methods shifted to become a qualitative study that focused on the implementation of an after-school mentoring program for middle school students. The authors employed a case-study methodology using a variety of data collection methods including interviews with mentors and administrators, a focus group with the mentees, and repeated observations of the mentoring sessions. Thematic content analysis revealed six themes: goals, experiences, perceptions, relationships, challenges to implementation, and sustainability and improvement. Findings suggest that the faculty and staff had a high level of confidence in their leadership which was likely to positively impact the mentoring program, as they were more likely to trust his decisions and work diligently to ensure that his goals for the program were met. Should a mentoring program be implemented, our findings indicated that time and prioritization are imperative to its success. Keywords: mentoring, relationships, leadership, school-based, improvement
  • Examining and Fostering Effective Reading Comprehension Instructional Practices in Smalltowne

    Zills, Jennifer Amy; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 5/22/2018)
    Abstract This mixed-methods study examined reading instructional practices at Smalltowne Elementary, as almost 30% of their third grade students were not scoring proficient in the area of English Language Arts (ELA) on the state assessment. Smalltowne is a rural elementary school located in a southeast Georgia town with a population of just under 10,000. A total of 18 female participants included both second grade (n = 9) and third grade (n = 9) teachers. Participants completed an online survey of the Literacy Orientation Survey (LOS) containing 30 Likert type items to determine their teaching orientations as either traditional, constructivist, or eclectic. Researchers interviewed 14 participants and spent a total of 50.25 hours observing instructional practices in the areas of reading comprehension, vocabulary instruction, phonics, fluency, and literacy through technology. The teachers’ survey results were compared to the observed practice to determine alignment. Nine teachers identified as eclectic, eight identified as traditional and only one teacher identified as constructivist. Observed literacy practices matched self-selected LOS scores for 11 out of the 14 teachers. Observations were conducted to determine if research-based instructional strategies were being used in the classroom, including comprehension strategies, vocabulary strategies, fluency practices, and literacy through technology. Instructional concerns were noted with higher usage of teacher-directed practice and lack of authentic use of technology for literacy to incorporate more student-centered practice. After the analysis of data, a responsive product in the form of professional development was created by researchers with input from district school leaders to expand teachers’ use of higher level questioning and technology within the classroom. Keywords: teacher orientations, reading comprehension, instructional practices
  • Investigating Student and Faculty Perspectives Related to Predictors of Success: BSN Curriculum and NCLEX-RN Outcomes

    Callan, Richard S.; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 5/22/2018)
    The literature reports higher patient satisfaction when care is delivered from baccalaureate-prepared nurses (BSN); however, there is a significant shortage of BSN prepared nurses in the country (Schmidt & MacWilliams, 2015; Roa, Shipman, Hooten, & Carter, 2011). For institutions across the nation, there is a lack of understanding as to why certain students struggle academically throughout the program and on the board certification exam. In order to facilitate training, graduation, and success with NCLEX-RN outcomes for these critical healthcare providers, consideration for why students struggle with curriculum and passing the board certification examination is needed. This study utilized a concurrent embedded mixed methods design to gain a greater understanding as to what factors may be contributing to student difficulty. Participants included graduates (n = 75) and faculty (n = 25) within the College of Nursing in a university located in the southeast region of the United States. Data were collected through review of student records, survey responses, focus group participation, and use of the EQ-i 2.0 for descriptive purposes. Results indicate that the BSN GPA, HESI examination scores, and Adult Health II course grades were found to predict performance on the NCLEX-RN. The qualitative findings illuminate categories of external and interpersonal factors contributing to students’ success and first time pass rates on the NCLEX-RN. The themes of Curriculum, Test Methodologies and Preparation, Teaching and Instruction, Balance, Drive, Compassion and Respect, and Critical Thinking were all relevant for consideration to help nursing programs improve the first time pass rates of their graduates on the NCLEX-RN. Further research utilizing methods to understand emotional intelligence and implications for admission as well as successful outcomes on the NCLEX-RN are indicated based on the qualitative findings of this investigation.
  • RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PRACTICES AS PERCEIVED AND UNDERSTOOD BY TEACHERS IN TWO GEORGIA RURAL MIDDLE SCHOOLS

    Holt, Jason; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 5/22/2018)
    The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine how Restorative Justice was understood and perceived by teachers at two rural middle schools. The state previously mandated a portion of the district’s funding be designated to address disproportionality in discipline across all grade levels to include the middle schools. In Southern County School District, administrators chose to address the problems of disproportionality, zero tolerance, and the school-to-prison pipeline through the use of a Restorative Framework. The goal was to bring awareness to the district leadership of current Restorative Justice understandings and perceptions within the district and add to the academic body of literature. Using a concurrent triangulation mixed methods model, this study answered the overarching research question, How do teachers understand and perceive Restorative Justice practices in two rural Georgia middle schools? Teacher surveys (n = 25) were processed for possible differences and relationships using Mann-Whitney U and Spearman’s Rho analyses. Analyses revealed no significant difference between teachers’ perceptions and understandings separately. There was a significant positive relationship between teachers’ understandings and perceptions. The analysis of the qualitative interviews involving 12 participants uncovered themes from teachers related to Restorative Justice, both positive and negative. Some positive themes were building relationships, student ownership and community, and giving everyone a voice. Some undesirable themes were lack of teacher training, lack of community support, and lack of consequences. Recommendations based on findings were offered through a website built for the school district by the research team.
  • RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PRACTICES AS UNDERSTOOD AND PERCEIVED BY TEACHERS IN TWO RURAL GEORGIA MIDDLE SCHOOLS

    Warren, Karyn Elise; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 5/22/2018)
    The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine how Restorative Justice was understood and perceived by teachers at two rural middle schools. The state previously mandated a portion of the district’s funding be designated to address disproportionality in discipline across all grade levels to include the middle schools. In Southern County School District, administrators chose to address the problems of disproportionality, zero tolerance, and the school-to-prison pipeline through the use of a Restorative Framework. The goal was to bring awareness to the district leadership of current Restorative Justice understandings and perceptions within the district and add to the academic body of literature. Using a concurrent triangulation mixed methods model, this study answered the overarching research question, How do teachers understand and perceive Restorative Justice practices in two rural Georgia middle schools? Teacher surveys (n = 25) were processed for possible differences and relationships using Mann-Whitney U and Spearman’s Rho analyses. Analyses revealed no significant difference between teachers’ perceptions and understandings separately. There was a significant positive relationship between teachers’ understandings and perceptions. The analysis of the qualitative interviews involving 12 participants uncovered themes from teachers related to Restorative Justice, both positive and negative. Some positive themes were building relationships, student ownership and community, and giving everyone a voice. Some undesirable themes were lack of teacher training, lack of community support, and lack of consequences. Recommendations based on findings were offered through a website built for the school district by the research team.
  • RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PRACTICES AS UNDERSTOOD AND PERCEIVED BY TEACHERS IN TWO RURAL GEORGIA MIDDLE SCHOOLS

    Boyd, Sandra Leann; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 5/22/2018)
    The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine how Restorative Justice was understood and perceived by teachers at two rural middle schools. The state previously mandated a portion of the district’s funding be designated to address disproportionality in discipline across all grade levels to include the middle schools. In Southern County School District, administrators chose to address the problems of disproportionality, zero tolerance, and the school-to-prison pipeline through the use of a Restorative Framework. The goal was to bring awareness to the district leadership of current Restorative Justice understandings and perceptions within the district and add to the academic body of literature. Using a concurrent triangulation mixed methods model, this study answered the overarching research question, How do teachers understand and perceive Restorative Justice practices in two rural Georgia middle schools? Teacher surveys (n = 25) were processed for possible differences and relationships using Mann Whitney U and Spearman’s Rho analyses. Analyses revealed no significant difference between teachers’ perceptions and understandings separately. There was a significant positive relationship between teachers’ understandings and perceptions. The analysis of the qualitative interviews involving 12 participants uncovered themes from teachers related to Restorative Justice, both positive and negative. Some positive themes were building relationships, student ownership and community, and giving everyone a voice. Some undesirable themes were lack of teacher training, lack of community support, and lack of consequences. Recommendations based on findings were offered through a website built for the school district by the research team.
  • Examining and Fostering Effective Reading Comprehension Instructional Practices in Smalltowne

    Lemacks, Natalie; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 5/22/2018)
    This mixed-methods study examined reading instructional practices at Smalltowne Elementary, as almost 30% of their third grade students were not scoring proficient in the area of English Language Arts (ELA) on the state assessment. Smalltowne is a rural elementary school located in a southeast Georgia town with a population of just under 10,000. A total of 18 female participants included both second grade (n = 9) and third grade (n = 9) teachers. Participants completed an online survey of the Literacy Orientation Survey (LOS) containing 30 Likert type items to determine their teaching orientations as either traditional, constructivist, or eclectic. Researchers interviewed 14 participants and spent a total of 50.25 hours observing instructional practices in the areas of reading comprehension, vocabulary instruction, phonics, fluency, and literacy through technology. The teachers’ survey results were compared to the observed practice to determine alignment. Nine teachers identified as eclectic, eight identified as traditional and only one teacher identified as constructivist. Observed literacy practices matched self-selected LOS scores for 11 out of the 14 teachers. Observations were conducted to determine if research-based instructional strategies were being used in the classroom, including comprehension strategies, vocabulary strategies, fluency practices, and literacy through technology. Instructional concerns were noted with higher usage of teacher-directed practice and lack of authentic use of technology for literacy to incorporate more student-centered practice. After the analysis of data, a responsive product in the form of professional development was created by researchers with input from district school leaders to expand teachers’ use of higher level questioning and technology within the classroom. Keywords: teacher orientations, reading comprehension, instructional practices
  • Examining Math Teacher Efficacy: A Rural Georgia Elementary School

    Williams, Angela Michelle; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 5/22/2018)
    The current study employed a mixed methods research design to examine differences in math teacher efficacy based on experience, factors influencing math teacher efficacy, and the impact of math teacher efficacy on pedagogical practice. Participants were nine math teachers of grades three through five in a rural Georgia elementary school. Bandura's construct of self-efficacy provided the theoretical framework for this study. Math teacher efficacy was assessed using the Math Teacher Survey, adapted from the Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument. Semi-structured interviews were utilized to gather information regarding participants' antecedent and professional experiences with math. Four themes emerged from interviews regarding factors influencing efficacy: (a) precursory experiences, (b) teacher preparation, training, and professional learning, (c) mathematical shifts, and (d) professional experiences. Teacher practices were captured using the Classroom Observation Protocol, adapted from Inside the Classroom Observation and Analytic Protocol, as well as lesson plans and field notes. No significant relationship was found between math teacher efficacy and years of experience or between math teacher efficacy and pedagogical practices. Implications for leaders of training and preparatory programs and staff development as well as others in education settings are explored.
  • Examining Math Teacher Efficacy: A Rural Georgia Elementary School

    Gray, Mary Ann; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 5/22/2018)
    The current study employed a mixed methods research design to examine differences in math teacher efficacy based on experience, factors influencing math teacher efficacy, and the impact of math teacher efficacy on pedagogical practice. Participants were nine math teachers of grades three through five in a rural Georgia elementary school. Bandura's construct of self-efficacy provided the theoretical framework for this study. Math teacher efficacy was assessed using the Math Teacher Survey, adapted from the Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument. Semi-structured interviews were utilized to gather information regarding participants' antecedent and professional experiences with math. Four themes emerged from interviews regarding factors influencing efficacy: (a) precursory experiences, (b) teacher preparation, training, and professional learning, (c) mathematical shifts, and (d) professional experiences. Teacher practices were captured using the Classroom Observation Protocol, adapted from Inside the Classroom Observation and Analytic Protocol, as well as lesson plans and field notes. No significant relationship was found between math teacher efficacy and years of experience or between math teacher efficacy and pedagogical practices. Implications for leaders of training and preparatory programs and staff development as well as others in education settings are explored.
  • Investigating Student and Faculty Perspectives Related to Predictors of Success: BSN Curriculum and NCLEX-RN Outcomes

    Cosper, Sharon M; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 5/22/2018)
    The literature reports higher patient satisfaction when care is delivered from baccalaureate-prepared nurses (BSN); however, there is a significant shortage of BSN prepared nurses in the country (Schmidt & MacWilliams, 2015; Roa, Shipman, Hooten, & Carter, 2011). For institutions across the nation, there is a lack of understanding as to why certain students struggle academically throughout the program and on the board certification exam. In order to facilitate training, graduation, and success with NCLEX-RN outcomes for these critical healthcare providers, consideration for why students struggle with curriculum and passing the board certification examination is needed. This study utilized a concurrent embedded mixed methods design to gain a greater understanding as to what factors may be contributing to student difficulty. Participants included graduates (n = 75) and faculty (n = 25) within the College of Nursing in a university located in the southeast region of the United States. Data were collected through review of student records, survey responses, focus group participation, and use of the EQ-i 2.0 for descriptive purposes. Results indicate that the BSN GPA, HESI examination scores, and Adult Health II course grades were found to predict performance on the NCLEX-RN. The qualitative findings illuminate categories of external and interpersonal factors contributing to students’ success and first time pass rates on the NCLEX-RN. The themes of Curriculum, Test Methodologies and Preparation, Teaching and Instruction, Balance, Drive, Compassion and Respect, and Critical Thinking were all relevant for consideration to help nursing programs improve the first time pass rates of their graduates on the NCLEX-RN. Further research utilizing methods to understand emotional intelligence and implications for admission as well as successful outcomes on the NCLEX-RN are indicated based on the qualitative findings of this investigation.