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ItemA case study : elementary teachers’ perceptions of play-based learning on students’ social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.(May 2023) Amberson, Mindi M. 1982-; Howell, Leanne.Play-based learning is an opportunity for holistic student development. Yet, too few opportunities for play-based learning currently exist in public elementary schools across the United States despite the benefits linked to the intentional use of play-based instruction. This case study identified elementary educators’ perspectives on the benefits of play-based learning and the barriers to its use. An extensive literature review was completed to identify themes in the current research. I used four conceptual domains, supported by Ginsburg (2007) and visualized by The Strong Museum (courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York) as the lens to conduct to this study. Play influences children’s development in four conceptual domains: physical, social, emotional, and cognitive. The data analysis consisted of five steps, ending with visuals showcasing result findings. The research findings provided strong evidence from participants about the benefits of play-based learning opportunities for student growth in the noted four conceptual domains. Ten themes were identified that supported benefits in each domain. In the social domain, impact was noted in areas of diversity and relationships. In the emotional domain, recognition of emotions and regulation of emotions emerged as impacted areas. In the physical domain, motor skills, classroom behaviors, and healthy habits were identified Last, in the cognitive domain, content knowledge, creativity, and problem-solving skills were identified as areas of impact. The findings also provided four themes as evidence for barriers with play-based learning opportunities. These four thematical barriers identified were professional development, funding, time, and limited space. There were two emerging themes identified in the research, expectations, and engagement Each finding is important to next steps in education. Implications and recommendations for this research are important to educational decisions and advocacy moving forward to impact educators’ ability and willingness to utilize play-based learning and promote optimal student development. Stakeholders in education are given support through this research for such advocacy. Through a collective voice, this research increases potential opportunities for play-based learning to move forward in its impact on student development. ItemA case study of four teachers' experiences while implementing the latest version of the Eureka Math curriculum in the state of Louisiana.(2022-04-28) Lein Authement, Melissa M., 1990-; Pratt, Sarah Smitherman.The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) develops all mathematic standards and curricula in Louisiana. Once approved, these items become the officially mandated curricula that each school must teach. LDOE is also responsible for the flow down of the official curricula to each school system, plus providing the appropriate amount of training to the math teachers to effectively implement the new curricula. For example, in 2017, a statewide assessment provided information on student mathematical proficiency. Based on the poor results, and improved mandated set of standards and curricula, LDOE launched a rubric of approved research-based curricula required for low performing schools. One of the curriculum options was Eureka Math Curriculum. In response to the LDOE Curriculum mandates St. Tammany Parish Public Schools (STPPS) decided in 2020 to implement the same required LDOE curriculum to all schools in the district no matter their performance. This change in curriculum culminated in the third curriculum between 2017–2020 change for most math teachers in the district. This study focused on the experiences of selected math teachers charged with implementing the Eureka Math curriculum into the STPPS. The data collected consisted of structured questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with four fourth and fifth-grade teachers school system. Hargreaves (1998) Changing Teachers, Changing Times framed this study. Using Hargreaves’s (1998) framework for the study, the researcher identified four obstacles teachers faced implementing a mandated curriculum. Finally, the researcher concludes with recommendations for best practices when implementing any mandated math curriculum. The researcher identified Eureka Math as the teachers’ primary change element to implement curricula changes. Using Hargreaves’s (1998) outline, the researcher identified four obstacles to overcome and offered three solutions towards the successful implementation of Eureka Math. The obstacles included: pacing and planning, lack of resources, need for increased support, and teacher autonomy. This study identifies three best practices for successfully implementing the challenging Eureka Math: increased support, leniency on the scope and sequence of curricula implementation, and a new requirement for focused and tailored instruction sessions for each level of math teachers. ItemA case study of how and if a professional development model based on the TPACK framework builds teachers’ capacity for technology integration.(2019-03-18) Odajima, Rebecca, 1974-; Talbert, Tony L.Digital technologies are prevalent in society and K-12 classrooms today and the belief that educational technology can be a transformative agent of change in education is ever increasing. However, the use of technology as a transformative learning tool for all students has not yet been realized. Research in this area indicates that teachers are the leading factor impacting the utilization of technology for learning. Focused professional development along with time to develop curriculum and lessons has been identified as critical factors in changing the way teachers and students utilize technology. The purpose of this explanatory single case study, with multiple units of analysis, was to examine the experiences and practices of nine teachers in a technology-rich high school setting to better understand the impact of a TPACK based professional development model, to understand how and why teachers make decisions regarding instructional technology integration, and to determine how their technology integration met the TPACK model of instruction. Findings from the study revealed that the professional development model based on TPACK framework and effective professional development strategies increased teachers’ use of technology, how they considered using technology and changed their instructional focus from teacher to student-centered practices. Additionally, teachers’ considerations for instructional technology during planning were influenced by their teacher-centered or student-centered ideas. Finally, teachers who successfully implemented technology based on the Technology Integration Observation Instrument were those who were well versed in active learning strategies, learner-centered in their planning and implementation of instructional strategies, have the greatest number of years experience and exposure to the TPACK training model, while having varying levels of technology efficacy. The study provided evidence to support the idea that transformational educational change through technology has little to do with the technology itself; instead, it is dependent on the pedagogical knowledge of the teacher and the context of the professional development provided to teachers. It is increasingly evident that the change sought in teaching and learning will only come about by a change in the pedagogical practice of teachers who are appropriately prepared with student-centered learning activities and content knowledge that utilizes technology as an instructional tool in order to facilitate and impact learning. ItemA case study on the recruitment and hiring of African American faculty in higher education : perspectives of faculty and administrators.(2021-11-16) Arnold, Debra D., 1970-; Cooper, Sandra Bennett.This case study examined the recruitment and hiring practices of African American faculty in higher education at primarily White institutions (PWIs) in the southeast region of the United States. In higher education, African American faculty remain underrepresented in PWIs. African American faculty provide value to students during their educational journeys, and the lack of their presence is of concern. This research into this phenomenon included three universities within the southeastern region, all part of the same university system and located within 150 miles of one another. The three universities are research institutions, and each has racial minority student populations. Two of the universities in this study have a low percentage of African American faculty. The third university maintains an equal number of African American and White American faculty. Given the colleges’ proximity, understanding the recruitment strategies of each assisted with providing recommendations for the recruitment, hiring, and retention of African American faculty. This study examined faculty and administrator perspectives on biases that can affect the recruitment and hiring process. These biases include explicit, implicit, and unconscious, each having significant differences. Bias can knowingly and unknowingly occur in decision-making, as these biases are neurological. By nature, everyone holds some bias, which can affect the thinking process and impact hiring at the recruitment level. In addition, biases can affect an institution’s ability to achieve diversity (Agarwal, 2018) and inclusion, which can conflict with an institution’s stated values. Examining and understanding these biases assist individuals in recognizing and managing their thoughts during the decision-making process. The results of this study informed suggestions for positive shifts in the recruitment of African American faculty in PWIs within the United States. A centralized process for the recruitment and hiring process is recommended with oversight by Human Resources. The study revealed that bias occurred in the course of employment for faculty and administrators. Awareness of these biases is the key to affecting a culture change within PWIs. Such changes positively impacted African American students and highlighted the importance of African American faculty in their educational journeys. ItemA collective case study exploring high school senior perspectives of post-graduation motivations and preparation in five different educational settings.(2021-11-19) Smith, Jeffrey Scott, 1968-; Meehan, Jessica Padrón.Education improvement has become a national imperative. Low graduation rates, standardized test failures, and overall success rates falling significantly behind in global competition have forced the dialogue towards alternatives to public education (Stewart, 2012). As the United States continues to trail other countries in educational success, it raises concerns about what environment is the most effective for student success in today’s economic and cultural states. In a response to this educational concern, today’s students have seen the emergence of campus alternatives, and with these differing environments, research needs to provide clarity to the results produced from each environment, and if these results prepare all students for what comes after graduation. Equally important is the exploration of how each of these environments may help or hinder motivation for students and hear this information from the students directly. This collective case study gives high school students that voice. This study begins with a criterion-based sample of one to three students attending each of five specific categories of learning institutions—a public school setting, a private school setting, a home-school setting, a charter school setting, and a final group from an innovative or alternative education setting. Through a series of interviews and observations of the various learning environments, the student stories compared common experiences, differences, and learning paths. This anthology of research information presented an understanding of each of their learning environments, motivational influences, and how these students believe their experiences prepared them for what comes next. The power of the responses evidenced commanding themes throughout each distinct case and revealed compelling patterns common among all five cases. The result was a better explanation of experiences from the student's point of view, a clearer picture of motivations—both extrinsic and intrinsic—and strong patterns of concepts that can create influential change in any educational setting. The implications show the power of student's voices in the education process, setting the foundation for future studies that will incorporate the significant contribution made by the ones affected the most by current practices—the voice of the student. ItemA collective case study on student advocacy services for iGen students in higher education.(2021-11-16) Cloud, Lourdes Moreno, 1976-; Meehan, Jessica Padrón.Generation Z or iGen is the current generation attending colleges and universities, and their needs differ from their predecessors. Public State University’s Student Advocacy and Assistance Office began shifting the services provided to this specific population to best serve them. Unlike prior generations, they are highly aware of themselves as individuals and crave more support. Gen Z is more diverse, technologically connected, and culturally and politically engaged. They crave autonomy yet need to feel validated (Twenge, 2017). iGen students rely on their generational characteristics of being dependent on technology, private, and inquisitive. They are more likely to have mental health issues such as anxiety and depression (Writter, 2017). Due to their mental health awareness, they seek and expect services that holistically support their educational journeys (Jones, 2019). They expect this support from faculty, staff, and peers (Rutter, 2019), not just from a clinician; therefore, it is the priority of the SAA Office to provide these services to them. The purpose of this qualitative collective case study was to establish a series of cases that narrate the iGen student perception of how services provided by the SAA Office impacted them while at the university. The research built upon the primary question: how do iGen students at PSU perceive the SAA Office’s services impacted them? The data collection included one-on-one interviews and journal collections of five iGen students who utilized the services of the SAA Office. The application of the student development theory, Nevitt Sanford’s Theory of Challenge and Support, guided the research process related to students becoming independent through overcoming challenges and engaging in support. The themes identified through a cross-case analysis were mental wellness, iGen student personality traits, and overcoming challenges as iGen students. These themes substantiated that the iGen college students need support from university staff to ensure their academic and personal growth, development, and success. The researcher sought to determine how iGen students felt that SAA services influenced their overall college experience at PSU. The results of this study reveal rich insights and beneficial recommendations for improving SAA services based on the perceptions of iGen students. ItemA collective multiple case study regarding mandatory advising and degree mapping for Early College High School students.(2021-07-21) Madrigal, Tanya, 1976-; Blevins, Brooke E.Early College High Schools (ECHS) began in 2002 in response to the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities, lower socioeconomic status, and first-time college students in higher education. Credit-bearing college courses replace students’ traditional high school classes, so the students earn an associate degree upon graduation from high school. The goal for ECHS participants is to continue their education at a university to complete their four-year degrees. This qualitative multiple case study rooted in the practitioner inquiry tradition explored why ECHS students do not complete their bachelor’s degree, along with possible solutions to the existing problem. Specifically, this study examined if mandatory advising and degree mapping helped ECHS students feel more confident about their transfer to a four-year institution. The study employed Schlossberg’s Transition theory (Schlossberg, 2011), focusing on situation, self, support, and strategies. The framework helped to understand how mandatory advising and degree mapping influenced ECHS students’ confidence and preparedness to transfer to a four-year institution. Data collection involved using a questionnaire regarding the student’s perception of preparedness for transfer and possible barriers and issues that could inhibit them from completing their bachelor's degree. Themes emerged from the data, with the first theme being the need for a college advisor to complete advising and degree mapping sessions. The second theme included increasing the ECHS student’s sense of preparedness for transfer to a four-year institution. Next, a discussion around potential barriers that could impede their completion of bachelor’s degrees emerged. Lastly, financial literacy is needed to help ECHS students understand various forms of available aids to help finance their education. This research is vital as more ECHSs open every year across the country. For example, in 2002, when ECHS launched, there were three ECHS programs (Berger et al., 2014). As of 2020, there were 170 ECHSs in Texas, 100 in North Carolina, 100 in Michigan, and many more across the United States (Arshavsky, 2020). Thus, the ECHS program is expanding across the country exponentially, and the findings from this research can help more ECHS students have a successful transition to higher education and complete their bachelor's degrees. ItemA complex perspective on student success programming : a quantitative analysis of retention rates for sophomores who experience differentiated coaching while attending a Guided Pathways community college.(2022-04-11) Chapman, Criquett Scott, 1976-; Pratt, Sarah Smitherman.Despite efforts to place students on a guided pathway to successful completion, nearly one in five students who do not persist at community colleges complete 75% or more of the credit threshold for a degree before leaving the institution (Johnstone, 2018). In Texas, according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Members (THECB, 2020), 28% of community college students graduate with an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or certificate within three years. At Chaparral Community College, the percentage is even less, at 24% (THECB, 2020). This evidence points to a need for retention reform, focusing on sophomore students. This quantitative study used two pillars of the Guided Pathways model, helping students stay on the path and ensuring students are learning, as a framework for analysis. The study employed a complex approach to broaden the definition of academic integration (Tinto, 1993) by including experiences beyond the classroom resulting from enrollment in courses (Latz, 2015). By taking a complex perspective, the study used differentiated coaching as an approach to accomplish academic integration in and out of the classroom. Two logistic regression models were used to examine the differentiated coaching approach deployed through student success programming as a predictor of retention (N = 1050), semester one to semester two and semester one to semester three. Initiatives aimed at retention that involve cross-institutional reform are challenging to evaluate and often take years to observe improvements (Bailey et al., 2015). This study demonstrated this struggle as the treatment, although positively sloped, did not have a statistically significant relationship to retention in the transition from the first semester to the second. However, when students moved along their pathway to the third semester, the differentiated coaching treatment had a positive and significant relationship to retention. Therefore, there was an increased probability of being retained for students who received differentiated coaching. This upward trend is expected to continue as the advisors develop their expertise in differentiated coaching and the application to students' individual experiences. ItemA comprehensive genuineness of truths contributing to novice Title I teacher retention : a collective case study of novice teachers in Title I public schools.(August 2022) Serrano, Rebecca, 1989-; McCall, Madelon.Teacher attrition has been a leading issue within the United States for several decades, especially among novice Title I teachers (Farmer, 2020; Madigan & Kim, 2021). Projections of novice teacher attrition rates show that schools will continue to see a significant increase in rates after the 2021 to 2022 school year due to changes in education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Growing attrition rates for novice Title I teachers significantly impact school and student success across the nation. To address the growing concern of novice teacher attrition, factors that impact a novice teacher’s decision to remain in the profession must be examined. This qualitative collective case study explored factors contributing to novice teacher retention within Title I schools for nine novice Title I teachers from Texas, California, Idaho, and New York. Data collection occurred through three interviews with each participant, including one unstructured interview and two semi-structured interviews. The researcher specifically focused on identifying key factors that contributed to the retention of these novice Title I teachers. The researcher utilized Herzberg’s two-factor motivation-hygiene theory as the theoretical framework for identifying and classifying themes that emerged from the data (Herzberg et al., 1959). The data revealed four themes that contributed to novice Title I teacher retention for the nine participants: realistic and collaborative campus expectations, support for professional development, positive school culture, and promotion of self-efficacy and motivation. Ultimately, the research presented in this study addresses gaps in the research pertaining to novice teacher attrition within Title I schools. Rather than focusing on factors that lead to attrition, this study focuses on what matters most—factors that contribute to teacher retention. By focusing on identifying factors that influenced retention of novice Title I teachers, Title I school leaders can improve experiences for novice teachers related to each factor to ultimately improve retention within their campuses. ItemA convergent mixed methods study to explore the effect of unapproved part-time work on international students in South Korea.(2022-03-31) Kopperud, Daniel, 1979-; Earl, Julia Collier.In recent years South Korea has emerged as an attractive destination for international university students as the Korean government aims to accept 200,000 international students by 2023. Academically talented students who do not have financial support often apply to study in Korea, intending to find part-time work during the school term to pay for their education. The Korean Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) has a process and guidelines for students to register their part-time jobs legally; however, students also find jobs outside these legal avenues. Universities that rely on international students for their enrollment struggle to maintain less than a 6% dropout rate among international students. These universities recognize the cause of attrition to be unregulated work which causes poor academic outcomes which further lead to a loss of scholarship and the inability to continue enrollment. The purpose of this study is to show what effect jobs that the MOEL does not approve have on academic outcomes in international university students in South Korea. This study employed a mixed methods convergent design to answer four research questions. The findings show that international students who work unapproved off-campus jobs have a lower mean GPA than students who work approved on-campus jobs that international students working at unapproved off-campus jobs do not have a significantly different level of persistence as measured by attrition than international students working at approved on-campus jobs. Students preferred not to work during the school year but had no alternative to pay for their tuition. Students who work unapproved jobs work long hours in challenging conditions with no protection or support from university or governmental agencies that are in place to assist student workers. Despite the lack of official support systems, they are just as likely to enroll in classes the following semester as students who work approved jobs. ItemA correlational investigation of the relationship between teacher competence, confidence, and school culture factors that influence social and emotional learning implementation.(August 2022) Morgan, Lashana R., 1990-; Kaul, Corina R., 1969-Despite recent nationwide efforts to improve students’ social, emotional, behavioral, and overall mental well-being, rates of mental health among adolescents have not shown improvement. Although school-based, social and emotional learning (SEL) provides the supports necessary to improve these student outcomes, SEL implementation is not always consistent and is even absent in some states. Additionally, there are many teacher-related factors involved that impact the effectiveness of implementation and have undue influence on one another. Educators involved in students’ education have an ethical responsibility to have a high level of competence to provide effective SEL for students. Furthermore, it is essential for educational institutions to promote a culture of SEL that allows for effective implementation of SEL programs, practices, strategies, or beliefs. This quantitative correlational study examined the relationship between teacher perceptions of internal and external factors related to SEL implementation using a web-based survey. Additionally, I investigated statistical differences in groups of teachers based on their certification level and whether their administration required SEL as part of the daily schedule or not. Jennings and Greenberg’s (2009) Prosocial Classroom model served as the theoretical framework for this study. The model asserts that factors related to effective SEL implementation, including a positive classroom climate, healthy teacher-student relationships, effective classroom management, teacher social and emotional competence and well-being, students’ social, emotional, and academic outcomes, and other contextual factors such as professional learning opportunities and administrative support influence one another. Correlational analyses revealed moderate to strong, positive correlations between SEL culture, school climate, and professional learning. Regression analyses indicated SEL culture, school climate, and professional learning were significant predictors of teachers’ comfort level in implementing SEL practices. Teachers’ perceptions revealed a statistically significant difference in comfort level in implementing SEL practices based on the presence or absence of administration required SEL as part of the daily classroom schedule. However, findings indicated no statistical differences in levels of SEL comfort existed between teachers who were alternatively certified compared to teachers who were traditionally certified. Implications for these findings relate to teachers, school administrators and researchers in the field of elementary education and professional development. ItemA design-based research study of school-based makerspaces in the discipline of mathematics.(2021-08-03) Salisbury, Kurt, 1978-; Wilkerson, Trena.The Maker Movement is a trend that has gained momentum in education which places students at the center of learning where they become creators or makers of things in a makerspace. While educational leaders see the potential for the Maker Movement to support learning, researchers have called for an increased focus on exploring students’ learning through making, particularly concerning the learning of specific content or disciplines. The purpose of this study was to explore the mathematics learning or mathematical proficiency of students when mathematics was taught in an educational makerspace. The study was conducted through design-based research to determine what strands of mathematical proficiency were evident as part of a makerspace experience. The participants of the study were two seventh-grade mathematics teachers and their students in four seventh-grade mathematics classes. As part of the design-based research (DBR), the researcher and the teachers partnered together to develop a pilot study and two makerspace experiences following educational making principles in the form of Resnick’s 4P’s – projects, peers, passion, and play- that targeted students’ mathematical proficiency. The researcher collected observation data, student artifacts in the form of student creations and written reflections, and interviews with the practitioner, which informed the study. The data were coded into the five strands of mathematical proficiency as defined by the National Research Council ([NRC], 2001). Furthermore, the data went through axial coding to determine if any other relevant themes emerged. Results from this study revealed all five strands of mathematical proficiency were evident in the observations, student artifacts, and teacher interviews collected by the researcher when students engaged in educational making. Additionally, two other themes emerged, including exploring mathematics beyond the intended learning goal and the importance of developing makerspace experiences that release content learning in conjunction with the educational making. The researcher provided implications and recommendations based on these results along with potential future areas of research. ItemA dual case study : students' perceptions, self-efficacy, and understanding of the nature of science in varied introductory biology laboratories.(2016-11-27) Quigley, Dena Beth Boans, 1977-; LeCompte, Karon N.Since World War II, science education has been at the forefront of curricular reforms. Although the philosophical approach to science education has changed numerous times, the importance of the laboratory has not waned. A laboratory is meant to allow students to encounter scientific concepts in a very real, hands-on way so that they are able to either recreate experiments that have given rise to scientific theories or to use science to understand a new idea. As the interactive portion of science courses, the laboratory should not only reinforce conceptual ideas, but help students to understand the process of science and interest them in learning more about science. However, most laboratories have fallen into a safe pattern having teachers and students follow a scientific recipe, removing the understanding of and interest in science for many participants. In this study, two non-traditional laboratories are evaluated and compared with a traditional laboratory in an effort to measure student satisfaction, self-efficacy, attitudes towards science, and finally their epistemology of the nature of science (NOS). Students in all populations were administered a survey at the beginning and the end of their spring 2016 laboratory, and the survey was a mixture of qualitative questions and quantitative instruments. Overall, students who participated in one of the non-traditional labs rated their satisfaction higher and used affirming supportive statements. They also had significant increases in self-efficacy from pre to post, while the students in the traditional laboratory had a significant decrease. The students in the traditional laboratory had significant changed in attitudes towards science, as did the students in one of the non-traditional laboratories. All students lacked a firm grasp of the tenets of NOS, although one laboratory that includes explicit discussions of NOS saw improvement in at least on tenet. Data for two non-major biology laboratory populations was collected, but only qualitative analysis was conducted as their participation was very low. Unfortunately, no direct comparisons could be made between biology majors and non-majors. ItemA multiple case study : military-dependent children’s social and emotional well-being and its impact on classroom behavior.(2021-07-12) Choe, Yoo Jin, 1984-; Howell, Leanne.The United States’ military is one of the world’s largest active armed forces and currently deploys troops in more than 150 countries around the world. Military-dependent children face difficulties in school settings more often than children who come from nonmilitary families. These difficulties often include classroom misbehavior and social-emotional issues with peers, teachers, and parents due, in part, to constant military deployment, absence of parental support, and Permanent Change of Station. At present, there is restricted access to the military population, and many researchers who are experts in child-development fields have difficulties obtaining access to this unique population. Hence, more research is needed to help understand the military culture, especially military children, in school settings. The purpose of this multiple case study is to examine the central phenomenon of how military-connected children’s social and emotional well-being impact their classroom behavior in elementary schools. The theoretical framework of Social Capital Theory forms the foundation for this study, recognizing the vital link to social capital and successful transitions within military children’s family support and peer relationships. This study includes three active-duty military-dependent children in first through fourth grades and three active-duty military parents who work on a military installation in Camp Humphreys, South Korea. Data collection includes semi-structured interviews, sentence stems, and focus group interviews. This multiple case study findings highlight several emerging themes to shed light on how active-duty military parents prepared for the military relocation and built expectations for military-dependent children to adjust to their new classroom environments at school. The study participants provided insights into the benefits of deep conversations and family activities, as well as trustworthy relationships with teachers helped mitigate the impacts of military events in an effort to impact their social and emotional well-being and classroom behaviors. Through a better understanding of this, the redesign of educational curriculum and policies to support the development of military children’s mental health, behavior, and educational experiences in school is a more realistic endeavor. Future research within this domain is crucial, as these students’ success in the classroom has a ripple effect on the entire community within which they live. ItemA multiple case study examining the reasons for career change among behavioral health technicians : solving the turnover dilemma.(2021-07-21) Arrington, Rhonda K., 1974-; Talbert, Tony L.Turnover across all industries has almost doubled since the turn of the century in 2000 and was on track to hit 40 million resignations in 2018 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). Healthcare historically has higher than average turnover rates, and behavioral health has an even higher turnover rate than most areas of healthcare. Nationally, in rural communities, behavioral health turnover has reached as high as ninety percent annually (Jobs to Careers, 2013). Turnover is a costly process for employers whose funding and general revenue lack the same economic growth as other industries. At Helping Hands Healthcare, turnover rates trend at a higher rate in entry-level caregiver positions versus other clinical areas. Stakeholders and the researchers have reviewed various reasons for turnover, such as lack of recognition, burnout, and generational gaps. This case study determined and prioritized reasons for turnover and offered solutions for decreasing the turnover, helping organizations combat the trend. This study investigated a wide range of reasons why behavioral health technicians may choose a career change or elect to leave their current position for a similar job elsewhere. The prioritization of reasons for turnover allowed the organization to apply resources in ways that had the most positive impact on the quality of patient care, employee satisfaction, and financial goals. An anonymous questionnaire, developed by the researcher, and semi-structured interviews were the primary source of data for the study. This study used Vroom's expectancy theory and the unfolding theory in analyzing data. The researcher hypothesized that data would show compensation, culture, lack of recognition, motivation, appreciation, lack of training, advancement opportunities, and burnout as common themes for the high turnover rates in these positions and specific settings. Further, the researcher believed that burnout, compensation, lack of training, and lack of career advancement would rank above other reasons for turnover in the behavioral healthcare field. Actual findings from the study showed the main reason for turnover was a lack of communication and connection between leaders and the front-line staff and the need for a more positive culture in the hospitals. ItemA multiple case study exploring educators’ perspectives on charter-school climate : what factors really matter?(May 2023) Gillen, Allison M. P., 1996-; Howell, Leanne.Today, schools’ climates impact every student across the globe (Thapa et al., 2013). “A positive school climate is critically related to school success” (National Center for Safe and Supportive Learning, 2021, para. 2). School climate consists of the many aspects of an educational atmosphere including the physical environment, relationships within the school community, available resources, and regulations (Cohen et al, 2009). School climate has the power to impact students’ day-to-day lives, and shape their overall academic experience (National School Climate Center, 2021; Wang & Degol, 2016). This study used a multiple case study design to research four educators’ perceptions of school climate across four charter schools to understand the most important factors that comprise a school’s climate. The research questions used in this study were: What are educators’ perceptions of current levels of engagement, safety, and environment concerning school climate in charter schools? and, What are educators’ perceptions of school climate improvement efforts regarding engagement, safety, and environment? Purposeful and convenience sampling were used to find participants across Denver, Colorado. Over three months, data collection unfolded in a three-step process. First, the participants completed an in-depth questionnaire, next the participants engaged in individual semi-structured interviews. Finally, the participants told their stories of school climate in a focus-group interview. The research findings suggest that overall, the four educators were satisfied with current levels of their school’s climate. However, the teachers felt that there were larger systemic issues such as feelings of underappreciation that could impact their school’s overall climate. Additionally, the participants shared that they would like to see their voices reflected in administrative decisions, and for more Social Emotional Learning supports available in their schools. Consequently, the findings in this study indicate that teachers are currently satisfied with their schools’ perceived levels of Safety, Engagement, and Environment, and provided suggestions as to improving overall school climates. The results from this study have the potential to impact other schools’ assessment process of school climate, and hopefully will help to spark discussions around the importance of understanding current perceptions of schools’ climates. ItemA multiple case study exploring middle school attendance barriers and challenges.(2021-10-26) Patillo, Crystal H., 1971-; Meehan, Jessica Padrón.Regular school attendance is an imperative factor in school success (Pascopella, 2007; Rothman, 2001). Students achieve best when invested in their education. Four misconceptions result in student absenteeism: myths about attendance, barriers to attendance, aversions to school, and disengagement from school (Attendance Works, 2014b). Many families believe it is okay for students to miss a day or two and think attendance only matters in high school. Chronic absenteeism has increased in schools where students feel unsafe, lack basic needs, experience trauma or chronic illness, or provide care for family members (Railsback, 2004). This research investigated the impact of middle school student attendance and examined the hindrances that challenge regular school attendance. This multiple case study applied a thematic analysis to interpret the research findings. The study focused on students who have excessive absences and are at-risk of not meeting their academic growth achievements. The research questions were: How do students describe their challenges with attendance and overcome obstacles, in reach of academic achievement? How has the Positive Behavior Interventions Support system (PBIS) framework assisted students in overcoming and reducing chronic absenteeism? The researcher used the Positive Behavior Interventions Support system (PBIS) theoretical framework influenced by B.F. Skinner’s (1953) Behaviorism Theory to inform the study. The PBIS framework applied consequences and rewards for positive and negative behaviors that influenced behavior (Sugai & Homer, 2006). This study investigated five cases of chronic absenteeism, and through an analysis of data, individual and common themes emerged. This study utilized data collected from participants’ one-on-one interviews, family questionnaires, and agency records. The participants provided insights into their lived experiences. The findings revealed the complexity of each participant’s experiences and highlighted the influence their home life factors have on their regular school attendance. The findings also indicated that participants seek to overcome their challenges to succeed academically. ItemA multiple case study exploring the relationship between teachers’ alternative certification experience and their self-efficacy in their first year of teaching.(2021-07-07) Jones, Haley Elizabeth, 1992-; Howell, Leanne.Teacher preparation is at the forefront of educational policy. All over the country, teachers continue to protest because of the feeling of being overworked and underpaid (Ravitch, 2020). The country’s lowest-performing schools tend to gain the most underprepared and alternatively certified teachers (Hussar et al., 2020). Teachers often experience a low sense of self-efficacy, and attrition rates continue to rise in the profession. Preparing teachers to teach in low-income urban environments through alternative certification warrants more extensive study. Overall, this study explored critical components of teacher preparation programs in an effort to understand how these components impact preservice teachers’ self-efficacy and their success during their first year of teaching. The following study describes the feelings and perceptions of four first-year teachers in a city in Texas who were certified through an approved alternative certification program. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to understand the feelings and perceptions of first-year teachers and to explore the impact of their alternative certification experience on their self-efficacy. Through an a priori theoretical framework, this study utilized Bandura’s four sources of self-efficacy to describe the stories of four first-year teachers. This study created a link between components of alternative certification programs to the perceived effectiveness of first-year teachers. Observations, open-ended sentence stems, and interviews enabled me to collect data from four first-year teachers. This Problem of Practice found that teachers who experienced clinical internship during their alternative certification teaching program relied heavily on their mastery experiences within their first year of teaching regarding their self-efficacy. This Problem of Practice also found that teachers emotional and psychological traits played a strong role in a teachers perceived self-efficacy when clinical internship was absent from the alternative certification experience. Overall, this study examined the components of different alternative certification programs in regards to first-year teachers self-efficacy. Programs that included prolonged, structured clinical internships paired with culturally relevant pedagogy more positively impacted the teacher’s self-efficacy than those that did not include this component. ItemA multiple descriptive case study exploring special education teachers’ motivational factors which influence retention in Washington, DC.(2021-10-19) Gibson, Shavonne D., 1980-; Talbert, Sandra.The causes of teacher attrition are varied and complex. In urban environments, these challenges are more pronounced. In particular, special education teachers in urban environments seem to leave the field disproportionately compared to their general education counterparts. Some estimates state that as many as 40% of new special education teachers chose to leave their roles in the first three years of teaching, compared to an estimated total public-school general education attrition rate of 25.5% (Billingsley, 2004). The impact of this attrition is $2.2 billion per year nationwide in costs related to recruitment, training, and turnover (Barnes et al., 2007). Special education teachers cite factors such as salary, lack of support, poor collegial relationships, increasing caseloads, lack of resources, and lack of administrative support as critical components that drive attrition in the field. The absence of adequate special education staff leads to consequences for students with disabilities, including the reduction of services, improper classification of disabilities to matched available staff, and a perpetuating achievement gap between students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers. This multiple descriptive case study explored the relationship between workplace conditions and special education teacher retention in Washington, DC. A theoretical framework drew connections between the lived experience and the academic research base. Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory (1959) is used to frame this case study. Purposively sampled participants engaged in a two-phase data collection process including completion of a questionnaire and then select participants engaged in semi-structured interviews. This qualitative case study addresses the gap in research related to special education teacher retention in urban school environments. Results from this study demonstrated that these special education teachers are overwhelmingly motivated by relationships with students and being recognized by school administration. However, teachers cited concerns with administrative support, increased demands on workload, and organizational policies. The researcher provided recommendations based on the study’s findings for practitioners and policymakers. ItemA new genre of educators : a descriptive case study examining next-career professionals.(2021-09-21) Morgan, Amanda Bell, 1975-; Talbert, Sandra.School districts across the country face teacher shortages. Moreover, these school districts have demonstrably low results when placing non-certified teachers directly into the classroom without any pedagogical training. This descriptive case study focused on a new genre of educators called “next-career professionals.” Next-career professionals are teachers who have had professional career experience outside of education for at least five years, obtained their alternative certification, and moved into teaching for a minimum of three years. The genre of next-career professionals was a new area of exploration in alternative certification research. This descriptive case-study explored the experiences of next-career professionals and their perception of preparedness teaching in a secondary setting. This study answered the following research questions: How do next-career professionals experience self-efficacy? What do next-career professionals draw from their past professional experiences to bring real-world experiences in the classroom? To answer these research questions, four purposely selected teachers who fit the criteria of a next-career professional participated in this descriptive case study. The purpose of this descriptive case study was to examine how next-career professionals’ experience self-efficacy through Bandura’s (1977) Self-Efficacy Theory. Additionally, just as experiential learning leverages the benefit of experience to strengthen the learning process, next-career professionals can also leverage the benefit of experience from Kolb’s (1984) Experiential Learning Theory to strengthen the learning process in the classroom. Furthermore, the lack of current research on next-career professionals supplied an avenue for me to gain perspective and insight into what these professionals bring to students (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). Next-career professionals were a new area of study. Nevertheless, to summarize, this study not only increased the awareness of next-career professionals, but it also brought attention to the impact next-career professionals have in the classroom. Thus, this case study shed light on the process of moving from a professional career to an educational career. In conclusion, this study allowed me to focus on the influences next-career professionals brought from their past professional experiences to their students.