Browsing Theses and Dissertations by Subject "University"
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Learner Attitudes Toward Studying English in a Rural Japanese University: Motivation, WTC, and Preferences for Instructional ActivitiesThis study is a multi-faceted analysis of the English learning motivation of one particular population: first-year non-English-major Japanese university students in a rural area of Japan. In addition to traditional motivation measures, measures of group dynamics thought to be relevant to classroom motivation and L2 Willingness to Communicate (WTC),which has recently caught interest both as an influence on and valued outcome of second language (L2) learning, were also included. The participants' English proficiency was measured with the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC). The participants were 238 Economics and Management majors enrolled in required English courses. They completed a 44-item L2 motivation and preferences for instructional activities questionnaire, a 30-item L2 WTC questionnaire, and the TOEIC. A factor analysis was performed to determine the internal structure of the motivation and preferences for instructionl activities variables. A Rasch rating-scale analysis was conducted to estimate the strength of the components by calibrating person measures for each variable for this sample Motivational Intensity, Intergroup Approach Tendency, Necessity of English and Instrumental Orientation emerged as motivational components, and Group Cohesion, Preference for a Student-Centered Approach, Enjoyment of Group Activities, and Study Habit Preference emerged as preference for instructional activities components. To determine the effects of the motivational and preferences for instructional activities components on proficiency and L2 WTC, multiple regression analyses were performed. One motivation component (Motivational Intensity) and one preference for instructional activities component (Study Habit Preference) contributed to predicting proficiency. For L2 WTC, Intergroup Approach Tendency and Preference for a Student-Centered Approach were statistically significant predictors. Next, a profile analysis was conducted to determine the differences in motivational and preferences for instructional activities tendencies at low, medium, and high levels of proficiency and L2 WTC. No notable differences in profiles emerged for the three proficiency levels, but significant differences emberged among three levels of L2 WTC groups. Overall, the set of analyses provide an in-depth understanding of the motivation of university-aged Japanese learners of English in a rural area. Teachers of these and similar students can adapt their practices to match and expand the preferences of these learners, and researchers in the future can apply this research strategy to different populations.
PROGRAMS ON A DIET?: AN EXAMINATION OF ATHLETIC DEPARTMENTS’ EATING DISORDER POLICIES AT NCAA DIVISION I UNIVERSITIESThe purpose of this study was to determine which NCAA Division I universities have an eating disorder policy specific to collegiate athletes. Demographic factors were also assessed for their relationship to whether or not a university has a specific policy. An additional goal of the study was to examine currently existing policies, assess common themes between them, and determine which themes are most appropriate and beneficial for future policies. The study used both qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Participants of the study were the 128 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision universities. The research design involved a documentary analysis to determine which universities currently have a policy specific to athletes with eating disorders. An online search for policies yielded 13 official policies, primarily found through a general Google search. For the universities in which an online search did not provide results, athletic department personnel were contacted by email requesting the status of their policies in relation to athletes with eating disorders. Of the 115 universities that were contacted, 50 universities replied. Through analysis of the email responses, the researcher found an additional 20 universities with a specific policy regarding athletes with eating disorders. In total, the researcher found 33 of the 128 universities (26%) to have an official policy specific to athletes with eating disorders. Existing policies were analyzed and coded into themes. The researcher found 16 major themes that were recurring throughout existing policies. Each theme was analyzed individually to determine recurring patterns. The researcher found between four and six recurring patterns per major theme.
The Panther University International Accelerator Program (IAP) A Program EvaluationWhile it is true that a variety of research has been conducting regarding the acculturation of international students to U.S universities, little research is available on the impact of international accelerator programs (otherwise known as pathway programs) on international student adjustment. This dissertation focuses on how the International Accelerator Program (IAP) affected the student satisfaction of new undergraduate international students enrolled at Panther University for Fall 2016. Responses from 115 first-semester undergraduate international students in the IAP (treatment group) were contrasted against 92 first-semester international students not in the IAP (control group) by employing an independent measures t-test. The survey included questions measuring academic, cultural, and satisfaction attitudes along with one demographic category. The sample above was used to run two multiple regression analyses to determine how well the adaptation categories predicted academic and cultural satisfaction. Responses from 79 students in the IAP were also compared via repeated measures t-test to their earlier responses in an IAP Survey conducted as part of the IAP coursework. The emerging themes from the research included (1) academic success, (2) personal initiative, (3) cultural risk-taking, and (4) cultural engagement. By the end of the Fall 2016 term, the course participants tended to be more informed with regard to the full array of programs at Panther University and how to utilize university services than their nonparticipant counterparts. They also endeavored to be more involved in the campus community, engaged more with domestic students, and were more willing to explore their surrounding environment. However, while the IAP does seem to provide a launch-pad for student learning, the moderate results of the study did not provide strong evidence of substantial academic adaptation in the three and a half months of the 2016 Fall term for the IAP students. More specifically, even though the IAP provided a significant learning environment for participants in terms of how to be successful students at Panther University, as a variable, participation in the IAP was not significant. Recommendations for practice and future research included IAPs designed solely for undergraduate and graduate international students to be included in a comprehensive international student engagement strategy and expanding research into IAPs to include a domestic-student component.
University Board and PerformanceThis dissertation examines the impact of board of director characteristics and policies on nonprofit performance. Using data collected through a survey of nonprofit colleges and universities, I provide evidence that specific board member characteristics and board monitoring policies are vital in shaping both the financial and nonfinancial success of nonprofit institutions of higher education. Related to board characteristics, results indicate that bigger boards with more major donors are consistently associated with better performing organizations, confirming my board contribution hypothesis. These results are in addition to noteworthy relationships between nonprofit success and the number of meetings held by an organization as well as the impact of recruiting board members who serve on other nonprofit boards. In terms of board monitoring, findings confirm regulatory and advisory recommendations that the use of a conflict of interest policy, disclosure of business relationships, nominating and compensation committees are important aspects of board development in addition to longer board terms. These relationships confirm all three monitoring hypotheses, suggesting that board disclosures, organization, and independence all have an important impact on success when it is measured as organizational efficiency, one of the most studied and relied upon measures of performance in the nonprofit sector. This work makes important, initial forays into the relationships between board of director qualities and nonprofit performance. Although limited by the relatively small sample of colleges and universities, given the lack of public data available related to nonprofit boards, this study is unique in the ability to analyze nonprofit boards with both financial and nonfinancial performance measures.