• Alaska Native females: understanding body image dissatisfaction in a culturally diverse country

      Naegele, Karaline M.; Cook, Christine; Renes, Susan; Harrison, Lynn (2013-05)
      The current study was conducted to expand literature on body image dissatisfaction (BID) in Alaska Native females. As BID has been a concern for European American females, and many minority groups in America, professionals should examine all cultural groups for the presence of BID. The research was comprised of qualitative interviewing methods. Interviews were conducted with Alaska Native female participants between the ages of 18 and 23 years, attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Research questions addressed whether or not Alaska Native females experience BID, and if so how BID develops and manifests for this population. The study found that all participants experienced BID beginning in adolescence. The development and manifestation of BID varied on an individual basis, reflecting other research findings.
    • Alaska Native scholars: a mixed methods investigation of factors influencing PhD attainment

      Jones, Alberta J.; Barnhardt, Ray; Vinlove, Amy; Leonard, Beth; Roehl, Roy (2018-05)
      This study entitled, "Alaska Native Scholars: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Factors Influencing PhD Attainment," investigates the contributing factors influencing the attainment of PhD degrees by Alaska Natives. Originating from a cross-section of rural and urban Alaska communities and tribal ethnicities, this group of scholars attended graduate schools throughout the country. Today many of these PhDs work in universities, conduct research, and advocate for Indigenous people in various leadership roles, both in and outside of Alaska. This study's assumption is these PhD graduates have gained valuable lessons along their path to success and an examination of these factors is relevant to advancing that successs. The findings analyze results from a survey instrument with approximately a 92% response rate from all living Alaska Native PhD/EdD graduates that were able to be located at the time, up to early 2015. Survey participants shared personal, demographic, cultural, social, academic, and economic factors both supporting and hindering PhD attainment. Survey data was validated by ten personal interviews with PhDs from eight different Alaska Native tribes. One goal of this study was to increase our knowledge of the circumstances and factors of Alaska Native doctoral graduates and to build upon knowledge necessary to increase interest and enrollment of Alaska Native PhD graduates. Some questions examined by this study are: What sets of factors do AN PhDs have in common which led to their success? What challenges and barriers are specific to the Alaska Native demographics? If patterns of successful factors exist, can these factors be replicated to expand Alaska Native participation in PhD or other graduate programs? Are there 'lessons learned' in terms of aiding university PhD programs in attracting and graduating Alaska Native students? A stronger PhD representation of this population has implications for leadership, education, business, and policy-making roles serving to increase Indigenous self-determination. Additionally, this research has implications for universities seeking to address gaps in Alaska Native and American Indian faculty representation.
    • Alaskan school counseling: a career guidance and exploration curriculum for third through sixth grade students

      Bussa, Sarah (2015)
      This project reviews the existing literature on career development in children, and demonstrates the importance of school counselors facilitating career exploration and development with students of an elementary age. Although research suggests career development begins in childhood, and the American School Counselor Association and Alaska School Counselor Association require a career component to school counseling programs, few resources are available to elementary school counselors for developing an effective career curriculum. School counselors working with kindergarten through second grade students can reference An Alaskan Career Education Curriculum for Grades Kindergarten to Second (Zanazzo, 2014) for support in developing career lessons for younger elementary students. This project aims to provide Alaskan school counselors with a curricular resource to assist in the creation of a career curriculum that guides third through sixth grade students in career development.
    • Alaskan school counseling: child sexual abuse curriculum for kindergarten through second grade students

      Weaver, Kristy; Cook, Christine; Morotti, Allan; McMorrow, Samantha (2016)
      This project reviews Erin's Law, a new law passed in Alaska, which requires all school districts to implement a prevention oriented child sexual abuse program in their schools. Existing literature on effective components of school-based child sexual abuse prevention programs is reviewed. Alaskan school counselors will benefit from information regarding child sexual abuse, a list of existing school-based child sexual abuse prevention programs that meet the requirements of Erin's Law, and a set of child sexual abuse prevention lessons relevant for students in grades K-2.
    • Assisting adolesecents transitioning from residential treatment to public school

      Church, Sylvia; Cook, Christine; Morotti, Allan; Simpson, Joni (2017-05)
      This research project aims to aid residential treatment facilities and school personnel in recognizing the importance of transition planning, developing strategies to assist a successful transition from inpatient residential treatment centers to the students next school, while also taking into account adolescent perspectives on their needs during this transition. This paper introduces the importance of addressing education while in treatment and explores barriers to aftercare and current aftercare models using an ecological model to recognize how multiple systems interact in shaping the experiences of students. Included in this paper is a small pilot study of three students that attended a residential treatment program at the Boys and Girls Home of Alaska. It is important to note that since interviews were conducted, the Boys and Girls Home of Alaska no longer operates in the State of Alaska and is now under new ownership. The application resulting from this project is a presentation for both treatment and school staff.
    • Assisting school personnel with youth transitioning from residential treatment to a school environment

      Smith, Kristi; Cook, Christine; McMorrow, Samantha; Gifford, Valerie (2015-12)
      The following research project examines the data and literature regarding youth who reside in residential treatment centers for behavior and mental health purposes. The paper introduces common risk factors that youth are experiencing which contribute to their placement in the facilities, as well as the difficulties they face upon exiting the treatment program. This project explores how schools can assist students in the transition from residential treatment to a school setting using a bio-ecological model that supports the students on an individual level up to a systemic level. School counselors serve as a key point of contact for transitioning students and can help teachers to understand this population and introduce supports both in the classroom and schoolwide. Teachers will also learn how to identify and modify potential negative stigmas, frustrations, and thought processes by practicing cognitive behavior techniques. The application resulting from the project is a counselor lead in-service for elementary through high school teachers, administrators, and student support services personnel.
    • Bullying in middle school: the role of school counselors and teachers in preventing bullying

      Palmer, Paula Nicole; Topkok, Sean; Barnhardt, Ray; Roehl, Roy (2017-05)
      Research suggests that bullying is a problem in schools throughout the nation. Children spend the vast majority of their life attending school. School counselors and teachers are in a unique position to identify, prevent and educate students about bullying. The purpose of this project was to examine the role of school counselors and teachers in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District (FNSBSD) in preventing bullying in their schools. The participants of this study were 8 school counselors and teachers from four middle schools in the FNSBSD. Data for this research was collected using an anonymous online survey utilizing www.SurveyMonkey.com. The results of the survey indicated that bullying is an issue in the four middle schools selected for the study in FNSBSD. Of the four major types of bullying discussed in my research (cyber, relation, physical, and verbal), there was a consensus among the participants that cyber and relational bullying were the most prevalent and problematic in their schools. Recommendations for future research include expanding on this study to include a larger sample of schools and participants, suggestions for strengthening staff training and implementing school based youth courts in FNSBSD schools as part of the bully intervention and prevention program.
    • Culturally responsive teaching and student self-efficacy in Alaskan middle schools

      Christian, Scott; Kaden, Ute; John, Theresa; Sesko, Amanda; Ontooguk, Paul; Jester, Timothy (2017-12)
      Culturally responsive teaching may provide practices and dispositions which support closing the achievement gap between minority and Caucasian student populations. For this research, culturally responsive teaching can be considered as teaching practices that address students' specific cultural characteristics. These characteristics include common practices such as language, values and traditions but also include concepts such as communication, learning styles, and relationship norms. The research also presents a definition of culturally responsive teaching that extends beyond curriculum and instruction to focus on student teacher relationships, empathy, and the teacher as learner. This research explores the beliefs and practices around Culturally Responsive Teaching in ten Alaskan Middle Schools. A mixed-methods, sequential explanatory research design was used to answer the research questions: 1. How do teachers identify what is culturally responsive teaching, and what is not? 2. How is culturally responsive teaching implemented in Alaskan middle schools? 3. How is culturally responsive teaching connected to student self-efficacy in Alaskan middle schools? Although culturally responsive teaching has become a recognized practice in the fields of teacher preparation and professional development for teachers, the working definitions as well as evaluation tools are inadequate to describe the actual practice that teachers enact when they are engaged in culturally responsive teaching. Despite state regulations requiring Alaska school districts to include teaching practice of the Alaska Cultural Standards in teacher evaluations, there is only limited focused research available about the implementation of the standards in classrooms. Through semi-structured interviews and surveys with teachers and principals, formal classroom observations, as well as a student self-efficacy survey, this research addresses the lack of research and understanding regarding the relationship between culturally responsive teaching and self-efficacy for middle school students. This study identified the integration of local culture and language into academic content areas, teaching through culture, and the establishment of positive, respectful working relationships with students as promising practices for culturally responsive teaching.
    • Discovery Peak Charter School Initiative unit development

      Rosevear, Kristine; Green, Carie; Armstrong, Anne; Boyle, Sandra (2017-05)
      I have created two units of study that focus around place-based education, project based learning and emphasize physical activity. These units were created with the purpose of being used at Discovery Peak Charter School. Guided by underlying principles of Understanding by Design (2011) and Place-based Curriculum Design (2015), each unit aligns with the mission of the school and have been balanced to create a holistic quarter long unit of study. The units are built around three main principles; place-based education, project based learning, and physical activity. Each of these principles will be woven into the unit, but may not be present in each lesson section.
    • Dramatics in the classroom: activating and enhancing the elementary intermediate level reading curriculum

      Finnell, Sarah K.; Vinlove, Amy; Hornig, Joan; Brink-Hart, Paula (2014-07)
      Elementary classroom teachers have been using drama to teach a variety of subjects since the 1960s. There are a myriad of books on the subject to which educators can turn for ideas to use in their classrooms. Theorists and practitioners have recognized that it is not enough for teachers to simply read about and practice drama in their classrooms; they should be trained in using drama effectively. In the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District teachers are well-equipped and exposed to visual arts lessons. Nearly every school has a music program, but there remains limited training or resources teachers might use to incorporate drama into their curriculum. This project would begin to fill that gap. In this report, I outline the research that justifies the use of drama as a tool to support the reading curriculum in intermediate elementary classrooms. My final project is a set of nine lessons that can be used by any teacher to support reading comprehension skills in intermediate elementary classrooms.
    • Elim's cultural values: reaffirming and implementing indigenous values in education

      Marchant, Samantha C. (2017-12)
      The curriculum project Elim's Cultural Values: Reaffirming and Implementing Indigenous Values in Education was brought to light through community-based participatory action research. Through informal interviews, survey analysis and discussions with local residents of Elim, Alaska; Elim's Cultural Values were identified and implemented into local curriculum. The Indigenous values of the community of Elim are a combination of both Yup'ik and Inupiaq heritage. These values have been carefully laid out into a set of forty separate lessons, (ten cultural value units) in which educators in the local school can implement culturally relevant lessons that connect with the Bering Strait School District curriculum. This project is a living curriculum, currently being piloted in Elim's Kindergarten classroom. It seeks to utilize the many resources we have in our school and community in hopes of reaffirming Elim's cultural values within both school and community.
    • Enhancing the clinical supervision process for beginning mental health professionals

      Callahan, Adie; Gifford, Valerie; Renes, Susan; Simpson, Joni (2016)
      Using current research, this project discovers and compiles the pertinent information students need to know to successfully utilize supervision. Supervision was established as a field competency after the American Psychological Association's 2002 Multinational Competencies Conference. Since then, the mental health field has made strides in defining, standardizing, and evaluating the process of supervision. Students' awareness and ability to effectively use supervision is still gaining momentum, as the professionals in the field develop an infrastructure to train student development of knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the utilization of supervision. This project's application establishes a supplemental booklet for students in the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Education's Counseling Program to use throughout supervision in practicum, internship, and as an early career mental health professional. Teaching students about supervision while they are in school sets the foundation for the developing competency of helping skills, delivering of quality client care, and becoming effective supervisors later in their careers.
    • Equine assisted therapy: supporting treatment for substance use disorders in Alaska

      Gelvin-Smith, Claire; Renes, Susan; Gifford, Valerie; Jonaitis, Aldona (2017-04)
      The State of Alaska demonstrates exceedingly high rates of interpersonal violence, child neglect, depression, and drug related arrests when compared with national rates. Substance use disorder is often linked with instances of interpersonal violence, child neglect, depression and judicial consequences. An equine assisted therapy program could provide support for the treatment of substance use disorders in Alaska. This project asks one basic question, "What benefits could an equine assisted therapy program provide for individuals in a level II, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) in interior Alaska?" Currently, no residential or level II treatment programs for substance use disorder in Alaska offer equine assisted therapy. Examples of successful equine assisted therapy programs in the contiguous United States are presented as models for an equine assisted therapy program in Alaska. Resiliency theory is introduced as a theoretical framework that balances goals and objectives of both level II substance use treatment and equine assisted therapy. Participants might experience benefits from an equine assisted therapy group related to immediate feedback, opportunities for learning, opportunities for trust-building, healthy relationships, learning new ways of dealing with trauma, relationships, confronting fears, and effectively working through new challenges.
    • Examining the feasibility of implementing a matrix model intensive outpatient program in a remote Alaskan setting

      Ponziano, Frank; Gifford, Valerie; Renes, Susan; McMorrow, Samantha (2015)
      Significance: The Matrix Model is possibly the only evidenced-based, intensive outpatient approach for addiction that has been shown to be effective at treating addiction. However, the model has not been evaluated for its effectiveness in remote Alaskan settings, such as Fairbanks, Alaska. Specific Aim: This study examined the feasibility of the Matrix Model compared to Treatment as Usual (TAU) in Fairbanks, Alaska. TAU is defined as any other outpatient substance abuse treatment (SAT) other than Matrix Model treatment program. The model's philosophy will be examined, and a method for determining its feasibility for implementation in Fairbanks, Alaska, will be outlined. This project will provide a method for an agency to examine their readiness and philosophical compatibility for the Matrix Model. This research intends to explore contextual variables, such as environment, culture, policy, participant barriers, funding, and organizational philosophy. Methods: This study has reviewed the literature regarding evidence-based, intensive outpatient programs, other treatment philosophies, and the contextual variables that affect program implementation in the literature. Moreover, this study provides an analysis of the Matrix Model versus TAU to help guide a Fairbanks agency considering Matrix Model Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). IOP is a 12 to 16 week intensive outpatient SAT that meets for 9 or more hours per week that integrates individual, family, and group counseling along with weekly drugs screens. Implications: This project aims to contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the Matrix Models effectiveness compared to TAU in remote Alaskan settings.
    • Foster Parent Training for the Delivery of Independent Living Skills

      Alley, Kandy; Renes, Susan L.; Cook, Christine R.; Hutchison, Shayle (2013-12)
      Although training is made available to foster parents when they volunteer to share their homes with children in need, the required ten hours for single parents and fifteen hours for coupled parents does not provide enough training for foster parents who are working with youth preparing for independent living to give them the skills they need to succeed. There are many programs designed for youth, but fewer programs are readily available in Fairbanks, Alaska to teach foster parents how to deliver the skills to the youth. Youth leaving foster care continue to have lower outcomes in education, employment, housing, and fiscal management after exiting foster care than children who were raised in traditional homes. The outcome of this literature review is a pamphlet that will assist agencies in educating the parents of foster youth aging out of the foster care system. It will also provide quick access to resources and learning centers that offer training opportunities for foster parents working with youth preparing for independent living.
    • A guide to school-based suicide prevention in Alaska secondary schools

      Sprague, Anna; Cook, Christine; Gifford, Valerie; Simpson, Joni (2014)
      The purpose of this project is to provide education professionals in the state of Alaska with a practical resource for understanding and distinguishing between evidence-based, best practice, and currently employed school based suicide prevention programs. Programs selected for inclusion were evidence-based and best practice programs recognized by professional organizations including the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP), and are currently listed as accepted programs and resources by the State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Childhood. Programs were evaluated for format, accessibility, research and reviews, and cultural considerations. Nine programs, with 5 others mentioned not meeting all criteria, are presented in a website for easy sharing of information.
    • How to guide: implementing place based learning into the classroom

      Howard, Elisha (2017-12)
      New teachers to rural Alaska may have a difficult time integrating place-based education into their classroom while still using the mandated curriculum provided by their school district. Teachers may also have a hard time relating to their students because they are new to the community and culture. There are limited resources to help teachers learn how to implement place-based education into the curriculum given. Therefore, a how-to guide would be helpful to rural Alaska teachers. This how-to guide will include: Part I. Before Instruction, Part II. Adapting Instruction, Part III. Finding Resources, and Part IV. After the Lessons: Assessments.
    • Improving postsecondary transitions for students in rural Alaska: applying solution focused brief therapy in the school setting

      Elliott, Jill M.; Cook, Christine; Gifford, Valerie; Simpson, Joni (2015)
      Successful postsecondary transitions present several challenges for adolescents, and statistics show that Alaska Native youth experience additional adverse conditions and risks compared to their peers in the dominant culture. An effective intervention plan may assist rural Alaskan students in obtaining desirable education and increase opportunities for achieving personal and professional goals. This project is focused on answering the following research questions: What research has been done to show that SFBT groups could be effective in rural school settings to aid in postsecondary transitions? What components are necessary to include in an effective transition support plan for rural Alaskan students? A literature review was conducted to gain insight as to the aspects of Alaska Native culture that influence counseling outcomes, information regarding current postsecondary transition programs that are available, and the key facets of career development interventions for adolescents. This research guided the creation of a small group counseling curriculum that is grounded in the tenets of Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Family Systems Theory. The activities and discussion that are incorporated into the project target high schools in rural Alaska, and are designed to increase awareness, enhance self-efficacy, and embrace family, community and culture as vital supports in the career development process of adolescents.
    • Increasing exposure at home to improve literacy skills at school

      Gormley, Patricia A.; Burmeister, RIchard; Kardash, Diane; Peterson, Don (2014-06)
      The focus of this project was to help the home literacy environment by supplying materials for families that are an expansion on what students are learning in the classroom with weekly take-home book bags. Research shows that students who become good readers stay good readers. The bags include a selection of books for families to read together along with audio recordings of each of the books to allow the student to make full use of the books without assistance. For families for whom English is not a first language or for families who have limited time for parent-child interactions, the recordings may be especially helpful so that students can interact with the materials independently. Overall, the additional time spent focusing on literacy will have a positive impact on reading skills and help build a strong school-to-home connection for future years.