• 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.
    • Meeting the bereavement needs of older adults with cognitive challenges

      Glendinning, Terry; Renes, Susan; Dahl, Heather; McMorrow, Samantha (2017-06)
      Approximately 5.5 million people in the United States are living with cognitive challenges such as Alzheimer's and other dementias. People with cognitive challenges, following the death of a loved one, often experience unacknowledged grief. This paper first describes grief as it occurs in older adults who are not cognitively challenged. This is followed by a review of literature focusing on the grief of older adults with cognitive challenges. The project looks at methods for accommodating the cognitive and communication needs of this population as they work through their grief process.
    • A school-based group counseling cirriculum for adolescent girls experiencing low self-esteem

      Doolittle, Amanda; Renes, Susan; McMorrow, Samantha; Dahl, Heather (2017-05)
      This project reviews the existing literature on adolescent development in females, and demonstrates the importance of school counselors facilitating small group counseling with students who experience low self-esteem. Although research suggests social-emotional development begins in childhood, and the American School Counselor Association requires a social-emotional component to school counseling programs, there are few resources available to secondary school counselors who see a need for an effective group counseling curriculum for females with low self-esteem. This project aims to provide secondary school counselors with such a curriculum.
    • Sense of place in military children's new community and school environment

      Imhoff, Myriam C.; Green, Carie; Vinlove, Amy; Kardash, Diane (2017-12)
      Relocation, or permanent change of station (PCS) is one of the constants of the military lifestyle. Thus, every two to three years, dependent children of enlisted military are uprooted from a place and forced to call a new place home. The goal of this research project is to provide a resource for teachers who have transient military children in their classroom and help them develop a sense of place in their new community and school environment. Scholarly literature on geographic mobility, stress and coping, education, sense of place, and place attachment as well as existing educational resources for military families inform the scope of this curriculum project. Research reports that having deployed parents as well as relocating have a negative impact on military adolescents' education and social life. However, the resources given for military parents or for teachers getting new military students are limited or difficult to find. This written project, accompanied by a web-based resource, conglomerates ideas from several sources as well as new ideas to help teachers ease military children's transition. Lessons focus on reading, writing, social studies, and art. Key classroom components are also suggested; these include Google annotated map, bulletin board or map in the classroom, bulletin board with photos of the environment/community, guest book for the classroom, and getting to know each other activity. Additionally, curriculum is aligned with Alaska State standards for third through fifth grade.
    • Socioeconomic factors that lead to Latino male students leaving school before graduating

      D'Agostino, Joseph C.; Wong, Nga-Wing Anjela; Barnhardt, Raymond; Armstrong, Anne Brenner (2012-05)
      Students of color make up a predominant number of learners that leave high school before graduating (National Center for Education Research, 2009). I selected to study Latino males to narrow the scope of my research. The literature I reviewed pointed directly at socioeconomics as one of the primary factors. I feel there are more specific factors involved for many of the individuals impacted. I used a qualitative approach and utilized an anonymous survey and individual interviews to pinpoint some of these factors. The findings from my research further supported that socioeconomics were a leading factor. My data and literature review showed that school environment and stereotyping/discrimination also played a role. I intend to conduct further research to identify the additional sub-factors that are most prevalent to Latino males. My long-term goal is to provide information to my peers that can assist in the construction or reconstruction of programs that can offer the best support for these students.
    • Strategies for Chinese international students to overcome the challenges of studying in the United States

      Chen, Yuerong; Simpson, Joni; McMorrow, Samantha; Renes, Susan L. (2015)
      Using current research and literature, this project discusses the challenges that Chinese international students may have while they experience cultural adjustment in the United States. In addition, this project also examines strategies for Chinese international students to smooth the cultural transition during their stay in the United States. There is research about Chinese immigrants' cultural transition and international students' transitional periods. However, there is a very limited amount of research specifically on Chinese international students' cultural adjustment in the United States. Educating the Chinese international students, educators and counselors in international institutions about the challenges of cultural transition and the strategies to overcome the challenges may potentially help these students when they arrive in the United States. The application of this project is a presentation to international office personnel, counselors who work at university counseling centers and faculty members who have a large population of Chinese international students in their classrooms. The project also offers recommendations for any professionals who work to help Chinese international students to succeed in their study in a new educational system and a new culture.
    • Strengths-based analysis of student success in online courses

      Gering, Carol; Sheppard, Dani'; Morotti, Allan; Adams, Barbara; Renes, Susan (2017-08)
      The purpose of this research was to increase understanding of post-secondary student success in online courses by evaluating a contextually rich combination of personal, circumstantial, and course variables. A strengths-based perspective framed the investigation. Mixed-method data were collected and analyzed sequentially in three phases: two phases of quantitative collection and analysis were followed by qualitative interviews and comprehensive analysis. The study first used logistic regression to analyze existing data on more than 27,000 student enrollments, spanning a time period of four academic years. The second phase of research enhanced the modeling focused on a subset of the total population; students from a single semester were invited to complete an assessment of non-cognitive attributes and personal perceptions. Between the two phases, 28 discreet variables were analyzed. Results suggest that different combinations of variables may be effective in predicting success among students with varying levels of educational experience. This research produced preliminary predictive models for student success at each level of class standing. The study concluded with qualitative interviews designed to explain quantitative results more fully. Aligned with a strengths-based perspective, 12 successful students were asked to elaborate on factors impacting their success. Themes that emerged from the interviews were congruent with quantitative findings, providing practical examples of student and instructor actions that contribute to online student success.
    • Using work-based learning as a vehicle for student engagement and community investment

      Stickle, Stephanie; Gifford, Valerie; Dahl, Heather; Simpson, Joni (2017-05)
      Research indicates that rural communities with few labor market opportunities are at increased risk for social and economic unsustainability. As such, high-potential rural students often believe they must leave their homes for more populated areas with superior labor markets in order to obtain fulfilling employment, success, and life satisfaction. This out-migration trend places rural communities at risk for losing the youth that are most likely to contribute to their sustainability and growth. Rural education has been identified as a promising and central means to counter this risk. Effective work-based learning curriculums, which incorporate student engagement and talent development components, may facilitate school engagement, entrepreneurial interest, community involvement, intrinsic satisfaction, and extrinsic success among rural students, thus contributing to community investment.