• A Description Of Baldrige In Education Leadership Concepts Within The Alaska Quality Schools Model Of Education

      Crumley, Robert L.; Madsen, Eric; Monahan, John; Morotti, Allan; Allen, Jim; Covey, Jerry (2008)
      This dissertation reviews the implementation of the Quality Schools Model (QSM) of educational reform in three rural Alaska school districts. This research examines the fit between the theoretical model of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) program and actual practice in the context of rural Alaskan school districts implementing the QSM. Specifically, I sought to determine the perceived levels of importance and practice of leadership practices to form conclusions about the role of leadership. I examined the systematic creation of conditions within the studied districts to foster the transformation from traditional hierarchical leadership to distributed leadership with ownership throughout the system. The results of this mixed-methods study come in part from an analysis of quantitative survey data from a sampling of the three districts' certified and classified staff. Using a concurrent nested design, I triangulated these data with qualitative data gathered through semi-structured interviews of a criterion-based sample of staff and community members within the districts. I conducted this research in collaboration with three cohort members. The following are summary statements of the principal quantitative findings for the common research question: (1) The QSM survey data confirmed the theory that as an independent construct, Leadership drives the remaining Baldrige constructs within the QSM. Derived from the QSM survey, it is therefore a valid Leadership Model for rural Alaskan educators. (2) Through principal component analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling, we found that within the QSM school districts studied, leadership had significant direct causal effect upon two Baldrige constructs (Staff Focus and Knowledge Management) and an indirect causal effect upon the remaining four constructs (Process Management; Strategic Planning; Student, Stakeholder, and Market Focus; and Results). The fit indices from structural equation modeling show the alternative QSM Leadership Model to be a statistically acceptable alternative to the Baldrige (MBNQA) model. This research illustrated that staff of the three districts in the study perceived the MBNQA leadership concepts within the QSM to be important. While these districts may not have fully implemented these concepts, this study indicates each district is well on its way toward putting them into practice.
    • A Description Of The Relationship Between Process Management And The Quality Schools Model In Three Rural Alaska School Districts

      Atwater, Stephen G.; Madsen, Eric; Monahan, John; Allen, Jim; Porter, David (2008)
      This study, conducted as part of a cohort of four, included three districts that follow the Quality Schools Model of educational reform. It used a mixed methods research paradigm to describe how one particular reform evaluation criterion, process management, is believed to be important and to be in practice as a part of the Quality Schools Model (QSM). Process management is the pertinent techniques and tools applied to a process to implement and improve process effectiveness. In this study, I sought to answer four research questions that are fully described in Chapter 3. Three of these questions explored stakeholders' perceptions about the importance of process management in contrast to their perceptions about the extent to which process management was actually in practice in the studied districts. The results of the analysis of the responses showed that there were few significant differences among the respondents. However, stakeholders' perception about the extent to which process management was actually in practice varied significantly with their job classification, but did not vary significantly with either their level of educational work experience or their years of experience with the QSM. Question four of this research was common to the cohort and explored the interrelationship of the seven Malcom Baldrige in Education Criteria in the three districts. The Malcom Baldrige in Education Criteria are a method to evaluate the quality of a school district. The cohort used structural equation modeling (SEM) to answer this question. The data supported a model that shows general agreement with the hypothesized model that is included with the Baldrige literature. While this research was specific to the QSM, others who are pursuing systemic educational reform should consider the implications. They are: holistic educational reform is dependent on well established processes; leadership does not have a direct influence on results; a school district's shared vision must be comprehensive to allow optimum learning conditions through the effective establishment of coproduction; and Total Quality Management practices should be included as a way to ensure staff does its best.
    • Academic, behavioral and social intervention strategies for elementary children with autistic spectrum disorder

      Flora, Kristin; Cook, Christine; Healy, Joanne; Henze-Nelson, Brenda (2013-12)
      Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience academic, behavioral and social challenges that can interfere with their ability to participate fully in the school environment. School districts are legally mandated to provide services to students with disabilities. This paper provides definitions of ASD, addresses some of the diagnostic testing instruments, describes theoretical approaches, and looks at three evidence-based intervention strategies that could be utilized by a school counselor and staff members to work effectively with students with autism. The first is applied behavioral analysis (ABA) which centers on teaching small, measurable units of behavior systematically. The second intervention is assistive technology (AT) which is comprised of devices that allow a student full access to their learning environment. This can be accomplished through the use of computers (high) or a modified chair (low). The third intervention is Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS) which incorporates a schoolwide approach to fostering a healthy and positive environment for students to role-model and practice appropriate behavior for their peers and adults. The final piece included is a districtwide school in-service to provide information to staff about local, state and national resources available to them.
    • The acceptance of evolutionary theory by science teachers in the Fairbanks Northstar Borough School District, Fairbanks, Alaska

      Shier, Peter Matthew; Hogan, Maureen; Reyes, Maria; Norris-Tull, Roger (2006-08)
      This study measured the acceptance of evolutionary theory by science teachers in an Alaskan urban city. Acceptance was assessed by a sample of 59 high school science teachers through use of the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) instrument. This was incorporated into a booklet, which included survey items about teacher experience, education, and classroom practices. Descriptive statistics indicated the majority of teachers have an extensive amount of academic and classroom experience and a high level of acceptance of evolution. Assumptions about these characteristics correlating with an adequate treatment of evolution in the classroom were not confirmed when 60% of teachers reported spending two weeks or less on evolution in class. Further research is needed to clarify the factors influencing the teaching of evolution in this school district.
    • Addressing the health needs of patients diagnosed with a chronic disease in a rural Alberta, Canada primary care setting

      Hesterman, Samantha J.; Gifford, Valerie; Renes, Susan; Kritzinger, Irma (2019-08)
      This comprehensive literature review presents findings associated with the need for more mental health support in rural Alberta. Integrated care with a behavioral health consultant (BHC) presents as a possible solution. Peer-reviewed literature indicates that rural residents are at a higher risk of suicide, substance abuse, depression, and other serious mental health concerns. They are often at a disadvantage when trying to access mental health support, and over 40% of patients with mental health needs will first seek treatment in a primary care setting. Positive mental health and positive health care outcomes are strongly linked to an individual’s total health, and a contributing factor to mental health concerns is the overwhelming number of people who have been diagnosed with a chronic disease. Integrated care with a BHC could help support both primary care providers and their patients by combining the professional competencies of mental health and primary care providers
    • Addressing the needs of adolescents: an exploration of treatment interventions for anxiety disorders

      Lunceford, Carolyn; Renes, Susan L.; Simpson, Joni A.; Gifford, Valerie M. (2016)
      This project explores various cognitive behavioral techniques that may be used for the treatment of anxiety disorders in adolescents. Many adolescents experience anxiety disorders and providing treatment can be challenging. Mindfulness, relaxation, exposure, and music have all been shown to be useful techniques. Short-term treatment, incentives, and parental involvement were also found to be useful. The value of friendships, level of motivation, and drive towards independence should be taken into consideration when working with adolescents. This project includes a curriculum intended for small groups of adolescents with the goal of improving anxiety symptoms. The curriculum will assist counselors in both in-patient and out-patient settings as well as provide resources for middle and high school counselors.
    • Alaska Elementary School Counseling: Current Practices And Future Directions

      McMorrow, Samantha Gale; Morotti, Allan (2010)
      Professional school counseling has roots as far back as the nineteenth century in the United States. Along the way there have been many changes in title and duties for the school counselor, who by recommendation of the American School Counseling Association as well as the state of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, acts as the professional leading the comprehensive counseling program. Elementary comprehensive counseling programs are designed to be developmental in nature and preventative in practice. Additionally, they are intended to make the counseling program available to all students, not just those who are high achieving or at risk within the school community. However, there is a great deal of variance in how programs operate in Alaska. This research used mail surveys to gather data from potentially all elementary school counselors in the state of Alaska. Data were then considered in regards to the suggested comprehensive counseling program to evaluate and produce informed recommendations. One of the specific challenges that Alaskan elementary school counselors face is that of larger than recommended student-to-counselor ratios. Additionally, many counselors are operating in more than one school. Counselors working in the field suggest that curriculum is a much needed resource as well as recommendations that a counseling coordinator be employed to assist in bringing a more uniformed structure to counseling programs in the state of Alaska. School counseling, as well as education in general, has undergone many changes over the last century. Counseling programs in Alaska will need to continue to change and adapt if they are to meet the needs of students and communities.
    • 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.
    • Alaska native studies unit for fourth grade using place-based education, project-based learning, cooperative learning and indigenous knowledge

      Thompson, Katy Celeste; Vinlove, Amy L; Topkok, Sean S; Green, Carie J (2019-08)
      As a fourth-grade educator who was responsible for teaching social studies, specifically meeting the Alaska Standards that focus on Alaska’s history of Indigenous peoples it is incredibly important that I teach accurately and genuinely. This has been a weak area of mine, since I am not from the state of Alaska. Therefore, it is an area that I wanted to further develop in my teaching practices. I developed an integrated social studies quarter long (nine weeks) unit for fourth grade that focuses on the history of Alaska from the Indigenous viewpoint. There are countless atrocities that occurred to the Indigenous population of Alaska that often get brushed under the rug. It is a disservice to not educate my students on these things. Another issue when teaching Alaska history and culture is that stereotypes and biases are often unintentionally taught as well. It is necessary that I understand my own perceptions and beliefs as a White female with little exposure and understanding of Alaska Native culture and education. Being a white female puts me in a position where I am not able to share my own experiences and knowledge as someone who is Alaska Native and grew up with the culture and language, because of this I needed to seek resources outside of myself to be able to accurately and relevantly teach a unit on Alaska Native history, knowledge and culture. I included place-based learning, cooperative learning and project-based lessons into my unit which allows students to explore the local environment and incorporate Alaska Native knowledge. This unit goes beyond social studies, because teaching must be open and welcoming to diversity and differences. Classrooms must be accepting and understanding so that students feel safe to share their own knowledge and stories with one another, and listen with respect and kindness
    • 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.
    • Alaskan Superintendent Turnover: Is There A Correlation Between Anticipated Turnover And The Organizational Culture Of School Boards In The State Of Alaska

      Herbert, David M. Q.; Jacobsen, Gary; Barnhardt, Ray; Laster, Mary; Jorgensen, Spike (2012)
      The purpose of this study is to determine if a particular type of school board culture is predictive of Alaskan public school superintendents' intention to leave their positions. Cameron and Quinn's four types of organizational culture---hierarchy, market, clan, and adhocracy---serve as the model for the study, which surveyed Alaska's public school superintendents during the 2010-2011 school year. The 47 participants completed the Anticipated Turnover Scale and the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument. A correlational analysis was utilized to assess what relationship might exist between anticipated turnover and superintendents' perceptions of their school board culture. No statistically significant correlations were found for any of the specific organizational types and superintendents' intention to quit their job. The findings do not discount the potential for school board culture to impact superintendents' intention to leave their positions; rather they suggest directions future research might take in reframing and exploring this question.
    • Analysis of the effects of online homework on the achievement, persistence, and attitude of developmental mathematics students

      Barnsley, Amy Elizabeth; Kaden, Ute; Jacobsen, Gary; Faudree, Jill; Rickard, Anthony (2014-05)
      This dissertation summarizes a study of the use of online homework with developmental mathematics students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. To address the problem of high failure rates in developmental mathematics courses this study investigated the relationship between online homework and academic achievement, persistence, and attitude. Special focus was placed on non-traditional and Alaska Native students. A matched pair experimental design was employed. The independent variable was homework type and the dependent variables were achievement, persistence, and attitude. Nineteen sections of developmental mathematics, six instructors, and 423 student participants were involved. The main effect of homework type was not statistically significant to any of the dependent variables. However, the effect of the interaction between homework type and course level was significant (p = 0.005). Upon further analysis it was found that one of the four levels (beginning algebra) had significantly higher post-test scores when online homework was assigned. The interaction effects of homework type/ Native status and homework type/ non-traditional status were not statistically significant on any of the dependent variables. Also, results from homework questionnaires were compared. In general, students rated paper homework slightly higher than online homework. Instructors rated online homework higher than students did. Non-traditional students scored paper homework higher than online homework. The conclusion of this study is that while students have a slightly more favorable attitude toward paper homework, online homework in conjunction with graded paper quizzes and face-to-face instruction does not have a negative effect on achievement or persistence.
    • An anger and aggression group for third and fourth grade students in a rural school setting

      Ley, Heather; Renes, Susan; Simpson, Joni; Strange, Anthony (2014)
      Children deal with anger in many different ways when they are growing up. Many children do not realize that anger is an emotion that needs to be expressed, and it can be done so in a number of positive, constructive ways. This project that resulted in an anger and aggression group for third and fourth grade students in a rural school setting can help children understand why it is so important to understand emotions of anger and learn how to express these emotions positively. The literature suggests by assessing children at a younger age, if parents/guardians, families, counselors and other school staff can combat the issue of school age children being unable to understand their feelings of anger and aggression. Families also need to support their child and the therapist by continuing to help the child learn and grow in the home.
    • Applying the environmental identity development model in place-based education: an online resource guide

      Blake, Margaret R.; Green, Carie; Hogan, Maureen; Conner, Laura (2020-12)
      I created an online resource guide for place-based education (PBE) informed by the Environmental Identity Development (EID) Model and research (Green et al., 2016). The EID Model provides a flexible framework for understanding how individuals develop their sense of self within and in relation to the natural world. The model is valuable as a diagnostic tool and a guide in the creation of place-based activities that support children’s play, learning, and growth in nature. The goals of this project were to create an accessible guide to understanding the EID Model and theory; to demonstrate how the EID Model and research may be used in the development of culturally relevant educational strategies; to utilize the EID Model in the creation and curation of effective and flexible PBE activities. Qualitative data from the EID research project were used to explain and contextualize the EID Model. Place-based pedagogies and land education pedagogies were utilized in the development of educational resources. The educational resources created for the website are accessible and flexible, adaptable for diverse ages and environments. The website encourages adults to support “spontaneous” child-initiated activities and explorations in the natural world. Ultimately, this guide is an accessible resource that encourages educators to utilize the EID Model in the pursuit of culturally responsive and child-centered PBE in their own context.
    • 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.
    • Austin Powers meets Robin Hood: exploring texts through drama

      Ragan, Barbara S. (2006-05)
      This research project followed an ethnically and culturally diverse, sixth-grade classroom as they shared and constructed meaning from a selected text through a variety of drama activities. Unlike most studies on drama in the classroom, this research project examined the relationship between social construction of meaning through multiple literacies and the influence this has on student engagement. This study is centered in sociocultural theory, the central premise of which describes human thought as constituted by and originating from language-based social interactions with others. This research project also addressed the concept of multiple literacies and how it applied to the extension of communication choices beyond that of just language. It included drama, film, video, computer technology, visual arts, and music. As traditional forms of reading, writing, and communicating take on new literary forms, students need to be prepared and encouraged to critically think about the information they are exploring, especially in the area of media literacy. Through participant observation, field notes, fieldwork journal entries, audio and video recording, and interviews, I analyzed the students' social learning experiences, and their use of a variety of literacies to enhance and extend the traditional methods of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
    • Barriers To Ahtna Athabascans Becoming Public School Educators

      Johnson, Michael A.; Jacobsen, Gary; Barnhardt, Ray; Elliott, James W.; Richey, Jean A. (2012)
      Using a mixed-method phenomenological approach, this cross-cultural study utilizes a non-formalized survey and interviews. Data was gathered and presented in a manner consistent with Ahtna cultural norms and values. Survey data set was analyzed by statistical description. Interview transcripts were analyzed thematically through axial coding. The review of literature and data gathered from Ahtna Athabascan participants identified barriers common to other minorities groups evidenced in Ahtna-specific ways. Through a thematic analysis, the data showed barriers, consequences, benefits, and solutions to Ahtna Athabascans becoming public school educators. Through this study, Ahtna Athabascans expressed an overwhelming desire to see more Ahtna Athabascans teachers in public schools. Among the policy and practical implications identified in the study are the need to improve the quality of K-12 educational experiences for Ahtna youth and improved guidance counseling services. The analysis of the data set provides pathways for future Ahtna-specific research and Ahtna-specific solutions for increasing the number of Ahtna Athabascan teachers in local public schools.