Barriers to completing degrees for UAF Ph.D. studentsA student faces several challenges when working towards a doctoral degree. Previous research has demonstrated that discrimination, lack of support, poor mentorship, funding issues, mental health concerns, and minority stress are barriers to degree completion. The available research also suggests that these difficulties are especially challenging for underrepresented students. Although universities are currently attempting to mitigate certain of these barriers, more can be done to understand the doctoral experience as a way of supporting students. Focus groups were conducted for this thesis to explore the barriers, strengths, and advice for others that doctoral students have at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Key findings of this study included racism, discrimination, and funding as the primary barriers to degree engagement and completion. The results also suggested the importance of effective mentorship and community support for doctoral students. Implications for students, staff and faculty, and universities are discussed. This information is important in creating a more productive and inclusive environment for doctoral students at UAF.
Beyond trending: using risking connection as a framework for moving agency culture toward trauma-informed careThe prevalence and pervasive impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and more broadly, trauma, are well supported in the extant literature. Despite this evidence, there remains a significant dearth of formal training and educational programs that prepare staff who work with trauma survivors within complex behavioral health systems. Trauma-informed care (TIC) has moved beyond a trend in the mental health field and is gaining momentum as a leading philosophical paradigm that is being infused as an operational framework for agencies that work with survivors. Risking Connection (RC) is a curriculum-based training program that works with agencies interested in becoming trauma-informed. The current study examined the impact of RC on trainee outcomes for knowledge gain, attitude change, and vicarious trauma (VT) on 119 participants who all work for a therapeutic group home system being operated by a provincial government in Atlantic Canada. The findings in this study suggest that RC is effective in improving knowledge gain and attitude change in a favorable direction toward TIC. The study also supported previous findings associated with the improvement of VT.