ItemA Cross-Cultural Study of Attitudes Toward Death and Dying Between Chinese and American College Students(Drake University, 1988) Hwang, Michael T. C.The problem. The objective of this research was to examine the attitudes toward death and dying of Chinese college students in Mainland China, PRC, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, ROC and to compare their attitudes with those of their American counterparts. Four major questions were addressed in the research. With respect to attitudes toward one's death and dying, toward death and dying of a loved one, and toward hospice care, are there significant differences between colleges students from: (1) Mainland China, PRC, Hong Kong, Singapore, as well as Taiwan, ROC and the United States? (2) Mainland China, PRC and the United States? (3) Taiwan, ROC and the United States? and (4) Mainland China, PRC, and Taiwan, ROC? Procedure. This study used a survey research design, involving a non random purposive sample of college students drawn from Mainland China, PRC, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, ROC. Four hundred and eighty Chinese and 311 Americans responded to the mailed questionnaire. One-way analysis of variance and Tukey's Test were used to test the twelve research hypotheses. Findings. The null hypothesis was rejected in ten of the twelve cases. The results indicated that (1) with respect to attitudes toward one's death and dying, there were significant differences in all the four comparisons; (2) regarding attitudes toward the death and dying of a loved one among Chinese and American students differences were found; and (3) concerning attitudes toward hospice care differences were identified among Taiwan, ROC Chinese students and American students. Conclusions. American college students were less fearful of their own death and dying as well as the death and dying of their loved one as compared to their Chinese counterparts, but Chinese college students as a group and particularly those from Taiwan, ROC were more receptive to hospice care in comparison with American students. It was concluded that there were significant cultural differences concerning attitudes toward death and dying. With the exception of attitudes toward death and dying of a loved one, college students from Taiwan, ROC were significantly less fearful of one's death and dying and more receptive to hospice care in comparison with those from Mainland China, PRC. It was recommended that death education be introduced in Chinese society so as to dispel the public's fear about death and dying and that hospice care be established so as to help terminal patients and their families face this final stage in life. ItemUnderstanding Experiences of High School Student Spoken Word Poetry Mentors of Color in a Large Midwest Urban District(Drake University, 2017) Rollins, Kristopher J.Achievement, opportunity, and access gaps impacting students of color continue despite numerous studies spanning decades seeking to understand and determine solutions. Researchers’ studies focus on ways urban youth are often viewed with deficit lenses, the increase in afterschool programs directly addressing character development and academic growth, the potential power of mentors of color, and the use of Hip-Hop and expressive arts as tools for engagement and learning. This qualitative study explores the lived experiences of teenage mentors of color working in an elementary spoken word poetry and performance after-school program in an urban Midwest district. More specifically the study investigates how the experiences of mentors of color in the program impacts their own academic achievement in school, their relationships with school teachers, their future career aspirations, and perceptions of the way the program influences mentees. Participants provided information on their experiences responding to paper and pencil surveys, participant logs, and one-on-one interviews. Profiles of each participant are presented, covering their interest and involvement in the program, and racial demographics. Seven major themes emerged through analysis of data, along with numerous subthemes, directly addressing the studies sub-questions and more. Larger themes included: Academic Experiences, Teacher Empathy, Career Aspirations, Perception of Program Impact on Mentees, SelfConfidence, Culture, and Race and Power. These themes were explored through participant survey responses, participant logs, and one-on-one interview excerpts. The study concludes with a summary of findings, implications for future studies, and reflection. After consideration of the overwhelming data collected the researcher concluded participants of this study reflect feeling mostly uplifted by their experiences in the program. However, lows were associated with feelings of inferiority based upon race, age, and traditional power dynamics. ItemReentry Education and Program Development: Philosophical Approaches of Senior Administrators to Reduce Recidivism Rates in Correctional Institutions(Drake University, 2018) Reutter, Susan SchonbergThe ways in which modern civilizations have addressed crime and sought solutions to promote public safety is ongoing and ever changing. Over the years, efforts to marginalize criminal activity have included major legislative changes, local policy changes, increased regulations, and restrictions on those who have committed crimes. Effective corrections administrators are having a positive impact by reducing recidivism rates and promoting public safety. Successful corrections administrators are reducing recidivism, reducing the effects of collateral consequence, and promoting growth of social capital (e.g., social skills and relationships), human capital (employable skills), and cultural capital (e.g., community and public safety). Effective corrections administrators not only manage their facilities’ daily operations, they also provide effective reentry programming to help provide criminal offenders a strong chance of success once they return to their communities. A current challenge facing the criminal justice arena is that many corrections administrators are retiring, prompting a predicted fear of a correctional administer shortage. The purpose of this case study was to determine the attributes, philosophical perspectives and operational methods of corrections administrators producing successful reentry results. Four state prison wardens participated in this study, each of which are wardens of facilities producing recidivism rates far below the national statistics. Data was collected via a three-part series of semi-structured interviews. Four themes emerged during data analysis: (1) Emphasis on safety (2) Education and training (3) Rehabilitate and habilitate inmates as a whole person (4) Commitment to the profession and advocacy. The findings of the study produced a potential blue-print for the hiring process, as an exceptional amount of experience, foresight, and wisdom was shared by the participants. ItemFiguring It Out On their Own: How Rural Adult Online Students Negotiate Barriers to Learning Online(Drake University, 2017) PeichThe health of rural communities depends, in part, on the education level of rural adults. Economic vitality is impacted by degree completion, and the rate of degree completion by rural adults lags behind that of their urban and suburban counterparts. Low completion rates suggest that there are conditions for rural students that prevent them from earning degrees. Online education addresses the geographic isolation that makes it difficult for rural adults to access brick-and-mortar college campuses. Online courses provide rural adult students with the opportunity to pursue degrees without leaving their communities or travelling long distances. Online education does, however, present barriers to rural students. The purpose of this multiple case study was to describe how rural adults negotiate barriers to learning online. Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) guided the study. A series of interviews was conducted with nine participants, exploring their rural communities, their educational histories, and their experiences as online students. Five main themes, which represented the barriers the students faced and how the barriers were negotiated, emerged from the interviews. Reflecting the language of CHAT, the barriers were named disruptions. The themes, or disruptions, included: Disconnection from Faculty, Unreliable Technology Access and Support, Insubstantial Relationships with Other Students, Challenges of Balancing Classes with Work and Family, and Troubled Educational Histories. The findings could be used by faculty, administrators, and policy makers to improve the online learning experience for rural adults. The study concludes that rural adults students persist in negotiating barriers to learning online because they recognize the importance of earning their degrees, and appreciate the convenience and flexibility of online courses. ItemA Statewide Examination of the Training Satisfaction of Instructional Coaches(Drake University, 2017) Lubbers, Susanne L.As the roles of instructional coaches are expanding in school districts, little research exists about how instructional coaches are initially trained for their positions. Much of the research base of teachers coach peers shows it is a strong method of helping teachers improve their classroom effectiveness, but little is known about an instructional coach’s learning overall, specifically their satisfaction with their initial training and their continued professional development. Using Vygotsky Space as a framework, the purpose of this study was to determine to if instructional coaches are satisfied with both their initial training as they move from classroom teachers to teacher leaders and their continued professional development after they assume their roles. This study used a quantitative approach and survey research methodology. Participants were instructional coaches in their first, second, and third years in school districts. Four research questions guided this research into the satisfaction of instructional coaches. Results from independent samples t-tests, correlations, and a multiple regression found that instructional coaches who have more years of classroom teaching experience and perceive support from building and district level administration identified perceived benefits of initial training and continued professional development. Implications for instructional coaches and administration are discussed, as well as topics for future research.