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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Subject
Date Range
2004 2019


More underrepresented minority (URM) healthcare professionals are needed to improve health equity. Although holistic review in admissions has the potential to increase URM participation in health professions, recent data suggest that its impact varies substantially. The purpose of the dissertation research described here was to identify interventions to increase diversity among healthcare professionals and explore holistic review use in physician assistant (PA) program admissions to advance understanding of effective practices. PA programs were selected as an important prototype for exploratory studies since the extent of holistic review use in PA programs was unknown; at the same time, URM representation among …

Contributors
Coplan, Bettie, Lamb, Gerri, Evans, Bronwynne, et al.
Created Date
2019

The extent of students’ struggles in linear algebra courses is at times surprising to mathematicians and instructors. To gain insight into the challenges, the central question I investigated for this project was: What is the nature of undergraduate students’ conceptions of multiple analytic representations of systems (of equations)? My methodological choices for this study included the use of one-on-one, task-based clinical interviews which were video and audio recorded. Participants were chosen on the basis of selection criteria applied to a pool of volunteers from junior-level applied linear algebra classes. I conducted both generative and convergent analyses in terms of Clement’s …

Contributors
Sipes, Janet, Zandieh, Michelle J, Milner, Fabio A, et al.
Created Date
2019

Transfer students have emerged as a growing student population in higher education. There is a need for higher education professionals to understand the needs of transfer students. In this study, the implemented intervention consisted of restructuring retention programming for first-semester transfer students. This qualitative action research study explored how first-semester transfer students understand and experience academic and social engagement across the semester they participate in retention programming. Students identified perceived barriers and facilitators to engagement. The researcher also examined transfer students’ experiences of the intervention. The findings indicate that students’ understanding of engagement align with their expectations of their first …

Contributors
Kulhanek, Kristy Lynn, Bernstein, Katie, Wilcox, Jeanne, et al.
Created Date
2019

Incoming freshman at East Los Angeles College were struggling with successfully completing their first semester, leading to low rates of course success and retention. Students reported struggles with adapting to the culture of college, particularly with behaving like a college student and managing time. The purpose of this action research study was to determine if embedding a College Success Curriculum (CSC) into a required class would help students more successfully navigate the first semester. The CSC was embedded into the action-researcher's freshman composition class and covered the following concepts: appropriate classroom behavior, communication, time management, and organization. Quantitative data included …

Contributors
Ryan Romo, Amanda J, Rotheram-Fuller, Erin, Buss, Ray R., et al.
Created Date
2019

Writing centers are learning settings and communities at the intersection of multiple disciplines and boundaries, which afford opportunities for rich learning experiences. However, navigating and negotiating boundaries as part of the learning is not easy or neutral work. Helping tutors shift from fixing to facilitating language and scaffolding literacy learning requires training. This is particularly true as tutors work with second or subsequent language (L2) writers, a well-documented area of tension. This mixed methods action research study, conducted at a large university in the United States (US), centered on a tutor training intervention designed to improve writing tutors’ scaffolding with …

Contributors
Bell, Lisa Eastmond, Bertrand, Melanie, Moses, Lindsey, et al.
Created Date
2019

Preservice teachers are faced with many challenges as they enter their first year of teaching. This is particularly true when dealing with future-ready skills, such as technology integration in K-12 classrooms, an area where many higher education or teaching faculty may not feel comfortable or fluent enough to support preservice teachers or to model in their own instruction. This action research study aimed to understand how faculty develop Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) in ways that will help them to enhance their instruction and model technology integration for preservice teachers. An online community was created that allowed teacher educators to …

Contributors
Scott, Lynda, Henriksen, Danah, Mishra, Punya, et al.
Created Date
2019

Background – Among influential education reports, there is clear consensus that an expansive range of intrapersonal (e.g. self-regulation) and interpersonal competencies (e.g. empathy) highly influence educational and career success. Research on teaching and learning these competencies is limited in engineering education. Purpose/Hypothesis – This dissertation study explores the impacts of a mindfulness training program on first-year engineering students and aims to understand potential impacts on the development of intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies. Design/Method – A four-session mindfulness-based training program was designed, developed, and facilitated to cultivate intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies. This study employed a multiphase mixed method design in which …

Contributors
Huerta, Mark Vincent, McKenna, Ann, Pipe, Teri, et al.
Created Date
2019

Very little information is known about the experiences of graduate students with criminal records in higher education. As such, the purpose of this dissertation seeks to understand the various factors that impact graduate students with criminal records experiences in higher education. The overarching purpose is broken down into three individual research papers. The first research paper uses a thematic analysis to assess the ways Arizona’s four-year public higher education institutions utilize their power, via written policies, to deter, ban, or prohibit college students with criminal records from actively pursuing or participating in academia. Specifically, I provide a robust overview of …

Contributors
McTier Jr., Terrence Stephon, McGuire, Keon M., Ott, Molly, et al.
Created Date
2019

How does a university create a culture of affinity where students seek and maintain life-long connections to the institution? The purpose of this action research study was to examine how affinity increased or developed for undergraduate students at the Arizona State University Polytechnic campus through meaningful student-centric activities. Three theoretical frameworks guided the study including the work of Baumeister and Leary, Kuh, and Ajzen. In this mixed method study, quantitative data about affinity, attitude, toward Arizona State University was collected using pre- and post-intervention surveys and qualitative data were gathered through individual semi-structured interviews at the conclusion of the study. …

Contributors
Matos, Maria Regina, Buss, Ray, Krasnow, Aaron, et al.
Created Date
2019

Higher education enrollment and degree attainment rates have increased in the U.S. Yet higher education has remained inaccessible to many. Low- and middle-income students and students from particular racial and ethnic backgrounds enroll and attain degrees at lower rates than their peers. To gain insight into the topic of access to higher education, I used social constructionist, critical, and socio-cognitive perspectives to conduct a descriptive, content, and discourse analysis of 1,242 articles about access to higher education published from 1994-2019 in eight influential U.S. newspapers. I also explored the historical and social context in which this coverage was situated. I …

Contributors
Lish, Rebecca, Fischman, Gustavo E., Bergerson, Amy A., et al.
Created Date
2019

Colleges and universities have continued to refine their understanding of engagement, affinity, and retention. At Arizona State University (ASU), the goal has been to continually retain first-year students at a 90%+ retention rate. At ASU, two key aspects of the first-year experience have been employed to foster retention. First, ASU has grouped on-campus students so they lived in residential colleges, housing students with others in the same college, to aid retention of first-year students. Second, ASU has required first-year students to take a 101 class, an orientation to ASU resources (library, advising, etc.) and its community (student organizations, clubs, etc.). …

Contributors
Leyson, Timothy Paul, Buss, Ray R, Brown, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2019

This quasi-experimental, concurrent, mixed method, action research study sought to evaluate how an elective 1-credit course informed by mindfulness and culturally sustaining pedagogy influenced honors students’ academic self-efficacy, self-compassion, and their meaning-making about what it means to be an honors student. Theoretical perspectives and research guiding the study included: academic self-efficacy, culturally sustaining pedagogy, mindfulness, and third space. Drawing from these perspectives, the 9-week Creative Compassion course utilized poetry and rap as a way to enact culturally sustaining pedagogy and also as a vehicle for students to practice mindfulness. Findings from quantitative data from pre- and post- surveys of a …

Contributors
Billbe, Sasha, McArthur Harris, Lauren, Golden, Amy, et al.
Created Date
2019

This action research study took a mixed methods approach to examine junior and senior student engagement at the honors college in the downtown campus of Arizona State University. The purpose of the study was to better understand the lack of engagement with junior and senior students within the college. The study sought to examine the usage of year specific programs and the possibility of influence on the target populations’ engagement. In addition, the study focused on understanding the usage of such programs and its ability to influence student perception of coping with transitions. The growth of honors education and the …

Contributors
Gatewood, Kira Kevanah, Harris, Lauren, Aska, Cassandra, et al.
Created Date
2019

Student teachers in their final year of college preparation enter a profession that is facing a severe shortage and an alarming rate of attrition. Novice teachers, those with five or fewer years of experience, are faced with myriad challenges that makes retention a problem for the colleges preparing them, the school districts that hire them, and the students that need them in their classrooms. This mixed methods action research study investigated an innovation designed to build student teacher self-efficacy. The expectation was it would increase the likelihood that new graduates would stay in the profession. The innovation taught student teachers …

Contributors
Vann, William Camp, Marsh, Josephine P, Rotheram-Fuller, Erin, et al.
Created Date
2019

The college years are crucial to formation and integration of lifelong psychosocial, personal and cognitive identities, and the identity development needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+ or gender and/or sexual minority) students are unique, particularly in the context of student development and support. How universities meet these needs can critically impact success and retention of these students. However, studies indicate when the academic and co-curricular environment does not foster development of healthy LGBTQ+ identities, these students experience myriad challenges compounded by identity discord and minority stress. Cumulatively, these factors contribute to non-persistence of over 30% of LGBTQ+ …

Contributors
Reeves-Blurton, Zachary Andrew, Puckett, Kathleen, Jordan, Michelle, et al.
Created Date
2019

There has been a growing emphasis on the education of future generations of engineers who will have to tackle complex, global issues that are sociotechnical in nature. The National Science Foundation invests millions of dollars in interdisciplinary engineering education research (EER) to create an innovative and inclusive culture aimed at radical change in the engineering education system. This exploratory research sought to better understand ways of thinking to address complex educational challenges, specifically, in the context of engineering-social sciences collaborations. The mixed methods inquiry drew on the ways of thinking perspectives from sustainability education to adapt futures, values, systems, and …

Contributors
Dalal, Medha, Archambault, Leanna M, Carberry, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2019

Promoting student engagement is a critical performance indicator for undergraduate success and is, therefore, a priority for academic institutions as they seek to improve teaching and learning practices (Meyer, 2014). Educators need to improve their instructional pedagogy by developing unique methods for engaging students with educational opportunities. Instructors who facilitate courses online face an even greater challenge in engaging students. A virtual learning community is a potential solution for improving online engagement. This mixed methods action research dissertation explores the implementation of an online learning community and how it influences the engagement of students in distance learning environments. The primary …

Contributors
Sneed, Obiageli, Ott, Molly, Crawford, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2019

The transition experience for students who are transferring from community college to university can be an overwhelming experience for any typical student, but can be even greater for students with vulnerable backgrounds. This phenomenological action research study followed the five-month community college to the university transition experience of five students in a scholarship program. The students participated in a three-part intervention in support of their transition experience. Three theoretical perspectives framed the study: community cultural wealth, transition theory, and transfer student capital. This framework enabled me to first identify the strengths the students possessed, despite their vulnerable backgrounds, through participation …

Contributors
Martinez, Jo Ann Lopez, Harris, Lauren M, McIntyre, Lisa, et al.
Created Date
2019

Honors colleges have offered an academically rigorous option for growing numbers of diverse students. This study took place at a large, public university that required undergraduate students to complete a thesis to graduate from the honors college. In 2017, 97% of students who began the honors thesis prior to senior year completed it. Thus, the aim of this study was to help more students begin the honors thesis process early. Thesis Launch was a six-week intervention that was designed to provide support for students in the critical early steps of thesis work such as brainstorming topics, examining professors’ research interests, …

Contributors
Eardley, Trisha Lynn, Buss, Ray, Henderson, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2019

The transition process from high school to college can be filled with many rewards and challenges not only for students, but also for their families. As institutions have continued to evolve to support student success and retention, many universities have added or expanded parent and family program offices. While universities continue to work collaboratively with families promote student success, it is important to understand the how the needs of families may vary. One area to explore is the proximity of students to their family members and how distance may impact the transition for both students and families. A perceived problem …

Contributors
Brice, Sarah Beth, Harris, Lauren M, Doane, Leah, et al.
Created Date
2019