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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
2011 2019


Students may be situated within complex systems that are nested within each other. This complexity may also envelope institutional structures that lead to the socio-economic reification of student post-secondary opportunities by obscuring positive goals. This may be confounded by community misunderstandings about the changed world that students are entering. These changes include social and economic factors that impact personal and economic freedoms, our ability to live at peace, and the continuing trend of students graduating high school underprepared. Building on previous cycles of action research, this multi-strand mixed-methods study examined the effects of the innovation of the I am College …

Contributors
Loescher, Shawn Thomas, Mertler, Craig A., Jordan, Michelle E., et al.
Created Date
2018

Throughout the field of corrections in the United States, the prevalent question in regard to reentry preparation of offenders is, “what works?” With a renewed focus on providing meaningful program opportunities for offenders that enable real and sustained changes for reentry success, which has been partially driven by overcrowded prison systems and soaring corrections budgets, the quest has been energized for program models with results that are empirically based. As part of this quest, the Rand Corporation in 2014 (Davis, et al., 2014) published a comprehensive review of correctional education programs based on a meta-analysis of past studies and reported …

Contributors
Fizer, Gregory A., Gee, Elisabeth, Metcalf, Laura, et al.
Created Date
2019

In their criticism of various approaches to upbringing and related American family law jurisprudence, liberal theorists tend to underweight the interests of parents in directing the development of children’s values. Considered through the lens of T.M. Scanlon’s contractualism, providing a good upbringing is not a matter of identifying children’s “best interests” or acting in accordance with overriding end-state principles. Rather, children should be raised in accordance with principles for the general regulation of behavior that no one could reasonably reject as a basis for informed, unforced general agreement. The process of ascertaining such principles requires an understanding of relevant values; …

Contributors
Pike, Kenneth, de Marneffe, Peter, Calhoun, Cheshire, et al.
Created Date
2019

Affirmative action is an education policy adopted by higher education institutions in the 1960s, where an applicant’s race is taken into account to some degree when being evaluated for admission to a college or university. The practice of affirmative action, or race conscious-admissions, has been repeatedly challenged in the legal system and remains a controversial and polarizing topic amongst the general public, campus leaders, and policy makers. Despite a vast amount of research on the effects of affirmative action policies on student and institutional behaviors and outcomes, such as college applications and enrollments, considerably less research has examined students’ attitudes …

Contributors
Ross, Lydia, Judson, Eugene, Dorn, Sherman, et al.
Created Date
2019

ABSTRACT Closing the achievement gap between low-income, marginalized, racially, and linguistically diverse students has proven difficult. Research has outlined the effects of funding on student achievement in a manner that focuses the attention on dollars expended, in order overcome barriers to learning. Arizona has long been recognized for its education funding disparity, and its inability to balance fiscal capacity in a manner that serves to improve educational outcomes. This dissertation examines how Arizona funds its education system. It measures horizontal inequity in a robust manner by examining those fiscal capacity resources directly related to learning and poverty. Recognizing districts with …

Contributors
Martinez, David G., Pivovarova, Margarita, Berliner, David C, et al.
Created Date
2018

This multilevel, institutional case study used ethnographic methods to explore the intersections of local language policies and emergent bilingual students’ identities in dual language and structured English immersion (SEI) classrooms at one urban elementary school. Using a sociocultural policy approach as means to explore the ways that educational language policies are appropriated and practiced in schools and classrooms and an intersectional literacy identity framework, I engaged in a multilevel qualitative analysis of one school, two fifth-grade classrooms, and four focal emergent bilingual students. At the school and classroom levels, I sought to understand the ways educators practiced and enacted language …

Contributors
Baca, Evelyn Concepcion, Jimenez-Silva, Margarita, Artiles, Alfredo, et al.
Created Date
2018

This mixed methods action research study examined the effectiveness of an Education and Career Action Plan (ECAP) Advisory Program on students’ formation of postsecondary education and employment plans. The study took place at a public high school in northern Arizona. Participants included thirty-three 11th-Grade Advisory students, four 11th-grade advisors, and me, the action researcher. One quantitative data instrument and three qualitative data instruments were used for data collection. Each of the four data collection instruments provided insight about one of the study’s research questions. The quantitative data from this study addressed whether the intervention had an impact on the ECAP …

Contributors
Donner, William, Hermanns, Carl, Zucker, Stanley, et al.
Created Date
2018

ABSTRACT This study of the policies of the U.S. public school system focuses on state and federal funding to examine how budget cuts, the teacher shortage crisis, and large classroom sizes are interrelated. A qualitative method of approaching these issues and a meta-analysis of the findings, combined with my personal experience as a high school English teacher in the public school system points to a ripple effect where one problem is the result of the one before it. Solutions suggested in this study are made with the intention to support all U.S. public school students with an emphasis on students …

Contributors
Cowell, Amber, Anokye, Duku, Keahey, Jennifer, et al.
Created Date
2018

Much research has been conducted regarding the current state of public education within the United States. Very little of that research bodes well for the system’s current circumstances or for the direction our system is headed. The debate stems around two opposing ideologies. One believes that there needs to be more accountability via high-stakes testing and the continuum of the status quo that the country has maintained for centuries, regardless of the effect it may be having on the students’ well-being. While the opposing view sees high-stakes testing as a contributing factor to the seemingly unproductive, chaotic, and even harmful …

Contributors
Khaleesi, Casey, Swadener, Elizabeth, Bertrand, Melanie, et al.
Created Date
2018

This study describes how the concept of “community” is framed in traditional public and charter high school guiding statements and interviews with school leaders. Guiding statements from public high schools in Arizona were analyzed and interviews were conducted with principals from traditional public schools and charter school principals. The findings suggested similarities between traditional public high schools and charter high schools in their framing of the concept of community, suggesting that schools are loosely coupled to state and federal education departments in particular, and to varying degrees at the district level: The guiding statements and high school leaders generally distinguished …

Contributors
Schreiber, Constantin, Fischman, Gustavo, Anderson, Kathrine, et al.
Created Date
2018

The quality and quantity of talented members of the US STEM workforce has been a subject of great interest to policy and decision makers for the past 40 years. Recent research indicates that while there exist specific shortages in specific disciplines and areas of expertise in the private sector and the federal government, there is no noticeable shortage in any STEM academic discipline, but rather a surplus of PhDs vying for increasingly scarce tenure track positions. Despite the seeming availability of industry and private sector jobs, recent PhDs still struggle to find employment in those areas. I argue that the …

Contributors
Garbee, Elizabeth, Maynard, Andrew D, Wetmore, Jameson, et al.
Created Date
2018

Teacher mobility is a policy issue that affects students and school across the country. Despite a long-standing body of research related to teacher mobility, relatively little is known about how teacher-school pairings affect teachers’ decisions to stay at or leave their schools. Therefore, this study tested a model of teacher-school fit with a focus on the value that teachers and principals place on standardized test scores. Survey responses were collected from 382 K-8th grade public school teachers from 22 schools in two school districts. The results show that teachers who placed higher values on standardized test scores reported slightly higher …

Contributors
Vagi, Robert, Garcia, David, Hermanns, Carl, et al.
Created Date
2017

School choice reforms such as charter schools, vouchers, open enrollment, and private and public school tax credit donation programs have expanded throughout the United States over the past twenty years. Arizona’s long-standing public school choice system enrolls a higher percentage of public school students in charter schools than any state besides Washington D.C. A growing number of Arizona’s charter schools are managed by for-profit and nonprofit Education Management Organizations (EMOs). Advocates of school choice argue that free-market education approaches will make public schools competitive and nimble as parents’ choices place pressures on schools to improve or close. This, then, improves …

Contributors
Potterton, Amanda U., Powers, Jeanne M., Berliner, David C., et al.
Created Date
2017

The 21st century will be the site of numerous changes in education systems in response to a rapidly evolving technological environment where existing skill sets and career structures may cease to exist or, at the very least, change dramatically. Likewise, the nature of work will also change to become more automated and more technologically intensive across all sectors, from food service to scientific research. Simply having technical expertise or the ability to process and retain facts will in no way guarantee success in higher education or a satisfying career. Instead, the future will value those educated in a way that …

Contributors
Wigner, Aubrey Anton, Lande, Micah, Allenby, Braden, et al.
Created Date
2017

Public schools across the country are increasingly dealing with children who enter schools speaking a language other than English and Arizona is not the exception. As a result, schools across the country have to adequately ensure this populations’ academic achievement, which is directly impacted by English proficiency and ELLs (English Language Learners) program placement. However, restrictive language policies such as Proposition 203, the four-hour English Language Development (ELD) block, and the exclusion of ELLs from Dual Language Programs (DLPs) in Arizona are not effectively preparing linguistic minority and ethnic student populations for academic achievement and competitiveness in a global economy. …

Contributors
Gomez Gonzalez, Laura M., Jimenez-Silva, Margarita, Amrein-Beardsley, Audrey, et al.
Created Date
2016

According to my 2016 survey of ASU undergraduate students, 33% have used stimulant medications (e.g. Adderall or Ritalin) without a prescription to study. I view this practice as a step towards cognitive enhancement, which is the deliberate application of biotechnology to radically alter the human condition. From a foresight perspective, the ability to actively improve human beings, to take our evolutionary destiny into our own hands, may be a turning point on par with agriculture or the use of fossil fuels. The existential risks, however, may be greater than the benefits—and many of the most radical technologies have made little …

Contributors
Burnam-Fink, Michael, Miller, Clark, Hurlbut, Ben, et al.
Created Date
2016

This study sought to create a holistic picture of Ethnic Studies as it relates to education through the voices and experiences of scholars who bridge Ethnic Studies and education. It examines Ethnic Studies through the conceptual lens of Safety Zone Theory (Lomawaima & McCarty, 2006). At the heart of Safety Zone Theory (SZT) is the concept that historically the U.S. federal government (and to an extent society as a result of this governmental framing) has designated certain elements of minority cultures as “safe” and other elements as “divisive.” SZT was originally applied to examine federal Indian education policy in the …

Contributors
Anderson, Joy Marie, McCarty, Teresa L, Swadener, Elizabeth B, et al.
Created Date
2016

This qualitative study investigates the experiences of ten focal youth who came to the United States as refugees and were placed in Structured English Immersion (SEI) programs in Arizona high schools. The educational language policy for Arizona’s public schools (during the 2014-2015 school year) mandates SEI include four 60-minute classroom periods devoted to reading, writing, grammar, oral English exclusively. Students in SEI thus have restricted access to the full-range of general education courses required for graduation, as well as limited opportunities for social interaction with peers enrolled in the “mainstream” curriculum. The study investigates how youth understand and navigate the …

Contributors
Corley, Kathleen Mary, McCarty, Teresa L., Swadener, Elizabeth B., et al.
Created Date
2016

Community colleges, like all higher education institutions in the United States, have not been immune to the increased national focus on educational accountability and institutional effectiveness over the past three decades. Federal and non-governmental initiatives aimed at tracking and reporting on institutional outcomes have focused on utilitarian academic and economic measures of student success that homogenize the goals, aspirations, and challenges of the individuals who attend these unique open-access institutions. This dissertation, which is comprised of three submission-ready scholarly peer-reviewed articles, examined community college students’ conceptualizations and valuations of “student success.” The research project was designed as a multiple methods …

Contributors
Topper, Amelia Marcetti, Powers, Jeanne M., de los Santos, Jr., Alfredo G., et al.
Created Date
2015

The purposes of this study were (1) to examine the direct and indirect effect of school-level testing policies on reading achievement though changes in amount and types of reading instruction, (2) to investigate the reading trajectories moderated by school-level testing policies longitudinally, and (3) to examine the relationship between testing policies and the achievement gap by exploring whether certain student characteristics moderate the relationship between testing policy and reading achievement, using Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Cohort of 2010-2011 data. Findings from a multilevel full structural mediation model suggest that school-level frequency of state/local standardized tests had an indirect …

Contributors
Im, Haesung, Nakagawa, Kathryn, Thompson, Marilyn, et al.
Created Date
2015