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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


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 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

The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of how collaborative language learning activities affected student perceptions of their engagement and language self-efficacy in a communicative, flipped language learning classroom in higher education. The new online platforms accompanying many textbooks now allow students to prepare for classes ahead of time, allowing instructors to use more class time for student engagement in actual language practices. However, there has been little investigation of the effects of this communicative, flipped classroom model on students’ learning processes and outcomes. This mixed methods action research study revealed that the introduction of varied …

Contributors
Rama, Rashmi, Gee, Elisabeth, Buss, Ray R., 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In college, students are continuously learning and maturing, prompting transitions, as they grow to enhance their academic, vocational, and personal development. As such, institutions of higher education must also consider how to support students in these transitions. At the Teachers College at Southwestern University, 59% (N=86) of students in Educational Studies, a non-certification major, transitioned from teacher certification majors. In an ecology that centralizes students pursuing teacher certification, students majoring in Educational Studies do not receive the adequate support, particularly in addressing their concerns and curiosities regarding their future career trajectories. This qualitative study drew on Bronfenbrenner’s ecological models of …

Contributors
Fong, Raquel, Liou, Daniel Dinn-You, Koro-Ljungberg, Mirka, et al.
Created Date
2018

To meet the increasing demands for more STEM graduates, United States (U.S.) higher education institutions need to support the retention of minoritized populations, such as first-generation Latinas studying engineering. The theories influencing this study included critical race theory, the theory of validation, and community cultural wealth. Current advising practices, when viewed through a critical race theory lens, reinforce deficit viewpoints about students and reinforce color-blind ideologies. As such, current practices will fail to support first-generation Latina student persistence in engineering. A 10-week long study was conducted on validating advising practices. The advisors for the study were purposefully selected while the …

Contributors
Coronella, Tamara, Liou, Daniel D, Bertrand, Melanie, et al.
Created Date
2018

Arguing for the importance of decolonial pedagogy in human rights education, this research is located at the intersection of human rights education, pedagogy, and justice studies, and is situated in the context of a contested neoliberal university in order to learn about and understand some of the challenges in implementing pedagogical change inspired by decolonial theory. This research focuses on pedagogical approaches of human rights professors to understand how and to what extent they are aligned with and informed by, incorporate, or utilize decolonial theory. This is accomplished through a content analysis of their syllabi, including readings and pedagogical statements, …

Contributors
Aldawood, Danielle, Gómez, Alan, Simmons, William, et al.
Created Date
2018

This paper addresses a local problem of practice at Arizona State University regarding the support for potentially underprepared students. The overarching goal of this study was to better understand the role rapport plays in student achievement. This study examines how the LEAD Project (Learn, Explore, Advance, Design), in particular student relationships with instructors and their peers, may or may not influence student achievement. LEAD students complete three courses as a group – Introduction to Human Communication (COM 100), Critical Reading and Thinking (UNI 110), and The LEAD Project (ASU 150). The innovation was designed to give students the opportunity to …

Contributors
Vawter, Katherine, Kulinna, Pamela, Buss, Ray, et al.
Created Date
2018

This dissertation focuses on traditional arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) as a form of place-based education by asking the question, what is the role of traditional arts at IAIA? Through a qualitative study students, faculty, staff, and alumni were interviewed to gain their perspectives on education, traditional arts, and the role of traditional arts at IAIA. Through analysis of these interviews, it was found that participants viewed traditional arts as a form of place-based education and that these practices should play an important role at IAIA. This study also looks at critical geography and place-based practice …

Contributors
Swentzell, Porter, Sumida-Huaman, Elizabeth, Lomawaima, K. Tsianina, et al.
Created Date
2018

Native American students often enter postsecondary education as means of serving a broader community. Studies among a broad base of tribes found that the desire to serve a larger community acts as a motivation to persist through college. However, institutions of higher education often center on individualistic empowerment rather than focusing on how to empower tribal communities. Due to the lack of quality datasets that lend to quantitative research, our understanding of factors related to American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) postsecondary persistence has primarily been based on qualitative studies The purpose of this study is to understand how the desire to …

Contributors
Lopez, Jameson David, Brayboy, Bryan M.J., Martin, Nathan D., et al.
Created Date
2018