• Mental Health Counseling Students' Experience of Interprofessional Group Supervision

      Curtis-Davidson, Rico; College of Professional Advancement
      This phenomenological qualitative study records the experiences of counseling, psychology, and social work graduate students’ participation in interprofessional clinical group supervision at a local community-based mental health agency. Common themes that capture the experiences of participants from across academic disciplines receiving interprofessional group supervision are identified. IP clinical supervision shape the future of education curricula and promote an alliance between professional counselors, psychologists, and social workers to engender a treatment team that works collaboratively to improve overall health outcomes. Keywords: interprofessional, group supervision, interprofessional education, phenomenology
    • Methamphetamine Induced Immune Dysregulation

      Andrzejak, Sydney
      Methamphetamine (METH) use can induce and contribute to the development of neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, we evaluated the roles of specific cytokines in the pathology of acute and chronic methamphetamine usage in vitro and in vivo. An immortalized rat astrocyte CTX-TNA2 cell line was used for a model of immune cells in central nervous system. Cells were treated with methamphetamine hydrochloride, dopamine hydrochloride as a reference point, and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) as a model of immunogenic stimulant. Our in vivo experimental design utilized female NIH-swiss mice that underwent a seven-day treatment period. The control mice were administrated 0.9% saline, and our treated mice were administrated 12 mg/kg of (+)- methamphetamine through intraperitoneal injections. Cells and tissue specific gene expression of key signal transducers, cytokines, and their receptors were evaluated with qPCR. Systemic cytokine levels were evaluated with flow-cytometry. The results suggest that METH acts locally to the brain tissue to cause a shift toward inflammation by increasing cytokine, receptor and signal transducer of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-17 (IL-17) pathways. While suppressing systemic cytokine production leading to an imbalance in Th-X paradigm.
    • Middle Grades Mathematics Engagement : How Action Research Informs What Counts / By Pateakia Ivory.

      Ivory, Pateakia
      The purpose of the study was to examine how action research informs instructional changes that need to take place in the middle grades mathematics classroom. There is a need for an increase in engagement in middle grades mathematics by educators being critically reflective of their instructional practices. The research question addressed in this study: How do I systematically reflect upon and change my mathematic instructional design through the process of action research? The qualitative methodology for this study was implemented through the process of action research. The researcher used daily journal reflections, student conversations, weekly lesson plan feedback, and achievement data to inform instructional changes grounded in constructivism within each round of data collection. Qualitative data analysis indicated that the action research process promotes reflection that shows critical instructional changes that may be hidden behind a teacher’s daily routine of instruction. Data also present the need for challenging work for high achieving students to promote engagement, confidence, independence, and persistence. Action research is critical to educators’ instructional practices because instructional design should morph to meet the needs of learners. Recommendations for future research include increasing low-ability student engagement, creating mindful engagement conversations with low-ability students, and implementing engagement strategies to promote grade-level content understanding for low-ability students. The researcher hoped to provide insight on the importance of incorporating action research into daily instructional practices to meet the needs of all learners.
    • Middle School Student Academic Success In Supplemental Courses: An Exploratory Study

      VanWagner, Kirsten Julia
      The purpose of this study was to explore potential relationships between and predictability of self-regulation and demographic variables and academic achievement for middle school taking their first supplemental online course.  Participant data from a historic data set included 95 middle school students in seventh and eighth grade enrolled in their first supplemental online course through their local school district virtual program within the state of Georgia. Using educational data mining and learning analytics, demographic, engagement, and performance data from the Fall 2018 semester were collected from the local district virtual program student information system (SIS) and learning management system (LMS) provider.  A multiple regression analysis was used to identify the relationship between demographic, engagement, and performance variables.  Results indicated statistically significant correlations between engagement, learning environment, and exceptionality (p = .037) as well as gender (p = .045); however, there was no statistically significant difference between student academic achievement and learning environment.   A second multiple regression analysis run with only 89 successful students indicated a statistically significant correlation between engagement, learning environment, and ethnicity (p = .026), and results indicated a statistically significant difference between effort regulation, learning environment, and academic achievement (p = .045).  Also discussed are the implications and limitations of the study leading to recommendations for future research. Findings indicated a need for additional exploration within ethnicity and exceptionality groups. Suggested areas for further study also included exploring additional variables such as scheduled work time, previous academic achievement, and subject area as well as comparison studies between traditional and online courses and qualitative research designs.
    • Ministers on the Move: Coaching for Spiritual Discovery for Ministers in Vocational Transition in the Baptist General Association of Virginia

      Peppler, David; McAfee School of Theology
      ABSTRACT (Under the direction of Denise Massey, Ph.D.) Eight ministry leaders from the Baptist General Association of Virginia participated in a six-session spirituality coaching relationship. All of these leaders were anticipating vocational transitions within the next six months of their ministry. The purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of coaching for spiritual discovery in their transition discernment process. The model used for these coaching conversations was Dr. Denise Massey’s CARING model, designed to ensure the spiritual nature of pastoral conversations. Participants were given written and oral exit interviews upon concluding their six coaching sessions. Qualitative questions were used to determine the effectiveness of the coaching experience as subject matter varied with each participant. The study shows the promising effects of coaching for spiritual discovery for ministers anticipating vocational transition. Participants explored their connectedness with the Holy Spirit throughout the process. The confidential and subjective topical approach provided participants with needed space to process God’s leadership in light of the external circumstances encountered in their discernment process.
    • Missional Relationships: Using Preaching And Small Group Reflection As A Mechanism To Expand Missional Theology And Build Mutually Beneficial Relationships In The First Baptist Church Of Orangeburg, South Carolina

      Aaron, Kristopher Daniel
      ABSTRACT KRISTOPHER DANIEL AARON MISSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS: USING PREACHING AND SMALL GROUP RE-FLECTION AS A MECHANISM TO EXPAND MISSIONAL THEOLOGY AND BUILD MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL RELATIONSHIPS IN THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF ORANGEBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA Under the direction of ROBERT N. NASH, Ph.D., Supervisor The congregants of First Baptist Church, Orangeburg, South Carolina, are like many in churches across the United States. While they believe in the importance of local mission efforts, they view their work primarily as charity to a different group in their com-munity. For more robust and effective efforts, however, the minister must encourage his or her congregation to develop relationships with those they serve. This project explores the importance of relationships in mission. The goal was for those who volunteer in the soup kitchen to develop mutually beneficial relationships with those they serve, to understand their efforts as more than just charity, and to view their efforts as ministering with people in their own community rather than ministering to people in a different community. This project is a qualitative study that combines interviews, small group reflection sessions, and sermons to expand the congregation’s view of the importance of relationships in mission. Interviews were held before and after the sermon series with church member volunteers. Group interviews were also held with non-member clients. In addition to inter-views, small group sessions with corresponding activities were held following the sermons for volunteers. Finally, after all the interviews and sessions, preliminary results were shared with volunteers. Participant responses indicate that they do understand the importance of relation-ships in mission. Participants also indicate that they view their efforts as more than charity and that they appreciate the need to empower those they serve if they hope to serve along-side them. Further study is needed to see how these changes to empower clients are implemented and how it affects the health and vitality of the ministry.
    • More Than Money: An Examination Of The Relationship Of Cultural Capital Variables On Four-year College Enrollment

      McLendon, Matthew Buckley
      MATTHEW MCLENDON MORE THAN MONEY: AN EXAMINATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP OF CULTURAL CAPITAL VARIABLES ON FOUR-YEAR COLLEGE ENROLLMENT Under the direction of OLIVIA BOGGS, Ed.D. Using data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, this study looks at the variances in student admission knowledge and parental admission guidance by socio-economic level and tests the relationships of cultural capital variables on four-year college enrollment. While previous studies have found a relationship between cultural capital and four-year college enrollment, this study adds to the literature by defining both what a student knows about college admission and financial aid, parental admission guidance, and highbrow cultural activities. Results indicate that student knowledge of college admission does not vary by socioeconomic level, but parents' guidance on admission activities does. Parental admission guidance, student admission and financial aid knowledge, socioeconomic status and income all correlated to enrollment. However, cultural capital variables denoted to measure highbrow cultural activities did not show a relationship to four-year enrollment.
    • Muggle Religious Studies: Is Snape The New Judas?

      Hall, Rachel Lee
      The intersection of biblical texts with popular culture is endlessly fascinating and always changing as culture continues to provide new materials to discuss. It is the objective of this thesis to place two well known characters, one from the New Testament and one from popular literature, into dialogue with one another in order to see how they interact with and influence each other. The character of Judas from the Gospel of John will be placed into comparative conversation with the character of Severus Snape from J.K. Rowling’s book series, Harry Potter. Reception History, with a brief section of Literary Criticism that considers characterization techniques, will be the methodological approach for this thesis study. The result of this study is to see how the character of Judas in Christian tradition has inspired and shaped the formation of the literary character of Snape, and to also consider how when seen in reverse, the character of Snape causes us to revisit our understanding of the character of Judas. The questions sparked by such a study encourage readers toward a deeper understanding of their personal theology and toward the pursuit of further explorations of Bible and Pop intersections.
    • Multi-Linear Regression of Georgia Milestones and English Proficiency Assessment Access 2.0 on Georgia’s Middle School English Language Learners

      Burke, Monica Hilrey; Tift College of Education
      During the academic year in the state of Georgia, EL students in public schools take the Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade and the ACCESS 2.0 assessments, which are in line with the state-mandated subject area standards in mathematics, science, language arts, and social studies, as well as English language proficiency standards (Georgia Department of Education [GaDOE], 2019a, 2019b). However, the Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade math test has not been assessed for its relationship with differences in ACCESS 2.0 overall literacy, reading, and composition scores for middle schoolers in Georgia. The purpose of this quantitative multi-linear regression study with ex post facto data was to examine the relationship between the Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade math assessment scores and the differences in ACCESS 2.0 overall literacy, reading, and writing scores (between the school years of 2017 and 2018) of middle school students in Georgia. The study was conducted within a school district in/of the state of Georgia. The collection process yielded 164 EL students in the sample. Fifty-nine percent (n = 97) of the sample were male, and forty-one percent (n = 67) were female. Middle grades were identified as sixth, seventh, and eighth grade levels. Sixth graders comprised 38% (n = 62) of the data set included sixth graders, seventh graders comprised 31% (n = 51) of the data set, and eighth graders comprised 31% (n = 51) of the data set during the 2017 academic year. The study found a relationship between increased writing skills and math achievement scores. Using linear regression, it also found a relationship between improved literacy and math achievement scores. A non-statistically significant relationship was found between difference reading scores as predictors for difference math scores and /or increased math score achievement. The study’s findings have implications for preparing ELs for college and career readiness by propelling them forward in language acquisition and academic achievement. To gain a broader perspective of ELs student achievement in varying regions of Georgia, the study may be expanded to include populations samples from the north and central school districts in the state of Georgia.
    • Nature's Resillence: African American Males Countering Barriers To Garner Academic And Social Success

      Rose, Ashley Marie
      The social science discourse that labels African American males as endangered has contributed to the grand social, political, economic, and racial metanarrative that has served to reduce African American males to popular, yet negative, stereotypes of their true existence. As a contribution to social science discourse, this dissertation offers a a counter to the current deficit-laden narrative that has been constructed about African American males. Through an analysis of narrative field texts, this study seeks to elucidate the resilience factors that lead to an African American male’s ability to develop his best possible self and garner academic success. In addition, this study sought to offer African American males a voice with which to share their stories of success. The findings from this study revealed that protective factors with in the family, school and community lent to the students’ ability to garner resilience in the face of adversity. Additional findings suggest the there is a need for culturally affirming curriculum in the k-12 schooling environment. As a contribution to the existing body of literature, this success oriented narrative recommends a an investigation of the school connectedness and the specific elements that determine a student’s connectedness to their school environment.