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News & Press: Association News

NODA 2016 Catalyst Grant Recipients

Monday, April 18, 2016   (0 Comments)
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The OTR Catalyst Grant is designed to catalyze new research that will advance both knowledge and best practices in orientation, transition, and retention. Prospective research studies, pilot studies, exploratory research projects (qualitative and quantitative), as well as assessment-based best practices (as defined by Upcraft and Schuh, 2002) that may be generalized were considered for this award. Congratulations to the 2016 recipients! You can find their information below. 

Elizabeth Dorrance Hall and Kristina M. Scharp, Utah State University
Study Title
: "Parental Influence on Emerging Adults’ Transition to College: Toward a Family Intervention to Support Student Retention"

Executive Summary: This study explores how to help parents better support their children during their transition to college and throughout their education. In this dyadic, longitudinal research study, students and parents will be surveyed and their responses linked to student outcomes (e.g, retention or GPA). Student risk and protective factors will be assessed the spring before students enter college and during their first year, utilizing student surveys, including several scales measuring academic self-efficacy and stress, family communication patterns, social support, resilience, interpersonal skills, perceptions of the transition to college, helicopter parenting, relational uncertainty, and study skills. Parents will also be surveyed, and the resulting data we allow to develop a theoretically grounded intervention for parents attending summer orientation. This study may be of interest to University orientation professionals and parents of transitioning students.

Sara Connolly, University of Brigeport
Study Title
: “The Relationship Self-Efficacy, Social Isolation, Rejection Sensitivity, College Adjustment and Retention”

Executive Summary: The prevalence of experienced social isolation has not been widely studied. Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between social isolation, rejection sensitivity, self-efficacy, college adjustment and freshmen retention variables, as well as GPA, in a first-year college population. This project will be of interest to higher education faculty and administrators, as well as social, clinical and educational psychologists. All incoming first-year students at a single institution will participate in the study by completing the College Self-Efficacy Inventory (CSEI), the UCLA social isolation scale, the Rejection Sensitivity Scale and the College Adjustment Test (CAT), as well as a demographic questionnaire. Data will be analyzed to compare differences between several time points, and the interrelationship between the scales with GPA and retention will be examined.

Carrie Miller, University of California, Los Angeles
Study Title
: “Families' Experiences of the College Application, Enrollment, and Attendance Processes”

Executive Summary: Educational attainment is a critical factor of upward mobility. This study seeks to provide insights into how families’ social class and racial backgrounds shape how students apply to college and navigate the transition from high school through the first year of college. Specifically, this study uses a longitudinal design and data collected from socioeconomically and racially diverse student and parent participants from white, Latino, and African American families with college-intending high school seniors. During the 2016-2017 academic year, two high school student interviews and one interview following the first semester of college will be conducted in order to capture change over time, detailed demographic data, and neighborhood and school context. The study uses four semi-structured interview protocols, two eligibility-screening surveys, field notes, and California Department of Education and U.S. Census Bureau data. The research would be of interest to orientation, transition, and retention staff.

Maximilian Schuster, University of Pittsburgh
Study Title
: “Exploring First-Year Student Transition Through Organizational Culture”

Executive Summary: The purpose of this research is to explore first-year student transition through the lens of organizational culture to understand the phenomenological process of transition as a psychological adjustment and its variations based on gender, race, and first-generation status. This qualitative research study is designed to identify the vehicles through which undergraduate students make meaning of their experiences with institutional culture during their initial transition to higher education. Participant sample consists of first-year and second-year students from a single institution who will be interviewed on themes related to peer engagement through friendship groups and student groups; faculty and academic experiences; interactions with institutional rituals and events; skills necessary to successful transition; and other topics. Interpretative thematic strategies will guide data analysis for this research study. This study aims to foster the cultivation of targeted programs and services for successful student transition.

Maureen Wilson, Bowling Green State University
Study Title
: “Behavioral Norms of Orientation, Transition, and Retention Professionals”

Executive Summary: The purpose of this study is to understand if there is a normative structure for the administrative role performance of orientation, transition, and retention (OTR) professionals. Two research questions will address the existence of such normative structure and whether the structure differs across demographic characteristics (gender identity, race, education level, professional role, years of experience, or institutional type). The researchers will develop a web-based survey instrument and then ask experts in OTR to review it for content and clarity. To construct items for the OTR survey, the researcher will consult documents such as the NODA ethical standards, CAS standards for OTR, and other relevant documents. All NODA members will be invited to participate in the study. This research will be of interest to OTR professionals and the professional organizations that serve them.

Patty Witkowsky, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Study Title
: “Influence of Bilingual Parent and Family Member Orientation Programs on Sense of Belonging and Parental Involvement in Higher Education”

Executive Summary: While Latino students’ access to higher education has increased through the presence of Hispanic Serving Institutions, student achievement continues to be a concern. Latino students particularly rely on parental support regarding their pursuit of higher education, yet involvement of parents and family members in their students’ college career can be limited when language presents a barrier. The purpose of this study is to explore how the participation of Spanish-speaking parents and family members in a Spanish-speaking Parent and Family Member Orientation (PFMO) bilingual program influences the family members’ involvement and sense of belonging at the institution. Parents, guardians, and family members over the age of 18 at a Spanish-speaking PFMO program will be invited to participate in an open-ended survey, providing data for a qualitative case study. Findings from the study may help inform the development, enhancement, and implementation of bilingual parent and family orientation programs at institutions across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

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