Recent Dissertations Defended

For abstract and complete dissertation, please visit the West Library Academic Archives site:

The following dissertations were defended Fall 2013. Congratulations to our new Doctor of Education graduates! We have included two abstracts.

1. Pamela CooperParent’s Perceptions of How They Serve the Social and Emotional Needs of Their Intellectually Identified Gifted Children.” 

Chair Dr. Aileen Curtin, committee members Dr. Celia Wilson and Dr. Annette Torres.

‌2. Chassidy Green “An Analysis of Texas School Districts Using CSCOPE in Grades 5 and 8 Mathematics.”

Chair Dr. Twyla Miranda, committee members Dr. Patsy Robles-Goodwin and Dr. Annette Torres.

Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to determine the relationship, if any, regarding school districts’ teachers’ average years of service, number of years of implementation of the CSCOPE math curriculum, and student achievement on the STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) mathematics scores in Grades 5 and 8. 

One hundred and sixty-six districts were used in the study and student achievement data were collected on the following student subgroups: White, African-American, Hispanic, Limited English Proficiency, Economically Disadvantaged, Special Education and All Students. Data collected from the 2012-2013 school year were analyzed using multiple regression to determine which independent variable was a more accurate predictor of student scores. The districts’ teachers’ average years of teaching service was a statistically significant predictor of student achievement for White, Hispanic, Economically Disadvantaged, and Special Education students in Grades 5 and 8 (all R2 values < .10 for each subgroup). Districts’ teachers’ years of teaching service were also a statistically significant predictor for African-American students in Grade 5 but not in Grade 8. Neither predictor variable was a significant predictor for Limited English Proficiency students in Grade 5. 

3. Kary A. Johnson “Multicomponent Treatment of Rapid Naming, Reading Rate and Visual Attention in Single and Double Deficit Dyslexics.”

Chair Dr. Celia Wilson, committee members Dr. Aileen Curtin and Dr. Twyla Miranda.

4. Joey Richards “Principal-generated YouTube Video as a Method of Improving Parental Involvement.” 

Chair Dr. Aileen Curtin, committee members Dr. Twyla Miranda and Dr. Joe Dryden.

5. Deborah RoarkThe Impact of Participation in Freshmen Learning Communities on Student Academic Achievement and Retention at One College.”

Chair Dr. Aileen Curtin, committee members Dr. Celia Wilson and Dr. Twyla Miranda.

6. Michael Wright “A Phenomenological Investigation into Cultural Factors Which May or May Not Contribute to Degree Completion Among American Indian Students in One Community College District.” 

Chair Dr. Twyla Miranda, committee members Dr. Celia Wilson and Dr. Lisa Dryden.

Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to investigate the cultural factors that may or may not contribute to degree completion among American Indian students in one community college district. Initial surveys were sent to both currently and formerly enrolled American Indian students (N=325; 238 currently enrolled and 87 formerly enrolled) during the early part of March, 2013, yielding a response rate of 41 surveys, which is 13 percent of the total surveys distributed. From the 41 initial survey respondents, a smaller group of ten, all currently enrolled American Indian students, agreed to interview sessions (or dialoguing sessions as called by the Vancouver school of phenomenology). From the group of ten students agreeing to one-on-one interview sessions, five currently enrolled students responded positively to multiple requests for interview dates and times for dialogues. Dialoguing sessions were recorded and transcribed; clarifying and probing questions with co-researchers’ answers were analyzed and subjected to close examination through metasynthesis leading to the discovery of themes. Verification of dialogue and transcriptions through triangulation was obtained. 

The results of this study indicated that there were no reported cultural factors that contributed to the retention or attrition of the American Indian community college student in the community college district under study. Further research regarding non-interference, non-tribal communities, resilience and cultural identity are warranted. For administrators, faculty and staff at the college district under study, the findings of the current study affirm that the practices in place to welcome students of various cultures may be effective in preventing attrition of the American Indian student and that cultural factors may not play a role in retention or attrition.

7. Shane Naterman "A Qualitative Content Analysis of Sexual Abuse Prevention and Awareness Programming in Texas Private Schools."

Chair Dr. Joe Dryden, committee members Dr. William Newton and Dr. R.J. Wilson.

8. Marillyn Dardenne "A Qualitative Case Study Investigation into Character Education Experiences in One Urban Middle School Setting."

Chair Dr. Twyla Miranda, committee members Dr. William Newton and Dr. Aileen Curtin

Abstract: This case study was designed to investigate what makes character education meaningful from the perspective of students, teachers and mentors in an urban public middle school. The school studied was identified as having a partnership with a local church that supported the school’s character education by providing mentors and organizing special programs for students. Observations and interviews with teachers, students, and mentors were conducted over the course of one semester. Results were analyzed and coded using qualitative techniques of constant comparative analysis and data reduction. Themes that emerged include the importance of role models (especially male role models), one-to-one connectedness, consistency, the influence of the home, helping adolescents to think differently about themselves, and challenging academics and high expectations. For curriculum and program developers, the findings may provide insights into developing practices and settings that are conducive to developing desirable character traits in adolescent students. The findings also are consistent with current theory that social cognition and skills are closely aligned with character development and academic achievement.

9. Steven Newby "A Case Study of the Experiences of Transfer Students in an Urban Christian School."

Chair Dr. Aileen Curtin, committee members Dr. William Newton and Dr. Twyla Miranda

10. Andrew Ha "The Relationship Between Web-Assisted Computer Math Instruction On Pass, Withdrawal, and Future Success Rated of Students in Remedial Courses at One Community College." 

Shane and Marilyn after Spring graduation ceremony, 2014Chair Dr. Twyla Miranda, committee members Dr. Patsy Robles-Goodwin and Dr. Lisa Dryden

Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to determine the relationship, if any, regarding the use of a web-assisted computer math instruction program (Pearson’s MyMathLab) and community college student achievement in the areas of pass, withdrawal, and future course success rates. 326 students were used in the study, where 161 students were enrolled in a traditional classroom setting and 165 students were enrolled in a traditional classroom setting supplemented with the MyMathLab (MML) web-assisted computer math instruction program. Data collected from 2008-2013 semesters were analyzed using Chi-square tests to determine if MML supplementation had a significant contribution to the pass, withdrawal, and future course success rates of students. Results of the current study determined that MML supplementation did not have a significant impact on these measures of student achievement when compared to the students receiving solely traditional instruction. The results of the current study do not support the claim that curriculum that is supplemented with MML will dramatically increase student success at the developmental math level. Instead, the results of the current study indicate that, while technology supplementation may help students to some degree, community colleges must also consider many other factors, such as teacher experience, teacher enthusiasm, student’s past math experiences, when attempting to effectively utilize technology in the math classroom that results in higher pass rates, lower withdrawal rates, and higher future course pass rates.‌ 

Contact Us
School of Education

Twyla Miranda, Ph.D. 
Director, Doctor of 
Education Program
Professor of Education 
Phone: 817-531-4947

Judy Baker 
Administrative Assistant 
Phone: 817-531-4962

Beth Hargrove 
Graduate Admissions Coordinator 
Phone: 817-531-4498

Office Hours

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Contact Us:
1201 Wesleyan Street
Fort Worth, TX 76105

Get Social:
Go To: