The 2016 Annual Conference of the Virginia Educational Research Association (VERA), to be held Thursday, Sept. 15, and Friday, Sept. 16, in Charlottesville, Virginia, will include scholarly presentations by three individuals enrolled in Shenandoah University’s School of Education & Human Development Doctor of Education program.
Ann T. Finan, Ed.D., a 2016 graduate of the program, will present “Conflict and collaboration between parents, teachers and administrators during the individualized education plan process: Recommendations and policy implications.” Dr. Finan’s study addresses insights into the experiences and opinions of parents and school administrators and teachers during the process of developing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
The IEP process is critical for appropriate educational planning and implementation of programs for children with disabilities. However, this process can easily become contentious when the competing goals of parents, teachers and administrators interact with a highly emotional situation. Parents, teachers and administrators have a great deal at stake. This study examined the experiences of the school administrators, teachers and the parents as they developed an IEP.
Doctoral candidate Amanda M. Shenk will present “Student perceptions of service-learning: A study on the understanding and application of content knowledge in a ‘psychology in the classroom’ course.” While colleges and universities seek to educate students in lasting and meaningful ways via service-learning, there are mixed reports as to the effects of service-learning and its impact on students’ learning outcomes.
The focus of this research was to examine students’ perceptions of service learning’s contribution to the understanding and application of the content knowledge of an undergraduate psychology course. The research questions ask for students’ descriptions of the course pertaining to the service-learning component as it relates to the content knowledge of the course, the contribution of the service-learning component to their understanding of the content knowledge, and the contribution of the service-learning component to their application of the content knowledge.
Doctoral candidate Kija Wilson will present “Parent attitude shift in juvenile drug court.” Juvenile drug courts have become an alternative to long-term academic suspension and incarceration for youth that have used drugs. Successful completion of the program requires cooperation from the parent as well as the student. While the recidivism rates for students who complete juvenile drug court have been studied, there is little research that looks at parents of drug court students.
This study focused on how parental attitudes change while a child is enrolled in juvenile drug court and if this change reflects the success of their child in completion of the program. The findings in this study suggest that parental attitudes of defiance, disclosure, and support for students change over time and often correlate to the success of the student in the juvenile drug court program.
Two Shenandoah University faculty members will present at the conference as well. Professor of Research John R. Goss, III, Ph.D., will present “Identity conflict and university policy: Responsive pedagogy in higher education,” while Assistant Professor of Leadership Lisa Pluska, Ed.D., will address “Using developmental relationships to build leaders through mentoring.”
Other Shenandoah doctoral program alumni affiliated with the conference are Beth Woodruff ’14, Ed.D., who serves on the conference planning committee, and Victoria Fawcett-Adams ’16, D.Prof., who serves on the publications committee.
VERA is a state organization open to all persons interested in educational research and evaluation in Virginia. Its goals are to advance the professional development of Virginia’s educational researchers and evaluators; foster an exchange of research and evaluation ideas and methods among professional educators in Virginia; facilitate cooperative educational research and evaluation among school divisions, educational institutions, and agencies in Virginia; and recognize the scholarly work and contribution of doctoral students as well as educational research and evaluation professionals.