• The Acculturation Process and Strategies of First-Generation Chinese Students in Canadian Higher Education

      Xu, Fangqing
      The acculturation attitudes, processes, and strategies of international students in the transitioning stage (i.e., between temporary residents with a study permit and landed immigrants) serve as key predictors of their acculturation experiences in the future. This paper reviewed and drew from the leading theories and previous empirical studies. In-depth interviews were conducted to examine the predominant stressors, attitudes, and strategies in the acculturation processes among 6 first-generation Chinese students with specific emphases on their multiple identities within the context of heterogeneity in Canada, and students’ appraisal of the acculturation strategy adopted by the larger society. The findings revealed 4 major aspects: pre-acculturation moderating factors, acculturation attitudes and strategies, identity formation within the multicultural context, and individuals’ appraisal of policies and practices at all levels. The results of this study may provide implications for university programs and counseling services to improve the retention and well-being of international students.
    • Branding Higher Education in the Face of Controversy: A Document Analysis on Institutional Branding and Sexual Violence Policies at Brock University

      Webster, Courtney
      This study examines the relationship between institutional branding and reports of on-campus sexual violence at Ontario Higher Education (HE) institutions with a focus on Brock University. Using a document analysis of 3 documents available via the Brock University website, I consider how institutional branding informs and is reflected in HE policies and specifically, how Brock’s brand reflected in those policies contributes to how on-campus sexual violence is understood and addressed. Working within the framework of Feminist Critical Policy Analysis, I present key themes that emerge through the document analysis and critically analyze what those themes indicate about the relationship between institutional branding and reports of on-campus sexual violence at Brock University. This project seeks to encourage HE institutions, and the stakeholders within and around them, to prioritize putting documents into action over prioritizing the act of creating the document. Documents that are not in action are documents that are not of use to those they are meant to inform and protect. Moreover, this research can be used to (a) inspire advocacy, (b) promote a feminist approach in institutional branding and policy development, and (c) assist survivors of sexual violence in seeking support.
    • Examining the Nature of Published Research About Mentoring in Higher Education

      Beres, Jacqueline (2014-06-18)
      The various forms of mentoring relationships in higher education have all proven to be valuable, offering numerous benefits to mentors and protégés. Research into mentoring provides critical insight into aspects of these relationships, which can be used to advance theoretical and practical understandings of the topic. However, little is known about the methodological characteristics of the mentoring research itself. Using descriptive quantitative content analysis, I examined five years of articles published in five scholarly journals to determine the prevalence of research about mentoring in higher education. Not surprisingly, the prevalence of these articles differed significantly among journals in higher education (1.07% to 3.13%) compared to the considerably higher prevalence rate of 53.15% for the mentoring journal, Mentoring & Tutoring [χ2 (4, N = 82) = 143.98, p < .01]. I also report findings related to the prevalence of different empirical research traditions, research designs, and data sources, as well as various populations, such as faculty members or graduate students who serve as mentors or protégés. Given the limited number of mentoring articles published in higher education journals, I was unable to compare methodological characteristics across journals. Implications for theory, research, and practice in the area of mentoring in higher education are also suggested. Understanding the methodological characteristics of the current literature allows researchers to tailor their current studies by either continuing with existing trends in methodological approaches or seeking opportunities to incorporate under-utilized research traditions, designs, or data sources, with the aim of continuing to improve mentoring knowledge and outcomes.
    • Learning and Experiential Outcomes of Face-to-Face Versus Online Communications Courses

      Woolsey, Shantal (2013-04-17)
      Higher education is rapidly trending toward the implementation of online (OL) courses and a blended facilitation style that incorporates both OL and face-to-face (FTF) classes. Though previous studies have explored the benefits and pitfalls of OL and blended learning formats from institutional, teacher, and student perspectives, scant research has examined learning outcomes for OL and FTF courses sharing identical content. This study used an explanatory mixed methods design—including pre- and post-test assessments, a questionnaire, and interviews—to explore similarities and differences in participant and teacher perceptions and outcomes (gain scores and final grades) of OL versus traditional FTF Communications courses, and to examine effects of students’ age and gender on learning preference and performance. Data collection occurred over a 4-month period and involved 183 student and 2 professor participants. The study used an SPSS program for data analysis and created a Microsoft Excel document to record themes derived from the questionnaire and interviews. Quantitative findings suggest there are no significant differences in gain scores, final grades, or other learning outcomes when comparing OL and FTF versions of identical Communications courses; however, qualitative findings indicate differences between facilitation styles based on student and professor perception. The study sheds light on student and faculty perceptions of facilitation styles and suggests areas for potential improvements in FTF- and OL-facilitated courses. The study ultimately recommends that students and faculty should have options when it comes to preferred delivery of course material.