Browsing ETDs: Virginia Tech Electronic Theses and Dissertations by Department "Adult Education"
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- Adult Education in Civil War Richmond January 1861- April 1865Dwyer, John L. (Virginia Tech, 1997-03-19)This study examines adult education in Civil War Richmond from January 1861 to April 1865. Drawing on a range of sources (including newspapers, magazines, letters and diaries, reports, school catalogs, and published and unpublished personal narratives), it explores the types and availability of adult education activities and the impact that these activities had on influencing the mind, emotions, and attitudes of the residents. The analysis reveals that for four years, Richmond, the Capital of the Confederacy, endured severe hardships and tragedies of war: overcrowdedness, disease, wounded and sick soldiers, food shortages, high inflationary rates, crime, sanitation deficiencies, and weakened socio-educational institutions. Despite these deplorable conditions, the examination reveals that educative systems of organizations, groups, and individuals offered the opportunity and means for personal development and growth. The study presents and tracks the educational activities of organizations like churches, amusement centers, colleges, evening schools, military, and voluntary groups to determine the type and theme of their activities for educational purposes, such as personal development, leisure, and recreation. The study examines and tracks such activities as higher education, industrial training, religious education, college-preparatory education, military training, informal education, and educational leisure and recreation, such as reading and listening to and singing music. The study concludes that wartime conditions had minimal affect on the type and availability of adult education. Based on the number and types of educational activities and participants engaged in such activities, the study concludes that adult education had influenced and contributed to the lives of the majority of Richmonders, including the thousands of soldiers convalescing in the city's hospitals. Whatever the educative system, the study finds that the people of Richmond, under tremendous stress and despondency improved themselves individually and collectively. Thus, Civil War Richmond's adult education experience is about educative systems that gave people knowledge, comfort, and hope under extreme deprivation and deplorable conditions.
- Increasing Stages of Social Activism and Responsiveness to the National Agenda: How Women Experience Membership in the American Association of University WomenLeist, Marilyn Thomas (Virginia Tech, 1998-03-31)The problem investigated in this study was how individuals participate in the local units of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and particularly how their participation relates to the program and policy initiatives of the national association. The purpose was to understand and describe how individuals experience branch membership, how they respond to the current program and policy initiatives of the association, and to examine some of the differences between members with regard to the salience of the initiatives. The research issues concerned why women join and retain their membership in local units, how they participate, and how they promote the program and policies of the national association. The grounded theory method was used to perform this qualitative study. Ten participants, in two branches, were interviewed. The interviews were transcribed, using The Ethnograph tool, and then open, axial, and selective coding was carried out to discern patterns and themes from the data. The findings, which emerged from the data, resulted in a model of four stages of increasing social activism and responsiveness to the national agenda. Attending to the mission of the association--to promote equity, lifelong education, and positive societal change--became increasingly important to some members as they moved through the stages. During the first stage, Participates, members simply attended meetings, took part in activities and fund-raisers, and some performed a branch role. During the second stage, Supports, they promoted education opportunities for specific women and girls, by setting up study groups, providing for local scholarships, or other educational activities. During the third stage, Facilitates, members actually promoted equity by disseminating information in the community concerning the association's issues. During the fourth stage, Advocates, members worked in the community to make changes based on issues from the national agenda. The conclusions addressed member motivation, the importance of the social capital built through participation, and the internal consequences of membership. While most women joined and retained their membership in the local units for social contact, some joined because of the organization's mission. Their motivation to join and retain their membership made a difference in their level and kind of branch involvement. The importance of the social capital built during participation in branch activities, often diminished, is of utmost importance to the usually, conservative members as some of them became more engaged in the activist, national agenda. The internal consequences of membership in the local units of the voluntary association were more important to members than the external consequences, which led to incongruence between the national office and the branches. This study adds to the body of knowledge regarding voluntary associations, particularly with respect to understanding how individuals experience membership at the local level, their goal orientation, and their motivation to participate over time.
- The Industrial College of the Armed Forces: Contextual Analysis of an Evolving Mission, 1924-1994A'Hearn, Francis W. (Virginia Tech, 1997-04-21)This study assessed the changing mission of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces as it evolved from the institution's founding as the Army Industrial College in 1924 to its 70th anniversary in 1994. The study drew heavily from archival materials in the Special Collections of the National Defense University in Washington, DC. The problem investigated in this research was to analyze how and why the institution's mission changed over time within the context of internal and external forces and events. Based upon the historical method of research, the study identified six periods in the institution's development over seven decades: its origins in the aftermath of World War I from 1918 to 1924; its growth in the interwar years, 1924 to 1940; the institution's temporary closure and subsequent reconstitution as the Industrial College of the Armed Forces during and after World War II, from 1940 to 1947; a formative period during the Cold War from 1947 to 1962; its continuing evolution throughout the Vietnam era from 1962 to 1974; and finally the College's modern development as a joint service educational institution from 1974 to 1994. The study found that the institution has changed dramatically over much of this century, just as the world and the country's national security concerns have changed profoundly in the same period. The mission of the College has evolved from a narrow focus on training military officers in procurement and industrial mobilization to that of a graduate institution dedicated to educating a select group of promising senior military and civilian officials in the political, economic, and resource dimensions of national security. Over time, the focus has shifted from training to education, from military to national issues, from internal and external educational programs to primarily internal ones, and from a predominant interest in domestic issues to an equally strong concern for international matters. The study finds that a variety of internal and external events and forces have impelled these changes. A wide range of influential individuals and stakeholders, bureaucratic power structures, governmental agencies, special review boards, and various political, economic, military, and social considerations have influenced the mission of the College. The study also concludes that several factors have likely contributed to the institution's relatively unusual longevity as a government entity. Its dual identity as an educational institution and a government organization set apart from the mainstream bureaucracy has had a favorable influence. So too has the institution been aided by the unique service it has provided to multiple customer constituencies. In fact, the College's mission has made it unique as an institution of adult education and learning in this country and perhaps the world.
- Perceptions and attitudes of participating soldiers toward the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Associate Degree Program (SOCAD) and the relationship of selected demographic variablesCopeland, Frederick Lewis (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1987)The purpose of this study was to gauge the perceptions and attitudes of participating soldiers toward the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Associate Degree (SOCAD) Program. SOCAD is a voluntary off-duty associate degree program designed for Army noncommissioned officers and warrant officers. Two major research questions guided this inquiry. The first question was designed to determine the perceptions and attitudes of participants toward SOCAD. The second question related to the relationship between soldier participation and selected demographic variables such as age, gender, educational level, pay grade, marital status and term of enlistment. The questions were investigated by conducting a cross-sectional survey of the views of SOCAD participants on eight factors: (a) overall program impressions, (b) program mechanics, (c) program quality, (d) motivation, (e) benefits, (f) leadership influences, (g) progress toward the associate degree, and (h) demographics. From a verified Army Data Master File, 1,959 SOCAD participants were stratified by pay grade and randomly selected from a population of 9,799 active duty respondents to participate in the survey. A 65% return rate was attained. The questionnaire schedule was used as the principal method of gathering the information. The instrument was pilot tested for validity, and reliability was established at .83 by computing an internal consistency alpha level. All data gathered were coded and analyzed using the SPSSX software package. The chi-square test of association was used to determine statistical significance of relationship between SOCAD participant satisfaction with the program and selected demographics. Summary of findings: (a) 85% of the SOCAD participants reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall operation of the program; (b) over three-fourths of the respondents rated counseling support as good or excellent; (c) nearly 85% of all respondents indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the educational services provided by SOCAD colleges; (d) the top motivating factors for entering SOCAD were desire to get a better job when discharged from the Army (93%), being able to work on associate degree regardless of location (93%), and opportunity to use tuition assistance (85%); (e) one-fourth of the respondents agreed that involvement in SOCAD has encouraged them to stay in the Army; (f) among all pay grades, 34% agreed that they receive leadership encouragement to participate in the program; (g) slightly more than two-thirds of the respondents were satisfied with their rate of progress in the program; (h) when stratified by demographics most SOCAD participants were satisfied with the program. Very few differences in satisfaction levels were noted among the subgroups used in the study, and even then the differences were only slightly significant. Open-ended comments and additional analysis supported the above findings. In conclusion, the SOCAD program was perceived by the respondents to be a very effective and highly respected program that is meeting its goal of providing soldiers the opportunity to earn associate degrees in selected technical areas. Several program operational areas are identified for further study.