AP Faculty Grant Recipient Published and Accepted to Present at International Conference
2013 AP Faculty Grant recipient, Ronda Mintz-Binder, DNP, RN, CNE, Assistant Professor-Graduate Studies, College of Nursing, University of Texas at Arlington, had her paper published and was accepted to present it at the International Journal of Arts and Sciences at Harvard Medical School, May 26-30, 2014. Please see below for the abstract to her paper, “A Comparison of Academic Partnership Coach-Based Graduate Nursing Students in five week cohorts to Traditional Graduate Nursing Students.” Dr. Mintz-Binder hopes to continue this longitudinal study to re-test the same group of subjects. We look forward to your continued research!
As the popularity of online shortened graduate programs grows, questions as to the efficacy of teaching a program in this format ensue. Students enrolled in an Academic Partnership (A.P.) version are completing the majority of the courses in 5 weeks as compared to 15 weeks in the traditional semester version. In one of the first required theory courses, students in the A.P. version have online access to the faculty member, and an academic coach as compared to the traditional version that has onsite face-to-face class meetings with a faculty member but no coach available. Both courses offer discussion board questions as a means to engage students in the content as well as one small group project. This study investigated the implementation of the coach model specifically as a means to offset the potential for stress, and lack of sense of belonging, two psychosocial concerns raised when pursuing a degree in an exclusively online format. The Traditional group included 21 respondents and the AP group included 37 respondents. T-test was not significant indicating no differences between these two groups with the two measures, although the AP group demonstrated a higher mean on the Sense of Belonging tool (63.17 vs. 59.7). Pearson Correlations were performed with the following significance: Traditional group students that reported receiving a final grade of B or lower correlated with greater length of time since receiving their Bachelors degree (r=.419, p<.059) as well as a few other demographic trends . Perceived stress was inversely related to Sense of Belonging in both groups, but did not reach significance. However, in the AP group, Perceived stress was inversely related to grades (r=-.334, p<..046) along with a strong trend indicating that Sense of Belonging correlated with the number of times student contacted the coach (r=.246, p=.15). Within the AP group, only 5 students self reported not using coaches, an indication that the majority felt the coach contact was useful. This same group of students will be re-tested in 1 year to see if major variables shift longitudinally. The intellectual merit of this study is to report on variables within these two styles of course not specifically collected nor correlated in past studies, thus eliminating an essential gap in the literature.