Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Yasha Jones Becton

Abstract

With the goal of improving student satisfaction, one local program, the Frances County Adult Education (FCAE) system, chose to create a systemic initiative named Honoring Adult Behaviors and Influencing Thinking Skills. This dissertation in practice explored two questions: 1) What benefits do students expect to receive as a result of student participation in the Frances County Adult Education program? and 2) How does implementation of the Honoring Adult Behaviors and Influencing Thinking Skills (HABITS) initiatives, inclusive of Habits of Mind curriculum and Integrated Educational Training, impact student satisfaction with Frances County Adult Education? Based on two theories, three-factor satisfaction and constructivism, a mixed-methods study gathered qualitative and quantitative data from student surveys and one-on-one interviews over a 4-month period from November 2020 to February 2021. Of the 343 enrolled students at the time, 189 participated by completing one or more research instruments, based on convenience sampling for survey instruments and purposeful sampling to select 12 interview participants. Using descriptive statistical analysis and qualitative data analysis performed in stages, the study found that, in general, adult basic education students came to adult education with a commitment to themselves and a mindset of wanting to do better. The HABITS initiative offered a value-added component to the adult basic education experience and to student satisfaction. The study concluded that FCAE should continue to honor student self-directedness and community by doing the following: pursuing student satisfaction as a programmatic goal; engaging in behaviors that foster trust; offering thinking habits as a foundational practice; and working to ensure high quality workforce-related training opportunities for participants.

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