Honors 401 Theses

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    The impacts of experiential learning travel courses on student education, professionalism, and interpersonal relationships
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2021) Gilbert, Alyssa; Corbin, Joseph; Matthews, Lowell Chris
    This research study aims to explore the academic, professional, and interpersonal impacts experiential learning travel courses are having on undergraduate college students. Current research demonstrates that many educational formats do not provide optimal educational outcomes to students. Empirical observations from multiple faculty suggest experiential learning travel courses do provide these outcomes as well as highly impactful lifelong skills. Focus groups with diverse populations were conducted with current students on how experiential learning travel courses (ELTC) impacted their education, career, and interpersonal relationships with other students and faculty. Faculty were surveyed on their perception of how students were impacted by these courses. The research collected from the focus groups was analyzed through a combination of thematic content and narrative analysis. Searching for insightful narratives and recurring themes allowed conclusions to be drawn about the overall academic, professional, and interpersonal impacts these experiential courses have on students. The research hypothesis of this study is that experiential learning travel courses will positively impact academic, professional, and interpersonal aspects of students’ lives and these aspects will interact with each other as well. The research aims to provide a better understanding of how experiential learning travel courses are impacting the lives of students who participate in such courses. (Author abstract)
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    Global refugee crisis and system reform: National response comparison of the United States and Germany
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2021) Liriano Trejo, Arielys; Clamp, Christina; Matthews, Lowell Chris
    Migration policy faces the new challenges of the 21st century such as civil unrest, climate change, and health concerns. Nearly 26 million people were refugees in 2019 (UNHCR, 2020), which showcases the human rights and political magnitude of the situation. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the policy initiatives taken by the United States and Germany in response to increased numbers of refugees and concerns about opening borders to determine ways to improve the refugee intake and resettlement process. Varying nations have differences in policy and acceptance of refugees. Nations need to determine where they lie in the spectrum concerning acceptance or denial of refugee entrance to their borders. By focusing on the United States and Germany, the study aims to assess government responses to the situation and determine whether there are ways to improve policies that impact the current resettlement model. Interviews of key informants in the refugee resettlement process in the United States and literature review of both the United States and Germany will be conducted. In this way, the experiences of service agencies will serve as feedback to determine ways that policy can address gaps in the system and policy implications. An approach of literature review analysis and interviews will allow the audience to gain perspective on a critical examination of German and American immigration law and policy and suggestions to improve the current scheme. (Author abstract)
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    The dissipation of the skilled labor force
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2021) Spangler, Bethany; St. Jean, Nathaniel; Matthews, Lowell Chris
    Currently, the skilled labor industry is facing a huge gap in the number of working laborers. This gap is shown in the quickly declining numbers of workers in the trades and in the 7 million open jobs that are unable to be filled. Unfortunately, this is due to the general lack of interest in the trades, the lack of skills that individuals possess to excel in these fields, and individual attitude towards the trades that influence the decision to learn these skills. This gap affects companies and the amenities that they give to society. With a shortage of workers, many companies are shutting down because they are unable to complete the work needed. High school Career and Technical Education programs are a great way to gain awareness in this issue and begin to help this problem. There are a multitude of personal benefits for students linked to attending CTE programs as well, which in turn enhances their education. Public perception is a huge influencing factor in why the skills gap is so large today. On a refined level, perception directly impacts vocational school attendance, which is arguably the first steppingstone that many take into the trades. With lower vocational school attendance, there are automatically less individuals that enter into the trades which then contributes to the labor gap. In order to help with this issue, we first need to begin with understanding perception. This paper aims to begin to understand this. (Author abstract)
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    When and why the Roman Republic collapsed
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2021) Kelly, Ryan; Healow, Christopher; Matthews, Lowell Chris
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    The effects of remote learning on students in an urban school district
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2021) Soucy, Kaitlin; Tapley, Colleen; Matthews, Lowell Chris
    Remote learning is a new concept to our entire country. Does the equity and accessibility in a school district play a role in academic performance for students through remote learning? For this study, I am going to be surveying teachers on how they perceive student performance levels during and after remote learning. Typically, it is the in-person teaching that has the greatest effect on students to increase their academic performance in content area subjects. With COVID-19 prohibiting in-person instruction, schools were forced to transition into remote instruction for their students. With this study, I am going to ask teachers a series of questions on how remote teaching went for them as well as their students in the spring of 2020. Once school restarts in the fall of 2020, I will re-conduct the interviews to see how remote learning affected students’ performance levels. I hypothesize that if schools remain online, academic performance levels will continue to decrease, and if schools reopen to in-person instruction, students will be at the equivalent, or lower academic performance levels as they were when schools originally transitioned to remote learning. This study will be conducted in grades 1, 3, and 5. In grades 1, it may be hard to gauge their academic performance levels because their brains are at a very young developmental age and it may be harder to retain information, however in grades 3 and 5 their retention rate is higher and they should be apt to recall more information. (Author abstract)