Promoting the success of all students is one of four institutional goals at Texas State University. Retention and graduation rates provide information regarding the academic progress and success of specific student cohorts. To gain a deeper insight into student success within the undergraduate kinesiology/exercise and sports science program at Texas State University, an equity audit was conducted during the fall 2019 academic semester. An equity audit provides a lens to critically examine institutional data to identify inequities in academic programs and student achievement based on specific variables, such as gender, age, race, and socioeconomic status. This article provides a model for conducting an equity audit in kinesiology/exercise and sports science programs, reports the findings, and highlights strategic actions implemented to combat inequities in student success.
Michelle Hamilton, Karen Meaney, and Melissa Martinez
Michelle Hamilton, Jacqueline Goodway, and John Haubenstricker
The purpose was to investigate the effectiveness of parental involvement on the acquisition of object-control skills of preschool children who are at risk for developmental delay or academic failure. The experimental group (n = 15) participated in an 8-week motor skill intervention program consisting of two 45-min lessons per week delivered by the children’s parents. The control group (n = 12) participated in the regular motor skill program, which consisted of movement songs delivered by the parents. All children were pretested and posttested on the object-control subscale of the Test of Gross Motor Development (Ulrich, 1985). Both groups performed in the lower 20th percentile on the pretest. A 2 X 2 (Group X Test) ANOVA revealed that the experimental group improved significantly in the object-control subscale score from pretest to posttest, whereas the control group did not change. The results provide support for including parents in the instructional process of children who are at risk for developmental delay or academic failure.
Ting Liu, Michelle Hamilton, YuChun Chen, Katie Harris, and Rushali Pandya
Over the past decade, there has been a notable increase in interest in master’s education in the United States. However, not much attention has been paid to recruiting and retaining master’s students in the field of kinesiology. This article describes recruitment and retention strategies that have been successfully implemented in a kinesiology graduate program at a Hispanic-serving institution. Recruiting from undergraduate programs, removing use of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in graduate admissions, awarding graduate teaching assistantships, creating new programs that flow with the evolving workforce, actively promoting the program at other universities and conferences, and building partnership with other universities are described for recruiting quality master’s students. Establishing a peer/faculty mentorship program and building a strong student network/organization have been shown to have a positive impact on retention. Readers may pick and choose the strategies that work best with the student population, faculty, and other resources available in the program.
Ting Liu, YuChun Chen, Michelle Hamilton, and Katie Harris
Peer mentoring is a learning process wherein a more experienced student provides advice and support to a less experienced student during their academic career. At the graduate level, peer mentoring has been shown to increase social support, career readiness, retention, and graduation rates among first-year students. In spring 2021, the Exercise Science graduate program at Texas State University initiated a peer mentoring program. The participants reported that they felt more integrated in the graduate program. Meeting and socializing with mentor/mentee have enhanced their sense of belonging and relatedness, especially during COVID, when students felt more isolated. The professional relationship made them more prone to return and strive for academic success. This article describes a peer mentoring program that has been successfully implemented in a kinesiology graduate program and makes recommendations for universities to study the impact of peer mentoring on marginalized student well-being, retention, career readiness, and academic success in future research.