My Research Focus

InterdisciplinaryToday I thought about a new way to describe my research focus:

My research focus is the study of college impacts and institutional effectiveness through an interdisciplinary approach.

When I say college impacts, I mean student learning in- and out-of-classrooms, online education, STEM education, student engagement, civic engagement, and moral and spiritual development of college students.

When I say institutional effectiveness, I mean assessment of student affairs practices, teaching evaluation, student satisfaction, and other measures of institutional competitiveness and effectiveness.

Many scholars study college impacts and institutional effectiveness, but my unique contributions come from the utilization of an interdisciplinary approach. I investigate college impacts and institutional effectiveness through psychological, sociological, and economic theories combining with the current literature in the field of education, business management, data sciences, and leadership.

Career Advice for New Academics

Career AdviceYesterday I saw a friend asking on the Facebook for career advice for new student affairs professionals. I am now into my 12th year working as a professional in academia. I thought about career advice for new academics and I have three:

  1. Treat everyone with respect and dignity especially to those you don’t like and those “black sheep”.
  2. Do not stop learning and improving your trade. This should be true for everyone but especially true for academics.
  3. Raise your hand and take on the task nobody wants, and you are on your way to become a leader.

這是我沒有時間寫網誌的原因

孤兒博士生

教授要做的事情很多,其中最主要的幾項包括教學、申請研究經費、做研究、發表研究成果、參與學校行政事務、以及指導博士班學生。對我來說,這些教授的職責中最具挑戰性的一項是指導博士班學生。今天要來說說我到目前為止短短的教授生涯中指導博士班學生的心得。

在我來到UNT上任前的一兩年我們系上有一批教授因為退休或是轉校而離職。這些離職的教授留下了為數不小的一群「孤兒博士生」-我指的是那些剛開始寫論文或是論文做到一半指導教授突然走人的博士班學生。我想一般人聽到孤兒博士生的第一個想法一定是覺得這些走人的教授真是可惡,怎麼可以拍拍屁股說走就走。要知道每一個教授對於論文的要求往往有很多細節上的差異,因此A教授指導的博士論文到了B教授手中可能會被要求大幅度的修改甚至是重寫。因為這個原因,在寫論文的中途換指導教授是所有的博士班學生最不願意發生的一件事情。

但是孤兒博士生的產生不能完全怪罪於教授。大部分的教授在退休或是離職的時候都會非常仔細的審查手上還在指導的博士班學生。要知道能夠指導到一個好的博士班學生對教授來說是非常興奮的一件事情,因此大部分的教授在退休或是離職的時候通常都會把幾個好的學生留下來或是帶走繼續指導到他們拿到博士學位。至於那些孤兒博士生很多是叫也叫不動,推也推不動的老牛。

當年我在UNT上任的時候就被「分配」到了一個孤兒博士生,我暫且稱它為A生。我到UNT的時候A生已經在我們系上讀了六年,博士資格考也早就考完了,但是論文卻是遲遲沒有進展。我是他的第三位指導教授。他的第一位指導教授轉校另謀高就;第二位指導教授在指導了他一年之後跟A生說:「對不起,我沒有辦法幫助你,請你另外尋找武功高強的教授指導你。」於是,他找上了我。

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Definition of First Generation College Student

Many students asked me to help them define first generation college student, so I post it here for anyone who is interested.

The definition of First Generation of College Student:

According to Title 20 U.S. Code Sec. 1070a-11(h)(3):

The term “first generation college student” means—
(A) an individual both of whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree; or
(B) in the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, an individual whose only such parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree.

According to National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Report 2000-153:

Education levels were aggregated as follows:

  • First-generation: Both parents have no more than a high school education. Thus, the student would be a member of the first generation in the immediate family to attend college.
  • Some college: One or both parents have some postsecondary education, but neither had attained a bachelor’s degree. This category includes parents with vocational certificates and associate’s degrees as the highest level of attainment.
  • College graduate: One or both parents earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.