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Dissertation Letter of Intent
Beginning on the following page, please complete the following sections in this template, using African American, 12-point font. Please address all required content:
In a cogent few paragraphs, identify a general problem in the discipline that supports the need to conduct the proposed research and describe a specific research problem that the research will address. Describe what is problematic, how, and for whom, supported by recent citations. Briefly explain how the results of the study could be used to address the specific research problem. (Target: 2 to 3 paragraphs)
College sports are one of the biggest attractions in the United States in the present times attracting millions of fans from across different ethnic backgrounds. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has tried to desegregate college sports by facilitating the participation of African-American athletes in college sports since 1970s (Vogel et al. 2019). As more African-American and women began playing for universities and colleges in the , concerns regarding their academic and athletics careers have arisen (Brecht Burnett, 2019). A study by García et al. (2023) reported that African-Americans constitute 12% of college athletic teams. At the same time, García et al. (2023) reported 16% decline in academic achievement of African-Americans athletes. research to look at the number of African-American females graduated from an NCAA Division sports program and challenges or obstacles they faced university degree. This study will look at why and how African-American females can out preform there male peers in the classroom and what they are doing to make finishing there degree happen.
Carter-Francique (2018) showed that more female African-American collegiate athletes complete their studies and graduate from college than do male African-American collegiate athletes. Also, Carter-Francique (2018) showed that the number of male collegiate athletes dropping out of college or university education far outnumber the dropout rate of their female counterparts and other non-white students.
Much is unknown regarding the factors contributing to these differences in retention and graduation rates between African-American men and women. Traditionally, African-Americans are underrepresented in all levels of learning including colleges and universities compared to students from other ethnic backgrounds (Carter-Francique et al. 2017). College sports programs offer many African-Americans opportunity to pursue higher education and training alongside their careers in athletics. Despite the advantages both African-American collegiate athletes, it is unclear why many male and female African-American collegiate athletes do not succeed in their academic studies compared to their white counterparts.
The problem is to understand and find out what unique skills and other academic ability tools female African-American athletes use to continue their college degree work and also what keeps them motivated facing some of the most challenging times being in college. Can these tools be used for all collegiate level academic support for all athletes not just African-American women?
Provide a specific and accurate synopsis of the overall purpose of the study. Align the Purpose of the Study to address the specific research problem. In one concise paragraph, succinctly describe the study’s focus, methodology, population, and geographical location. (Target: 1 paragraph)
The purpose of this qualitative comparative case study which will involve interviews with female African American athletes at NCAA Division 1 schools regarding the obstacles and enablers they face that helped or hindered their ability to succeed in college. The participants of the study will be recruited from NCAA Division schools in Utah. Understanding these tools or unique capabilities will further research into what African-American females are doing to eventually graduate from a Division I basketball program. It seems that female basketball players are treated the same at all Division I schools therefore basketball players is the key focus on this area to shed light on what female athletes are doing especially African-American and what theyre doing to overcome these challenges to graduate. The problem in this area is finding out what tools and resources African-American women are relying on that will better prepare them to graduate a college or university in the mandated time established by the NCAA.
Importance of the Study:
Briefly describe the importance of the proposed research, including how the study represents a unique approach to the problem, how the results may contribute to theory and practice in the field and the potential implications of the research findings. Identify any knowledge gaps to be addressed by the proposed research. (Target: 2 to 3 paragraphs).
The results of the study will be useful in many ways. First, the study will help to identify the obstacles and enablers of college success among female African-American athletes in American colleges and universities. Besides, by unveiling the enabling and inhibiting factors in African-American collegiate athletes academic successes, the findings presented in this study will help contribute to policies regarding collegiate athletics and professional development for both male and female African-American. This study will contribute to theory and practice in sports education by producing evidence-based results.
The the study may provide educational institutions, administrators, and policymakers with fresh insights about the obstacles African-American collegiate athletes face in their quest for education and how to address these issues. Institutions may further apply the research findings to launch pilot programs and initiatives to empower male and female athletes completion and graduation rates from colleges and universities. Athletes who excel in both academics and athletics are much more likely to follow a dual career path that may result in greater success in life (Price and Sen, 2020). According to Price and Sen (2020), collegiate athletes pursue both academic and athletic careers at the same time, requiring a delicate balance between the two to achieve success in both.
Student athletes have an advantage over other students in that they pursue both academic and athletic careers at the same time (Sato et al. 2018). Sato et al. (2018) pointed out that many African Americans eager to become professional athletes consider college education as a gateway to launch their professional careers. For these athletes, completing college or university education is thus as important as advancing their athletic careers. However, not all athletes who join college teams perceive such as an opportunity to acquire college education. On the contrary, Simien et al. (2019) observes that some join college teams to advance their careers in athletics rather than pursue academics.
For many African-American college athletes, college education means much more than the individual expectations given the ever increasing academic gap between African-Americans and other ethnic groups in the United States.
Proposed Research Methodology
Cresswell and Clark (2007) define a research design as a set of procedures for gathering, analyzing, interpreting data and reporting information in a research study. Creswell and Clark (2007) definition therefore a research design as a framework or overall plan that links conceptual research problems to the empirical aspects of research. As such, the design sets the procedures used to acquire the data, outlines the methods used to collect and analyze the data and how the steps taken to answer the research questions outlined. Creswell (2021) classify research designs into three different classes based on the type of data they are used to manipulate as quantitative, qualitative and mixed research designs. A quantitative research design is one in which the researcher uses data from empirical observations and measures to produce quantifiable or discrete measures. Qualitative research designs, on the other hand, use open-ended questionnaires such as interviews and focus group discussions to produce results that are not quantifiable. A mixed design is one in which both qualitative and quantitative and qualitative data are used to produce results that are both measurable and immeasurable.
In this research, a qualitative research design was preferred. The choice of qualitative design was determined by the nature of the data to be gathered and used in the study. This study will explore the perceptions of male and female African-American collegiate athletes regarding the factors that hinder or enable their academic performance while pursuing college education. Consequently, the study will elicit qualitative data with no empirical measurements will be generated and manipulated to generate non-measurable results. Qualitative designs handle qualitative data to generate qualitative results from which scientific conclusions can be derived based on the dominant themes. It is for this reason that Creswell (2021) describes qualitative research an organized approach used to describe people based on their experiences and internal feelings as will be in this study.
Sample and sampling criteria
A sample is a representative of a population under study. The study population will female African-American NCAA Division 1 collegiate athletes in colleges and universities from Utah. Sampling is the process of selecting a sample from a large population. Sampling methods can be classified into two categories as probability and non-probability (Naderifar et al. 2017). In probability sampling, all entities in a study population have equal chances of representation into the sample. Probability sampling methods include random, systematic, stratified and cluster. Non-probability sampling methods, on the other hand do not give equal chance of inclusion into a sample frame to all entities in a study population because the participants are qualified based on predetermined . Some of the most common sampling approaches in this category include quota, convenience, and purposive sampling among others. In this study, a snowball sampling method will deemed suitable. Snowball sampling is a convenience sampling approach in which an existing subject helps to identify subsequent subjects through a referral process. The sampling chain then continues until the data is saturated. This method, as Dragan & Isaic-Maniu (2013) illustrates, is efficient as well as cost-effective especially when studying a population that would otherwise be difficult to access. In this study, for instance, it may not be easy to access the details of male and female NCAA Division 1 African-American collegiate athletes. The snowball approach would therefore be useful in recruiting the requisite number of participants through referrals from friends and acquaintances.
A wide range of methods can be used to collect qualitative data such as interviews, observations, and focus group discussions among others. In this study, interviews will be conducted with the participants to get their perceptions about the factors that enable or hinder their success in college education. There are three types of interviews applied in qualitative research as described by Gill et al. (2008): structured interviews, semi-structured interviews and unstructured interviews. A structured interview are questionnaires verbally administered to the participants. Unstructured interviews do not follow any predefined pattern or conform to any preconceived theories. These interviews are basically guided by the responses given rather than by a predetermined pattern. Semi-structured interviews contain both structured questions although the research has the leeway to deviate from the structured patterns especially when they want to seek deeper understanding of a concept or clarification on a response. In this study, structured interviews will be used. The researcher will develop questions in advance and use them to elicit structured responses from the respondents. Using structured interviews, as Gill et al. (2008) describes, help in generating structured and well-organized data that can be further categorized thematically as opposed to when unstructured or semi-structured interviews were used.
Interviews will be sought with 10 African American female student-athletes until data saturation. The interviews will be recorded and transcribed. These transcriptions will be subjected to thematic coding by finding common words and categories. These common categories will be translated into themes. Yins (2011) five phases of analysis will be followed in compiling, disassembling, reassembling, interpreting, and concluding the data. The data will be further analyzed and described in terms of gender division or similarity of responses between the two groups. The generated data will be used to address the research questions and provide a more coherent and integrated response to understanding the gender divisions in post-secondary African American student-athlete academic performance outcomes.
What are the perceptions of African American male and female NCAA Division 1 athletes regarding the obstacles they face that hinder their ability to succeed in college?
What are the perceptions of African American male and female NCAA Division 1 athletes regarding the enablers they face that help their ability to succeed in college?
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Brecht, A. A., & Burnett, D. D. (2019). Advising student-athletes for success: Predicting the academic success and persistence of collegiate student-athletes. NACADA Journal, 39(1), 49-59.
Carter, A. R., & Hart, A. (2020). Perspectives of mentoring: The African American female student-athlete.?Sport Management Review,?13(4), 382??394.
Carter-Francique, A. R., Dortch, D., & Carter-Phiri, K. (2017). Black female college athletes perception of power in sport and society. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, 11(1), 18-45.
Carter-Francique, A. R. (2018). Is excellence inclusive? The benefits of fostering Black female college athlete’s sense of belonging. Journal of Higher Education Athletics & Innovation, 1(3), 48-73
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