Category Archives: Graduate Coursework

New Book: A Survey of Investing and Retirement Knowledge and Preferences of Preservice Teachers

Thripp dissertation e-book cover

In addition to being a co-editor of the academic anthology, Handbook of Research on Emerging Practices and Methods for K–12 Online and Blended Learning published by IGI Global, I am now officially a published author! Thanks to The International Society for Technology, Education and Science (ISTES) for publishing my dissertation on Florida preservice teacher retirement knowledge as a FREE e-book, titled A Survey of Investing and Retirement Knowledge and Preferences of Preservice Teachers. The e-book has an ISBN, 978-1-952092-04-6, and is offered for free under a Creative Commons Attribution–NonCommercial–ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

ISTES released this on March 2, 2020, with a back-dated publication date of December 2019. The goal is to find a wider audience for my work on financial education and retirement issues affecting our next generation of teachers.

My original dissertation is also available for free from the University of Central Florida STARS database. This version repackages my dissertation as a book, with different line spacing and page numbering. Thanks to Drs. Ismail Sahin and Wenxia Wu for their hard work formatting this as an e-book.


Reference in APA 7th edition style:

Thripp, R. (2019). A survey of investing and retirement knowledge and preferences of preservice teachers. The International Society for Technology, Education and Science.

Book description:

New teachers are facing lower pay and less generous retirement benefits than the prior generation, yet their financial and retirement knowledge, concerns, and preferences have received little attention. To investigate these areas, the author developed a 39-item survey instrument and administered it to 314 preservice teachers in undergraduate teacher education courses at the University of Central Florida, who were primarily female elementary and early childhood education juniors and seniors ages 18–25. Florida public employees are offered an unusual choice between a traditional pension plan and a defined-contribution plan similar to a 401(k) in which they can select their own investments, and 54% of surveyed preservice teachers preferred the 401(k)-like plan structure. However, their preferences may be ill-advised, given that in a mock portfolio allocation exercise intended to assess retirement investing sophistication, preservice teachers directed more than half their retirement money to low-risk money market and bond funds, which will likely underperform stocks over several decades. Furthermore, they anticipated that low salaries will impede their ability to save for retirement. For comparison, the survey was also administered to 205 U.S. college students or graduates ages 18–25 on the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform for $1.00 each. Worrisomely, preservice teachers had significantly lower financial knowledge and retirement investing sophistication. These findings suggest a need for financial education targeting Florida preservice teachers, particularly given that the Florida Retirement System substantially cut its benefits in 2011.

Thripp dissertation e-book, virtual 3-D book image


ISTES has also been publishing other dissertations as e-books lately, such as Dr. Tiffany G. Edwards’s important work on homeless school children in Los Angeles, CA: Closing the Gap of the Educational Needs of Homeless Youth.

Correspondence with undergraduate student who is a potential future professor

I shared this with one of my students who is potentially a future professor:

That is wonderful. Let me know if you want any guidance on your career. If your goal is to be a tenure-track assistant professor of exceptional education it will be a long journey but possibly very fulfilling and it’s possible to arrive with very little student loan debt depending on whether you can live with parents, other family, or roommates. We have an Exceptional Education Track in the Education Ph.D. program here at UCF [University of Central Florida]. I did my Education Ph.D. in the Instructional Design & Technology track here with full funding as a Graduate Teaching Assistant/Associate which includes free tuition, health insurance, and pay of $18,500 per year. You have to get your Bachelor’s and Master’s first and you may also want to teach K–12 for 2–3 years because many professor openings require this.

– Dr. Thripp

Doctoral Graduation Photos

Here is a video and several photos from my graduation at University of Central Florida on December 13, 2019, for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education. What a wonderful day!

Thanks to my advisor Dr. Richard Hartshorne, my wife Kristy, and the preservice teachers, faculty, and staff at UCF that made my research possible, as well as Dr. Gary Mottola at the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and other academics who provided feedback on my dissertation, A Survey of Investing and Retirement Knowledge and Preferences of Florida Preservice Teachers.

The above video is the official complete video of the morning commencement session. I appear at 1:08:56 in the video. It should start at this point when played.

Hooding
Above: Hooding

Richard Thripp On Stage
Above: Richard Thripp On Stage

Richard Thripp On Stage, Panorama
Above: Richard Thripp On Stage, Panorama

Richard Thripp Hugs Advisor, Dr. Richard Hartshorne
Above: Richard Thripp Hugs Advisor, Dr. Richard Hartshorne

Richard and Kristy Thripp's Son, Ricky (Richard Carter Thripp, 9 Months Old)
Above: Richard and Kristy Thripp’s Son, Ricky (Richard Carter Thripp, 9 Months Old)

Richard Thripp Holding Diploma Outside, 1st Photo
Above: Richard Thripp Holding Diploma Outside, 1st Photo

Richard Thripp Holding Diploma Outside, 2nd Photo
Above: Richard Thripp Holding Diploma Outside, 2nd Photo

Richard, Kristy, and Ricky, 1st Photo
Above: Richard, Kristy, and Ricky, 1st Photo

Richard, Kristy, and Ricky, 2nd Photo
Above: Richard, Kristy, and Ricky, 2nd Photo

Richard Thripp and Son
Above: Richard Thripp and Son

The photos below are from GradImages, the university’s official photography service. I have purchased these but am still waiting for the high-resolution copies.

GradImages: Dean Pamela Carroll and Richard Thripp
Above: GradImages: Dean Pamela Carroll and Richard Thripp

GradImages: Richard Thripp Holding Degree, 1st Photo
Above: GradImages: Richard Thripp Holding Degree, 1st Photo

GradImages: Richard Thripp and Advisor, Dr. Richard Hartshorne
Above: GradImages: Richard Thripp and Advisor, Dr. Richard Hartshorne

GradImages: Portrait of Richard Thripp
Above: GradImages: Portrait of Richard Thripp

GradImages: Richard Thripp Holding Degree, 2nd Photo
Above: GradImages: Richard Thripp Holding Degree, 2nd Photo

GradImages: Hooding, 1st Photo
Above: GradImages: Hooding, 1st Photo

GradImages: Hooding, 2nd Photo
Above: GradImages: Hooding, 2nd Photo

GradImages: Richard Thripp and UCF Mascot, Knightro
Above: GradImages: Richard Thripp and UCF Mascot, Knightro

I will continue in Spring 2020 to teach EME 2040: Introduction to Technology for Educators to future teachers at UCF, as an adjunct faculty member. I will also be writing articles and further exploring the survey data I collected for my dissertation, A Survey of Investing and Retirement Knowledge and Preferences of Florida Preservice Teachers.

Announcing the Final Examination of Richard Thripp for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

It has been a busy season for us with our eight-month-old son and completing my Ph.D. dissertation on the financial knowledge of Florida preservice teachers. Here is my official dissertation defense announcement, due to take place on November 7, 2019.

UCF College of Community Innovation and Education logo

Announcing the Final Examination of Richard Thripp for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 2:00 PM
University of Central Florida, Main Campus (Orlando)
Education Complex, Room 306

Dissertation Title: A Survey of Investing and Retirement Knowledge and Preferences of Florida Preservice Teachers

This dissertation investigated the financial and retirement knowledge, concerns, and preferences of preservice teachers at the University of Central Florida. The author developed a 39-item survey instrument and administered it to 314 preservice teachers in undergraduate teacher education courses in Summer and Fall 2019, who were primarily female elementary and early childhood education juniors and seniors. Topics covered included familiarity with plans, preference for pension plans versus defined contribution plan or increased salary, concern over pension vesting requirements, knowledge of the Florida Retirement System, anticipated challenges in funding retirement, financial knowledge, concerns about debts, and retirement investment preferences using a mock portfolio allocation exercise. For comparison, an electronic version of the survey was administered to 205 Amazon Mechanical Turk workers for $1.00 each, who were U.S. college students or graduates ages 18–25. Findings showed that preservice teachers had statistically significantly lower financial knowledge and retirement investing literacy; even those who were Age 25 or younger chose to put more than half their retirement money in money market and bond funds, which will almost certainly underperform equities over several decades. Although it may be ill-advised, 54% of preservice teachers preferred a defined-contribution plan over a pension plan. Preservice teachers were not particularly concerned about debts, but anticipated that low salaries will impede their ability to save for retirement. These findings suggest a need for financial education targeting Florida preservice teachers, particularly given that the Florida Retirement System substantially cut its benefits in 2011.

Major: Education Ph.D., Instructional Design & Technology
B. S. University of Central Florida, 2014
M. A. University of Central Florida, 2016

Committee in charge:
Dr. Richard Hartshorne
Dr. Debbie L. Hahs-Vaughn
Dr. Bobby Hoffman
Dr. Shiva Jahani
Dr. Gary Mottola

Approved by Dr. Richard Hartshorne, Committee Chair

The public is welcome to attend.


Keywords: financial literacy, preservice teachers, Florida Retirement System, retirement knowledge, financial challenges, plan preferences, investor behavior, nonwage benefits

Acknowledgments

I extend heartfelt thanks to Dr. Richard Hartshorne, my adviser, supervisor, dissertation chair, mentor, and friend, who gave me timely and valuable feedback, opportunities, and support at each step in my doctoral and teaching journey at the university, particularly as I developed my fervor for financial education and research. He was always patient even when I abandoned projects, missed deadlines, and delivered flurries of ill-conceived ideas and horrendous drafts. I also thank my fiancée, Kristy White, for providing invaluable support, particularly as we are new parents to a handsome baby boy born in February 2019. Working with my other committee members, Drs. Gary Mottola, Bobby Hoffman, Debbie L. Hahs-Vaughn, and Shiva Jahani, has been most helpful and instructive. I am appreciative of the opportunities, support, and resources I have been afforded at University of Central Florida over these past seven years. When in 2012 I set out to go back to school and earn my Bachelor’s in psychology, I had no idea I would end up coming this far. Thank you, Drs. Bobby Hoffman, Atsusi Hirumi, and Richard Hartshorne for accepting me to the Applied Learning and Instruction M.A. and Education Ph.D. programs, as well as Dr. Ronald DeMara from the College of Engineering and Computer Science. My favorite part of my time at UCF was instructing over 250 preservice teachers in educational technology as a Graduate Teaching Associate. Bringing a love of learning to others, at a massive scale, is an integral part of our identity and mission as Knights. Finally, I am profoundly thankful to the UCF students and Amazon Mechanical Turk workers who participated in this survey, as well as Drs. Junie Albers-Biddle, Kelsey Evans-Amalu, Regina Gresham, Marni Kay, Nevine Snyder, Lee-Anne Trimble Spalding, Cheryl Van De Mark, Scott Waring, and Anna Wolford for allowing me to visit their courses, without which this dissertation would not have been possible.

Announcement on IGI Global Handbook of Research on Emerging Practices and Methods for K–12 Online and Blended Learning

Book Cover

I am proud to announce the release of our new Handbook of Research on Emerging Practices and Methods for K–12 Online and Blended Learning published by IGI Global.

Heafner, T. L., Hartshorne, R., & Thripp, R. (Eds.). (2019). Handbook of research on emerging practices and methods of K–12 online and blended learning. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-5225-8009-6

My statement on the handbook:
I worked extensively on editing the handbook for writing quality, fact-checking, and APA style. At the same time, I enjoyed learning about virtual schools and blended learning across the country. There is something for everyone in this handbook—teachers, administrators, teacher educators, instructional designers, program and curriculum developers, and more. The researchers and practitioners in this compendium are at the cutting edge of fully online and blended learning pedagogies, practices, and technologies, not only in teaching K–12 students and preservice teachers, but also in offering professional development workshops on moving coursework online, stimulating critical thought, and facilitating deep learning. The handbook is rounded out with chapters with case studies in online pedagogies, tools, and strategies for specific subject areas, such as mathematics, science, and social studies. As K–12 learning is increasingly centered around online technologies and resources, this handbook is both timely and relevant, particularly with respect to the nationwide deficit in K–12 online teaching courses, certificates, programs, and continuing education opportunities.

Autobiographical statement:
Richard Thripp is a doctoral candidate and graduate teaching associate in the College of Community Innovation and Education at the University of Central Florida. He has instructed over 200 students in EME 2040: Introduction to Technology for Educators on the use of Web technologies in K–12 teaching practice. Richard’s primary research interest is in the improvement of individual financial literacy through education and behavioral approaches. He holds an M.A. in Applied Learning and Instruction and a certificate in Advanced Quantitative Methodologies in Educational and Human Sciences from the University of Central Florida.