Social Sciences: Research Methods, Higher Education and Civic Engagement

Department: Curry School of Education

Supervising Faculty Member: Walter Heinecke

Specialization: Research methods, Higher Education and Civic Engagement

Research Focus: We are conducting research on the role of Universities in preparing citizens for the democracy. We seek to understand and evaluate the civic ethos of public universities. Specifically we are examining how universities engage in civic programming through curriculum, leadership programming, extracurricular activities , and service learning programs. Finally we seek to understand how students experience universities as settings for civic engagement.

Position Description: Students will engage in a variety of data collection and analysis tasks. They will gather syllabi, web information, and secondary survey data sets about the topic currently available. In addition, they will conduct research interviews with students.

Required skills: Students should be comfortable with interviewing but specific skills training will be provided. Students would have some skill with accessing web materials. Writing and organizational skills a plus.

Computer software: Students should have experience with office suite including presentation software. Use of Excel or some statistical software a plus. Experience wit a qualitative research software program not required but would be a plus.

Training/certification: The student will have to pass the Social Sciences Institutional Review Board training module.

What you will learn: I would like students to come away with data collection skills such as document and interviewing skills. I would also like students to come away with critical data analysis skills. Lastly, I would like students to have experience presenting and writing results for publication. Last year our group published several academic papers in which undergraduates and graduate students were co-authors.