Social Sciences: Sociology, Higher Education

Department: Sociology

Supervising Faculty Member: Josipa Roksa

Specialization: Sociology/Higher Education

Research Focus: Broadly, my research is focused on understanding student success in higher education.  I am currently beginning a project that examines the role of parents in supporting students on their path to success. Even though college students communicate with parents frequently, and often seek advice and support from them, research is mostly silent on the question of how and why parents engage with their college-age children. The first phase of the project involves interviews with parents in order to glean their perspectives on the supports students need and receive during college.  Subsequently, we will be conducting surveys that examine the relationship between different types of parental support and student academic outcomes.

Position Description: The student would be engaged in the first phase of the project described above. Given that we are beginning a new project, the student would get a great exposure to the various aspects of project development, from designing the interview protocol to data collection and analysis.  More specifically, the student would be engaged in a) conducting literature reviews, b) participating in interview protocol design, c) managing data collection (scheduling interviews, uploading transcripts to Box, etc.), and d) reading through interview transcripts to identify themes.

Required skills: The student should possess strong analytical skills and be highly organized and attentive to detail.  Strong computer skills and an ability to quickly learn new software are also desirable.

Computer software: None

Training/certification: Student will need to complete IRB SBS certification for conducting social science research with human subjects to be involved in the project.  The training can be completed after accepting the position.

What you will learn:

  1. Know how to develop an effective interview protocol
  2. Manage data collection
  3. Conduct the first phase of interview data analysis (i.e., thematic analysis)