Undergraduate Research at Sinclair Community College Katherine R. Rowell Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Professor of Sociology Tonya Barnes, Student, Sociology and Social Work Enrollment 23,000 credit students Percentage of Students by Residence 35,000 – 40,000 31% 17% unduplicated students annually 52% 65,000 individuals City of Dayton Other Montgomery County served through non- Out-of-County credit programming Sinclair Students 100% commute 60% female 20% minority Most work while 32% evening and taking classes weekend students 41% between the ages of 20-29 35% are taking less than 6 credit hours Programs Fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association Degrees – Associate of Applied Science – Associate of Arts – Associate of Science – Associate of Technical Study – Associate of Individualized Study Career Programs University Parallel Certificates Short Term Technical Certificates Specialized Courses Why a Research Course at the Community College Level? American Sociology Association and SSDAN along with NSF Funding… The Integrating Data Analysis Project (IDA) Service Learning Honors Program We know this helps students learn!!!! The major impetus is that research in the undergraduate curriculum increases student learning Sociology Department Experience For the past five years, the departments has intentionally been integrating data analysis throughout our curriculum Students who have had this experienced asked for an opportunity to have a research course Description of the Class 10 students registered for the course All had at least one course with me and had experienced an integrating data analysis module We do not have a major in two year degrees, most were liberal arts majors and one was business 4 of the 10 were honors students Why did students take the course? Since there is no guarantee that a new course will transfer, students knew this up front. They had developed a real interest in research. All of the students were actively involved in the class. Course Description As sociologists, we conduct research for the primary purpose of providing trustworthy information and evidence about society. There are two types of sociological research-academic and applied. Academic researchers typically work in a university or college setting and conduct research to primarily focus on research to help expand the scientific understanding of human society. Applied Research is research that focuses on meeting the research needs of an organization like a business or social agency. Research is an important part of any career. Course description continued This course will provide you as a student a basic introductory understanding of how to conduct survey research and use secondary data analysis to understand the society and world around us. Students will have an opportunity to complete an academic research project, applied research project, and write a research proposal for a future research project. Course Objectives Part I Understand the scientific research method and the types of research methods used to study society. Develop social responsibility and an ethic of service: attitudes and understandings needed to live in society as responsible citizens and to contribute to building a caring and just society. Demonstrate critical thinking thru the use of the sociological perspective of the major social institutions, and social change mechanisms. Demonstrate professional effectiveness and teamwork by exhibiting leadership, cooperation, and making productive contributions to group written and oral assignments. Students must also demonstrate a respect for diverse view points within the group. Interpret statistical tables, graphs, charts as they apply to an understanding of the major institutions and social change. Course Objectives Part II Calculate and interpret the measures of central tendency as a means of processing data sets. Learn the basics about survey research including sampling, survey construction, anonymity, confidentiality. Examine the rules of ethics in research and how to effectively deal with the Institutional Review Process. Develop and understanding of both academic and applied research through experiences in both types of research. Increase understanding of information literacy including how to use the library to search for academic resources and how to read journal articles. Examine the role of institutional planning and research and grants in higher education and how research is used on a college campus to make decisions. Learn how to enter data into SPSS and Microsoft Excel. Major Course Projects House of Bread Service Learning Project Replication of an Academic Study Each student developed a research proposal 3 Secondary Analysis Projects Learned SPSS and Excel We filmed the experience House of Bread: Lessons Learned Overall, this project was the most successful of the projects completed in the course. Our findings helped the House of Bread make a case with the City of Dayton for homeless assistance. Face to face interviewing was difficult for some students. Some students were better at conducting interviews than others. We learned that to get participants we had to give interviewees something. We ended up giving each interviewee a personal hygiene product gift bag. Qualitative Data is time consuming to enter and analyze Direct participation in a research project is a great way to learn how to do research and we felt that our research made a difference. Study We Chose to Replicate “Comparative Study of Traditional and Nontraditional Students, Identities and Needs” Authors: Mary Scheuer Senter and Richard Senter, Jr. NASPA Journal Volume 35, no. 4, Summer 1998 Authors were kind enough to share a copy of their survey with us Original study examined the differences between traditional and nontraditional students on a 4 year campus We hypothesized that there might be differences if we examined nontraditional students at a community college Original study found that traditional students had as many needs as nontraditional students (there was more to this study). Our class thought we might find different outcomes if we studied nontraditional at a community college. Brief Findings of Replication Study Our study sample includes a total of 135 University and Community College students. 98 Sinclair Community College Students 37 Wittenberg University Students 96 White, 24 African American, 14 Other 29 Males and 106 Females 90 Students Identified as Traditional 42 Students Identified as Non-Traditional Academic Replication Study: Lessons Learned Our survey asked way too many questions (we added to many to the original) Entering all that data by hand is very tedious and time consuming Finding students to take our survey seriously and take the time to complete it was difficult because of the length of the survey We did not find any significant findings due to problems with the sample and many students not completing the survey Research Proposals developed in Class Lisa O’Hearn— Unlearning Prejudice in Situations of Project Deborah Wenger—Effective Teaching Strategies for Young Latino Immigrant Children Colleen Lim—Selling Obesity on the Campus of Sinclair Community College Caroline Jentleson—Self Image of Children in Poverty Tonya Barnes—The Effectiveness and Outcomes of Church Outreach Mathew Eviston—Barriers to Health Care Gary Scott—Juvenile Attitudes towards the Police in the Inner City vs. the Suburbs Brandon Fennell—Prejudice Against Body Art and Modification in the Work Place Jessica Emmrich—Changing Religious Attitudes Among College Students Three students completed research proposals they developed in the next quarter Tonya Barnes went on to complete a research project and worked with another faculty member on Achieving the Dream Data. She presented at STARS and the North Central Sociological Association Lisa O’Hearn went on to complete her research project Winter Quarter 2009 and presented at the STARS conference Gary Scott went on to complete his research project Winter Quarter 2009 and presented at the STARS conference Student Perspective Tonya Barnes shares her experiences with research over the past two years while at Sinclair Community College Why did she get involved? How has it been beneficial? Has it affected her future plans? Institutional Issues at Community Colleges IRB ( Five years ago we did not have an IRB because of the department interest in undergraduate research, we now have an IRB) Funding for student travel ( I was able to find funding through Honors Program and STARS program in Ohio) Academic culture that seems to suggest research should be saved for third and fourth year students Transferability Future of a Research Methods Course We are focusing on integrating data analysis in all our courses We would like to offer a research methods course but the issue of transferability with 4 year institutions is problematic Will continue to offer it every other year Concluding thoughts Why is it worthwhile to faculty? Why is it worthwhile to students? Creative Commons License This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
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