The purpose of this project is for students to provide an introduction to the social science research process and to learn more about barriers to college student success. Students will select a specific population of students as a focus area, do some background research on specific challenges faced by that group of students, explore the existing social science research on your topic, and learn what resources are available here at CSUSM to support the chosen student population.
The project will include the following steps:
1: Identify Target Populations
As a class we will identify a list of specific target populations of students that we want to explore. Examples might include low income students, students from historically underrepresented communities, first-generation students, “nontraditional” students, undocumented students, veteran students, neurodivergent students, students with mental health issues, etc. Students will self-select into groups.
2: Background Research
The first step of the research process will be for students to learn more about their target population of students. Students will apply skills learned in the Library module on locating and evaluating background sources to do some basic research about the specific challenges faced by college students in their target population. Students will use their group’s collection of sources to produce a 2-3-page individually-written background research summary that cites a minimum of three sources.
3: Social Science Research and Literature Review
In this step of the research process students will locate scholarly sources in the social sciences focused on academic success issues for their target population. Each student will select and summarize one relevant journal article.. Groups will use their collection of scholarly sources and summaries to produce a 4-5-page collaboratively-written literature review that includes five sources.
4: Exploring Campus Resources
In this step of the research process students will explore resources available at CSUSM to support students from their target population. Students will participate in an in-class research exercise with members of your group, then work together to prepare a 2-3-page collaboratively-written campus resource summary.
4: Group Presentation: Summary & Recommendations
In the final step of the research process, groups will work to summarize their background research and prior academic studies of your target population, highlight resources available at CSUSM, and make recommendations for future study and improved support. Groups will present their work during the final class meeting.
For full assignment guidelines please refer to Dr. Fogle's prompt in Cougar Courses.