The Murky Waters Leading to Research Clarity

For our 2nd quarter project (which will ultimately become the capstone of our program), we were asked to investigate the topic of college completion and persistence. Our group, consisting of Kelsey Greathouse and Sara Miller, has decided to focus our research specifically on how resource-constrained post-traditional students persist through post-secondary education in moments of struggle or hardship. We have decided to focus our research on students aged 18-24 who are working through school, who are the parent or guardian for a child, or who come from an underserved high school.

This week, we worked on creating a plan and process for the research we will be conducting over the next few weeks. To do this, we first sought to define the focus of our research. This was a murky process as we worked and reworked our interests. We went broad, then got stuck in the weeds, and finally, through many forms and drafts we found a hint of clarity.  We incorporated background research to understand how this question is being asked or answered in other research or practices currently. We learned a lot during our research and uncovered the term Social-Emotional Learning as something akin to what we are interested in learning more about in this research.

As we adjust to our new group of two, we found getting outside input was very helpful, so we reached out to our mentors. Using their feedback along with many conversations, we were able to move from a long list of biased questions to a couple of activities that we hope will bring out an in-depth understanding of what are participants are going through.

Our next step is to reach out to research participants this week and begin interviews!

Research Plan Research Plan