PSYC 551 – Applied Institutional Research

Applied Research in Higher Education
Taught by Jacqueline Honda Ed.D.

This course is designed to familiarize students with the research procedures and methods necessary for performing Institutional Research studies. Students will be able to utilize both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to analyze institutional databases and assess university outcomes, such as retention and degree completion rates. Students will also identify what indicators influence educational outcomes across diverse populations in California and, more broadly, the country as a whole. As a component of this course and PSYC 552 to come, students will receive hands-on experience by working on a research project, within an IR office facilitated through their internship.

Course Units: 4
Weekly Workload: 9-12 hours on coursework and 4 hours on the internship

Required Background
Students must have completed PSYC 550 and two prerequisite courses: Graduate Statistics and Graduate Research Methods, before beginning this course. Basic knowledge of quantitative and qualitative statistics, research design, and proficient scientific writing skills is required.

Course Objectives (Student Learning Outcomes)

  1. Describe, compare, and critique approaches to Institutional Research design.
  2. Discuss and analyze issues related to social location and identity (including race, class & gender) in relation to success and graduation rates in higher education.
  3. Articulate procedures within institutions regarding data collection and data access.
  4. Design and execute a research project involving a higher education database and quantitative and/or qualitative research methods.
  5. Examine various forms of presenting quantitative and/or qualitative research findings in relations to institutional politics, priority, and power structures.

Course Objectives (Related to IR Graduate Certificate Program Learning Outcomes)

  1. A solid foundation in quantitative and qualitative IR research methods and related methodological theory.
  2. Professional socialization, including an understanding of ethical issues, presentations and politics.

Course Objectives (Related to University Learning Outcomes)
While this course in many ways contributes to all the university learning outcomes, it most centrally contributes to your ability to demonstrate:

  1. Effective communication through written and oral modes.
  2. Critical and creative thinking skills in acquiring a broad base of knowledge and applying it to complex issues.
  3. Competence in a major area of study.
  4. Appreciation for and understanding of an expanded world perspective by engaging respectfully with a diverse range of individuals, communities, and viewpoints.
  5. Taking responsibility for identifying personal goals and practicing lifelong learning.