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Student-led, Participatory Action Research to Examine Higher Education Issues

Participatory Action Research (PAR) is a partnership approach to research involving academic researchers and community actors with the aim of gaining a more grounded understanding of a given phenomenon through shared, collaborative decision-making that positions community members as researchers rather than research subjects. CCWT conducts qualitative PAR projects with UW-Madison undergraduate students that focus on central issues in higher education. Because these issues directly impact students’ lives, their perspectives as researchers are particularly valuable.

Documenting the Aims of Higher Education in WisconsinStudy 1: Documenting the aims of higher education in Wisconsin

The high costs of higher education and its benefits to students and to society are central issues in the legislative and public debate on the role of higher education in the state. Yet too often debates about higher education, and its ultimate purpose for students and the public, do not include the perspectives and experiences of community members from different walks of life.

In order to enrich and inform this debate, CCWT worked with a team of UW students to conduct interviews with Wisconsin residents to document and identify their views on the aims of higher education and subsequent implications for public policy. Documenting the Aims of Higher Education Report (PDF)

Research Grants Program

The Research Grants Program of the Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions (CCWT) is intended to support research projects with budgets up to $20,000 or less that focus on student experiences with the college-workforce transition process. Successful proposals will be consistent with the mission of CCWT, which is to support applied research that ultimately informs policies, programs and practices that promote academic and career success for all learners.

New Grants Explore How College Students Transition to Work
First Up, Latinx Parents and Anthropology Majors

Over the next two years, two research studies funded by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Research on College to Workforce Transitions (CCWT) will help reveal how two types of college students – Latinx parents attending community college and undergraduate anthropology majors – transition to work and life after college.

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CCWT Announces the Winners of the 2017-18 Research Grants Competition

Daniel Ginsberg
For: “Anthropology Undergraduates Plan for Life after College.”

In this project, we seek to understand how anthropology majors reconcile these competing narratives as they learn about the job market and position themselves within it. We will recruit a cohort of anthropology students to participate as undergraduate research fellows and train and support them as they conduct ethnographic research related to their peers’ preparations for life after college.
Daniel Ginsberg is Manager of Education, Research, and Professional Development at the American Anthropological Association.

Adrian H. Huerta & Cecilia Rios-Aguilar
For: “A Mixed‐Methods Study of Latinx Community College Student‐Parents and Their Work‐Force Considerations.”

Adrian H. Huerta, PhD and Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, PhD will conduct a mixed-methods study of Latinx student-parents in one Hispanic-Serving community college to understand how they use or don’t use college resources in preparing for the workforce and their transition into the labor market. Community colleges face multiple challenges in retaining and supporting their students, but it becomes more complicated in helping student-parents whose schedules, obligations, and commitments exceed the number of hours in the day.

Adrian H. Huerta is a Provost Postdoctoral Scholar in the Pullias Center for Higher Education situated in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Cecilia Rios-Aguilar is Associate Professor of Education and Director of the Higher Education Research Institute in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Grant Winners (PDF)