The Summer Academic Enrichment Program (SAEP) curriculum is designed to develop analytical, writing, and oral communication skills. Participants take courses during the five-weeks that the program lasts. They focus on five broad themes for their research: Health, Politics, Education, Media, and Environment.
Research methods components covered in the program will include: a literature review, formulation of research questions, statement of hypotheses, selection of subjects, research design, and data collection methods. The students will be acquainted with general issues involved in conducting research, validity reliability, and instrument construction. The critical role and relationship between race, gender, generation, class, ethnicity, sexuality, citizenship, memory, religion, and nationality are explored to expand students’ understanding of how to conduct and write their research with interdisciplinary, intercultural sensibilities.
GRADUATE SCHOOL PREPARATION AND PROFESSIONALIZATION
This seminar course introduces students to select topics that render visible the generative, transformative potential of graduate education. Students will read and assess course assigned texts and primary sources to advance their grasp of the promise of a master’s degree or doctorate. Invited special guests will speak to students about the importance of graduate education and other pertinent issues like life-work balance and finding good mentorship. Students will not only learn the value of letters of recommendations, but work on their personal statements for potential schools, while considering their pathways in academia and beyond. This course covers major themes such as what it means to be a first-generation and/or underrepresented student in undergraduate school, but also graduate school (and in the professional world).
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS
The objective of this course is to introduce the theories, principles, and methods of conducting qualitative research in the social sciences and other related disciplines in the humanities. Students will generate and develop their own research interests and produce an original research proposal in their field of specialization. They will learn qualitative methods like oral history, ethnography, qualitative surveys, focus groups, historical archives, or discourse/textual analysis. Students will learn how to interview real human subjects, gain permission to special library collections, and record information as a participant-observer in the “field” in an ethical sensitive manner. A strong connection is between conceptual theory, methodological practice, and critical analysis will be emphasized.
New innovative emerging methodologies will be introduced (e.g., autoethnography, digital history, archival critique). Students can mobilize this learning to work later as cultural anthropologists, ethnic studies scholars, community officials, educational administrators, legal experts, cultural sociologists, political theorists, and public surveyists.
QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS
The purpose of this course is to help participants develop a conceptual understanding of statistics and how statistical procedures are used in computational research. They will use this core methodology to develop a research project that draws on national surveys and other sources of information. The focus of our attention will be on the types of statistics commonly found in social science research. In this regard, we will treat the following statistical methods: exploratory and descriptive statistics, the chi-square statistic, correlation and regression, as well as multiple correlation and regression.
In our work in these areas, we will often be using real data sets to show the value of statistics for analyzing information. Our data sets will be personalized and tailored to student interests. The analysis of data will require both hand and computer calculations. Regarding the computer we will focus on the use of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) program. Students who choose this as their primary methodology gain experience in a rigorous research approach commonly employed by data scientists, public health experts, economists, business administration, political scientists, cognitive scientists, sociologists, and language scientists.