Congratulations to Campuses Receiving a 2015-2016 Participatory Action Research Grant

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Six grants have been awarded to MNCC member campuses through our new Participatory Action Research (PAR) Initiative, which is a partnership between MNCC and Youthprise to expand the role of young people in understanding and addressing educational opportunity gaps and advancing youth engagement. The project is engaging teams of high school and college-aged students of color, students from low-income families, and current or potential first-generation college students in PAR projects aimed at improving educational cultures, policies, and practices at higher education institutions. See below for summaries of the funded projects, and look forward to a Fall 2016 conference where grantees will share their findings.

Carleton College: Increasing Success for TRIO Students in STEM

A team of four students and two faculty members from Carleton College will investigate the experiences of TRIO students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses and majors. TRIO provides outreach and student services for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities. The research project will complement efforts from STEM departments and the college as a whole to improve the racial, ethnic and class diversity of STEM fields. Lead contact: Anita Chikkatur

Saint Paul Neighborhood Network: Problem Solving through Community Media

University of Minnesota faculty in the Bright Stars Program will support youth in the Youth Action Committee of Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) to research an issue that is important to them. The research will explore the impact of youth media on young people’s career trajectories, social movements and problem-posing through digital media. Lead contact: Nicola Pine

University of Minnesota School of Social Work: Native American School Climate

This project will examine school climate for Native American youth and its impact on educational disparities. The team of researchers will be recruited in collaboration with the Native Youth Worker Coalition. The research team will use qualitative and participatory exploration to expand upon existing domains of school climate in order to diversify existing measures. Lead contact: Katie Johnston-Goodstar

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Department of Chicano and Latino Studies: Jovenes con Derechos

The research team of high school youth from Roosevelt High School, University of Minnesota undergraduate students, and high school and college educators will research how high school and undergraduate Latina/o youth connect around issues of latinidad (Latina/o identity), ethnic (Raza) studies, and heritage languages (Spanish and Indigenous) and create communities of acompañamiento (having each other’s back as they navigate new terrain). The primary goal of the project is to maintain, strengthen and awaken the civic agency of participating youth. Lead contact: Jenna Cushing-Leubner

University of Minnesota Rochester: Under-represented Youth Seeking Health Careers

The University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) will work with a group of undergraduate students to explore barriers to health-related career paths for students of color, low-income and first-generation college students. The research will include an analysis of the practices local high schools are using to prepare students for health-related careers and how UMR has been successful in retaining underrepresented students. Lead contact: Norman Clark

University of Saint Thomas: Together Possible Project

The University of Saint Thomas is working with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School to conduct research on how the two schools can partner to enhance college access and success for high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Their research team will include undergraduate students, high school seniors, college faculty and high school teachers and will reflect the diversity represented at Christo Rey: 14% African American, 79% Latino, 2% White, 5% Multi-racial. The project will result in a concrete set of recommendations and has national implications as a model that could be replicated throughout the Cristo Rey network. Lead contact: Carol Bruess