Project Updates

Summer is quickly coming to an end and while I feel like I’m getting pulled in many directions, I’m trying to find time to focus on this project. I still have a few papers based on our results from Phase 1 I want to finish writing and submit to journals for consideration. The pipe dream is to have at least one of the papers out by mid-September, which I hope is doable!

In addition to writing papers, I’ve also started to more seriously think and plan for Phase 2. This part of the project includes interviewing Penn State students at our Commonwealth campuses about their student engagement journeys. I’ll interview another 24 students, and keep my research questions almost exactly the same. I’m curious to not only learn more about the Commonwealth student engagement journey, but also be able to identify similarities and differences between these two populations. There are a lot of campuses, so my current plan is to interview two students from the following larger campuses (enrollment ranges from 3,000-5,000 students):

  • Abington
  • Altoona
  • Berks
  • Behrend
  • Harrisburg

The remaining 14 campuses will just have one student interviewed per campus, bringing my number to 24 students. Again, this research never set out to be representative of all student engagement journeys, so I know there are limitations with how I’m deciding who to interview. But, it will give us data and stories that we currently don’t have, and I’m so excited by that.

Last week, I met with Leigh, my colleague in the Libraries’ Assessment department who was so helpful last fall in getting the student names Ally and I used to recruit for Phase 1. Leigh and I decided (pending IRB approval) to do a pull of student names, from the campuses, based on our list of courses from last fall, in order to keep it consistent from study to study. The only change we’ll make is to look for those courses taken in the 2019-20 academic year (vs. 2018-19 for Phase 1 recruits). I’m curious to see what our results look like; hopefully it will be enough to recruit once we’re ready for interviews.

Beyond Phase 2 logistics, I’ve also been working through some other project logistics. Ideally, I’d like to hire my two new undergraduate research assistants in the next couple of weeks, and start using some of my research project money to buy incentives for those who are willing to be interviewed. Fingers crossed I’ve got things to share in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!

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Head of Education & Outreach Services at Northern Kentucky University. When she's not in the library, Hailley is an avid oatmeal connoisseur, baseball scorekeeper, bike rider, embroidery queen, and reader of memoirs. Check her out on Twitter @hailthefargoats.

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