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Types of Research Activities at the Center
The Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College provides both secondary and primary research activities for organizations and agencies throughout Northern New York.
Secondary Research Activities
Secondary research activities typically involve providing technical assistance in the form of statistical analysis and interpretation of statistical results for groups who possess existing data.
Primary Research Activities
Primary research activities provided by the Center include all aspects of the scientific methods of research. The Center provides assistance with and completes the following primary research activities:
- Identifying and framing the research questions of interest
- Identifying the appropriate population(s) of interest
- Definition of variables to be sampled
- Design of the appropriate sampling strategies and protocol
- Collection of data using best practices
- Compilation and cleansing of data
- Weighting of data if necessary
- Statistical analysis of resulting data
- Interpretation of statistical findings, at times including recommendations
- Reporting of study findings in written format
- Presentation of findings to community audiences
Sampling Strategies Employed by the Center
Sampling and data collection strategies typically utilized by the Center include but are not limited to:
- Telephone interviews from a state-of-the-art call center, calling both landlines and cellular phones
- Online surveys by use of weblinks
- Online surveys by use managed email lists
- Surveys via postal services
- Intercept (face-to-face) surveying and interviewing
- Focus groups
Research – Completed by the Center and College as a Service to the Community
Annual Quality-of-Life Surveys of the Community are conducted each spring (Jefferson County), summer (St. Lawrence County), and fall (Lewis County). Also, the biennial Regional Economic Tracking Survey is an inventory of the attitudes, opinions and behaviors of a representative sample of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence County adult residents. The primary goal of the biennial Regional Economic Tracking Survey is to collect data regarding behaviors and perceptions of local economic development activities and initiatives to augment the information provided about quality-of-life indicators already being measured in the annual community surveys. Both of these sets of research activities that are provided to the community as a free service by the College are completed using random telephone surveying methodology. Along with providing tremendous experiential applied learning opportunities for students enrolled at SUNY Jefferson each semester, the benefit of these studies is to provide independent unbiased human research in the North Country to assist leaders and decision-makers in making data-driven decisions in the future. Much more detail for these community-service surveying activities is provided on their own pages of this website.
Research – Completed by the Center under Contract with Local Organizations
Since 1999, the Center for Community Studies has completed over 150 community-based studies throughout Northern New York on behalf of various community organizations that represent every sector of the community including – healthcare, government, education, planning, workforce, economy, media, communications, tourism, and entertainment. Each of these studies has been completed under contract with appropriate fees charged to the community organization to cover the cost of the research. Much more detail for these contracted community-based studies, including a partial list of past clients, is provided on the Contracted Studies for Community Organizations page of this website.
Other Community-building Activities
Upon request, the Center professional staff has historically provided assistance to community groups by facilitating a variety of speaker series, panels, trainings, and focus groups.