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Research Opportunities for Students
“The education I received at Jefferson Community College along with the research we completed at the Center for Community Studies separated myself on my resume and interview with the company I still work for today, KS&R – almost 10 years later! KS&R is a global market research company, based in Syracuse NY. We utilize the same mathematics principles taught at JCC and used at the Center for Community Studies today at KS&R. However, the audience has changed from informing community leaders of public perception to educating and informing fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Verizon and FedEx about their customer base. JCC and the Center for Community studies together provided me the opportunity to apply classroom know-how to the real world.”
"As a student at Jefferson I was given the opportunity to participate with the Center for Community Studies. I can say it was undoubtedly one of the most influential experiences I’ve been given. It helped inspire me to pursue a career in Mathematics with the aim to do research and data analysis. I was allowed an inside look into research and data analysis that most students do not get the privilege to witness until they acquire a career in the field. Not only was my experience with the Center for Community Studies educational, but I’ve left with stories and memories that I will cherish and many others that I can laugh about with friends to this day. It was so incredible to participate in something that actually affected the community; to see how the work was put to use to improve different aspects of the community. I believe my peers would agree that this was a unique and worthwhile opportunity afforded to us, and was a venture that we were lucky in which to partake."
“As a student, the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College offered me a structured, yet fun and exciting opportunity to integrate community-based research and community engagement with academic coursework. This tangible experience complimented my work in the classroom and meaningfully allowed me to apply these teachings in a real way. This developed an intellectual foundation for understanding and appreciating research-based work did not end when I graduated from the college; rather it prepared me for a career that carries out community-based, data-driven action locally, regionally and across the state. As the Deputy Director of the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, I see our internal team and external partners being guided through critical thinking on a daily basis. We continually use data to drive decisions, understand community issues and assess the utility and relevance of research/evidence-based work to drive system-wide change. As a result of this experience with professor Joel Lalone and the Center for Community Studies, I feel competent, confident and well-prepared to facilitate and execute projects for impactful and sustainable change in our communities.”
Undergraduate Students Exposed to Experiential Applied Learning through Community-based Research
The primary goal of the research activities completed at the Center for Community Studies is to collect data regarding issues of importance to the local Northern New York agencies and citizens. A secondary goal is to provide a very real, research-based, learning experience for undergraduate students enrolled at Jefferson.
In accomplishing this second goal, students are involved in all aspects of the research, from question formation to data collection (interviewing), to data entry and cleansing, to data analysis. The students analyze the data collected in this study annually as assignments in statistics classes. However, all final responsibility for question-phrasing, question-inclusion versus omission, final data analysis, and reporting of findings lies exclusively with the professional staff of the Center.
The discussions that lead to the inclusion of questions at times arise from classroom discussions involving students and Center staff. The decision to include any question as a legitimate and meaningful part of an annual survey, however, is made exclusively by the Center. Similarly, data analysis of the information collected through the annual survey will transpire with faculty and students in the classrooms at Jefferson while any statistical analysis reported in deliverable documents has been completed by the professional staff of the Center.
The Center typically trains and hires approximately 150 students per academic year to assist in the research activities completed by the college. Students are trained in all aspects of human subject research law and best interviewing techniques, and ultimately trained in data analysis and presentation. Many past students who have participated in research at the Center have used this experience to impact college transfer and future employment career goals.