Research in the College Context : Approaches and Methods book cover
2nd Edition

Research in the College Context
Approaches and Methods

ISBN 9781315740447
Published August 20, 2015 by Routledge
238 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Research in the College Context, 2nd Edition provides faculty, students, practitioners, and researchers in the college environment with a manual of diverse approaches and methods for researching higher education and college students. The text offers the reader a variety of qualitative and quantitative research tools including interviewing, surveys, mixed methods, focus groups, visual methods, participatory action research, policy analysis, document analysis and historical methods, secondary data analysis, and use of large national data sets. This revised edition provides readers with current and innovative methodological tools needed to research the complex issues facing higher education today. Each technique is thoroughly presented with accompanying examples, advice for designing research projects, and tips for data collection, analysis, and dissemination of results. Clearly organized and accessible, this volume is the essential guide for experienced and novice researchers.

Table of Contents


Part 1: Developing a Context for Research

Chapter 1: Choosing a Method: What is your Question?

Frances K. Stage and Kathleen Manning

Chapter 2: What Is Your Research Approach?

Kathleen Manning and Frances K. Stage

Part 2: Respondent-Based Methods

Chapter 3: The Qualitative Interview

Anna M. Ortiz

Chapter 4: Focus Groups

Jillian Kinzie

Part 3: Mixed Methods

Chapter 5: Participatory Action Research

Lindsey E. Malcom-Piqueux

Chapter 6: Mixed Methods Research

Dorian L. McCoy

Part 4: Using Original and Pre-Existing Data and Resources

Chapter 7: Visual Methods in Higher Education

Amy Scott Metcalfe

Chapter 8: Document Analysis, Oral History and Historical Methods

Michelle Dionne Thompson

Chapter 9: Policy Analysis Research

Teboho Moja

Chapter 10: Surveys

Drew Allen

Part 5: Large Data Set Analysis

Chapter 11: Secondary Data Analysis

Diane Cardenas Elliott

Chapter 12: Large National Data Sets

Ryan Wells


Part 6: Communicating Your Results – Adding to the Knowledge of the Field

Chapter 13: Reporting Results and Conclusion

Frances K. Stage and Kathleen Manning

Contributor Biographies


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Frances K. Stage is Professor of Higher Education at New York University, USA.

Kathleen Manning is Professor Emerita of Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of Vermont, USA.


"This is a treasure trove of preferred inquiry approaches that helps us better understand the many complex factors and conditions that affect the performance of postsecondary institutions and their students." 

--George D. Kuh, Director, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment and Adjunct Research Professor, University of Illinois

"This book offers a clear, accessible introduction to multiple research perspectives, including their foundations, key concepts, uses in multiple contexts, and limitations. The chapter authors acknowledge the complexity of core considerations of research design and implementation, and emphasize the role of context throughout the research process."

--Marcia Baxter Magolda, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Educational Leadership and Student Affairs in Higher Education, Miami University

"Stage and Manning have assembled an excellent book to aid higher education scholars and researchers. The text provides both depth and breadth of diverse methodological perspectives, all extremely useful to those wishing to conduct research in postsecondary settings. I highly recommend this book to be adopted in higher education related research courses, and I have no doubt that it will."

--Lori D. Patton, Associate Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs, Indiana University