Research in the College Context

Approaches and Methods

Edited by Frances K. Stage, Kathleen Manning

© 2003 – Routledge

252 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415935807
pub: 2003-09-09
US Dollars$47.95
Hardback: 9780415935791
pub: 2003-09-10
US Dollars$115.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

This book provides faculty members, students, and research practitioners in the college environment with a handbook of diverse approaches and methods for researching higher education and college students. From interviews, surveys, and focus groups to powerful national databases and new internet resources, this book considers both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, offering the reader a variety of research tools. Each technique is thoroughly presented, and includes ethical considerations, helpful directions for designing research projects, tips for conducting data collection, and analysis and formats for clearly representing findings. Clearly organized and easily accessible, this volume is the essential guide for both the experiences and the novice researcher.


"Fran Stage and Kathleen Manning succeed in the daunting task of presenting a diverse array of research approaches and methods appropriate to inquiry in and about the collegiate context. Those engaged in the study of college students and environments and practitioners alike will find Research in the College Context: Approaches and Methods a highly accessible and useful text. In a refreshing approach that transcends the typical distinction between quantitative and qualitative methods, Stage, Manning, and their contributing authors offer a way of thinking about research that places the college student experience at the center of the inquiry. Because of this emphasis on the college context, the methods highlighted are those most applicable to an expanded and deepened understanding of the college student experience." -- Susan R. Jones, Assistant Professor, School of Educational Policy and Leadership, The Ohio State University

"Research in the College Context is bound for the desk tops instead of the bookshelves of administrators, faculty, and graduate students in America's colleges and universities. Readers will use it time and time again as they explore new approaches to program improvement, policy development, and general research. I hope that everyone will read the book cover-to-cvover, but I expect that most will weave through the chapters on an as-needed basis, until they have engaged all its excellent content." -- Robert Young, Professor, Higher Education, Ohio University

"To the uninitiated, the vast array of research methods can be overwhelming. To the experienced researcher, reliance on a limited number of methods can be a trap. Stage and Manning address the needs of both groups in this exceptional volume. New approaches to conducting research as well as now perspectives on established approaches enlighten readers. The authors acknowledge circumstances under which the methods are best used, describe the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, and offer practical examples of the type of data each method yields. Novices should read this book to grasp the options available to them. Experienced scholars can use it to expand their repertoire of methodological approaches." -- Joan B. Hirt, Associate Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, Virginia Tech

Table of Contents

Dedication Contributors Preface Part I: Developing a Context for Research 1. What is your Question? - Frances K. Stage and Kathleen Manning 2. What is your Research Approach? - Kathleen Manning and Frances K. Stage Part II: Respondent-Based Methods 3. Ethnographic Interview - Anna Ortiz 4. Focus Groups - Bridget Turner Kelly 5. Nonreactive Measures - Ruth V. Russell and Alice Kovacs Part III: Document Based Methods 6. Document Analysis - Patrick Love 7. Historical Methods - Robert Schwartz 8. Visual Methods - Katie Douglas 9. Legal Research - Michelle D. Thompson Part IV: Using Pre-Existing Data and Resources 10. Secondary Analysis of Data - Deborah F. Carter 11. Policy Analysis - Moja Teboho 12. Using Local Data - J. Fredericks Volkwein Part V: Communicating Your Results - Adding to the Knowledge of the Field 13. Reporting results - Frances K. Stage and Kathleen Manning Index

About the Editors

Frances K. Stage is Professor and Director of the Higher Education Graduate Program at New York University. She has taught classes in research design, and case study analysis. She specializes in college student learning and student participation in the math/science majors.

Kathleen Manning is Associate Professor in the Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate program at the University of Vermont, specializing in the areas of cultural pluralism, organizational analysis and campus cultures. Her courses include Qualitative Research Methods, Feminist Methodology and Research Design. Her specialty content areas within education and student affairs include cultural pluralism, organizational analysis, and campus cultures.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
REFERENCE / Research