Assignment: Conducting Quantitative and Qualitative Research
Program evaluation procedures can help you identify the needs of a population as you develop programs. They can also help you identify portions of the population who are not accessing services once a program is implemented. In this assignment, you examine issues related to access to services and how program evaluation procedures can be used to address those issues.
Review the Interactive Learning Community’s Community Center and High School in this week’s Learning Resources. Consider the demographics present in the New Harbor High School. Then consider how you could apply research methods to increasing participation in marriage and relationship education programs to one of the largest disadvantaged and/or ethnically diverse families in the community. Use the data from the High School, to choose a population. Finally, consider the measurement and data collection methods presented in the course text and how they could be applied to this issue.
The Assignment (2–3 pages)
Identify the disadvantaged and/or ethnically diverse population you have chosen in this week’s Interactive Learning Community and why you choose that population to focus on.
Explain how, as a researcher, you would increase participation of your chosen disadvantaged and/or ethnically diverse populations in marriage and relationship education programs based on their needs.
The combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to provide more valid, reliable, and generalizable results in research is known as “Mixed Methods” Research. Explain the types of quantitative measures (detailed in this week’s readings) and qualitative data collection methods (detailed in Week 4’s readings) you would employ to obtain more valid, reliable and generalizable results for a program evaluation of the marriage and relationship education programs.
New Harbor Community
New Harbor Community Center offers a variety of services. Services include a food bank, a family recreation center replete with a basketball court, an arts and crafts room, an early learning day care service, a senior club, and a counseling center. Funding for these services are provided by government grants, nonprofit charities like the United Way, and private donations.
A series of marriage and relationship education programs has been provided for residents of the subsidized housing with the intention that these programs may help curb domestic violence and child abuse related issues. However, it has been noted that the programs are not well attended by immigrant families. Staff have begun to review the student population at the urban New Harbor High School to better understand the largest percentages of disadvantaged and/or ethically diverse families that they would like their programs to target.
New Harbor North High School
New Harbor North High School is a large public school in an urban neighborhood located in the northern part of the city. It is respected for its traditions of student and community involvement and academic preparedness. The student body is richly diverse in ethnicity and culture: 51% Asian descent, 33% African American, 7% Caucasian, 8% Latino, 1% American Indian, and a newer Arab student presence comprising less than 1% of the student population.
New Harbor North students spend their school years learning with, and about, students of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Thus, graduates, in addition to being high-caliber academically, receive another enriching educational experience—that of community—and learning to live and get along in a complex urban society.
New Harbor North High School has faced significant funding shortages during the past 4 years due to declines in local property tax collections and funds allocated by the state and the federal Department of Education, as well as donor attrition. As a result, teachers have seen salaries stagnate while their health care costs and class sizes have risen. Many senior teachers have taken early retirements, leaving the school with new teachers who lack experience with diverse groups of students. The most recent staff survey clearly shows demoralized teachers and staff, with a 15% decline in overall satisfaction, a 30% drop in support for the current leadership at the school and district levels, and a perceived lack of respect from students and the current principal. Although students are doing well academically, according to the School Report, they are reporting that the increased bullying and intolerance at school is largely being ignored by teachers.
Basketball Coach: “John Fisher is the husband of Chahana Fisher. He is a Caucasian 33-year-old. He and his wife met in college while working toward degrees in education. They soon married after Chahana became pregnant. Chahana is South Asian and is 31. John finished his degree and found a job at New Harbor North High School teaching math. He also earns additional money as the school’s basketball coach, and he is a popular teacher and coach in the school, working long hours and weekends with the team. Together they have two children: Stuart, who is 6, and David, who is 4. Their son David has some learning challenges. Chahana agreed to drop out of college to raise their two sons until they were older and more established in school. Because of John’s busy schedule, teaching all day and coaching his team until late in the evening, Chahana felt neglected and somewhat frustrated for not completing her degree. John caught Chahana seeking comfort from Sam, John’s cousin. During the encounter, John pushed Chahana to the floor. Police were called, and John was charged with domestic assault and battery. John was placed on leave from work until the charges were adjudicated. After some counseling and a period of separation, he and Chahana reconciled. The assault and battery charges were withdrawn, and both John and Chahana agreed to continue to attend counseling. John was able to return to teaching at New Harbor North High School.”