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American Sociological Association


Call for Applications- Deadline December 15, 2002

INTEGRATING CENSUS DATA ANALYSIS INTO THE CURRICULUM

The American Sociological Association (ASA) seeks applications from sociology departments interested in integrating data analyses into the curriculum. This project is a collaborative effort between ASA and the successful Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) project at the University Michigan. The project aims to work with departments to address the "scientific literacy" gap for undergraduate students in sociology.

Departments, not individuals, will apply to participate in this project and will implement data modules into non-research methods courses to foster students' inquiry skills and increase scientific literacy. Selected departments will infuse these changes into courses so that they penetrate and endure in the curriculum and are more than the initiatives of individual faculty members. SSDAN data modules will be tailored to specific courses in the curriculum. These modules will utilize Census data, including from the 2000 Census, and some other data sources as well. The ASA-SSDAN team will provide training to a department's faculty and follow-up support to assist departments in incorporating scientific reasoning into the curriculum of departments in ways that reach all students.

The Scientific Literacy Gap

While the undergraduate sociology major typically includes one or more courses in research methods, this segment of the curriculum poses challenges for faculty and students. Sociology has one of the latest declaring majors. Even when the methods component is required early in the major, students either put it off or take these courses as advanced undergraduates who are new to the major. In some programs, formal methods courses are disconnected from other course experiences throughout the major. Over recent years, the American Sociological Association has encouraged data analysis skills and research training "early and often," preferably with several developmentally sequenced courses and projects. Lower division courses provide an excellent opportunity to convey the excitement of scientific discovery to students who will major in sociology or in other fields.

Project Plan

The "Integrated Data Analysis" (IDA) project consists of intensive work with twelve departments (the first six met in summer 2002 and six more are needed in 2003). Departments must make a commitment as a group to infuse data analysis into the lower division courses. A critical mass (at least half) of the departments' members will attend a 4-day summer workshop in June, and then would further develop and use data modules in courses the following academic year(s). Each department would receive "technical assistance" from the ASA-SSDAN team, including a site visit to campus to work on the implementation plans the department has set for itself.

Funding and Support

Departments selected to participate would receive support for travel and on-site costs for the summer workshops. Also departments receive ongoing technical assistance and site visits without any cost to them. The selected departments are responsible for supporting implementation (e.g., a work study student or teaching assistant to help with technical issues; course release or other support for engaging in this project; appropriate equipment).

Application

Applications should not exceed ten pages, including a statement of:

  • department goals for integrating scientific literacy into the curriculum;
  • a description of the curriculum and current data analysis and research training opportunities;
  • how participation in IDA would advance the research training of the department's undergraduate students (majors, minors, and non-majors);
  • how the innovations would be sustained;
  • a project plan outlining the courses that provide a basis for integrating data analysis into the curriculum;
  • the nature of department-wide discussion and support for participating in this project;
  • and interest or willingness to help disseminate the experience to other social science departments at the applicant's institution.

Applications should also provide information on the number of majors and degrees conferred each year and the size and backgrounds of the faculty. The complete application packet (including department and faculty forms) is available on the ASA website at http://www2.asanet.org/members/ida-app.html.

Applications should specify a faculty member who will serve as the IDA coordinator and the specific faculty who will participate (including attendance at the summer workshop and use of modules in courses in the 2002-2003 academic years). At least half of a department's faculty needs to participate (at least seven for a department of 15 or larger). The department project coordinator will write semi-annual reports about the project training and implementation in the department, and assess its impact.

Timing

Applications to become a 2003 IDA department are due December 15, 2002. The ASA-SSDAN team will make selections by mid-January 2003. The six departments selected to start in 2003 will begin some preparatory work across the winter-spring semester of 2003, prior to the training workshop in June. Tentative dates for the workshops are June 12-15, 2003, and June 19-22, 2003, with three departments participating in each workshop. Workshops will be held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.

In addition to the June workshops, selected departments will meet at the ASA Annual Meeting in August 2003, in Atlanta, GA. Each of the department faculty members is expected to implement a module or modules using the training and data sets in at least one course during academic year 2003-2004. The ASA project staff will make a site visit to each department, and all participating faculty should be available to meet about the project during those visits (approximately two days).

ASA/SSDAN Team

The Principal Investigators of the Integrating Data Analysis Project are William H. Frey, University of Michigan, and Carla B. Howery, ASA. The Co-Principal Investigators are Havidan Rodriguez, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, and Kerry Strand, Hood College. This collaborative project is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education to the University of Michigan and the American Sociological Association.

Applications should be sent to: INTEGRATING DATA ANALYSIS, American Sociological Association, 1307 New York Avenue NW #700, Washington, DC 20005, no later than December 15, 2002. For questions, contact Carla B. Howery at howery@asanet.org or 202-383-9005 x 323. Obtain application materials at www2.asanet.org/members/ida-app.html and information on SSDAN at www.SSDAN.net.

Application Form

View the application form in HTML format

View the application form in PDF format (you need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your system to view and print this format. If you don't have the Reader, you can download it for free from Adobe's website.)




Last Updated on January 08, 2005