Participation Type

Panel

Session Title

Session 2.06 (Appalachian Studies) 2014 Appalachian College Student Survey: Methods and Results

Session Abstract or Summary

This panel will present data related to an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)-funded, electronic survey of college students across the Appalachian region conducted by the Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University. The survey gathers data about college students’ perceptions regarding Appalachia’s assets, outstanding needs, and career options. The goal of the project, which ran throughout 2014, was to inform the policy work of government agencies and the curricular development of academic institutions in Appalachia by sampling an understudied population. Consistent with the ARC’s Strategic Objectives 2.1 (Leadership and Capacity-Building), 2.2 (Enhancing Workforce Skills), and 2.4 (Increase Educational Achievement), the survey combines general demographic data with questions about students’ college selection process, choice of major, and career/residency objectives. Crucially, the survey also is the first to measure the impact of Appalachian studies curricula on student perceptions of the region’s outstanding challenges and opportunities. Panelists will present: an overview of the project goals, a review of the sampling and analytical methodologies employed, an assessment of the data by ARC officials, and formal responses by Appalachian college students.

Presentation #1 Title

More brain drain or new horizon in post-collegiate residence in Appalachia? Outlining the goals of the 2014 Appalachian College Student Survey

Presentation #1 Abstract or Summary

Dr. William Schumann (Appalachian State University) will discuss the development of the survey project in the context of Appalachian studies curricula and demographic data pertaining to educational achievement and employment in Appalachia. Whereas some research indicates that rural college students do not necessarily seek careers outside of rural areas, job market limitations can also preclude post-collegiate return migration. Schumann will discuss the questionnaire design process intended to measure relationships between students’ career and post-collegiate residence goals, including perceptions about the availability of specific career paths in Appalachia.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #1

Dr. William Schumann is Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University.

Presentation #2 Title

Sampling Appalachia: networking strategies and data analysis

Presentation #2 Abstract or Summary

Tiffany Teague and Willard Watson (Appalachian State University). Watson will discuss the networking strategies employed to produce a relevant sample size. Watson will describe the range of responses researchers received from an email invitation to participate sent to all two- and four-year colleges and universities in Appalachia. The email invitation was followed by phone invitations to a 30% sample of all two- and four-year colleges in the Appalachian region. Additional sampling strategies specific to Appalachian studies-associated programs and institutions are also discussed. Teague will present a statistical analysis of the raw data set. The first part will summarize response rates to various questions posed in the survey. The second part will present selected analyses of the statistical significance of relationships between responses to individual survey questions.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #2

Tiffany Teague is an MPA student at Appalachian State University. Willard Watson is an MA student in Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University.

Presentation #3 Title

ARC Response

Presentation #3 Abstract or Summary

A representative of the Appalachian Regional Commission will respond to the research results in the context of the ARC’s Strategic Plan.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #3

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts.

Presentation #4 Title

Student Response and Audience Discussion

Presentation #4 Abstract or Summary

Chelsea Ensley (Appalachian State University), a graduate student in Appalachian studies, will respond to the research results from the perspective of a graduate student learner and future job applicant. Kelsey Krepps (University of Pittsburgh at Bradford), an undergraduate student in Environmental Studies, will respond to the research results from the perspective of an undergraduate student learner, participant in the ARC’s Appalachian Teaching Project, and future job applicant. Ensley and Krepps will co-lead an audience discussion about the survey results.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #4

Chelsea Ensley is an MA student in Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University. Kelsey Krepps is an Environmental Studies major at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

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Mar 27th, 11:30 AM Mar 27th, 12:45 PM

More brain drain or new horizon in post-collegiate residence in Appalachia? Outlining the goals of the 2014 Appalachian College Student Survey

Dr. William Schumann (Appalachian State University) will discuss the development of the survey project in the context of Appalachian studies curricula and demographic data pertaining to educational achievement and employment in Appalachia. Whereas some research indicates that rural college students do not necessarily seek careers outside of rural areas, job market limitations can also preclude post-collegiate return migration. Schumann will discuss the questionnaire design process intended to measure relationships between students’ career and post-collegiate residence goals, including perceptions about the availability of specific career paths in Appalachia.