Using Community-Based Action Research to Live the UDM Mission

Zimmerman-Oster, Kathleen

The UDM Mission calls students, faculty, and staff to lead and serve the urban community. Conducting research that informs the decision making of human service organizations, communities, and local leaders is an avenue for UDM to live its mission. This research can be categorized as Community-Based Research (“A collaborative inquiry that is dedicated primarily to the research or information needs of community organizations”, Paul, 2006) and Action Research (“A comparative research on the conditions and effects of various forms of social action and research leading to social action that uses a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, and fact-finding about the result of the action”), Lewin, 1946).

This type of research is occurring in many places across UDM. Please join in a discussion to highlight some of this type of research and how it has had an impact. Examples of research conducted by the discussion table leader will be summarized briefly. These include the following: 1) Key leader survey research regarding community-based perceptions and approaches to reducing substance abuse; 2) Student survey research to determine the impact of substance abuse prevention efforts; 3) UDM service learning outcomes and process research; and 4) Processes and outcomes of leadership development initiatives in U.S. colleges and universities.

Additional points of discussion may include how this type of research informs faculty teaching and service.