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Researcher Needed: Assessing Beliefs about Study Abroad

Researcher Needed: Assessing Beliefs about Study Abroad

Overview: The aim of this project is to better understand first-generation college students' reasons for or against studying abroad. The project will involve creating a questionnaire to be administered to first-generation students about their views on study abroad and then doing some follow-up interviews with a sample of them. One goal is to gather ideas about potential interventions that would encourage more first-generation students to participate in a study abroad program during their time at WVU. 

Benefits: This position would involve reading some academic studies that focus on ways of encouraging underrepresented groups (including first-generation students) to participate in study abroad. Undergraduate researchers will also learn about online questionnaire design and interviewing techniques. Additionally, the researchers will learn how to analyze these sources of data using quantitative and qualitative methods. This research can be undertaken on a volunteer basis. This research experience may lead to continued involvement in research into the spring 2022 semester via a WVU research program (e.g., the Research Apprenticeship Program) or a faculty supported (i.e., paid) position.

Expected Duration: The project will last for the academic year (2021-2022). The fall semester will likely be spent designing and piloting the questionnaire and interview questions. 

Qualifications: An interest in study abroad and learning about QUALITATIVE research methods is needed. Being a first-generation college student and having participated in study abroad would be beneficial, although not necessary. Having strong time management and organizational skills is required. 

Location and Estimated Weekly Time Commitment: The expected time commitment would be 5-10 hrs/week depending on the researchers' availability. The researchers would work in Hodges Hall (Downtown) but could occasionally work from home depending on the task. 

Contact: Please contact Dr. Nicole Tracy-Ventura at if you are interested in learning more about the position. Please prepare an up-to-date and edited resume and cover letter if you would like to pursue this opportunity.