The Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) partners with various stakeholders by providing support through the evaluation of training program efficacy and assessing community renewal readiness. Our aim is to support and engage community members through the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary for sustainable community renewal. Through this process of collaborating with organizations, our goal is to promote life-long learning and sustainable change for underserved and environmental justice communities. Several exciting projects are currently underway in the Center for the Study of Higher Education.
The Shared Air/Shared Action project works with environmental justice groups in developing community empowerment through low-cost air monitoring to improve air quality for citizens in Chicago. The goal of this project is to foster community engagement by providing training and technical assistance to stakeholders within the community. Currently, CSHE is conducting and evaluating a community-led research program that examines the shared understanding of pollution concentration, the development of sustainable community-specific strategies to monitor pollutants, as well as cross-community coalition building.
Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) is an ongoing project for Kansas State University (K-State) designed to partner with and assist urban, rural, and tribal brownfield communities and other stakeholders by engaging in participatory action-based research surrounding brownfield redevelopment. The aim of the project is to empower stakeholders through the identification of community needs as well as partnering in the decision-making process throughout brownfield revitalization. Previous evaluative research on the K-State TAB program highlighted a need for improved methods to measure community progress towards building capacity to successfully engage in brownfield redevelopment. CSHE's role in these projects is to assist in providing measurable ways of evaluating progress and effectiveness to ensure goals of all stakeholders are addressed.
The Center also features the Community College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CCSEQ). This instrument is used by community college leaders to examine student "quality of effort" regarding curricular and extra-curricular activities. CCSEQ data is commonly used to assess institutional effectiveness for program planning and accreditation information. Additionally, many doctoral students have used the questionnaire for their dissertation research.