Center for Social Research

New Alumni Assessment Survey completed

In May 2006, the Center launched a new and improved survey of recent Calvin alumni to improve assessment of Calvin departments and academic programs. The survey data was collected entirely through the Internet, reducing costs and facilitating the consolidation of custom materials from twelve academic departments and several campus administrative offices. Over 2,000 alumni from the 2002 and 2005 graduating classes and their cohorts were contacted by email and postcard; by late July, 663 alumni had responded (a respectable response rate for Internet-only collection). Two alumni won vouchers for free air travel. As this approach is replicated in coming years, it will enable better analytical comparisons, reduce the load on departments to conduct their own surveys AND reduce the demand on alumni, who might previously have received two or more surveys from Calvin in place of this one. Reports will be distributed to departments in September, with coordination by lead client Jim Bradley, Calvin’s Director of Assessment and Institutional Research.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 at 10:53 PM
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PALS Teens

CSR is supporting psychology professor Marjorie Gunnoe in her collaboration with the University of Notre Dame to launch an adolescent component to the Portraits of American Life Study (PALS), a major long-term study of the social and religious traits of several thousand randomly-sampled American households. Prof. Gunnoe’s survey instrument includes an innovative new scale for measuring the nature of parent-teen relationships, which was refined through pilot surveys with Calvin Psychology 151 students in the fall of 2004 and fall 2005. The survey also includes an investigation of teens’ perceptions of religious worship practices designed by Calvin’s new Provost, Claudia Beversluis, who is also a professor of psychology at Calvin.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Thursday, June 01, 2006 at 10:05 PM
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Congratulations, Graduates!

The Center extends its congratulations to our May 2006 graduates. Carolyn Yu has worked at CSR for three years and has contributed to data entry and logistical management; a political science major, she was also a fellow of the Henry Institute in 2005-2006. She has an internship with Chase Manhattan Bank in her future. Michael Sullivan, a psychology major, finished Calvin’s program in just three years and has received significant scholarship aid to study law at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina; he currently plans to specialize in intellectual property. During his two years at CSR, Michael has programmed dozens of surveys in Inquisite, managed major mailings, and provided the CSR workroom with a fantastic supply of snacks. He also produced a much visited reanalysis of law schools placement records. We will miss you both!

Posted by Neil Carlson on Friday, May 12, 2006 at 11:14 PM
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FACT 2005 National Survey of Congregations

The Hartford Institute for Religion Research (HIRR) at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut has recently begun releasing results from the 2005 Faith Communities Today (FACT) survey. CSR conducted FACT2005 under contract to HIRR’s initiative, the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership (CCSP). The project included a massive data-cleaning and automation effort to create a clean sample and an innovative online-and-mail hybrid survey approach using the Center’s Inquisite survey software installation. Under our contract with CCSP, the FACT2005 data is available to Calvin faculty interested in analyzing it; contact the Center for details.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Monday, May 08, 2006 at 10:44 PM
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New student Research Assistants

CSR has hired rising senior Dale Yi (a major in Psychology and Economics) and rising sophomore Nehemiah Chu (Religion and Communications) to join our team beginning in Summer 2006. They will join Gwen Einfeld (Engineering) and Mark Van Holstyn (Computer Science) in supporting CSR projects through the summer.

There is some possibility of additional hiring for Fall 2006. Candidates, especially those with technical skills with statistical analysis, databases and information management, are welcome to apply. Visit the CSR Jobs page to see job descriptions and apply online.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Friday, May 05, 2006 at 11:18 PM
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