Institute for Social and Policy Research

Mission Statement

The Institute for Social and Policy Research (ISPR) will plan, support and conduct applied social science and policy research related to the social, health, and educational challenges confronting the region served by Purdue University Northwest. The Institute will also disseminate knowledge using methods designed to shorten the temporal gap between research and practice. Such methods include publication of scholarly research, programs of training, design of interventions, program development and evidence-based practice education.

Vision

The Institute for Social and Policy Research (ISPR) will assist those agencies, programs, and researchers whose goal it is to address issues related to the social, health, and educational challenges confronting the area served by Purdue University Northwest. The Institute will also support the dissemination of knowledge using methods designed to shorten the temporal gap between research and practice. Such methods include publication of documents which allow research findings to be better understood by the community-at-large and methodological training.

Institute Objectives

  • The Institute provides resources needed to generate knowledge related to the unique challenges of the Northwest Indiana and Southern Cook County (IL) region.
  • The Institute facilitates interdisciplinary collaborative scholarship across departments and schools in the Purdue University Northwest community.
  • The Institute stimulates the development of student research skills through a variety of supported service learning and research activities.
  • The Institute assists in shortening the distance between science and application through various dissemination and training activities.

What We Do

Policy Studies

  • The Institute supports the compilation of policy studies designed to inform a variety of stakeholder groups at a regional and national level. Policy studies compiled by the Institute draw upon the inter-disciplinary staff of the Institute in order to address the complex and interdependent nature of policy issues.

Program Evaluation

  • Program evaluation in the areas of education, health, and human services is closely tied to the area of policy studies. The Institute provides a regional capacity to assess the effectiveness of initiatives targeted throughout the Midwest region through its interdisciplinary community of scholars. Program evaluation activities will also provide a context in which graduate students in education, human service, and health disciplines may learn about the effectiveness of interventions.

Program Development

  • Program development activities of the Institute are closely connected to the areas of policy study, program evaluation, and consultation services. Institute scholars will provide expertise related to the design and implementation of interventions in health, human services, and education.

Service Learning

  • The Institute‚Äôs activities will also provide an environment for both undergraduate and graduate students to become engaged in activities designed to prepare them for their professions. As part of ongoing evaluation and policy study activities, students will have the opportunity to learn more about policy issues related to their chosen disciplines.

Public Education/Dissemination

  • The Institute provides an invaluable forum to support public education/dissemination activities. This capacity complements the policy study activities of the Institute by creating a public awareness of research findings. It also will provide a capacity for the Institute to insure its relevance in the policymaking context. The Institute will also provide a neutral forum for discussions related to challenges facing counties and states in the Midwest region.

Centers at the Institute

Program Development and Evaluation (PD&E)

  • Educational assessment for majors and departments of secondary education
    • Development and/or analysis of assessment data and reports for accreditation
    • Surveys of majors
    • Exit surveys
    • Alumni surveys
  • Evaluation of programs in the community
    • Construction of satisfaction surveys or evaluation surveys
    • Training on evaluation methodology

Social Science Training, Analysis & Research (S-STAR)

  • Work with non-profit programs in the community
    • Consulting on grant proposals
    • Construction of surveys
    • Collection and analysis of evaluation data
    • Evaluation of survey data
    • Preparation of reports
  • Applied research projects
    • Assistance in developing methodology or instruments, data collection plan, or data analysis plan.
    • Consultant: Serve as methodology or statistical expert on grants
  • Statistical programs that are available
    • SPSS: Multivariate statistics
    • EQS: Structural equation modeling
    • mPLUS: Multivariate statistics
    • Qualtrics: Advanced survey design
  • Translational work
    • Can help provide translating technical language into lay language for the purpose of communicating with grant agencies, foundations, governmental agencies, non-governmental agencies (NGOs), and community groups
  • Faculty research
    • Assistance in developing methodology or instruments, data collection plan, or data analysis plan
    • Critical feedback on any element of methodology or results
    • Preparation of reports

About the Institute

Through the use of social science and policy analysis methods, the Institute for Social and Policy Research (ISPR) has dedicated its efforts to finding solutions to educational, social, and health-related challenges facing the citizens of the Calumet region.

The Institute for Social and Policy Research (ISPR) was created in 2006 to fill the need for an established interdisciplinary research entity at Purdue University Northwest. Through the use of social science and policy analysis methods, the ISPR has dedicated its efforts to finding solutions to educational, social, and health-related challenges facing the citizens of the Calumet region. The Institute combined existing Purdue University Northwest resources within one organizational structure, which resulted in increased impact through the utilization of shared knowledge and resources.