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Veronica Wilkerson Johnson

May 3, 2013
IDSL 840
Unit 12
Assignment 1
Read the material in the Merriam text pages 265-270 and answer
the following questions below. After completing these questions save
questions and answers and upload them into Blackboard. After the
homework has been uploaded, respond to the discussion question for
the week.
Assessment/ Homework from Merriam, Unit Notes and the Internet:
This assignment should be completed in the following format as it
aligns with your DCCL ePortfolio dissertation materials requirement.
If you follow this format, you will complete your first attempt toward a
portion of your Dissertation Proposal.
1. General topic / Area of interest.
Provide supporting narrative in relation to the nature and importance
of the question. (Example: Learner-centered classroom settings)
Topic: Community college growth through community arts
I am going to use a Positivist approach to predict, control, generalize the
experimental, survey or quasi-experimental data in objective or external
realities since I anticipate there will be enough plausible data available.
2. Specific area of interest.
Focus the topic more clearly (Example: Evaluating the features and
effectiveness of learner-centered classrooms)

As I focus my topic more clearly, I believe that the trend is growing of

community colleges engaging communities far and beyond their own
college settings, creating a vehicle for future engagements that would
enhance communities locally and around the world. As we reflect on
the opportunities we have as community college leaders to make a
difference in the world, it is humbling to think that the attributes of
community arts engagement we develop may help to change the
course of destiny for a community in which we work or reside. We
must be diligent therefore about the choices we make in studying the
existing framework and collaborative efforts that already exist.
To this point I will evaluate the existing community arts engagement
endeavors in Lansing and East Lansing, Michigan. I will use basic
qualitative research with epoche. Phenomenological reduction and
ethnographic research will play a role in my efforts, for in studying
the culture of community arts engagement I will want to seek thick
rich description of the meaningful collaborations that have occurred.
I will also use narrative analysis and participatory research as these
will be of particular value in creating my theoretical framework.
3. Primary research question.
Provide support for the selection of the qualitative research
epistemology as it relates to the research question.
As I consider the research question the value to community colleges of
community arts engagement, I establish that we must think about
whether we are circumspect regarding the challenges, the pitfalls, and
most importantly, the opportunities for effective community arts
engagement When good ideas come to our awareness as community
colleges we must act on them with commitment, fervor and abandon, and
never waiver from the goal of seeking perfection in all that we do. How
can I best construct a study that helps to reinforce this quest by
identifying programs in place in the community that might be an
underpinning for this activity? I know that reviewing the literature will
help me establish context, and certainly to test concepts, hypotheses and
theories that might already exist.

): "The methodology section includes, at the minimum, how the sample

was selected, how data were collected and analyzed, and what measures
were taken to ensure validity and reliability".
4. Research plan.
Include the items listed below in the research plan:
The term Community in my study describes the people and
organizations that are related to a community arts education
providers mission: students, parents, families, artists, partner
organizations, schools, government agencies, and so on.
Engagement describes an active, two-way process in which one party
motivates another to get involved or take actionand both parties
experience change. Mutual activity and involvement are the keys to
community engagement.
Briefly address the following issues:
A. Sample Selection
I will want to sample students, families, faculty, artists, community
arts organizations, community partner organizatons, local schools,
government agencies and the college administration. I will
seek to do convenience sampling for best accessibility based on
timing, cost, location, and availability of subjects and venues. I also think
that I will have particular success in using the Snowball or Chain Supply
sampling, using the referral process to help me locate a few key
participants, who throught thesnowball effect will help me find other
subjects in the community and in the particular arts engagement culture
who can help me gather rich data and narratives. I will approach this as a
probability focus, or random sampling, and continually analyze and
evaluate my results.

B. Data Collection
I will want to collect the numbers of community arts engagements I
can currently identify, and compare them to model collaborations
around the nation. I will seek to maximize research, discovery and
interpretation by doing rich data collection. I will review ephemera in
the culture, literary manuscripts, primary resources on the internet,
public records (of events and collaborative programs), personal
documents of key community people in arts engagement, visual
documents and artifacts from artistic events and endeavors, and
popular culture documents in the local community.
C. Data Analysis
I am not sure at this time if I will seek to utilize software to help me in
analyzing the culled information as I proceed. As mentioned earlier, I
will do phenomenological data analysis, ethnography, narrative analysis and
case study research, and then coding.

D. Pilot Study
I will want to do a pilot study in Lansing and East Lansing, Michigan,
involving the Lansing Community College, Michigan State University,
the local K-12 schools, and community partners. I would be seeking
to expand upon the premise that engagement is part of the
organizational culture. I will do interviews and tape recordings as a
participant in some settings, and a non-participant in others.
E. Validity and Reliability
I will want to do a literature review to determine what similar projects
exist in Michigan or other states so that I can gage the validity and
reliability of my findings.
F. Research Bias and Assumptions
Sometimes organizations interpret community engagement as
collaboration, marketing to diverse audiences, or developing
programs for underserved groups. While those are all worthy and
necessary activities, an engaged community arts education provider
does more. It promotes consistent community interaction that is a

step beyond conventional programmatic partnerships. Consistent

community engagement is not program based; it is part of
organizational culture.
Note: All students will need to complete this assignment for this
course, and again for the Quantitative Research course, regardless of
the research method you select for your dissertation. If you are
uncertain about a dissertation topic and related question(s), contact
Dr. Sandy Balkema to explore further.