Research comes alive when it actually benefits the broader community. In community-based research, students combine a passion for service and social change with their academic interests and research skills. The Center for Strong Communities facilitates students, faculty and community partners in cooperative research that answers real questions and contributes to the common good.
What is community-based research? At the Center for Strong Communities, we define CBR as collaborative, change-oriented research that engages faculty, students and community partners in projects that address community-identified needs and contribute to the common good.
As we post research requests, students and faculty are urged to consider how they might pursue one of these topics through a credit-bearing practicum, service-learning course, internship or senior study. Please contact the CSC for more information and guidance for developing a research partnership.
Examples of current research ase part of the CSC’s Community-based Research Project are listed below.
Maryville Housing Authority
Public School ESL Program
Keep Blount Beautiful
Habitat for Humanity
Little River Watershed Association
Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont
Foothills Community Development Corporation
Additional research requests that students and faculty are urged to consider for upcoming semesters:
Do we have homeless individuals and families in Blount County? Where are they and what are their living conditions? What are the current resources available to homeless persons in Blount Co.? Are there current policies and laws in place regarding the treatment of homeless persons in Blount Co.?
Collect local, regional and national statistics and demographics on child abuse. How do prosecution rates compare with reported cases? Is the rate of prosecution increasing or decreasing?
Low income populations are afflicted disproportionately with obesity and diabetes. Assist Blount Co. Health Dept. in researching and developing a wellness approach to treating diabetes through education and self-management.
How do churches address environmental issues in this community? Do they preach or study about the environment? How do they connect with regional environmental action and education groups. Do they consider clean air, water and climate changes important moral issues for Christians?
What are the support programs most used and most needed by residents in local public housing? Are there gaps in the support system?
Research the history of Sunset Gap Community Center in Cosby, TN, a service center for low-income Appalachian families. What are the current needs of the community and how is Sunset Gap responding to those needs? In what ways does this program provide for short-term relief or long-term change?
Community agencies that wish to submit a research request should contact the Center for Strong Communities at 865-273-8894 or email Susan Ambler at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome a discussion of newly proposed projects.
The Center for Strong Communities thanks the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation for its generous support of our community-based research program.