Despite serving almost half of the U.S. undergraduate students, community colleges and their constituents are consistently marginalized in the research favoring external university experts to conduct research about them and on them. To counteract these top down, disempowering research practices, we piloted a Participatory Action Research Assistantship Program (PARAP). A PARAP is a modified version of a research assistantship program that is grounded in an anti-oppressive, participatory action research practice, creating change on many levels. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of practical and methodological steps to implement a PARAP at a community college including forming a team, minimizing the power differential, building on strengths, learning new skills, and focusing the research on the perceptions and experiences of constituents. We include our own experience as an example of how to implement a successful PARAP, in addition to, exploring the limitations of the developing method. Lastly, we advocate for others to implement their own PARAP, build on our work, and publicize their research to encourage a shift in the culture and research practices with community colleges.
Community College, Participatory Action Research; Research Assistantship
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Recommended APA Citation
Ocean, M., Tigertail, K., Keller, J., & Woods, K. (2018). Developing and Implementing a Participatory Action Research Assistantship Program at the Community College. The Qualitative Report, 23(2), 456-469. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol23/iss2/13
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