Homework 5 – Ethnography and Content Analysis

Due: Wednesday, 9/5/18, 10a

Submit to EEE dropbox.

Page constraints:

· Part 1 — 1-2 pages, double spaced, 12pt. Font.

· Part 2 — 3-5 pages, double-spaced, 12pt. Font

Part One: Field notes

1) Complete 20 minutes or more of field observation at UCI (preferably) or another a public location.

2) Write 1-2 pages (double spaced) of field notes that detail your observations.

a) Be sure to including components of fieldnotes discussed in lecture, as appropriate (i.e. detailed description, analysis of interesting findings/observations, personal experiences, and observations of social institutions and power)

b) Include a paragraph on your positionality–How might your observations be influenced by who you are?

3) Note: These field notes should follow the guidelines for field notes given in lecture. They should include information on the date and place, as well as several paragraphs of description and analysis of the field site.

Part Two: Writing a methods and findings section using content analysis as a research method. For this assignment, you will be analyzing the websites from 4 colleges/universities (UCI, CSULB, LBCC, and Chapman U). You will analyze content from those websites to address questions pertaining to first generation college students, specifically financial aid options. Specifically, you will investigate, what do the institutions offer to students in terms of information on:

· What services and supports are available explicitly for first generation students? What do the college/university websites say about first generation students?

· What are the actual cost of college education for very-low income students? What kind of financial support do they inform students is available? What can they expect?

· What information is available about what to do if application fees are out of budget?

Write a methods and results section using content analysis, and using the template provided. Write in paragraph structure, using ASA format.

Use the following weblinks to guide your research:




















See template below:


Include field notes here.




· What kind of analysis are you doing? (content analysis)

· What is your data source?

· What kind of data? (websites)

· How many sources?

· How did you find the sources?

· Why did you select these sources?

· When was data collected?

· What are the limits to using websites as a data source (what can you and can’t you get at with this data source — for example, you can get at what’s on the website, but you can’t get at whether students actually access the web site, and you can’t get at other places where students may be getting information)

· How do you do the analysis? (ie abductive analysis or grounded theory)

· Describe your analytic process (coding, constructing a taxonomy/matrix of comparison, etc)


· Which colleges/universities are in your sample?

· Why were these colleges/universities selected?

· Describe the demographics of each college?

· How is/isn’t the sample representative of colleges in the US?


· What is your relationship to the research topic?

· What is your relationship to the sample?

· How might the above contribute bias to your study?

· How have you made efforts to minimize bias?


· What is your research question? (How effective are college/university websites in communicating to first generation students about (1) available social and academic supports for first generation students, (2) information about waivers for application fees, and (3) information about estimating the actual costs of attending college for low income students?)

· Describe the websites generally

· What kind of content do they have?

· How accessible are the websites (as in how easy is the information to access)?

· Provide a roadmap for the following subsections.

Support Structures for First Generation Students

· Introduce the topic – why does it matter?

· Compare the 4 institutions web descriptions of approach to supporting first generation students. Compare language that is used. Compare program offerings.

· Based on your analysis are colleges effectively communicating to students what services are available for first generation students?

· Are some colleges offering more than others or communicating better?

· What can be learned from the college that is doing better?

· Summarize

Financial Accommodations for Low Income Students

· Why are financial accommodations relevant to first generation students?

· What are the two financial accommodations you’ll be looking at?

Application fee waivers

· Introduce application fee waivers. Why do they matter?

· Compare the 4 institutions web information on application fee waivers. Compare language that is used. Compare what is offered.

· Summarize

Estimating the actual cost of college.

· Introduce the topic of actual cost of college (how much will they actually be paying) – why does it matter?

· Compare the 4 institutions web information on financial aid. What information is offered that tells students what they can likely expect to pay given their family’s income? Compare language that is used. Compare what is offered.

· Summarize financial supports and services that are available for low income students

· Are some colleges offering more than others or communicating better?

· What can be learned from the college that is doing better?

[Include a table comparing the 4 colleges. Your table should be no more than one page long (but can be as short as 1/2 of a page), and should fit on one page rather than fall between two pages. Inside each cell should be a brief and concise description.]

Table 1: Comparing 4 Colleges’ Support for First Generation Students

Long Beach City College California State University, Long Beach University of California, Irvine Chapman University
Support and information for first generation students
Application fee waivers
Financial aid information; actual cost information
Accessibility of information

Discussion (1-2 paragraphs)

· Comparing across all three categories and all four colleges

· Which colleges overall seem to be better meeting the needs of first gen students? Are there any conclusions you can make about whether the public vs private schools, our 4 year vs city college, etc are more able to serve the needs of first generation students?

· On which of the 3 categories could the colleges improve?

· Which of the colleges are the best in terms of accessibility of information?

· Why is it important that colleges meet these 3 needs?

· What’s at stake?

· What are other factors that impact students’ ability to access information?


· Use this format to cite each website:

College/University Name. Date retrieved August 31, 2018 (http://Website URL).

Just use the main website for each college (such as– https://uci.edu/)

· You only need to site each college once. You do not need to make more than once situation for different pages within the each college.

· Make in text citations the first time you reference a website in each paragraph, and when you are referencing a specific figure or quoting from a website. This is how you do that:

(College name 2018)