Center for Access & Attainment > CAA Research Lab > Research Areas

Research Areas

A group of students discussing their research projects ​

Housed within the Division of Enrollment Management, the Center for Access and Attainment (CAA) supports school and community partnerships, manages pre-college programs, and administers the university's TRIO programs for low-income and first-generation students. The CAA Lab conducts and provides research findings on issues of educational access and attainment to support evidenced-based programming at DePaul that serves first-generation and low-income students. 

CAA Lab research and practices aim to contribute to discussions about improving the educational experiences and outcomes of underrepresented groups in higher education. CAA Lab uses a range of approaches to identify, understand, and change barriers affecting college students’ academic and social progress. We work with students to learn about their experiences and examine variables involved in explaining minority groups’ participation in higher education.  We focus on students’ experiences and outcomes, and develop services/practices on issues aimed to reduce the existing disparity in college access and attainment.

Lab participants work with CAA program staff on mixed-methods studies and learn interview transcription, quantitative data collection, data entry and management, and data analysis. Students also have the opportunity to create an independent research project in the context of the larger study.

In addition to hands-on training in conducting and analyzing research, focused research skills workshops are offered by CAA Research Lab faculty fellows and McNair Scholars Program staff, as well as career-focused workshops led by DePaul Career Center staff.

The experience of working on these research projects provides students with practical skills to use in future research endeavors and helps students develop critical supportive networks (e.g., with peer-mentor, graduate students, and faculty member) that serve as guidance to make decisions regarding their future academic development and research interests.