Division of Student Affairs > Student Services > Access and Attainment > Access & Attainment Research Lab > Research Areas

Research Areas

A group of students discussing their research projects

Housed within the Division of Student Affairs, the department of Access, Attainment and TRiO administers the university's federal TRIO and other access and attainment programs. The Attainment and Access Research (AAR) 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. 

The Access and Attainment Research Lab research and practices aim to contribute to discussions about improving the educational experiences and outcomes of underrepresented groups in higher education. The AAR 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 AAR 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 AAR 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 endeav​ors 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.