Hampshire Impact Study

The Hampshire Impact Study is longitudinal, qualitative, panel study that generates rich, in-depth data on the Hampshire student experience as it unfolds in real time. 

Study Design

The Hampshire Impact Study interviews the same group of students from the 14F class every year during their time at Hampshire and for five years after graduation. Every year, we ask these students questions around core thematic areas: experiences particular to their year at Hampshire (i.e. first-year experience, etc.); advising relationship; classroom experience; academic focus; intellectual community; environment for diversity and inclusion; out of classroom experiences; and narrative evaluations.

The Hampshire Learning Project launched the first round of the Hampshire Impact Study in January of 2015 and most recently completed analysis of the second round of interviews in the summer of 2016. 

Study Participants

We used a stratified, random sample to identify a group of students from the entire 14F class to contact for participation in the study. Fifty-one students, comprising 20% of the entire 14F class population, participated in the first round of interviews in 2015. These fifty-one students are statistically representative of the 14F class in terms of gender, race, and first-generation student status. In 2016, we invited transfer students with the same expected graduation as the 14F class to join our study and added a total of 4 transfer students. (For more information on our study design, sampling techniques, and participant demographics email hlp@hampshire.edu). 

First Round of Interviews

In February and March of 2015 we successfully conducted the fifty-one qualitative, semi-structured interviews. In addition to the core thematic areas mentioned above, we asked students about their visit to and selection of Hampshire; anticipating their arrival; their academic, social, and emotional transition; orientation experience; first-year tutorial; and their living situation. We compensated all student participants for their time with a local gift card.

Second Round of Interviews

In February and March of 2016, we interviewed a total of forty-three students, thirty-seven from the 2015 sample plus four transfer students and two students who responded positively to our invitation in 2015 but couldn't make an interview. In addition to the core thematic areas mentioned above, we asked students about their second year at Hampshire; their transition from DIV 1 to DIV 2; their understanding of DIV 2; and the resources and supports they use on campus. As before, we compensated all student participants for their time with a local gift card.

Analysis

Over both the summers of 2015 and 2016, the Hampshire Impact Study research team, comprised of the senior researcher, research assistant, and undergraduate summer research fellows, coded and analyzed interview transcripts. In our analyses, we utilized both a deductive and an inductive coding scheme, meaning that we generated some analytic codes prior to analysis, while other codes emerged from the data itself. 

Research Reports

Members of the Hampshire Community can log into the Hampshire Intranet to access current research reports

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Hampshire Research Project
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002