Massasoit Participatory Action Research (PAR) Institute

Nurturing Student Voice, Agency, and Vision through Collaborative Research, Transformative Praxis, and Critical Action

The Massasoit Participatory Action Research (PAR) Institute aims to promote equity in community college completion rates and to support students in achieving their success.

Mission and Vision

The PAR Institute is comprised of a group of community college students attending Massasoit Community College that aims to promote academic success for community college students. The student co-researchers work to inspire other students through their dedication and guidance. Our aim is to promote equity in community college completion rates and to support students in achieving their success.

Why do we use Participatory Action Research?

PAR engages students in research about issues that affect their lives and we chose this form of research because it is research with people rather than research on people (Augustine et al., 2008; Cammarota & Fine, 2008). This research stance is a way of recognizing that people’s lived experiences contain valuable knowledge about what it is like to be a community college student. We draw upon this knowledge through participatory research and action as a way to empower participants on multiple levels to bring student-informed change to our community college and surrounding neighborhoods.

Current Research

The PAR Institute is studying how community colleges enhance the educational experience and outcomes for non-citizen, international students, in particular non-English speaking and in the context of faculty training, cost of tuition, scholarships, enrollment demographics, college community integration, sense of belonging, and equity. The PAR Institute is also a member of the Healthy Neighborhoods Research Consortium, a partnership of community residents and organizations, academics, and government and non-profit advocates committed to advancing equitable development in Eastern Massachusetts and community leadership of this work.

The PAR Institute’s student-researchers are seeking current and former global students for feedback and recommendations for improvement to benefit other global students at Massasoit. To learn more about this project, please see the project’s information gathering form or email to