Just the Facts: Research

We seek to understand. We seek to collaborate. We seek to communicate. We seek to transform students, educators, community and society.

Each facet of the Center for Intercultural and International Education – Research, Curriculum, and Access – continuously informs the others. We start with research.

Community-based research at CIIE focuses on exploring the nature and/or process of intercultural education. It seeks to identify cultural distinctions that factor into experiences of higher education, and ours is original work that is yielding data and information that we are transforming into knowledge and understanding.

Realities change based on context. Our current emphasis is on Latino students and their families in the Great Lakes region of the Midwest. We explore the social/demographic context from which these students come because context influences approach. View our data and reports to see for yourself.

Why Research is Critical for Transformation

The past 30 years have seen major demographic shifts in the United States, including in the Midwest. Try as they may to help all students succeed, current educational approaches and practices do not account for the role that cultural context plays in a student’s education. When we narrow the focus to the Great Lakes region of the Midwest, we see even more clearly through test scores and drop-out and graduation rates that a shift in fundamental approach to education is required. The research we conduct investigates cultural distinctions and their influences on education. We then use our findings to develop curriculum and conduct seminars that enable educators to better understand intercultural teaching and learning and ultimately teach more effectively, which then enables us to provide Latino students access to support and resources that affirm and celebrate their cultural heritage and to demonstrate how it enriches their lives, their campus and their community.

Our research goals and objectives (PDF, 115 KB) are articulated in our grant proposal.

In examining these issues, we study four main areas:

  • The social/demographic context of Latino students
  • The educational experience of Latino students in local schools
  • The curricular/co-curricular experience of Latino students at Goshen College
  • The process of curriculum innovation, instruction and intercultural campus transformation

Learn more about what CIIE fellows are researching and collaborative studies currently underway. We also have grants available.

For the next phase in the development of the Center we want to build on previous efforts by focusing our research in two ways:

  1. Development of a longitudinal study that identifies indicators for educational success for Latino students in three particular areas of analysis. These areas include transition to college, college student experience and the student’s college academic performance. The long-term goal of this project is to develop an assessment instrument that can help us assess the experience of Latino students and point toward areas of improvement in the design and delivery of academic services for Latino students.
  2. The role of social and cultural capital in supporting academic motivation and/or achievement among Latino immigrant students. Through this study we want to delineate in more detail the type of capital these students have and how it operate in response to, existing educational needs, parental support, immigration experience and social location in the Midwest. For this project the long-term goal is to understand the contribution that social and communal elements have in the development and delivery of academic programs and/or services for Latino students.


Two CIIE research projects have recently been accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals.  The abstracts are available through the links below.

To learn more about these projects please contact Gilberto Perez at gperez@goshen.edu

ABSTRACT:  “But Still, I’m Latino and I’m Proud”:  Ethnic Identity Exploration in the Context of a Collegiate Cohort Program

ABSTRACT:  Strengths, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Professors That Contribute to the Learning of African American and Latino/a College Students