CENTER FOR APPLIED SOCIAL RESEARCH (CASR)
The Center for Applied Social Research (CASR) is a research facility located in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Geography at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Its purpose is to provide state-of-the-art research capabilities to clients both within and external to the University. These include UTC colleges, departments, and programs, as well as government agencies, local businesses, and non-profit organizations. All research conducted by the Center is tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. The CASR’s services are available to any organization – grant-based programs, social service agencies, health care facilities, corporations, local and state governments, and community groups – and can help these entities through research to make sound programmatic, personnel and evaluation decisions.
The CASR Survey Center is equipped with state-of-the-art automated survey interviewing technology and software and maintains high-powered statistical analysis software and other data analysis programs. A wide range of research services are available to meet most research needs, including study design, data collection and analysis, and report writing, with capabilities to conduct traditional studies, program evaluation, policy assessment, and needs assessment. Both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies are available, with specific services including face-to-face interviewing, focus groups, telephone/online/mail surveys, program and policy evaluation using pre and post test assessments, organizational change studies, and attitude and behavior polling.
The CASR is staffed year-round with a Director and Research Coordinator/Associate. During the academic school year, the Center typically employs a number of students based on project needs. These include both undergraduate and graduate students. The Center is also a regular recipient of Work Study and Academic Service Scholar placement. Students working in the CASR function as employees of the University. Work quality and productivity are regularly monitored and evaluated. Additionally, faculty and staff from numerous departments and colleges have worked with the CASR on specific studies as reviewers, study design consultants, analysts, report writers, and as advisors on theory and application.
Funding for the Center derives principally from grants and contracts. UTC provides staff support and facilities. A CASR Advisory Committee comprised of members of the Sociology, Anthropology and Geography, Political Science, and Psychology Departments, and the Colleges of Business and Health, Education and Professional Studies, has provided some oversight and guidance to the Center in past years.