With Participating Faculty
Dr. Dwight Billings (Sociology), Dr. Herb Reid (Political Science), Dr. Shuanna Scott (Sociology), Dr. Stephan Wilson (Family Studies), Dr. Graham Rowles (Geography/Aging), Dr. Jane Jensen, (Educational Policy Studies), Dr. Betsy Taylor (Appalachian Center), and Dr. Julie Porter, (Appalachian Center)
Course Description. This seminar will explore socio-economic conditions in some of Appalachias most severely distressed counties and identify public policy strategies for addressing persistent distress. Associated with an initiative of the Appalachian Regional Commission to focus attention on severely distressed counties, participants will examine existing county and regional data on physical infrastructure, human resource capacity and indicators of civic capacity and identify strategies that might encourage sustainable development. Among other things, the seminar will examine issues related to education, health care, housing, job training, transportation, environmental quality, and civic participation. Students will gain some familiarity with a variety of research methodologies including quantitative analysis, geographic information systems, oral history, and ethnographic research. Participants will engage in field-based research and will be invited to present their research findings at a meeting of the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington following the completion of the class.
Texts. Participants will be provided with a notebook and a variety of research materials designed to provide background reading and a data base on selected counties within the Appalachian region. Supplemental reading assignments will be distributed weekly.
Course Format. The seminar will meet regularly each week for two hours to review data, discuss development theory, interact with guest speakers (including faculty, staff from the Appalachian Regional Commission, and citizens from distressed communities), and will conduct at least two site visits to selected counties to conduct field research. Attendance at each seminar session is mandatory. The Appalachian Center will provide travel reimbursement up to $400 per student to cover the cost of transportation and housing related to field-based research. The Center will also provide group transportation (van) and accommodations in Washington DC when the seminar presents its findings to the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Course Requirements. Participants will produce both an individual project and a group presentation that summarizes the results of research on development issues related to severely distressed counties. Individual projects will include a formal research brief on a development issue discussed in the seminar (e.g. education, civic capacity, child poverty, access to transportation, job training, aging, etc.). Group projects will be defined by the seminar but may include the preparation of poster presentations, GIS maps, printed reports, and Power Point or other multi-media presentations. Individual research essays and group recommendations will be published in a "Seminar Findings" report at the end of the seminar.
Evaluation.?Participants will be evaluated on the basis of the following products:
?Participation in Seminar Discussions/Inquiry...20%
Upon completion of this seminar, participants will be able to:
4.?Write a scholarly research brief - based upon multiple data sources and research methodologies - that outlines a particular issue effecting the economic development of selected distressed counties.
5.?Participate in the design and preparation of a group presentation of research findings and policy recommendations to public policy makers.
It is recommended that participants be familiar with the following background works:
John Gaventa, Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebellion in an Appalachian
Stephen L. Fisher, ed., Fighting Back in Appalachia: Traditions of Resistance and Change
Ronald D Eller, Miners, Millhands and Mountaineers: The Industrialization of the
David Whisnant. Modernizing the Mountaineer: People, Power, and Planning in
The Appalachian Land Ownership Task Force, Who Owns Appalachia?: Land
Michael Bradshaw, The Appalachian Regional Commission: Twenty-Five Years of
Richard A. Couto, An American Challenge: A Report on Economic Trends and Social
Time and Place:
Tentative Seminar Topics Date
1. Introduction -January 12
2. Appalachia's Distressed Communities - January 19
3. Poverty, Politics and Government- January 26
4. The Appalachian Regional Commission- February 2
5. Economies of Distressed Areas- February 9
5. Sec./Post Sec. Education and Distress- February 16
6. Aging in Distressed Communities- February 23
7. Health Care- March 1
8. Children and Families- March 8
9. UK SPRING BREAK- March 15
10. ?Strategies For Change Discussion- March 22
11. Strategies For Change Discussion - March 29
Reports of Research Teams
12. County Analysis Mining Counties - April 5
13. County Analysis Non-Mining Counties- April 12
14. Public Policy and Distressed Counties - April 19
15. Research Brief Due- April 26