Contact Information

CSUSM Corporation
435 E Carmel St
San Marcos, CA 92078 - 4362
(760) 750-4631
FY 2017 National Service and Civic Engagement Research

Executive Summary

This project will be one of the largest mixed-methods studies volunteering and civic engagement among Latino elders. We will examine impacts derived through participation in an 10-week civic engagement class that was specifically created for low-income, and Spanish-speaking Latino elders. The course is called, Cultivando Sabiduria (Cultivating Wisdom) and is a collaboration between the university, community organizations, and elders. The proposed study addresses Funding Priority 2: How does an individual's civic engagement change over the course of a lifetime and Funding Priority 3: Understanding the impacts associated with civic engagement, volunteering, and national service. Our goal is to develop methodological and theoretical innovations to help us recognize strengths along with understanding the economic, social and health benefits to volunteering and civic engagement for Latino elders. We will use pre- and post-tests, and other metrics to study 150 Latino participants, ages 55+ years old who are primarily low income and have low (formal) educational levels. Dissemination of study results is important to regional and national stakeholders, who are committed to facilitating greater opportunities for lifelong volunteering and civic engagement.

The National Latino Research Center is an applied research center at CSUSM. The researchers at NLRC have over 17 years of experience successfully conducting research in the areas of education, civic engagement, youth justice, health, disaster preparedness with an excellent track record for outreach and credibility in the community.

Drs. Marisol Clark-Ibanez, Arcela Nunez-Alvarez, Michelle Ramos-Pellicia, and Alicia Gonzales have extensive experience in promoting education and civic literacy. Dr. Gonzales specifically has joined this project because of her expertise in ethno-gerontology and Latino communities. As leaders of the research team, they have expertise in designing research projects and implementing evidence-based approaches for real-world settings to address urgent needs. Importantly, they have successfully collaborated in the design, implementation and evaluation of numerous studies and/or community-based projects in the last 15 years.

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