Metropolitan Studies Institute
The USC Upstate Metropolitan Studies Institute (MSI) aims to support research efforts between the University and the community, enhance relationships, promote the reciprocal flow of information and ideas, assist community and economic development, and increase the strategic use of the University’s scholarship and outreach capabilities.
The Institute engages in select community-based research and assessment projects, most notably the Spartanburg Community Indicators Project. In addition, the Institute produces various translational research studies throughout the Upstate of South Carolina, including public health studies, economic impact studies, program evaluation studies, needs assessments, feasibility studies, and survey research.
What is Community-Based Research?
Community-based research is a collaborative effort between academic researchers and non-academy based community members that aims to generate social action and positive change through the use of multiple knowledge sources and research methods. If you are interested in working with the USC Upstate Metropolitan Studies Institute, please contact either Dr. Kathleen Brady or Kara Davis.
What we do
Data offers a powerful way to better understand the community, plan for future, or evaluate what is working in the community, but making sense of data, using it in planning, and more is not always easy. The Metropolitan Studies Institute offers many different types of reports and assessments to help understand the data that will support community projects and initiatives. To find out more about each type of offering, please refer to each type below.
Types of Community-Based Research Offered
Survey research encompasses any measurement procedure that involves asking questions of respondents about a specific topic.
Program evaluation is the systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to evaluate the effectiveness of a program or project, and to contribute to continuous program improvement.
A community needs assessment identifies the strengths and resources available in a community to meet the needs of a specific population. It provides community leaders with a snapshot of local policy, systems, and environmental change strategies currently in place and helps identify areas for improvement.
Community Indicators present data that help communities answer the question: Are we there yet? Indicators measure what the community cares about and track whether the community is moving in the right direction. Indicators provide essential guidance for action.
The Institute offers several other types of studies and research including studies of public health, economic impact of an area or program, feasibility studies, and survey research.