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Oklahoma City - An OSU Degree in OKC.

CFSI Research Partners

CFSI Partnerships

Description of Project

This collaborative research project between Oklahoma State University and the University of Central Arkansas reflects a desire to provide an innovative, intentional program for an at-risk population in higher education and to examine what components of the program affect student outcomes. To that end, OSU and UCA will investigate the effectiveness of OSU-OKC’s Center for Social Innovation.

As part of the project, OSU will provide access to demographic data and survey results as well as student artifacts for the purpose of evaluating components of the program and tracking the progress of the participants. UCA, part of this collaboration, will drive the evaluation of the program by analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data and providing a written report at the end of the 2021-2022 academic year.

Description of the Program

The OSU-OKC Center for Social Innovation’s mission supports the goal of “giv[ing] purpose and hope by creating new pathways full of opportunities and support in a college setting” for participants who have successfully completed “community rehabilitation and/or diversion programs.” To that end, the CFSI’s mission is to

  • Provide meaningful development opportunities and exposure to professional and/or purposeful work environments. 
  • Allow participants to make up for the years lost to incarceration and/or drug addiction. 
  • Give them cultural common ground with fellow members of the community which will allow them to start building new relationships, as reflected in daily program activities such as book club, fitness center sessions, Toastmasters, community outreach projects and more. 
  • Help participants develop their personal identities, which allows them to set boundaries and standards in their personal lives and learn which career path to pursue based on their identified skills and interests. 
  • Increase participant’s sense of confidence, belonging, value, worthiness, professionalism, purpose, and hope. 
  • Inspire and encourage participants to passionately pursue their dreams by way of empowerment and motivation.

Literature Review

  • Measuring psychosocial factors only leads to improved success rates if followed by an effective intervention; using PSF to direct the types of interventions needed/aligning with need (Allen, Robbins, & Sawyer, 2009)
  • Used College Learning Effectiveness Inventory (CLEI) to identify 6 PSF that are linked to academic achievement (first-semester and first-year GPA); academic self-efficacy was greatest predictor; stress and time press (PSF) was predictive of life satisfaction (Krumrei-Mancuso, Newton, Kim, & Wilcox, 2013).
  • Academic self-confidence, positive attitudes toward university, faculty and peer support significantly predicted successful adjustment to college (Martin, Swartz?Kulstad, & Madson, 1999).


Because a case study involves describing and evaluating data for the purpose of better understanding the participants’ experience of a phenomenon, this project employs the model for the purpose of examining how the OSU-OKC Center for Social Innovation’s programming affected participants.

Research Questions

The overarching research question for this project is “How effective are the OSU-OKC Center for Social Innovation’s program components?” To help answer this question, the project has created these additional research questions:

  • How effective are the CFSI’s program components for helping participants develop psychosocial skills?
  • How effective are the CFSI’s program components for helping participants develop academic skills?
  • How effective are the CFSI’s program components for helping participants develop professional skills?
  • Participants
  • Data Instruments
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Discussion and Implications
  • Limitations
  • Conclusion


  • Allen, J., Robbins, S. B., & Sawyer, R. (2009). Can measuring psychosocial factors promote college success?. Applied Measurement in Education, 23(1), 1-22.
  • Krumrei-Mancuso, E. J., Newton, F. B., Kim, E., & Wilcox, D. (2013). Psychosocial factors predicting first-year college student success. Journal of College Student Development, 54(3), 247-266.
  • Martin Jr, W. E., Swartz?Kulstad, J. L., & Madson, M. (1999). Psychosocial factors that predict the college adjustment of first?year undergraduate students: Implications for college counselors. Journal of College Counseling, 2(2), 121-133.
  • Meyer, B., Johnson, S. L., & Carver, C. S. (1999). Exploring behavioral activation and inhibition sensitivities among college students at risk for bipolar spectrum symptomatology. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 21(4), 275-292.