Center for Applied Research and Rural Studies - CARRS
CARRS director Mary Senter and CATI lab interviewers.

The Center for Applied Research and Rural Studies (CARRS) has completed more than 100 projects since its creation in 1995, through a Michigan Research Excellence Fund grant.
The mission of the Center for Applied Research and Rural Studies is to:
  • promote a coordinated, inter-disciplinary approach for using Central Michigan University (CMU) resources and the  research skills of CMU faculty, students, and staff to address issues of significant concern to local governments and non-profit organizations in central and northern Michigan;
  • assist departments and administrative units within Central Michigan University that have needs for research design, data collection, and analysis, unless such efforts duplicate or interfere with the responsibilities assigned to CMU's Office of Institutional Research;
  • assist faculty members at CMU who have funding to use CARRS's resources for research design, data collection, and analysis; and
  • contribute to the education of undergraduate and graduate students at CMU by providing hands-on instruction in applied social science research.

Learn about past projects and past clients by clicking here

They include:
  • County wide social service assessments
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Technology, land use, health department, and library use surveys
  • Focus groups allowing cutomers to express their viewpoints and contribute to program improvement
  • A community-wide economic impact study
  • An alcohol prevention program evaluation
  • An analysis of existing records to document the success of new treatment regimens
  • Evidence-based strategic planning using data collected using multiple methods

Learn about the social science research resources that CARRS maintains by clicking here

They include: state-of-the-art survey software for sophisticared and customized telephone interviews (using Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing), surveys delivered through U.S. mail, and on-line surveys.  In addition, CARRS works with clients to conduct focus groups and open-ended qualitative interviews.  Whenever possible, CARRS attempts to maximize the ways in which clients can use the data that they have already gathered for administrative and client service purposes. 

CARRS is governed by an Advisory Committee.

Click here to view a list of our Advisory Committee members.

CARRS has expanded.

Recently, the Civic Engagement and Public Service Division had joined CARRS. This Division promotes deliberation, collective problem solving, and diverse interactions as a remedy to a variety of public issues and concerns.  Affiliated faculty rely on CARRS resources to attract funding, implement projects, and involve students.

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