Quantitative Methods course offers students needed skills

April 24th, 2015 Author: Cal Powell  |  706-542-3536  |  More about Cal
Contact: Kandauda Wickrama  |  706-542-4926  | More about Kandauda

Athens, Ga. – In 2012, the College of Family and Consumer Sciences launched a certificate program in quantitative methods in family science to address a growing need in the field.

The first recipients of the certificate will begin graduating this year, and they said they’re grateful for the experience.

“This certificate has equipped me with invaluable advanced quantitative analyses skills that substantially increase my competitiveness in the job market, as well as in the publishing pool,” said Josephine Kwon, a doctoral candidate in the FACS human development and family science department who will graduate in the fall. “Also, understanding such sophisticated methodologies allows me to think creatively about my research studies and how to optimally show the stories behind the data.”

Kwon, whose research focuses on the development of health behaviors in immigrant youth, added that the courses in the certificate program have equipped her with the skills needed to submit and publish several quantitatively advanced studies to reputable journals. 

The program’s director, Kandauda Wickrama, the Georgia Athletic Association Endowed Professor in the HDFS department within FACS, said the certificate program provides graduates with the latest quantitative skills they’ll need in the evolving field of family science.

As family and developmental theories advance and data sets become more complex with longitudinal and multi-level data, researchers need to understand the latest analytical skills to stay competitive in the field, he said.

“This was really a long-felt need in the department and the college,” Wickrama said. “In order to test our complex hypotheses, you cannot use conventional methods of analysis. You need more cutting-edge analytical techniques, and this program covers all they need.”

Wickrama said the course is designed to provide advanced graduate education to prepare doctoral students for employment in top-tier quantitative social and behavioral science research-intensive positions.

Among the techniques covered are structural equation modeling, growth curve modeling, latent-trajectory class analysis, growth mixture modeling, multi-level modeling and dyadic data analysis, as well as assessment of measurements, he said.

To receive the certificate, students must complete six courses for a total of 18 credit hours.

The program is open to any UGA graduate student. Among the colleges represented in program participants are the College of Education, the School of Social Work and the department of sociology, in addition to students from HDFS within FACS. Seven students have completed the program this year. 

“This certificate really increases their potential in the job market,” Wickrama said. “To my knowledge, very few departments in the country offer this type of program.”

For more information and to download an application, visit this link: https://www.fcs.uga.edu/docs/QMFS_application_.pdf

Categories: College - GeneralHuman Development and Family ScienceGraduateResearchChild Development Lab UndergraduateFamily
Tags: uga social work, uga department of sociology, uga college of education, quantitative methods, human development and family science

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