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MSJC > College Information > Administration > Institutional Research > Human Subjects Approval Procedures

Human Subjects Approval Procedures

As part of its mission and function within Mt. San Jacinto College, the Research & Planning Dept. assists others in their research activities and coordinates college-related research efforts. In order to comply with regulations related to the protection of human subjects, the following procedures have been adopted by MSJC. The purpose of these procedures is to ensure the staff, students, and college that all research conducted will promote quality education and that the integrity and confidentiality of individuals will be protected.

Anyone conducting research (either on their own or with the assistance of the R & P Dept.) using MSJC employees or students as subjects of their research must first obtain approval from an administrator (dean, vice president or president). The MSJC Research Committee will then review the research protocol as it relates to the protection of the rights of subjects. Once approved, the researcher agrees to follow the procedures below. Please note that "conducting research" includes the various types of data-gathering processes related to student and employee information.

Procedures related to research using MSJC students, faculty and staff as subjects:

  1. The research effort must be consistent with the mission and goals of the college.
  2. Full disclosure of the purpose and use of the research and why MSJC students and/or staff are needed as subjects must be submitted to the MSJC Research Committee.
  3. Research instruments (surveys, questionnaires, pre-post test, etc.) must be approved by the Research Committee before use.
  4. When information is to be sought directly from students or staff, such as in the case of administering questionnaires, the subjects must be made aware of the following requirements:
    1. Their participation/response is voluntary.
    2. They cannot be required to submit a response with their name or any other identifier included. An identifier may be requested, but not required.
    3. Should an identifier be gathered, individual confidentiality of respondents must be maintained. Only aggregate information will be reported.
    4. Participants in research (including surveys) are to be debriefed immediately following data collection.
  5. When surveys or questionnaires are distributed, they must include the identification of the researcher and an indication that human subjects approval was obtained from the MSJC Research Committee.
  6. After the research is completed, a written report of the findings and conclusions must be submitted to the MSJC Research Office.
  7. Respondents will receive feedback of the results of the research, whenever possible and when requested.

The Research Committee meets once a month during fall and spring semesters with agendas and meeting dates posted on the Research Office website. Research protocols and other information should be delivered to the Research Office one week in advance of the next-scheduled meeting. This will ensure time for distribution and review by committee members. The researcher, although not required, may wish to be present at the meeting to answer any questions related to their project. Except under unusual circumstances, approval (or denial of approval) will be given at this meeting.

Please note that the MSJC Research Office personnel adhere to the Codes of Ethics established by the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Research Office personnel are also governed by the legal guidelines outlined in 34CFR99 (FERPA), 45CFR46 (Protection of Human Subjects), California Education Code (CEC) Sections 76240-76246 (Privacy of Student Records), and the MSJC Board of Trustees Policy #5800 (printed copy available on request). All persons and entities conducting research at MSJC are expected to adhere to these ethical principles and are also governed by the above regulations and policies. Copies of the referenced documents are available in the Research Office, or via links (where possible) from the MSJC Research Office website.

Steps to Follow:

  1. Read the above.
  2. Complete the appropriate MSJC research form (you can download a form under the link 'Forms'). Sign and complete the form.
  3. Submit the form to the Research & Planning Dept. with a return e-mail address.
  4. Receipt of the form will be confirmed via e-mail. You will be notified of the Research Committee meeting at which your request will be discussed.
  5. Approval of your research request will be confirmed via e-mail.
  6. If you need research  direction/assistance with this project, please e-mail the Research & Planning Dept. with a brief outline of the research to be conducted and your specific area of need. Please include a telephone contact number.
  7. You may need to resubmit a research form and obtain appropriate administrative approval and human subjects review if the scope of your project changes (i.e., a different research question, different surveys, different group of subjects, etc.)
  8. For curriculum-based research only: Please follow the instructions on that form.
  9. Please remember that approval by the Research  Committee only relates to human subjects protection. Researchers will need to contact faculty to conduct classroom-based research.