2023 Virtual Workshop : Using Census and ACS Data in Undergraduate Courses

March 17 and 24, 2023, 3 pm EST

As part of an NICHD funded project, the Social Science Data Analysis Network  at the University of Michigan will host a virtual workshop to enable college and university professors to develop class modules using topics from the US Census and American Community Survey for courses they will teach during following year. Formal virtual workshop sessions will be held on Friday: March 17 from 3-4pm and March 24 from 3-5pm EST. Informal follow-up sessions will also be offered to provide further assistance

Why American Community Survey Data? 
The Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey (ACS) provides national and localized social, economic, and demographic information that can provide instructors with fresh statistics to support key concepts in such courses as Intro Sociology, Social Problems, Stratification, Race and Ethnic Inequality, Gerontology and Aging, Population-Focused Healthcare, and more. The ACS sample of 3 million households annually offers usable statistics that can be tailored to courses at all levels ranging from trend analyses to more analytic approaches, for specific population groups and geographic areas.

Program Details
Workshop participants should come prepared to develop one or more class modules to enrich a course they already teach. During the workshop, virtual participants will be introduced to the resources of SSDAN and work with SSDAN staff to develop easy-to-use classroom exercises specific to their own courses.

Workshop sessions will include seminar discussions, introduction to instructional videos, practice exploring the SSDAN materials, and working with staff to develop individual exercises. The faculty will include sociologist-demographer William Frey of University of Michigan’s Population Studies Center and Brookings Institution, Professor Jill Bouma of Berea College and Professor Esther Wilder of Lehman College

Instructors from all disciplines who teach undergraduate courses in four-year colleges, two-year colleges, or universities, both public and private, are encouraged to apply. Graduate student instructors are also welcome. Primary consideration will be given to applicants who are prepared to develop class exercises from the SSDAN materials and use them in their courses during the academic year subsequent to the workshop.

Workshop Materials:

As background, all participants are encouraged to watch the below video.

This workshop will introduce teachers to easy-to-use tools and resources to adopt in their courses, as well as ways to assess student proficiency. Downloadable materials will be provided to assist adoption.

The workshop will begin with an overview of the SSDAN project and data analysis materials. Brief tutorials on the easy-to-use software tools will follow, with examples drawn from existing U.S. Census and ACS access tools. Time will also be allotted for virtual participants to “play the role of students” and participate in a hands-on analysis of data from the website using their home computers.

The Powerpoints slides are available here for Session 1  and  Session 2.  



Since 1994, SSDAN has undertaken a number of projects funded by FIPSE, NSF, NIH, and other sources to reduce the “quantitative reasoning gap.” SSDAN resources are designed to provide instructors with courseware, tools and online support that enable them to introduce data analysis modules into early and middle level substantive courses. By collaborating with individuals SSDAN has demonstrated that classroom friendly course modules can infuse quantitative reasoning across the curriculum. It has popularized the use of US Census data for this purpose. Located within the Population Studies Center of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, SSDAN is known for its expertise in creating resources that simplify analyses of large collections of data from the decennial US Census and American Community Survey, providing descriptions of demographic groups and geographic areas that are relevant to a variety of courses and disciplines.


Mar 17 - 24 2023


3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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