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This guide contains resources specific to the needs of TRIO students enrolled in the Steps to Success TRIO curriculum.


This guide is for students working on the Diversity Research Project.

Here you will find resources you need to help you conduct policy research for your Diversity Research Project. Take a look through the page for databases, news, and web sources where you can find policies, congressional bills and legislation, articles, newspapers, and more. 


Planning your Search

Think about your identity - who are you? What issues are you interested in or passionate about?

For example, if you identify as a First Generation College student, you might be interested in cost of college or graduation rates of first generation college students. 

Identify any groups or communities you are a member of (this can be your own family, your city or town, an organization you belong to, anything). 

  • First-generation (tuition funding, higher education opportunity)
  • TRIO student (financial support, mentorship, TRIO program funding)
  • writer or poet (funding for arts & humanities, school programming)

Identify the key issues or concerns within your group or community. What do you care about? What are others in your community concerned about? Create a list of keywords and key phrases to describe your identity or topic. 

TIP: Be creative and flexible. The words you use to describe your topic may be different than the words used by the person who created the information you need to find.

Locating Policies

What is a policy?

Policies are a set of ideas or plans of what to do in particular situations that has been agreed to officially by a group of people, a business organization, a government, or a political party (Cambridge Dictionary).

Begin with CQ Researcher and browse online newspapers (see list of Newspaper databases from the Libraries) to search for recent news and background information regarding the current state of affairs. You may find a report that connects with your identity and references relevant legislation or policies. 

Search by topic like higher education or first-generation student for hearings or bills.

Find your state legislator in Iowa. Find your US representative in Congress.

Resources to Get Started

Newspaper and Media Sources (UI Library Databases)

Public Government Sources