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

Policy Research (Public online resources)

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Campus Resources


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.

Get Background Information on laws, rules, terminology, etc.

Locating Policies

Policy is a broad term to describe any set of principles, rules, regulations, or laws adopted by an organization, institution, or government body. Here are two places you can start to search for policies and legislation other than Google!

Begin with CQ Researcher and browse online newspapers (see list of Newspaper databases from the Libraries) to search for recent news regarding 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.

Scholarly Sources (UI Library Databases)

Newspaper and Media Sources (UI Library Databases)