Exciting Class Spring 18 – San Marcos


 PA 5387  Research Practicum

Instructor:  Thomas Longoria

Spring 2018

Topic:  Workforce, Employment, and Wages in San Marcos, Texas

Course Description

This course uses structured group research to analyze a current policy, management, or administrative issue.  A professor-led research team completes a final report detailing findings and recommendations for action.  The course may be repeated once for additional credit.  

Project Description

San Marcos, Texas is one of the fastest growing communities in the US.  San Marcos also has a poverty problem.  Last year, practicum students worked on developing estimates for student and non-student poverty be better define and measure the scope and nature of poverty problem.  Non-student poverty is on the rise despite rapid population growth.  A copy of the report can be found at:  http://crppt.polisci.txstate.edu/Reports.html.

This year, students will conduct a study to understand employment, workforce challenges, and wages in San Marcos and the Central Texas Region.  We will explore questions such as:  How has the local economy changed over the last 10 years? In which areas is there the greatest growth potential?  What has been the impact on wages in San Marcos and Hays County?  How does San Marcos compare to other college towns with respect to employment and economic development?


Students will work with staff at the Greater San Marcos Partnership, the city of San Marcos, and community organizations working to make San Marcos a great place to live for all residents.

 Benefits to You

  • Improve your ability to engage in collaborative research
  • Increase your knowledge of government databases (US Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas Workforce Commission)
  • Experience with professional report writing
  • Experience with client relations
  • Interact with professionals in the field
  • Be more competitive for policy analyst jobs with a wide range of state and local government employers