• A street market in South London. Photo credit Kim Jones.
  • Students in a Qualitative Research Methods class and members of the APO Service Learning fraternity celebrate Halloween 2009 with children at the East Burlington Community Center. Photo credit Kim Jones.
  • Apple pressing in Cowee, NC 2008 as part of research conducting through PERCS. Photo credit Kirsten Rhodes.
  • NC potter Mark Hewitt with a clay coil for a large pot in Pittsboro, NC 2005. Photo credit Tom Mould.
  • A young woman getting her lip pierced at Kingpin Tattoo in Greensboro, NC 2002. Photo credit Lauren Vilis & Samiha Khanna.

What is PERCS?

Elon’s Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies (PERCS) is dedicated to the ethical exploration of local, national and global communities through participant observation and in-depth interviewing. Our goal is to foster the understanding and use of ethnographic field research across all fields of study. We recognize the power of engaged, experiential learning possible through ethnography and work to ensure that students and faculty approach community studies ethically, responsibly, and collaboratively.

To meet this mission, PERCS offers a range of resources including teaching modules on methods and ethics, recording equipment for check-out, books and online resources, nationally and internationally known speakers, and a growing body of community research projects including video documentaries.

PERCS offers a new certificate program that provides students with rigorous training in ethnographic research at the undergraduate level. Students who complete the program requirements are eligible to receive the PERCS Certificate of excellence.