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Xavier leads country in American Dream research

By Kevin tIghe
On November 15, 2011

It's not often that Xavier can claim to be the one and only at something.

Currently, Xavier is home of the Center for the Study of the American Dream (CSAD)—the only statistically-based research team dedicated to quantifying the American Dream, which it does monthly.

This research team is composed of Xavier faculty members Dr. Amit Sen, Dr. Greg Smith and Dr. Chris Manolis of the Williams College of Business.

"The team used findings from surveys, focus groups, blogs and literature, both historic and academic, to examine the American Dream and develop a survey that is used to capture the sentiment of people living in the United States," Dr. Smith said in an e-mail correspondence.

The results of this research are compiled into the American Dream Composite Index (ADCI), updated and released monthly, beginning in July 2011.

"An online survey of at least 1,000 people living in the United States is conducted at the beginning of each month. The random sample of survey takers is drawn from a pool of nearly 3 million people," Smith said.

"In addition, five American Dream sub-indices are developed and released. They include: American Dream Economic Index, American Dream Well-Being Index, American Dream Societal Index, American Dream Diversity Index and American Dream Environmental Index."

Not only does the nation benefit from the CSAD's research, but Xavier students do as well.

"Our [student] interns work specifically on our American Dream Video Archive, which documents successful American Dream stories from around the country," Kat Ryder, the coordinator of the CSAD and a member of the 2011 graduating class, said.

The CSAD has been featured nationally on MSNBC, in Time Magazine and in the Washington Post, putting Xavier University at the forefront of the research on and study of the American Dream.

At 3 p.m. on Nov. 28, the creators of the CSAD will provide a 30-minute webinar tutorial on the ADCI.

The webinar is free for all participants.

To join the webinar, simply visit: and login as a guest.

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