In Spring 2013, the Department of Sociology's Senior Seminar course partnered with the Appalachian Women's Fund to examine what barriers women in the Boone area faced when attempting to become economically secure or independent. Students conducted interview surveys and focus groups asking over 100 women about their their economic situation and what they viewed as the key to financial independence from public and private assistance. Results suggested a number of barriers for women in the High Country including lack of adequate transportation options, low-wage employment, insufficient childcare, and little affordable housing choices. While these findings are not surprising to local agencies, the research helped to better understand the complexity of the situation women face in the area. Moreover, it provided agencies in the area a useful matrix to help determine the level of self-sufficiency or dependency women faced when entering local services. To see a copy of the research report and to read more about the results, follow this link to the website: "Identifying Barriers to Self-Sufficiency."