The AESN principals sent out a group email to all members of the AESN asking them to consider participating in the research study. This email outlined the various ways in which the participants could participate: write a personal narrative about their involvement in the AESN ; participate in an individual interview or participate in a focus group. Those individuals interested in participating sent their contact information to the AESN staff person, Donna Weaving. From the complete list of volunteers, a total of 15 individuals were selected by Drs. Halbert and Kaser to be contacted by the researcher for interviews. Of the 15 individuals contacted, a total of 12 interviews were completed; three individuals did not respond to the request.
Each individual was provided with the suggested questions to be discussed at the interview and a copy of the consent form via email. Mutually convenient times were set up to conduct the interviews; some were conducted face to face, but the majority were conducted via telephone. In each case the researcher confirmed orally that the individual was willing to consent to the interview. All interviews were audio recorded and the interviewer took notes as the interview was held. Interviewees were told that there would not be a transcription of the actual interview produced or circulated due to the time limits of the research. All participants agreed with this protocol.