June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Reflections on Eight Years of Undergraduate Research at Our Community College
Abstract Since 2010, our College has had developed a robust undergraduate research program that started with two projects and eight students and blossomed into five-to-six teams over an academic year with about 36 student participants. The success of the program can be attributed to collaboration with on-campus grants that support the projects that are administered through our Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) Center, which is a study/resource center for our students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It has been widely reported that undergraduate research programs at four-year institutions increase retention, improve student success, and produce higher quality graduates. Our results demonstrate that two-year institutions can also initiate and maintain successful research programs. The success of the student’s research is a testament to the strength of the undergraduate research program at our College, which serves as the model that has been adopted at our sister colleges through the NSF-funded Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. Over the course of time, the number of underrepresented minorities and female participants has shown a significant increase with many of these students taking the leadership roles. This paper will present in detail the evolution of our undergraduate research program from a summer-only initiative in 2010 to a year-round program encompassing more than 20 successfully completed projects with more than 100 students and 10 faculty involved. These activities have provided a number of benefits to student participants, such as obtaining scholarships, internships, experiential learning, professional networking, public recognition, employment and research opportunities at four-year schools. In turn, our college has the benefit of collaborating with local and national organizations, institutions and universities resulting in greater recognition, access to better equipment, and joint partnerships that ultimately facilitate our students’ transfer to four-year institutions and increases their success in classes and graduation rates. This paper will detail the success and benefits of undergraduate research programs at a community college and the limitations and lessons learned over the past eight years.
Dimitriu, D. G., & Bartels, K., & Dixon, D. (2019, June), Reflections on Eight Years of Undergraduate Research at Our Community College Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33230
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