March 24, 2021
March 24, 2021
March 26, 2021
Faculty and staff leading Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) can perceive a conflict between the goals of their funding agency, which often wants to offer research opportunities to students who otherwise may not have them, and their institution, which wants to "preview" future experienced graduate students to enhance recruitment. Our purpose in this presentation is to share the approaches we have taken to balance these goals. Moreover, we will describe a webinar that we recently recorded on this topic and we will request that the ASEE GSW attendees participate in an evaluation of the webinar. Briefly, our approach to resolving this conflict in goals is to offer the REU experience to rising sophomores. Rising sophomores may otherwise not have had research opportunities or opportunities to receive mentoring early in their undergraduate studies. Participating in an REU program early in their college experience allows them more time to follow up and to prepare competitive applications for graduate school. However, offering the REU experience to rising sophomores requires careful consideration of the application process. Especially, how can you assess applicants’ potential fit for the REU experience given the limited track record of rising sophomores? Our approach is to look for characteristics and skills needed to become a successful researcher rather than a history of prior success in research. Likewise, offering the REU experience to rising sophomores requires careful consideration of how the applications are reviewed. We have developed an application review process that explicitly considers the goals of funding agencies and institutions. Our approach also emphasizes the characteristics of the cohort rather than just the those of the individual students. We implement these ideas in our application review by employing a modified draft pick process.
Cousins, M., & Suggs, L., & Markey, M. K. (2021, March), REU: A Balancing Act Paper presented at ASEE 2021 Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference, Waco, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/36398
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