Impact of Undergraduate Research on Student Learning at a Community College
Maria Mercedes Franco (Queensborough Community College (CUNY))
MSRI: Baker Board Room
Undergraduate research (UR) has been identified as a High Impact Practice (HIP), that is, as an effective pedagogical practice proven to promote student engagement, satisfaction, acquisition of desired knowledge, skills and competencies, persistence, and attainment of educational goals. Moreover, education research to assess the benefits of UR has shown a strong positive correlation between undergraduate research opportunities and persistence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and STEM-related careers. These benefits of UR are reported by students in both dedicated research experiences and research-like courses from, almost entirely, baccalaureate-granting institutions. Can we replicate these findings at the community college level? If so, community college students have much to gain, particularly CUNY community college students who fit the description of those who are more likely to benefit from UR and other HIPs: low income, first-generation students who come from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds (Kuh, 2008).
In this talk, I will present an overview of the UR program at Queensborough and share preliminary results about the impact of both dedicated research experiences and research-like courses on student learning.