STEM Central

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Report for Transfer STEM Student Undergraduate Research at Davidson County Community College

I just joined recently and it was suggested I add this as a resource for this group.



The goal of this inquiry project was to research background information regarding undergraduate research (UR) and its potential implementation at Davidson County Community College (DCCC) to increase the number of STEM transfer students obtaining a bachelor’s degree and reducing the graduation gap with their non-transfer peers. As the recommendations made in the Vision and Change report 2011 concerned with providing undergraduates with authentic research experiences (UREs) increases nationally, the graduation rate gap between transfer students at DCCC compared to non-transfer peers could grow, while the potential for a new gap with peers with UREs from other community colleges within the state may begin. The UR
experiences that students can experience at 2-and-4 year institutions can be categorized into 4 main areas: 1) Summer undergraduate research experiences (SUREs), 2) Course-embedded or based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), 3) collaborative Partnership undergraduate research experiences (PUREs), and 4) 1-on-1 faculty to student Mentorship undergraduate research experiences (MUREs). These experiences are not mutually exclusive and are easily cross classified providing a variety of avenues to explore. Based on information from background research, student input, communication with faculty, personal and professional reflection, this report makes the following recommendation: the  incorporation of UR experiences into the college curriculum should be promoted and undertaken by DCCC in all STEM areas
as soon as possible so that transfer students entering 4-year institutions are on an equitable academic footing with their non-transfer peers. Research into the specific steps for each discipline within STEM was found to be an insurmountable challenge in such a short time frame and therefore was not included in this report. However, the general guidelines provided by the proposed model(s) of UR in biology described within can
be utilized and applied by interested faculty in other STEM areas. The primary model provides for the incorporation of 3 (SUREs, CUREs, and PUREs) of the 4 areas of research experiences, with the optional addition of the 4th (MUREs). The first three modes of UR are in the author’s opinion the most reachable and sustainable goals at DCCC. The MUREs should be treated with the utmost caution and respect due to the resource and time commitment it requires. Information regarding each UR area and application to biology are described and within each specific area, steps and potential examples are provided for implementation.



Reference Information

  • Author(s)

    Joseph W. Felts

  • Title

    Report for Transfer STEM Student Undergraduate Research at Davidson County Community College

  • Year