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Each to Their Own CURE: Faculty Who Teach Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences Report Why You Too Should Teach a CURE

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Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) meet national recommendations for integrating research experiences into life science curricula. As such, CUREs have grown in popularity and many research studies have focused on

Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) meet national recommendations for integrating research experiences into life science curricula. As such, CUREs have grown in popularity and many research studies have focused on student outcomes from CUREs. Institutional change literature highlights that understanding faculty is also key to new pedagogies succeeding. To begin to understand faculty perspectives on CUREs, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 61 faculty who teach CUREs regarding why they teach CUREs, what the outcomes are, and how they would discuss a CURE with a colleague. Using grounded theory, participant responses were coded and categorized as tangible or intangible, related to both student and faculty-centered themes. We found that intangible themes were prevalent, and that there were significant differences in the emphasis on tangible themes for faculty who have developed their own independent CUREs when compared with faculty who implement pre-developed, national CUREs. We focus our results on the similarities and differences among the perspectives of faculty who teach these two different CURE types and explore trends among all participants. The results of this work highlight the need for considering a multi-dimensional framework to understand, promote, and successfully implement CUREs.

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  • 2017-05-26

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Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences Can Make Scientific Research More Inclusive

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The U.S. scientific research community does not reflect America's diversity. Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans made up 31% of the general population in 2010, but they represented only 18

The U.S. scientific research community does not reflect America's diversity. Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans made up 31% of the general population in 2010, but they represented only 18 and 7% of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) bachelor's and doctoral degrees, respectively, and 6% of STEM faculty members (National Science Foundation [NSF], 2013). Equity in the scientific research community is important for a variety of reasons; a diverse community of researchers can minimize the negative influence of bias in scientific reasoning, because people from different backgrounds approach a problem from different perspectives and can raise awareness regarding biases (Intemann, 2009). Additionally, by failing to be attentive to equity, we may exclude some of the best and brightest scientific minds and limit the pool of possible scientists (Intemann, 2009). Given this need for equity, how can our scientific research community become more inclusive?

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  • 2014-12-01