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Insight & Intelligence™ : Nov 4, 2013

Enhancing Community College STEM Education

This case study highlights the development of an undergraduate research initiative at a community college.
  • Daniel Kainer, Ph.D.

Research experiences at an early postsecondary educational stage are often pursued by students wanting to enhance their resumes and/or graduate school applications, enhance their laboratory skill sets, learn how scientists reason or expand their scientific literacy, or for a myriad of other reasons, both personal and professional.1–8 Unfortunately, laboratory-based research opportunities at community colleges have historically been exceedingly scarce. Since nearly one-half of all postsecondary graduates in the United States enroll in community colleges, this scarcity necessarily limits access to undergraduate research opportunities for a tremendous percentage of college undergraduates in the US.9 Programs such as the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative10 (CCURI) and several university-specific offerings have been instituted in an attempt to ameliorate this shortcoming, but much work remains to be done in this regard.11–13 This case study highlights the development of an undergraduate research initiative at a community college that may serve as a guide for others hoping to follow suit.

To read the case study, CLICK HERE.