Undergraduate STEM education is undergoing a massive change in philosophy. For decades, undergraduate life science education has remained nearly unchanged and students who enter college with the intent of pursuing a science major often change their minds, citing disinterest during introductory courses as their primary reason (Seymour & Hewitt, 1997). There are several studies recognizing that student research benefits students by improving success, retention and progression through their desired field. Students increase their knowledge in the chosen discipline, their writing and verbal skills and self-confidence. Importantly, students engaged in active research enhance their problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills. The National Research Council has sited undergraduate research experiences as being the 'purest form of teaching' and AAAS Vision and Change has called for major changes so that 'the biology we teach better represents the biology we do'.
At CHS, students will experience research and the scientific process during freshmen coursework and throughout their undergraduate curriculum to ensure that courses are active, outcome-oriented, inquiry-driven and discovery based when appropriate, and relevant to career pathways in the health sciences.
The capstone research experience for CHS students includes the COLL310/410 series of courses. Traditionally, research experiences for undergraduates have been in the form of apprenticeships in faculty research labs, pairing individual students with a mentor, but there is limited placement, leading to a highly competitive nature of gaining this coveted research experience. At CHS, we employ the Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) model to ensure that every student has access to these valuable research skills. Students will choose their course research topic based on interests that will be developed and fostered as early as their first year, allowing faculty to provide a strong foundation in theory combined with real world application and practice.
Exploring research and scholarship at CHS?
Here's what students can expect from a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE):
CUREs involve whole classes of students in addressing a research question or problem that is of interest to the scientific community. (Auchinclaus et. al., 2014)