Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 2:15 PM
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE AT WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY AND BEYOND
Involving students in research projects can be a rewarding but challenging experience for faculty at predominantly undergraduate Institutions. Here we present and discuss several models of successful faculty/student research experiences in coastal geomorphology. The experience includes all of the steps of a research project starting with topic selection, grant writing, student recruitment, finding time to supervise students and teach them necessary techniques and methods, students’ responsibilities during the project, student learning outcomes, and presentation of research results. In our experience, students who get involved in research during their senior year have better success in finding jobs, while students who are involved in research since the sophomore or junior year likely consider graduate school.
The student perspective of undergraduate research will be shared by our undergraduate researcher who currently works on a research project at his home institution (West Chester University of PA) and has completed two NSF-funded REU Programs at Stony Brook University in the summers of 2008 and 2009. The student shares, “In my experience, undergraduate research was a vital part of my education and has allowed me much insight into what I want to do in the future. It has led me to have a desire to go further with my education and now plan on going to graduate school.”