Paper No. 186-2
Presentation Time: 8:25 AM
ENGAGING STUDENTS WITH RESEARCH THROUGHOUT THE UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM USING A TIERED MENTORING MODEL
Incorporating research into undergraduate curricula has been linked to improved critical thinking, intellectual independence, and student retention, resulting in a graduating population more ready for the workforce or graduate school. Similarly, mentoring has been linked to enhanced self-efficacy, persistence, and desire to pursue graduate studies. We have designed a three-tier model of undergraduate chemistry courses that incorporates mentoring from faculty, near-peers, and peers to empower and engage students with no previous research experience in increasingly self-directed research projects throughout their undergraduate career. First-year students are provided with scientific and research context through a broadly focused introductory class that gives them direct experience in faculty-directed research projects in peer mentored research teams. Mid-career undergraduate students receive formal training in the scientific process from a faculty process mentor while working with a graduate student content mentor to develop an independent research project and write a proposal, and embedding themselves in an active research group. Advanced undergraduates further develop their research independence performing student-designed projects with faculty collaboration. Further, graduate students gain experience in mentoring though formal training, as well as through actively mentoring mid-career undergraduates. This novel, integrated approach fosters undergraduates in developing and executing independent projects with the support of empowering mentoring relationships.