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Monday, November 2, 2015

Providing undergraduate students with research opportunities is good for students, good for faculty

On a recent trip I took to New York, an alum said to me that wanting to provide more research opportunities for undergraduates is all well and good as a component of our CLA Roadmap goal of student readiness for their life after college, but do faculty really want to work with undergrads on research? I was pleased to be able to describe our Dean’s Freshman Research and Creative Scholars program, in which first-year students work with faculty members in the spring semester. I explained that CLA faculty are participating in the program in a big way in spring 2016, with 72 faculty working with 155 students.
Recently, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Gary Oehlert sent you information on another opportunity for undergraduates to work with faculty on research, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Each year this program provides over 100 CLA students with research opportunities. Please encourage students to pursue a research opportunity through UROP and please consider working with a student yourself. To find out more about the UROP program, click here or contact Wendy Nicholson-Kotas in CLA’s Office of Undergraduate Education.

Both of these programs help our students by teaching them how to engage in research and creative work, and they help faculty with research assistance. For me as an undergraduate, participation in faculty research was instrumental, and I dare say with all modesty that they got some quite fine work from me. As we work to make CLA a destination college for prospective students around the country, and to provide students with the experiences that come with attendance at a research university, faculty participation in programs like the Dean’s Scholars and UROP are key to our success.