Undergraduate Research as a High Impact Practice

Looking for a Faculty Incentive Plan for the new 2019-2020 academic year? Consider integrating undergraduate research (UR) into your curriculum.

With the help of UR faculty development courses, faculty can design an undergraduate research experience for students that incorporates write-to-learn, active-learning techniques and experiential research strategies. Valencia College offers faculty development courses to prepare you to incorporate undergraduate research into your teaching practice.

Moreover, faculty aren’t the only ones who can benefit. As part of this experience, students can present their work in the end-of-semester showcase. Top projects can earn prizes and collegewide recognition. Not only do students obtain skills in research, they also develop skills that enhance collaboration, time management and critical thinking.

We currently have two general models for undergraduate research at Valencia, determined by our Undergraduate Research Advisory Board:

  • An Embedded Model – designed to incorporate a research project into an already existing course
  • A Mentor Model – designed for students who want to pursue an independent study project by working individually with a faculty member

Undergraduate Research Coordinator and Professor of Psychology Melonie Sexton shares that one of the biggest barriers for faculty incorporating research opportunities into their courses has been finding ways to include research that is beneficial to the entire class. She recommends that the project be manageable for both the faculty and students.

Additionally, Melonie finds some people question their ability to include research projects within the course subject matter. However, she believes that systematic research can take many forms and, with proper guidance, all disciplines can design a successful research plan. That’s where the faculty development courses can help.

If you’re interested in incorporating undergraduate research into your teaching (or you want to learn more about how to create a Faculty Incentive Plan related to research), explore the faculty development courses offered this fall. For course descriptions and to register, click each of the links.

LCTS6317: Introduction to Creating Undergraduate Research Experiences 
Dates: Friday, October 4 – Friday, October 11, 2019

  • Friday, October 4, 2019: Online
  • Friday, October 11, 2019: Face-to-face session, 9 – 11 a.m., Osceola Campus, Building 4, Room 306

LCTS6417: Creating an Embedded Undergraduate Research Experience
Dates: Friday, October 18 – Friday, November 8, 2019

  • Friday, October 18, 2019: Face-to-face session, 1 – 3 p.m., Osceola Campus, Building 4, Room 306
  • Friday, November 1, 2019: Face-to-face session, 1 – 3 p.m., Osceola Campus, Building 4, Room 306

After completing LCTS6417, you may submit paperwork to have your course designated as a research-embedded class. With this designation, there will be a special note in Banner (RSCH) labeling these classes as a part of our Undergraduate Research Program. When students enroll in classes, they will see a note in Atlas explaining that the course has a research requirement.

The Undergraduate Research Showcase for the fall term will take place Friday, December 6, 2019, from 1 – 3 p.m. on West Campus in the Building 11 Atrium. We will start accepting applications in early October.

If you are interested in learning more about the College’s research opportunities, please contact Melonie at UR@valenciacollege.edu or visit the program’s webpage.

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