45th Annual Conference of the American Society for Cell Biology
San Francisco, CA
Undergraduate research, biology
Cedarville University is a primarily undergraduate institution located in Southwest Ohio. Cedarville has always been committed to excellence in teaching, and our focus is on mentoring undergraduate students in order to ensure their future success. However, we realize that the research experience is a critical part of “learning science”.
Several years ago, the biology faculty at Cedarville University decided to make a one-semester course in undergraduate research a mandatory component of the BS degree in biology. Research remains a popular elective choice for the BA degree in biology, as well as the biology education degree.
Our aim in requiring research was twofold:
1. To help students learn the scientific method by putting it into practice while solving an original research problem.
2. To help students gain necessary marketable skills which would facilitate entry into either graduate/professional school or the industry position of their choice.
Additional goals we had in mind included the following:
• Inquiry-based learning
• Learning new techniques
• Learning the value of perseverance in research
• Falsifying hypotheses
• Working as a member of a team
Kuruvilla, H. G., Schaffner, A. E., Phipps, B. E. Requiring undergraduate research for a B.S. degree in biology: Does it do any good? Mol. Biol. Cell 16 (supplement), abstract # 1654. Presented at the 45th Annual ASCB Conference, December, 2005.