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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Monfils, Anna [1], Linton, Deborah [2], Damer, Cynthia [2].

Pathways to Research in the Biological Sciences: A Course Facilitating Early Engagement in Faculty Mentored Research.

As part of an NSF-funded undergraduate mentoring and research program at Central Michigan University (CMU) called BUMP into Research at CMU, we have implemented a course called Pathways to Research in the Biological Sciences specifically designed to help freshman and sophomores navigate their college experience in preparation for careers in biological research. This new course has been taught three times with a total enrollment of 61 students. In the course, students were provided with tools to plan their undergraduate experience in biology, integrate into a research lab, excel as undergraduate researchers, identify career opportunities, and prepare for graduate school and/or future careers in biological research. Students were required to complete a checklist of activities that included attending a research seminar, interviewing someone in their chosen career, meeting with potential research mentors, meeting with academic and biology major advisors, and participating in a mock interview at Career Services. Guest speakers included people in nonacademic biological research careers, members of the Biology Department faculty, and students who had recently applied to graduate school or were in graduate school. Student assessment tools consisted of weekly journal reflections and a final portfolio, which included a course plan until graduation, a timeline to career, a curriculum vita, graduate school materials, and a final narrative. The class ended with a poster session where students presented their proposed career trajectories to friends, family, faculty, and administrators. Students were also given a pre- and post-class survey in which they were asked to rank statements of self-efficacy. By the end of the class all interested students had secured a position in a research laboratory. The data from the survey and other assessment tools indicated that students had a marked increase in self-efficacy, a clear perspective on career opportunities in biological research, and a realistic plan for their career pathway into biological research.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Central Michigan University, 180 Brooks Hall, Mount Pleasant, MI, 48859, USA
2 - Central Michigan University, Biology, 217 Brooks Hall, Mt. Pleasant, MI, 48859, USA


Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: P002
Abstract ID:512

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