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McLennan Community College Undergraduate Research The Biology Program and the Highlander Undergraduate Research Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "McLennan Community College Undergraduate Research The Biology Program and the Highlander Undergraduate Research Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 McLennan Community College Undergraduate Research The Biology Program and the Highlander Undergraduate Research Institute

2 Undergraduate Research in Biology: Geared toward majors - to build skills/ leverage research to compete: competitive universities and programs internships jobs in research labs at transfer Method: Resume Building provided by UR

3 Research Structure: I. Tap into innate curiosity (Embedded research) and encourage follow-through II. Recruit into in-depth research courses III. Adapt Research Courses: “Layer” research courses to maximize skills and depth of knowledge

4 I.Tap into innate curiosity – Student driven research – Start at the beginning! Embedded in General Biology I – 2 research projects: One Known; One Novel

5 1).Looked at our labs in new ways: Took old labs, Gave them a “twist” The “Apollo 13” Lab: How could students figure this out on their own?

6 2).Novel Research 2D:4D Finger ratios More confident; ready to strike out on their own! Why novel? Intense Interest and Learning with Curiosity

7 Layering: Pilot Studies Embedded Research in General Biology II Semester-long, novel team research project Organismal Biological research Design a scientific poster Present at MCC Scholar Day

8 II. Layering: Recruit to in-depth research courses Why the need to recruit? 1. Students don’t understand why its important for them: Medical school?… “I don’t have time for “Marine research..” 2. Students think this is for someone else think they’re not capable of this… Don’t see themselves in this “advanced” role

9 Who would you accept into your competitive program or university? __________________________________ John Smith Dallas, Texas Education: “Other” Community College GPA: 3.9 Honors: Phi Theta Kappa Dean’s list: Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013 Rice Scholarship, Work Experience: County Farmer’s Market – sales, present

10 Emily Rogers Education: McLennan Community College GPA: 3.7 Honors: Phi Theta Kappa Dean’s List: Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014 Posters Presented: A Comparison of Parrotfish Populations in Coral Reef Systems of Roatan, Honduras - The Effect of Nearby Mangroves. McLennan Community College - Scholar Day, Waco, Texas. November, A Comparison of Parrotfish Populations in Coral Reef Systems of Roatan, Honduras - The Effect of Nearby Mangroves. Community College Undergraduate Research Institute (CCURI) Regional Colloquium - Phoenix, AZ. February A Comparison of Parrotfish Populations in Coral Reef Systems of Roatan, Honduras - The Effect of Nearby Mangroves. Texas Academy of Science - Annual Meeting, Galveston, Texas. March Algal coverage – the Effect of Nearby Mangroves on Roatan Coral Reefs. Texas Academy of Science - Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas. March Algal coverage – the Effect of Nearby Mangroves on Roatan Coral Reefs. National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) Lexington, KY April Algal coverage – the Effect of Nearby Mangroves on Roatan Coral Reefs. Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative - Regional Colloquium. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. March 2014.

11 III. Adaptable Research Courses: “Layer” research courses to maximize skills and depth of knowledge Biology Academic Cooperative Flexible course ---In Texas must be listed ACGM

12 Adaptable Research Courses: Marine Research in the Caribbean

13 Molecular Research : The next layer! In-depth research - student driven Offered as research needs require it Recruit other (select) student researchers This accomplishes 3 things: Student researcher has a team - to enhance timely completion Other students learn valuable molecular techniques Research Mentor is PAID!! (6 or more = full research class!)

14 Challenge to adaptable/in-depth research courses : 1. Extended time/intense course demands of science majors/ schedule conflicts 2. Summer: No funding for classes SOLUTION: “Flex start course” – pay with their spring course load (Can use Pell grants in spring semester) Meets one evening/week (Marine): Flexible lab time (Molecular) front-load background informationStudents pick their afternoon develop projects After spring semester: Field research begins

15 Challenges to adaptable courses : I. Mentor background : “You want to study Naegleria in Lake Waco?” A. Adaptable Approach: Team-based approach to challenges “Steer”/direct B. Seek help!! Colleagues, adjuncts, partner universities – a wealth of knowledge!

16 Major Challenges Encountered – UR at Community Colleges Lab Space: Classroom labs all in use Repurpose rooms - storage/prep labs (Seek administrative support first!)

17 Major Challenges Encountered – UR at Community Colleges TIME!! Physical class demands - stay the same (6 hrs/day in class, PLUS research demands, new courses) To organize, research, supplies, orders, packing, permits Editing, poster printing, presentation practice, more editing Recruiting Overseeing student submissions to HURI (funding), conferences Travel forms for the Business office… Receipts Increased letters of recommendation!!

18 Solution: ????????????????????????????? Research Assistants from work study, student workers New approaches (Ongoing) Use collegiate model for coaches - already in place HURI – Full-time Director and support staff …… I’ll get back to you!!

19 Major Challenges Encountered – UR at Community Colleges Money (Sustainability) For students projects and travel Crucial for Professional Resume Building!! (Otherwise just another “course”) Solution: The Highlander Undergraduate Research Institute (HURI)

20 HURI Timeline: Spring 2012: Idea from first CCURI development meeting HURI formation - follow college guidelines Summer 2012: HURI Open House – after MCC Foundation Dinner for Donators: Donors invited to showcased UR at MCC Science Building Fall 2012: HURI Committee Formed – included outside of STEM faculty Research Summit – Scheduled at night when Board of Directors met; formal invitation

21 Spring 2013: “CUR Dialogues” – Feb Jeff Selingo and others: challenges facing colleges – similar to newspapers in the 1990s How to make relevant/compete with online? Free courses? Consulted with “Power – Faculty” at MCC …. How to leverage? Consulted with CCURI for advice; approach with administrators Meeting with VP of instruction; Dean Arts and Sciences, Dept. Chair Explained UR as a tool that enabled MCC to stand apart from other schools – even big universities!! Argued need for project coordinator/ central office/Campus-wide UR/funding

22 Spring 2013: Board of Directors meeting – 5-6 students chosen to present their posters before the dinner and board meeting Captive audience - students impressed them!! Fall 2013: HURI Project Coordinator/Director - 3 hour course credit “release time” to oversee Funding granted by the board for research and presentation travel

23 Ongoing work: Full-time HURI Director Support staff to help faculty and students


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