NSF Community Colleges Initiative

Developing Undergraduate Research at Community Colleges: Tapping the Potential of All Students

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) in collaboration with the National Council of Institutional Administrators (NCIA) received a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (NSF-CCLI) program to build a foundation of knowledge and the resources upon which a vision of undergraduate research at community colleges can be constructed by providing workshops for community colleges considering or just beginning undergraduate research programs, employing expert presenters to help participants plan changes at their institutions and address implementation issues.

The campus workshops were the cornerstones of this grant. The workshops were designed to assist community colleges to develop effective and sustainable undergraduate research programs. The workshop curriculum was developed to take into account the specific needs and characteristics of community colleges including setting a mission that emphasizes teaching over research, five course teaching loads, commuter students who may have full-time jobs and families, and the career preparation and transfer needs of students. Integration of undergraduate research experiences into the curriculum is a powerful way to introduce community college students to undergraduate research and will be a major component of the workshop curriculum. Articulation and funding were also be workshop topics.

Conference Dates:

October 1-3, 2010Malcolm X CollegeChicago, IL
November 5-6, 2010Southern Maine Community CollegeSouth Portland, ME
November 18-20, 2010Eastview Campus–Austin Community CollegeAustin, TX
February 4-6, 2011Mesa Community CollegePhoenix, AZ
March 4-6, 2011Jefferson State Community CollegeBirmingham, AL
April 1-3, 2011Edmonds Community CollegeLynnwood, WA
September 24-26, 2011Rural Community College AllianceOklahoma City, OK
October 7-9, 2011North Hennepin Community CollegeNorth Brooklyn Park, MN
November 18-20, 2011J. Sargeant Reynolds Community CollegeRichmond, VA
February 3-5, 2012Irvine Valley Community CollegeIrvine, CA
March 2-4, 2012Queensborough Community CollegeNew York City, NY
April 27-29, 2012Johnson County Community CollegeKansas City, KS

Participant Materials and Models:

A Model for the Implementation and Engagement of Independent Research by Community College Students

NSF’s Division of Undergraduate Education: Opportunities for Community Colleges (PowerPoint)

Undergraduate Research Program at a Community College