Learning Through Research

Developing and Sustaining

Developing and Sustaining a Research-Supportive Curriculum: A Compendium of Successful Practices

Edited by Kerry K. Karukstis, Professor of Chemistry, Harvey Mudd College and Timothy E. Elgren, Professor of Chemistry, Hamilton College
Official Release Date: February 21, 2007

Successful Practices in Undergraduate Research: A path to innovation and competitiveness

The Council on Undergraduate Research is pleased to announce a new publication designed to share successful practices that enable faculty and institutions to design, implement, and sustain a research-supportive curriculum. The volume focuses on three broad areas: curricular elements and teaching and learning strategies that develop critical research skills, curricular infrastructure that enhances a research-supportive curriculum, and administrative contributions that initiate and sustain a research-supportive curriculum. Authors across disciplines and from a variety of types of institutions have contributed over 30 chapters and 50 "highlights" describing curricular approaches, methods and techniques developed for their courses and programs of study to enhance the research experience of stude3nts and the research culture of their institutions. Topics include curricular a approaches to build research skills such as inquiry-based laboratories and interdisciplinary courses and programs. institutional infrastructure and assessment practices that promote a research-supportive curriculum, and the role of the faculty and the administration in nurturing a curriculum to support a research culture. Specific examples of known practices at particular institutions are included in each chapter.
This compendium of successful curricular and institutional practices to develop critical research skills emphasized the importance of the collective efforts of the undergraduate community to integrate research and education. By collecting and disseminating a variety of mechanisms that are effective means of creating a research-supportive undergraduate curriculum, the Council on Undergraduate Research aims to encourage faculty and institutions to continue to seek creative, useful, and significant ways to promote "learning through research".
"Cultivating a passion for learning should remain a first priority at all levels of education. The great physicist I. I. Rabi said that when he was a little boy, his mother would ask him " Did you ask any good questions at school today?" Involving undergraduates in research and preparing them for these research experiences by engaging them in the types of activities described in these chapters ultimately helps them develop the ability to "ask good questions". These are the questions that will lead to the next frontiers of science. Developing these leaders is a strategic initiative of the highest priority for our Nation."
Congressman Sherwood Boehlert
Chairman of the house Science and Technology Committee
"In this era of globalization, understanding what it means to create new knowledge should be a core competency for today's college student. This fine collection of exemplars and perspectives assembled by the Council on Undergraduate Research will inspire students, instructors, and administrators to develop and test new curricular models that can build our national capacity for research and innovation."
Arthur B. Ellis
Vice Chancellor for Research
University of California, San Diego
"The engagement of undergraduate students in research promotes the strongest form of curriculum, but also how programs can be built, sustained, and scaled to new levels. This new book by CUR goes a long way in helping institutions to develop a roadmap for success in making undergraduate research an integral part of the research and educational expectations for students and faculty alike."
James M. Gentile, Ph.D.
President, Research Corporation