Undergraduate Research Projects

According to the American Association of Colleges & Universities (2007), Undergraduate Research is included in a set of verifiable, effective educational practices that are correlated with positive educational results for students from widely varying backgrounds (see “High-Impact Educational Practices: A Brief Overview,”, pp.9-11). In connection with the AAC&U essential learning outcomes, Undergraduate Research fosters broad knowledge of human cultures and the natural world, strengthens intellectual and practical skills, and it is a practice of interactive and applied learning.

At Mesa Community College, Undergraduate Research (UGR) experiences occur in all disciplines. MCC’s HSI-STEM: Guided Pathways Enhancement Project aims to increase faculty and student engagement with undergraduate research as a way to increase student persistence, successful completion, graduation, and transfer. The HSI-STEM grant supports two types of Undergraduate Research: Special Projects (faculty-student mentoring) and Classroom-Based Research Projects. Grant funds are available for

  • research materials,
  • faculty development projects including faculty-faculty project development mentorship,
  • faculty community of practice participation,
  • tuition for grant-eligible students to enroll into UGR special projects courses,
  • hourly wages for grant-eligible students completing UGR special projects, and
  • grant-eligible student and faculty travel funds for symposium awards.

Faculty Undergraduate Research Development Projects

Funded projects require a full academic year commitment.

Fall Term

  1. Complete the MCC Undergraduate Research online training course.
  2. Determine if you will develop a special project or classroom-based project.
  3. Complete the UGR faculty development project application.
  4. Meet regularly with your assigned mentor and develop a project.
  5. Share the project plan with your department.
  6. Earn a $1500 one-time payment (equivalent to ~1.5 load hours).

Spring Term

  1. Special Projects ONLY: Identify students to enroll into the special projects course (Z formula funding applies).
  2. Implement the UGR project.
  3. Participate in UGR community of practice meetings to discuss projects and develop together.
  4. Earn a $250 one-time payment (equivalent to ~.25 load hours).

Funded by a U.S. Department of Education Title III HSI-STEM grant.