Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Science and Mathematics Education
Carleitta Paige-Anderson - Virginia Union University
Co-Author(s): Vernon Ruffin, Virginia Union University, Richmond, VA
The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. The project at Virginia Union University (VUU) seeks to develop and implement course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) in the biology education curriculum, provide access to scientific research experiences for undergraduate students and increase the research capacity of faculty in the biological sciences. The proposed program is a strategy for increasing the capacity of VUU to produce more STEM graduates who are competitive for graduate school and STEM careers. It is anticipated that this program will enhance the quality of STEM education at VUU, leading to the formation of a new research-intensive academic curriculum. The goals of the project are to increase the number of competitive VUU biology graduates entering STEM graduate programs and/or workforce, as well as the faculty capacity for conducting STEM research at a small, liberal arts HBCU. These goals will be accomplished through the following specific objectives: (1) increase biology student exposure and competency in laboratory-based technological advances that are most relevant to graduate training and/or the scientific workforce; (2) increase student engagement in formal basic science training and independent research experiences; and (3) enhance faculty discipline-specific expertise and increase the capacity to conduct scientific research. A 3-pronged approach will be used to fulfill these objectives: 1) develop and implement course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) in the biology education curriculum; 2) implement a set of extracurricular activities targeting key aspects of faculty and student research development needs; and 3) implement an Undergraduate Research Certificate Program in the biological sciences.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF-Targeted Infusion Project
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,