Undergraduate Science Education Grants to Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (2012)

California State University-Fullerton

The overarching goal of the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) HHMI Research Scholars Program is to promote and encourage the flow of undergraduates from diverse populations into science careers as leading researchers and teachers, by identifying, developing, and preparing those with exceptional potential, and particularly those underrepresented in STEM disciplines and/or with educational or financial disadvantages.

Long-term expected outcomes are to produce the following:
More leading researchers in STEM with Ph.D.s, M.D.-Ph.D.s, and other professional or Ph.D.-linked degrees
More leading science teachers for K-12 and community colleges (CCs)
Increased numbers of individuals from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds entering STEM careers in the workforce.

This translates into the following short-term objectives:
- Recruiting, interesting, and/or developing increased numbers of capable students (high school and college) to become majors in STEM who go into STEM careers
- Producing more high-caliber graduates who enter Ph.D., M.D.-Ph.D. and analogous programs with the intention of engaging in research careers in STEM disciplines and becoming leaders in their fields
- Producing more high-caliber graduates who become credentialed as science teachers

Objectives and outcomes shall be achieved through interactions of CSUF undergraduates, CC undergraduates, high school students, and high school science teachers in an integrated three-part program (a potential model for these objectives) composed of the following:
- A two-year intensive Undergraduate Research Scholars (URSs) program for CSUF undergraduates (UGs) of exceptional potential, involving in-depth faculty-mentored research, developmental workshops and seminars and other preparatory activities to promote entry into doctoral programs, additionally enriched by the inclusion of some M.S. students whose life experience and convictions are expected to support and ease the pathway of UGs into doctoral studies but that also exploits an extra pool of talented underrepresented minority individuals
- Summer research experiences (SREs), in which beginning undergraduates from CSUF and four linked CCs spend 10 weeks, and cohorts of two high school students and one high school science teacher spend five weeks doing actual research in individual faculty laboratories
- Weekend research experiences (WREs) for beginning CC and CSUF undergraduates, as well as high school students and science teachers, who carry out multifaceted experiments on a faculty research question over one weekend, then putting together and presenting the results on the following Saturday
- Opportunities for URS and SRE undergraduates to give a mentored lesson on their research to high school students; and/or to assist in supervising short-term research experiences at CSUF and CCs.

Success of programs shall be assessed by external and internal experts to provide formative and summative evaluations of the different program components, allowing immediate attention to be paid to items and issues needing improvement and to accumulate evidence relating to program objectives and outcomes. The external evaluator will provide reports on a semiannual basis.

Strategies to assess the outcomes and impacts of our program will employ both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and shall include annual participant and alumni online surveys; pre- and post-HHMI experience self- and mentor assessments; SURE Preflection, SURE, Scientific Attitude Inventory (SAI) II, and Biology Concept Inventory tests; interviews with external evaluators; data obtained from CSUF-HHMI program application documents, science teacher credential enrollments, and the Noyce Teaching as a Primary Profession (TaPP) Scholarship program.

For More Information

Maria Linder, Ph.D.
California State University-Fullerton
Chemistry and Biochemistry
800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831-3547


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