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Westminster College New Wilmington, PA






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  • Established 1852Liberal Arts ~ 1600 Undergraduate Students41 Major Programs110 Full-time Faculty Members

Westminster College New Wilmington, PA Westminster College New Wilmington, PA Presentation Transcript

  • One Goal, Many Ways, to Support Undergraduate ResearchWestminster CollegeNew Wilmington, PA
    Sandra K. Webster
    Professor of Psychology
    Faculty Development Officer
    Terri Lenox
    Professor of Computer Science
    Director of Undergraduate Research
  • Westminster College Context
    Established 1852
    Liberal Arts
    ~ 1600 Undergraduate Students
    41 Major Programs
    110 Full-time Faculty Members
  • Evolution of Undergraduate Research Support Structures
  • Westminster College Capstone
    “The final component of Liberal Studies is a senior capstone course. The capstone is at least a four-semester-hour course within the major designed to provide an opportunity for students to evaluate and assess the strengths and limitations of their major field. Additionally, the capstone experience permits opportunity for structured reflection on the value of education in and beyond the major and provides another chance to strengthen communication and problem-solving skills.”
  • Objectives of Capstone For WC Capstone Courses
    Topical Theme
    Primary Readings in Discipline
    Tools of Research in the Discipline
    Teamwork on Case Studies
  • Timing of Capstone For WC Capstone Courses
    Senior Year
    Senior Year
    Junior Year
    Senior Year
    Senior Year
    Junior Year
    Senior Year
    Senior Year
    Senior Year
    Junior Year
  • Faculty Teaching Assignments For WC Capstone Courses
    Responsibility of single faculty member
    Rotated through the faculty
    Team taught
    Involves majority of department
  • Major ChallengesFor Westminster Capstone Courses
    Faculty workload issues
    Faculty preparation issues
    Presentation venues for student projects
    Early skills development for students
    Equipment and resources for student research
    No room in major curriculum for capstone because of content requirements
  • Major BenefitsFor WC Capstone Courses
    Students are more engaged, competent and independent.
    Faculty are motivated to keep up in the current scholarship and model research for students.
    Students are able to see how the research in the discipline relates to what they’ve learned inside and outside of their majors.
  • Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
    Undergraduate Research Support
    Annual undergraduate research symposium
    Undergraduate research grants
    Undergraduate travel awards
    Undergraduate research advisory council
    Coming in 2011 undergraduate research and arts celebration day
  • 6° of separation: One student’s story
  • Barbara McCandless, Prof. of Religion
    3 Westminster students scour the
    National Guard archives
    Drs. Tim & Carolyn Cuff
    Timothy Cuff, Assoc. Prof of History
    Clifford & Vira Heinz, Foundation
    KaitlynMcConville, Senior Math Major
  • Dr. Tim Cuff
    2 co-authors, 3 conferences, 6 students, 12,646 soldiers, and 1277 death certificates
  • KaitiMcConville -- Analyzing a Deficient Height Sample of Pennsylvanian National Guardsmen
    Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics, Jan. 29-31, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
    CUR Posters at the Capital – PA, March 23
    National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), April 15 – 18, University of Montana, Missoula
    Undergraduate Arts & Research Celebration, April 23 – 24, Westminster College
  • Outcomes
    Increase faculty involvement in CUR
    from 10 in 2008 to 25 in 2010
    Student increase student presentations at NCUR and other student conferences
    NCUR increased from 5 in 2007 to 14 in 2010
    Westminster conference from 60 in 2007 to +90 in 2009
    Increase visibility of undergraduate research
    195 travel awards in past 4 years
    52 research awards in past 4 years
    Strong positioning in the future strategic goals of the college through student engagement (experiential education)
    Increase Faculty Conference presentations involving undergraduate co-authors
    From 6 in Spring 2007 to 25 in Spring 2009
  • Thanks! & Additional Resources
    All disciplines are supported by these organizations (CUR and NCUR) have merged.
    CUR, Council on Undergraduate Research
    NCUR, National Conference on Undergraduate Research
    National Survey of Student Engagement
    For the Sciences
    NSF REU, Research Experiences for Undergraduates
    APA, American Psychological Association
    Psy Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research
    Society for the Teaching of Psychology E-Book, Developing, Promoting & Sustaining Undergraduate Research Experience in Psychology, R. L. Miller and R.F. Rycek (Eds.)
    Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience
    For more information about this presentation contact Sandra K. Webster at websters@westminster.edu