2020 SOT Education-Career Development Session: A CURE for the Common Classroom

Education-Career Development Session: A CURE for the Common Classroom: Engaging Students and Faculty in Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences to Maximize Academic Success and Productivity

Chair(s): Larissa Williams, Bates College; and Joshua Gray, US Coast Guard Academy.

Primary Endorser: Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education Committee

Other Endorser(s): Committee on Diversity Initiatives; Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists Special Interest Group

On June 9, 2020, an SOT Virtual Annual Meeting Education-Career Development Session discussed research in science approached through novel questions with unknown answers. However, the way in which science has been historically taught at the undergraduate level is through cookbook labs with known and predictable methods and answers. Core competencies recommended by the 2011 report of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and National Science Foundation—Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action—have pushed educators to teach science in an authentic manner and expand research opportunities to a greater number of students. One model that has been widely adopted to meet these goals is that of Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE). These courses, the research experience and cultivation of science identity of which can be incorporated into new or existing courses, can span from the first year of study to the upper level. While these courses take a variety of forms, national assessment data have shown that CUREs increase content knowledge, analytical and technical skills, and persistence in science for all students, but especially for students underrepresented in STEM. In addition to student benefits of this model, faculty report increases in their own research productivity. This session reports CURE models from the first year of study to the upper level at both large research institutions and small undergraduate-only institutions and presents the benefits of this model to students and faculty alike.