1st Edition

Transforming Academic Culture and Curriculum Integrating and Scaffolding Research Throughout Undergraduate Education

    282 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    282 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Institutions across the higher education landscape vary, and each navigates change in its own way. This volume describes how institutions and departments influence the success of structural and cultural transformations to advance curricular reform.

    A product of the Council on Undergraduate Research Transformations project, a six-year, longitudinal research study funded by the United States National Science Foundation, this text features the goals, strategies, and outcomes that evolved from the experiences at 12 diverse colleges and universities in creating innovative undergraduate curricula and campus cultures that maximize student success. With the goal of achieving departmental transformations in both student learning and academic culture – by backward-designing and scaffolding research into and across undergraduate curricula – editors include scholarly findings, step-by-step guides, and a toolkit section, with plentiful online resources, to help readers develop and execute personalized change processes on their own campuses.

    Designed to span both theory and practice for departments and institutions to transform undergraduate education to increase student success, this book is vital for all higher education scholars, practitioners, faculty, staff, and leaders interested in creating research-rich curricula and change more broadly.

    Visit the Council on Undergraduate Research website here: https://www.cur.org/. 

    Part I: Dimensions of Transformation in Undergraduate Education

    1. Undergraduate Research as a Key Element of Institutional Transformation

    Elizabeth L. Ambos, Kerry K. Karukstis, Jillian L. Kinzie, Mitchell R. Malachowski, Jeffrey M. Osborn

    2. Transforming Culture

    Mitchell R. Malachowski, Janet A. Morrison

    3. Transforming Curriculum

    Kerry K. Karukstis

    4. Transformation Through a Disciplinary Lens

    Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, Sherell K. Byrd, C. Gary Reiness, Kimberley A. Frederick, Bert E. Holmes, Scott C. Bates, Beth A. Cunningham, Michael Jackson, Caroline K. Quenemoen, Christine A. Wooley

    5. Transformation Through Research on Student and Faculty Success

    Jillian L. Kinzie, Susan J. Larson

    6. Transformation Through Institutional Agency

    Jeffrey M. Osborn, John F. Barthell, Elizabeth Eich, Rosalie A. Richards, Roger S. Rowlett

    7. Theory of Change

    Elizabeth L. Ambos

    8. Advancing Transformative Work

    Elizabeth L. Ambos, Kerry K. Karukstis, Jillian L. Kinzie, Mitchell R. Malachowski, Jeffrey M. Osborn

    Part II: Toolkit: Creating Undergraduate Research-Centric Departments — Practical Tools and Techniques to Transform Curriculum and Culture

    9. Introduction to the Purpose and Organization of the Toolkit

    Mitchell R. Malachowski, Elizabeth L. Ambos, Kerry K. Karukstis, Jillian L. Kinzie, Jeffrey M. Osborn

    10. How Do We Know We Are Ready for Comprehensive Change? How Do We Frame Our Vision and Goals?

    Amelia J. Ahern-Rindell, Elizabeth L. Ambos

    11. Ok, We Are Ready to Transform! What Steps Do We Take, Why, and When?

    Scott T. Cooper, Kerry K. Karukstis

    12. How Do We Know If We Are Making Progress?

    Gerardo M. Gonzalez, Jeffrey M. Osborn, Jillian L. Kinzie

    Appendix Overview of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Transformations Project

    Jeffrey M. Osborn, Elizabeth L. Ambos, Kerry K. Karukstis, Jillian L. Kinzie, Mitchell R. Malachowski


    Mitchell R. Malachowski is Professor of Chemistry at the University of San Diego, USA. He is a Past President of CUR and is heavily invested in assisting institutions in building excellent undergraduate research programs. He was the 2014 CASE Carnegie Foundation California Professor of the Year and is a CUR Fellow.

    Elizabeth L. Ambos served as CUR’s Executive Officer in Washington, D.C. from 2012 to 2019. She has held academic administrative positions and faculty status in the California State University system, USA and is a co-author of The Cambridge Handbook of Undergraduate Research (2022).

    Kerry K. Karukstis is the Ray and Mary Ingwersen Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at Harvey Mudd College, USA. She received the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution, is a Past President of CUR, a Past Chair of the ACS Committee on Professional Training, and is an ACS Fellow and CUR Fellow.

    Jillian L. Kinzie is Associate Director, National Survey of Student Engagement at the Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University Bloomington, USA. She is a co-author of Delivering on the Promise of High-Impact Practices (2022).

    Jeffrey M. Osborn is former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and is Professor of Biology at The College of New Jersey, USA. He is a Past President of CUR and is an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, a CUR Fellow, and an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Botany.

    Transforming Academic Culture and Curriculum is a comprehensive guide for any faculty and academic administrators interested in enhancing the college curriculum to be more inquiry based and actively involve students as knowledge creators. By addressing this shift as a culture change, using backward design and change agency skills, engaging disciplinary contexts and rich assessment practices, the contributors help leaders see the needed steps to create sustainable and deep change. Case examples pulled from across their research study make the work tangible in various campus and departmental settings. Importantly, they make the case that building research into undergraduate education is an equity imperative to make such experiences available to all.”

    Adrianna Kezar, Director of the Pullias Center and Professor at the University of Southern California

    “Undergraduate research allows students to develop skills necessary to address the challenges of the 21st century. Rather than reserve this opportunity for a select few, the Council on Undergraduate Research Transformations project rightly urges universities to scaffold research into curricula in order to provide access to this high-impact educational practice at scale. By transforming approaches to faculty development and collaboration, Rice University’s participating departments created curricula that exemplify our dual commitments to research and teaching.”

    Reginald DesRoches, Rice University President, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering

    “I am deeply impressed. This is a most welcome and indispensable book. First, it seeks to make the undergraduate research experience accessible to all students. Or, as the book puts it: "scaffolding is equity." If undergraduate research opportunities remain optional and highly selective, the very students who could benefit most will continue to be excluded. Second, the editors have succeeded in combining insightful case studies with extensive knowledge about change management on the one hand, and a highly practical and proven toolkit on the other. This book is a treasure for universities, faculty members, consultants, and anyone endeavoring to make higher education fit for the future.”

    Harald A. Mieg, (Honorary) Professor of Metropolitan Studies and Innovation at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

    “This book offers one of the most comprehensive accounts of what it means to reform STEM higher education. Drawing upon the wisdom of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) community, the editors foreground the importance of undergraduate research and provide the reader with a brilliant, rich picture of institutional change. Academic faculty, staff, and administrators from all disciplines, not just STEM, will find this book tremendously useful. I certainly have.”

    Kelly Mack, Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education and Executive Director of Project Kaleidoscope of the American Association of Colleges & Universities

    “This book is an incredible read, examining a project that had a profound impact at the University of Arizona and helped in creating sustainable curricular and cultural change. This is outstanding work, and I am so proud to see undergraduate research being highlighted in this way. Our students are here not just for classes but to gain hands-on experience in their fields, and they have real-world impact with their research. This book is something everyone who works in academia should read.”

    Robert C. Robbins, President of the University of Arizona

    “This timely work vividly highlights meaningful changes within undergraduate research-focused curricula and describes the varying focuses, processes, and outcomes of the Council on Undergraduate Research Transformations project. Readers will discover essential ‘how to’ strategies, developed and implemented with transformative results by programs in chemistry/biochemistry and psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and other institutions that can be used at their institutions with equal success.”

    Tuajuanda C. Jordan, President of St. Mary’s College of Maryland

    “Centering research experiences in undergraduate education can powerfully engage both students and faculty. Transforming Academic Culture and Curriculum documents outcomes of the Council on Undergraduate Research Transformations project and provides an invaluable toolkit to help departments and institutions implement authentic research experiences for undergraduates. A valuable resource for anyone seeking to accelerate the development of a research-centered undergraduate curriculum.”

    Emily R. Miller, Deputy Vice President for Institutional Policy of the Association of American Universities