1st Edition

Undergraduate Research at Community Colleges Equity, Discovery, and Innovation

By Nancy H. Hensel Copyright 2021
    252 Pages
    by Routledge

    252 Pages
    by Routledge

    Co-published with the Council on Undergraduate ResearchThis book highlights the exciting work of two-year colleges to prepare students for their future careers through engagement in undergraduate research. It emerged from work in five community college systems thanks to two National Science Foundation grants the Council for Undergraduate Research received to support community colleges’ efforts to establish undergraduate research programs. Chapters one, two, and three provide background information about community colleges, undergraduate research, and the systems the author worked with: California, City University of New York, Maricopa Community College District - Arizona, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Chapter four examines success strategies. The next five chapters look at five approaches to undergraduate research: basic/applied, course-based, community-based, interdisciplinary, and partnership research. Chapters ten, eleven and twelve discuss ways to assess and evaluate undergraduate research experiences, inclusive pedagogy, and ways to advance undergraduate research.Today there are 942 public community colleges in the United States, providing affordable access to 6.8 million students who enrolled for credit in one of the public two-year institutions in the United States. Students are more prepared for the next step in their education or careers after participating in quality UR experiences.

    Foreword Preface Acknowledgments Part One. Background1. Access Equity 2. Undergraduate Research at Community Colleges 3. Overview of Five Systems 4. Ensuring Student OpportunitiesPart Two. Examples of Undergraduate Research5. Basic Research and Applied Research 6. Course-Based Research and Educational Equity 7. Community-Based Research 8. Interdisciplinary Research 9. Community College Partnerships Part Three. Next Steps10. Inclusive Pedagogy 11. Assessing Undergraduate Research 12. Advancing Undergraduate ResearchReferences About the Author Index


    Nancy Hensel has been a faculty member, Dean, Provost, and University President. She served as Executive Officer of the Council of Undergraduate Research for seven years. In that role she served as Co-PI for several National Science Foundation grants to assist colleges in developing undergraduate research programs. She has written or edited a variety of books about undergraduate research, including Course-Based Undergraduate Research (Stylus, 2018); Transformative Research at Predominately Undergraduate Institutions with Kerry K. Karukstis (CUR, 2007) and Faculty Support and Undergraduate Research: Innovations in Faculty Role Definition, Workload, and Reward with Elizabeth L. Paul (CUR, 2012) She co-edited two monographs on undergraduate research that specifically address student research at community colleges. She also has given many speeches on undergraduate research and is a recognized national and international leader on this topic.

    “The transformative power of an undergraduate research experience has been well documented, and colleges and universities continue to explore opportunities to scale the experience in order to broaden participation for their students. The capacity to achieve greater participation has grown in recent years as a result of the expanding role of community colleges. With her decades of experience in higher education, Hensel provides her thoughtful and comprehensive perspectives on the state of undergraduate research at our nation’s community colleges. This is a must-read for community college faculty and administrators committed to adopting this high impact practice on their campuses.”

    James A. Hewlett

    Executive Director, Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative

    “The Council on Undergraduate Research and Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative collaborated with community colleges to expand opportunities for students to participate in undergraduate research as part of their 2-year college experience. This important book provides a wealth of excellent examples of transformative undergraduate research practices and describes their impact on the wide diversity of students who attend community colleges before they transfer to four-year institutions, enter the workplace, or both. I highly recommend it as it will inspire readers to develop creative course-based, community-based, basic and other research programs of their own.”

    Elizabeth J. Teles

    Retired ATE/NSF Colead and Community College Mathematics Faculty

    “This is an invaluable resource for faculty, college leaders, and even policymakers who want to see community college students gain opportunities for a richer education and better career outcomes. Nancy Hensel has made a compelling case for community colleges to embrace undergraduate research, and this book is full of inspiring examples of authentic opportunities for students to research topics ranging from the needs of student veterans to the behaviors of birds, rattlesnakes, and other fauna found on campuses across the country.”

    Marcella Bombardieri

    Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

    “This book is loaded with invitations to use and develop new strategies and tactics for teaching with research in all settings, but especially community colleges. It offers examples from multiple disciplines, embracing core concepts in student development, student learning, and course-based undergraduate research. At a time when community colleges are poised to become even more important in higher education this book adeptly addresses innovation and equity in education.”

    Julio C. Rivera

    William B. Yersin Professor of Applied Business Analytics, Carroll University