Faculty Student Collaborations Foster Mentoring & Achievement
Whether it is to boost their resumes for employment or curricula vitae for graduate school, students who engage in faculty-student collaborative work through research, scholarship and other creative endeavors are taking their first steps to success.
But beyond the value of benefiting resumes and curricula vitae, these experiences offer students key learning opportunities.
A series of initiatives under an umbrella program called Undergraduate Research and Creative Studies (URSC), the focus is to provide students with learning-based opportunities for exploration and application. For students, the program offers diverse opportunities to enhance insights and competencies, as well as design individual projects that may be pursued as part of a credit-bearing URCS course.
They can participate in projects within their major areas of study or delve into related and even unrelated fields. URSC includes the social and physical sciences, arts and humanities, business, education and more. In some cases, the projects may include precise laboratory work as students and faculty probe complex scientific issues through research studies—the findings of which may later be published in scholarly journals and/or be presented at prestigious conferences.
Other projects may involve students and faculty collaborating in the creation of original work, which may be utilized for theatre productions, art shows, Conservatory programs or similar activities.
Students also may go off campus to engage in real-world studies—with topics ranging from developing violence intervention programs for elementary school students to identifying invertebrate species on a nature preserve. URCS offers opportunities year-round.
Through URCS, students can:
- Build competencies at the undergraduate level that sometimes can be likened to those gained at graduate school.
- Integrate classroom teaching with co-curricular activities as a way to build knowledge and skills.
- Utilize collaborative and collective approaches to learning that simulate real-world situations where teamwork can be crucial to success.
- Invigorate their studies by encouraging students to be motivated leaders who seek opportunities in college and then later in graduate school and in their careers.
- Clarify personal, professional and career goals by enabling them to sample tracks of study.
- Increase their level of self-reliance, confidence and skills.
- Foster ongoing opportunities for faculty-student mentoring—a relationship that can be beneficial as a student progresses through BW and then seeks employment or graduate school admittance.