An exploration across institution types of undergraduate life sciences student decisions to stay in or leave an academic-year research experience

Logan E. Gin, Carolyn E. Clark, Deanna B. Elliott, Travis B. Roderick, Rachel A. Scott, Denisse Arellano, Diana Ramirez, Cindy Vargas, Kimberly Velarde, Allyson Aeschliman, Sarah T. Avalle, Jessica Berkheimer, Rachel Campos, Michael Gerbasi, Sophia Hughes, Julie A. Roberts, Quinn M. White, Ehren Wittekind, Yi Zheng, Katelyn M. CooperSara E. Brownell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Undergraduate research is one of the most valuable activities an undergraduate can engage in because of its benefits, and studies have shown that longer experiences are more beneficial. However, prior research has illuminated that undergraduates encounter challenges that may cause them to exit research prematurely. These studies have been almost exclusively conducted at research-intensive (R1) institutions, and it is unclear whether such challenges are generalizable to other institution types. To address this, we extended a study previously conducted at public R1 institutions. In the current study, we analyze data from 1262 students across 25 public R1s, 12 private R1s, 30 master’s-granting institutions, and 20 primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) to assess 1) to what extent institution type predicts students’ decisions to persist in undergraduate research and 2) what factors affect students’ decisions to either stay in or consider leaving their undergraduate research experiences (UREs) at different institution types. We found students at public R1s are more likely to leave their UREs compared with students at master’s-granting institutions and PUIs. However, there are few differences in why students enrolled at different institution types consider leaving or choose to stay in their UREs. This work highlights the importance of studying undergraduate research across institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberar47
JournalCBE life sciences education
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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