Broadening participation in biology education research: Engaging community college students and faculty

Jeffrey N. Schinske, Virginia L. Balke, M. Gita Bangera, Kevin M. Bonney, Sara Brownell, Robert S. Carter, Douglas Curran-Everett, Erin L. Dolan, Samantha L. Elliott, Linnea Fletcher, Beatriz Gonzalez, Joseph J. Gorga, James A. Hewlett, Stacey L. Kiser, Jenny L. McFarland, Anjali Misra, Apryl Nenortas, Smith M. Ngeve, Pamela A. Pape-Lindstrom, Shannon B. SeidelMatthew C. Tuthill, Yue Yin, Lisa A. Corwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Nearly half of all undergraduates are enrolled at community colleges (CCs), including the majority of U.S. students who represent groups underserved in the sciences. Yet only a small minority of studies published in discipline-based education research journals address CC biology students, faculty, courses, or authors. This marked underrepresentation of CC biology education research (BER) limits the availability of evidence that could be used to increase CC student success in biology programs. To address this issue, a diverse group of stakeholders convened at the Building Capacity for Biology Education Research at Community Colleges meeting to discuss how to increase the prevalence of CC BER and foster participation of CC faculty as BER collaborators and authors. The group identified characteristics of CCs that make them excellent environments for studying biology teaching and learning, including student diversity and institutional cultures that prioritize teaching, learning, and assessment. The group also identified constraints likely to impede BER at CCs: limited time, resources, support, and incentives, as well as misalignment between doing research and CC faculty identities as teachers. The meeting culminated with proposing strategies for faculty, administrators, journal editors, scientific societies, and funding agencies to better support CC BER.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCBE life sciences education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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