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Understanding How Undergraduate Research Experiences Influence Student Aspirations for Research Careers and Graduate Education

Source: Journal of College Science Teaching, 42(1), 82.

Author(s): Adedokun, O. A., Zhang, D., Parker, L. C., Bessenbacher, A., Childress, A., & Burgess, W. D.

Extant and emerging literature on undergraduate research experiences (UREs) focuses on the identification of their benefits to student participants. However, a notable limitation in these studies results from little or no examination of the processes through which UREs influence student career decisions and education aspirations. This study offers descriptions, drawn from an analysis of students’ reflective journals, of three processes through which UREs affected students’ educational and career aspirations. Through UREs, students increased their awareness of career options, clarified their career choices, and enhanced their professional credentials. Although we cannot make generalizations beyond the scope and context of this qualitative study, the data provide some insight into paths through which UREs influence students’ educational and career aspirations.

Reference Information

Adedokun, O. A., Zhang, D., Parker, L. C., Bessenbacher, A., Childress, A., & Burgess, W. D. (2012). Understanding how undergraduate research experiences influence student aspirations for research careers and graduate education. Journal of College Science Teaching, 42(1), 82.

https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ988883