Undergraduate research is a vital component of a liberal arts education. Liberal arts institutions strive to instill in students a curiosity about the world around them. They also endeavor to foster their students' skills of creative and critical thinking; expressive, thoughtful, and compelling communication; and ability to employ evidence to answer broad and meaningful questions.
The colleges of the ACM are among national leaders in advancing both the role of undergraduate research and the ways in which research experiences help to meet the goals of a liberal arts education. The member institutions are perpetually engaged in questions surrounding how to nurture, support, and conduct research involving students working for and alongside faculty as well as student-directed research.
Through a variety of innovative projects on single campuses and across campuses, ACM faculty have contemplated the overarching questions about how liberals arts campuses structure an undergraduate research program. They have also created new models for undergraduate research.
These collaborative projects have:
- demonstrated that collaborations enhance students' experiences;
- lead to innovation across campuses through the sharing of ideas and models; and
- renewed faculty commitment to the importance of undergraduate research in the liberal arts mission.
The projects linked below exemplify innovative ideas about how to work with and alongside students and how to develop research collaborations across campuses. They also highlight challenges inherent in providing a comprehensive program for undergraduate research.
Relevant FaCE Projects
- A Collaborative Scholarship Model for Liberal Arts Colleges: Applications for the Psychology of Forgiveness (Fall 2010)
- The Dhiban Excavation and Development Project: Paleolandscape Assessment (Spring 2009)
- Fostering Best Practices in Mentoring Advanced Undergraduate Research (Spring 2010)
- Learning Together: A Ripon College Archaeometry Working Group on Teaching and Research (Fall 2008)
- Mediating Shifting Identities: A Multi-Year Collaborative New Media ethnography of Individuals Transitioning to and from Ultra Orthodox Jewish Identities (Fall 2010)
- Protecting Human Subjects in Student Inquiry Projects: Addressing the Educational, Ethical, and Legal Obligations of Liberal Arts Institutions (Spring 2011)
- Resource Wars, Popular Movements, and Gender Dynamics in Bolivia and Ecuador (Spring 2008)
- Zen Stories for Today: A Collaborative Model of Research Mentorship (Fall 2010)