9.3 Impacts of the National Weather Center Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 2:00 PM
308 (Washington State Convention Center )
Daphne LaDue, CAPS/Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and R. A. Wakefield and E. M. Murillo

The National Weather Center Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program invites 10-12 undergraduate students travel to Norman, Oklahoma, each year to participate in a 10-week research internship. This highly regarded, long-standing program certainly has elements that are unique to its setting in Norman, Oklahoma, but many aspects of the structure could be replicated in other programs. In order to better understand the elements contributing and taking away from a positive experience, a survey was developed. The authors spoke with selected past participants known to have had a mix of experiences in the program. These interviews and the resulting survey were informed by key, empirically derived constructs including Bandura’s self-efficacy, Wenger-Traynor’s latest writings on Communities of Practice, and Young’s research on the Imposter Syndrome. The resulting survey was sent to all 226 past participants of this program to better understand the impacts of various program elements. The topics included how REU influenced career choices; impacts of the cohort, both during and after the REU; impacts of mentoring and their relationship with their mentor; and the impacts of all activities beyond the research project itself. Question forms were mixed, with both multiple choice/Likert and open answer responses. The survey was fielded during July and August 2016 to include the 2016 cohort. Results will be analyzed through the fall and presented at the meeting.
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