First-year seminars as a venue for course-based undergraduate research experiences: A preliminary report

Ashley Vater, Katherine Dahlhausen, David A. Coil, Brittany N. Anderton, Christian S. Wirawan, Natalia Caporale, J. David Furlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Hands-on research provides insight into the process of science and has been linked to increased retention of students in STEM disciplines. While large research universities can provide valuable undergraduate research experiences in laboratories, most cannot accommodate all of the students seeking research apprenticeships. Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) offer a scalable solution to this problem by facilitating faculty-mentored student research on novel problems through the structure of unit-bearing classes. Yet, implementation of CUREs de novo in large-enrollment introductory courses can be challenging at both institutional and individual instructional levels. We investigated whether First-Year Seminars (FYS), small credit-bearing classes targeted at freshman and transfer students, which are common in large universities, could provide a venue for CUREs. We found that in association with taking these courses, students reported attitudinal gains linked to STEM persistence and that the FYSCURE participant body demographically represented the campus undergraduate population. Here, we describe the successful implementation of twenty-four CUREs spanning a diverse range of topics through the FYS program at a large research institution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Biology education research
  • Course-based undergraduate research experience
  • CURE
  • First-year seminar
  • Freshman seminar
  • Transfer seminar
  • Undergraduate research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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