TEAGLE FOUNDATION PROJECT
Under the terms of the Teagle Foundation grant, eleven COPLAC campuses will design, implement and evaluate a two-year pilot project for "high impact" faculty-mentored undergraduate research at the consortium level. Specifically, the consortium seeks to enhance student learning by sharing disciplinary expertise across campuses in a 'distance' mode and re-envision faculty work and encourage institutional efficiencies at predominantly undergraduate, teaching institutions in the public sector.
The two-year project will explore:
- the extent to which there is student and faculty interest in this mode of education;
- the quality of the distance mentored experience compared to traditional face-to-face mentoring;
- the technical challenges and costs involved; and,
- the implications for faculty work.
In exploring these areas, the project will address three issues highlighted in the Teagle Foundation's Request for Proposals: Academic collaboration, new ways of defining courses and faculty work, and innovative ways of delivering courses.
The positive impact of a successful pilot would be significant. With 27 campuses and over 4500 full-time faculty members consortium-wide, a successful model for distance mentoring of undergraduate research has the potential to open up multiple areas of disciplinary expertise that are not available to undergraduate researchers on small to medium-sized public liberal arts colleges. Distance mentoring would leverage the strength of the consortium to offer students the range of faculty expertise more commonly associated with a large Research-1 university.