Creation and Assessment of Day1 Research Communities
Dr. Justin M. Shorb and Dr. Catherine Mader
Hope College began a new residential STEM learning community in the fall of 2015 that centers around shared research-like experiences and intentional mentorship across many aspects of the first-year student experience. These new Day1 Research Communities (http://www.hope.edu/day1) include aspects such as shared residence halls, course-based research experiences, field experiences, peer mentoring, pre-college trips, and a coupled first-year seminar/chemistry-biology lab sequence. In preparation for this dynamic program and its first cohort of students, a complete literature review on undergraduate STEM programs and supporting theories has been performed in order to design a whole-student theoretical framework. This framework was used to align predictors for success in college, pre-assessments, and post-assessments to evaluate the impact each student experience has on their growth as STEM scholars and individuals within the community. Select institutional metrics will also be collected to provide summative longitudinal data about the program’s success. The whole-student theoretical framework along with the instruments and tools used to collect benchmark data for this inaugural year of the program will be presented along with plans for using future data collected for continued improvement of the Day1 Research Communities.
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