A Pharmacology-Based Enrichment Program for Undergraduates Promotes Interest in Science.
There is a strong need to increase the number of undergraduate students who pursue careers in science to provide the "fuel" that will power a science and technology-driven U.S. economy. Prior research suggests that both evidence-based teaching methods and early undergraduate research experiences may help to increase retention rates in the sciences. In this study, we examined the effect of a program that included 1) a Summer enrichment 2-wk minicourse and 2) an authentic Fall research course, both of which were designed specifically to support students' science motivation. Undergraduates who participated in the pharmacology-based enrichment program significantly improved their knowledge of basic biology and chemistry concepts; reported high levels of science motivation; and were likely to major in a biological, chemical, or biomedical field. Additionally, program participants who decided to major in biology or chemistry were significantly more likely to choose a pharmacology concentration than those majoring in biology or chemistry who did not participate in the enrichment program. Thus, by supporting students' science motivation, we can increase the number of students who are interested in science and science careers.
Godin, EA; Wormington, SV; Perez, T; Barger, MM; Snyder, KE; Richman, LS; Schwartz-Bloom, R; Linnenbrink-Garcia, L
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