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Research Experiences for Undergraduates: Developing an Evaluation Framework and Pilot-Testing a Longitudinal Tracking System
The National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program provides students with opportunities to participate in disciplinary or interdisciplinary research with scientists across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The program seeks to attract and retain students in STEM careers, particularly student groups underrepresented in STEM, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.
- Developing an evaluation framework that will guide program data collection efforts and enhance the foundation’s ability both to monitor the REU program and to conduct evaluations with increasing levels of rigor.
- Building and piloting a longitudinal data collection system to comply with the congressional requirement that REU participants “be tracked, for employment and continued matriculation in STEM fields, through receipt of the undergraduate degree and for at least three years thereafter” (The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, Section 514[a] of Public Law 111-358).
Photo: REU participants at the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale in Science and Engineering (reproduced with permission).