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Abstract

Undergraduate Research is becoming an increasingly important aspect of all academic areas in universities today, and as a result an effort must be made to underand how students feel about conducting undergraduate research. Literature suggests that students are aware of the benefits to be gained from conducting research, but there are a variety of factors holding them back from actually doing so. This particular study aimed to examine the benefits students feel they receive from conducting research as well as examine how the students feel about the availability of research opportunities at a Midwestern, predominantly undergraduate institution, Fort Hays State University. Five hundred seventy-six students responded to an e-mail survey. Results reflected that the majority of students have conducted research in some capacity. Students who had conducted research felt overwhelmingly positive about the benefits they received with regard to an increase in their understanding, an increase in their skills/abilities, and an increase in their awareness of various aspects of the research process, and an increase in their confidence and qualifications in conducting research. Students seemed very satistied with their research opportunities. Also, students recornized that a variety of personal qualities are impacted through the process of research. Similar to the literature, though, a majority of students did not feel research was for them. Further understanding the motivations for student research will help mitigate this, and provide insight into what can be done to influence students to conduct more research. Furthermore, as a university, FHSU must strive to maintain and increase research opportunities. FHSU must research why faculty engage in research with students, and try to utilize this to further enhance the experiences for both students and faculty.

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In Copyright