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TREU: Training for Research Experiences for Undergraduates
The STARS Training for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (TREU) project seeks to promote undergraduate research through training for faculty and students to be successful. We encourage undergraduate students to follow the A4RC REU Prep courseware to prepare for research, while we also train faculty and graduate students in Dr. Ann Gates’ Affinity Research Groups model to successfully mentor diverse undergraduates in computing research, and help faculty seek REU funding.
The A4RC has been offering an REU prep course as part of their "research pod" model, to prepare students for REUs, and to contribute to an online repository of REU courseware. The A4RC repository includes presentations and videos of diverse groups and leaders discussing common readings, personal experiences, and resources (e.g., library resources). Each class module includes discussion points, in-class activities, and short homework assignments. The common readings are of broad interest, but often focus on concerns of underrepresented populations, such as Green & Scott's "Journey to the Ph.D." and Wayne Booth's "The Craft of Research." A4RC schools use the modules for both courses and seminars.
As part of TREU, the Celebration has a full day emphasizing research. The Celebration also includes training to prepare more faculty to be REU mentors and to write effective proposals for REU funding. The REU mentor training uses the ARG model to support diverse undergraduate research teams. Through ARG, mentors work with undergraduates to set project goals and expectations and develop student skills in three key areas: research methods, experimentation and validation, and technical writing and speaking. Through ARG, undergraduates become part of a research culture, learning to speak competently about research and serve as role models for one another.
We encourage all computing programs to emphasize research preparation for both students and faculty. Participation in undergraduate research is one of the strongest indicators for undergraduate retention and future enrollment in graduate school. Undergraduate research can also benefit faculty, helping them connect their research interests to education and with student interests. Four STARS schools (UNC Charlotte, VT, USC, and Auburn) have NSF REU Sites. We encourage all STARS students to apply for one of these outstanding research opportunities!
Dr. Tiffany Barnes
STARS Participant Schools