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Quality Enhancement Plan

The Quality Enhancement Plan for UL Lafayette, Advance Student Research Experience (Advance), supports the strategic mission of the University to increase student productivity and success through engagement in mentored research, innovative projects, and creative endeavors.

The vision of Advance is UL Lafayette undergraduates will have an opportunity to participate in an intensive research experience that fosters competencies in critical thinking, information literacy, research ethics, and communication; our students will relate their coursework to engaged practices that create value for the discipline and the community; and they will develop the skills to communicate their work to an appropriate audience.

In order to achieve this vision, Advance has four goals:

Goal 1: Create a research-supportive curriculum option in each program so all students have an opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills, and ability to conduct research in their field.

Goal 2: Increase the number of students who complete at least one Student Research Experience before graduation.

Goal 3: Increase the guidance, support, and opportunities for students to present, perform, and publish their work.

Goal 4: Increase guidance and support for students developing research skills and abilities, and pursuing research experiences.

Student Research Experience

We define a Student Research Experience (SRE) as a project that involves the student in a sustained effort to apply the discipline’s knowledge and methodologies to a project that is valued by the discipline. An SRE should culminate with the student’s work being disseminated in a setting and medium appropriate to the discipline. An SRE may include:

  • systematic inquiry in order to discover facts, principles, or perspectives
  • contextual analysis or comparison to provide unique interpretations
  • application of professional skills
  • creation of unique visual and performing arts
  • production of documents that contribute to a discipline or community

SREs will vary by program. For example, an SRE for a Biology or Psychology student might arise from working in a faculty member’s lab over several semesters, while an SRE in English or Marketing might require a student to design an individual research project over several courses.  The variety of SREs will require each program to develop a research-supportive curriculum that supports types of experiences available to their students.

Learn more: What's a Student Research Experience?

Student Learning Outcomes

The goals of Advance will support three student learning outcomes (SLOs):

SLO 1: Students will acquire and demonstrate strategies and skills necessary to conduct disciplinary/interdisciplinary research, scholarship, or creative activity. (Goal 1)

SLO 2: Students will articulate their research, scholarship, or creativity in appropriate formats, venues, and delivery modes. (Goal 3)

SLO 3: Students will demonstrate understanding of the importance of research, scholarship, and creativity in developing and improving knowledge, and facilitating learning. (Goals 2 & 4)

Advance Initiatives

The following Advance activities will allow us to reach our goals:

1.1 Establishing a research-curriculum development program in coordination with the teaching and learning center to support programs as they initiate curricular changes.

1.2 Providing support for programs to purchase resources needed to create an active learning environment.

1.3 Improving library instruction capabilities.

2.1 Creating an undergraduate research certificate that encourages students to take advantage of research opportunities in their discipline and to complete an SRE. The Advance Student Research Experience Certificate rewards students who successfully complete a series of research-related courses and activities, and an SRE.

3.1 Hosting a Student Research Week.

3.2 Providing students with travel grants to present at off-campus venues.

3.3 Creating a university student research journal to provide students with opportunities to publish their work.

3.4 Improving capabilities of the Writing Center to support students in preparing their work for publication.

4.1 Establishing a Student Center for Research (SCR) that will facilitate the development, coordination, and communication of research activities and opportunities.

External and internal assessments will be used to evaluate both student learning outcomes and program goal progress. Student learning outcomes will be assessed through direct and indirect measures. Advance program outcomes will be evaluated to determine our success in making research experiences available to students in each program and in increasing student participation in research activities.