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Keywords:

  • environmental sustainability;
  • outcomes assessment;
  • undergraduate research

Abstract

We analyzed seven years of pre-program and post-program survey data to evaluate the Clarkson University Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Site Program in Environmental Science and Engineering, and evaluated whether our program was successful at meeting the intended outcome of increasing participants' likelihood of attending graduate school and pursuing a career in science or engineering research or education. We also evaluated how participant satisfaction in the program changed with the addition of a weekly seminar on environmental sustainability that was intended to improve participants' understanding of the societal value of their research projects. Participant satisfaction in the Clarkson REU Program was high, and increased after the addition of the sustainability seminar. Participants' intention to attend graduate or professional school increased after participating in the program, but their intention to pursue a career in science or engineering research declined. Over 60 percent of participants eventually attended graduate or professional school.