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Keywords:

  • undergraduate research project;
  • human sciences;
  • family and consumer sciences;
  • mentoring;
  • alumni perceptions;
  • undergraduate research

The purpose of this study was to assess the value of research from the perspective of alumni who completed an undergraduate research (UGR) project in family and consumer sciences. The sample included 16 participants from three institutions with similar missions but different structures. The interviewees’ responses were coded by the authors to develop an initial set of descriptors. The text was also coded using Ethnograph version 6.0. The findings revealed many more positive than negative responses in regard to attitudes, research skills, professionalism, value of the project to their current job, relationship with their undergraduate mentor, presentation of the research project, and suggestions for improvement. The most positive responses were in the categories of research skills attributed to the UGR (89%), value of the project to their job (87%), and faculty mentorship (81%). Overall, these findings support the benefits of UGR and the investment of university resources for research projects with faculty members for undergraduate students.