Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



In this study, Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) is used to explore changes in the career intentions of students in an undergraduate research experience (URE) program at a large public minority-serving college. Our URE model addresses the challenges of establishing an undergraduate research program within an urban, commuter, underfunded, Minority-Serving Institution (MSI). However, our model reaches beyond a focus on retention and remediation toward scholarly contributions and shifted career aspirations. From a student’s first days at the College to beyond their graduation, we have encouraged them to explore their own potential as scientists in a coordinated, sequential, and self-reflective process. As a result, while the program’s graduates have traditionally pursued entry-level STEM jobs, graduates participating in mentored research are increasingly focused on professional and academic STEM career tracks involving post-graduate study. In addition to providing an increasingly expected experience and building students’ skills, participation in undergraduate research is seen to have a transformative effect on career ambitions for many students at MSIs. While undergraduate research is often thought of in context of majority-serving institutions, we propose that it serves as a powerful equalizer at MSIs. Building on the institutional characteristics that drive diversity, our students produce scholarly work and pursue graduate degrees, in order to address the long-standing under-representation of minorities in the sciences.


This work was originally published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, available at DOI10.1002/tea.21341.

This is an open access publication



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.