The Impact of Undergraduate Research Training on Students' Perceived Level of Skills



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The (HOUSTON) Academy is housed in the Department of Health and Human Performance. With funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, the HOUSTON Academy provides undergraduate students from institutions across the US with applied research experiences with UH faculty and nutrition learning experiences in the community. Student-centered outcomes include the development and delivery of nutrition education workshops, on-campus and external conference presentations, and research publications. Students also attend professional development workshops that focus on, but not limited to, development of CV/resumes, e-portfolios, and employment and graduate admissions process. During their first semester in HOUSTON Academy students are surveyed at the beginning and at the end of the semester using the Survey of Undergraduate Research Experiences III. Results (n=29) indicate that students perceive their skills to have increased in the areas of math skills (48.3% to 55.2%, z=-.053, p=0.300), writing skills (65.5% to 72.4%, z=-0.57, p=0.285), and computer skills (34.5% to 37.9%, z=0.27, p=0.392). Small sample sizes contribute to non-significance. Thus, through applied research opportunities with faculty, nutrition learning experiences in the community, and professional development workshops students are growing more confidents in their skills.