Political Science Education and the Profession

Early Challenges and Successes from Adapting the Laboratory Model to Undergraduate Teaching Institutions

Kelly Bauer Nebraska Wesleyan University
As the laboratory model is becoming increasingly popular in Political Science, what are the best models of adapting this research opportunity to an undergraduate teaching institution? Undergraduate research experiences are a high impact learning practice, and new research documents how innovative adaptations of the laboratory model to the social sciences offers students valuable scaffolded research training and mentoring (Becker 2019). How can this model be adjusted to smaller teaching institutions, where funding, research time, and student-led research mentoring are often more limited? This paper documents successes and failures from a collaborative research initiative on immigration politics in Nebraska started in August 2019 at Nebraska Wesleyan University, focusing on early challenges and successes in hopes of assisting other faculty interested in expanding this research opportunity most efficiently and effectively.