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UNK Welcomes NCA

North Central Self Study
Chapter 5: Criterion Three

The institution is accomplishing its education and other purposes.

Undergraduate Student Research

The University of Nebraska at Kearney mission statement clearly states that faculty members strive to promote scholarly teaching. One of the methods for promoting scholarly teaching is to provide students with numerous opportunities for collaborative research with teacher-scholars. This collaborative effort promotes incorporating research and creative activities into both the undergraduate and graduate student experience. These experiences are viewed as a vital component of a UNK education. Likewise, faculty research and scholarship, particularly when it directly involves students, is viewed as a significant feature of the teaching/learning process.

Undergraduate research is supported through a variety of means. Support is available through the Undergraduate Research Council, Student Talent Development funds through the SVCASA's office, and funds available through the Dean's office of each college. Each of the initiatives for supporting student research is described below.

Undergraduate Research Council

The Undergraduate Research Council supports undergraduate research through funding, sponsoring workshop symposia, co-hosting the annual Student Research Day, and publishing student research in the blind-reviewed (UNK) Undergraduate Research Journal. (

Research Services Council

The Research Services Council provides support for graduate students conducting research or other scholarly or creative activities.

Platte Studies Seminar

UNK recently completed its second summer of a Lancy/NCUR grant. The initial award for the summer of 2002 was $40,000, which was used to support student creative and scholarly work. UNK received an additional $22,500 for the summer of 2003 as a recipient institution demonstrating progress during the first year of the award. The Platte Studies Seminar has become a vital element of the learning environment at UNK, and has served as a model of summer undergraduate research programs. A second program, the Independent Studies Seminar, has been developed and funded for 2004. (See


The National Conference on Undergraduate Research is an annual conference held in the spring. Students from hundreds of colleges and universities gather to present their research in a variety of disciplines. As evidence of UNK's support of undergraduate research, we have consistently sent a large contingent of students to NCUR. In fact, at the most recent conference, at the University of Utah, UNK sent the second largest contingent of students, with only the host institution, having more participants. A group of similar size is expected to participate in NCUR this April, in Indianapolis.

Table 5.1

Number of Undergraduate Participants at NCUR, 1997-2004
       Year               Site   UNK Participants       
  2004   Indianapolis, IN   65 (estimate)  
  2003   Salt Lake City, UT               60  
  2002   Whitewater, WI   36  
  2001   Lexington, KY   24  
  2000   Missoula, MT   19  
  1999   Rochester, NY   17  
  1998   Salisbury, MD   21  
  1997   Austin, TX   10    

Student Research Day

The UNK Student Research Day is designed to give students the opportunity to present the results of collaborative research and creative activity conducted with faculty members. This day highlights student research accomplishments and the important role faculty play as mentors. On this day, the Undergraduate Research Council encourages the presentation of research and creative activity from all disciplines. The council also hosts a reception and presents student and faculty awards, including recognition of faculty mentors and grant writing. SRD will be expanded in 2004 to include additional opportunity for oral presentations. (SRD programs are available in the Resource Room.) Student Research Day Posters and Presentations

Table 5.2

Number of Student Research Day Participants, 1999-2003
    April 12,
  April 24,
  April 23,
  April 22,
  April 28,
  Fine Arts/Humanities   8   7   5   7   8  
  Behavioral/Social Sciences   19   29   35   47   42  
  Natural/Physical Sciences   22   27   24   25   26  
  Professional/Applied Sciences       13   36   34   39   29  
  Graduate Studies   11   16   12   23   15  
  School Psychology   10   14   10   8   10  
  Student Conference on
Language and Literature
     30   25   21   30    

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