McLennan Community College
The Highlander Undergraduate Research Institute (HURI) was established in 2011 at McLennan Community College to create a culture of undergraduate research that will foster interactive student learning through discovery and exploration.
HURI encourages undergraduate student achievement through embedded course research, case studies, poster sessions, and collaborative, supervised research courses in science, engineering, and math. Several travel-based research courses are offered in the spring. Currently, several cross-disciplinary courses are in the planning stages. HURI plans to extend across all collegiate disciplines.
HURI Committee members are: April Andreas, PhD (Engineering/Math), Bernard Smith, PhD (Physics), Gail Illich (Math), Larry Benton (Chemistry), Elaine Fagner (Geology), John Vickrey, PhD (Biology), Stephanie Randell (Biology), Donna Hamilton, PhD (Biology/Texas Tech), and Liz Mitchell (Biology/Acting HURI Director).
Please contact us at HURI@mclennan.edu.
HURI will be offering professional development opportunities for MCC faculty who are interested in placing inquiry-based research methods in their courses.
HURI has also solicited MCC faculty for PD needs and ideas, to meet growing needs. Ideas from outside MCC are welcome.
HURI hosts several events a semester, entitled “Chat and Dream”. These food-centered events are open to any faculty across the campus; the aim of Chat and Dream is to offer people an informal, relaxed setting to network, talk about teaching, and to spread the word and success about undergraduate research at MCC.
Vision and Change Implementation
Integrate Core Concepts and Competencies throughout the Curriculum
Introduce the scientific process to students early, and integrate it into all undergraduate biology courses
Relate abstract concepts in biology to real world examples on a regular basis, and make biology content relevant by presenting problems in a real life context
Stimulate the curiosity students have for learning about the natural world
Demonstrate both the passion scientists have for their discipline and their delight in sharing their understanding of the world with students
Focus on Student Centered Learning
Engage students as active participants, not passive recipients, in all undergraduate biology courses
Use multiple modes of instruction in addition to the traditional lecture
Introduce research experiences as an integral component of biology education for all students, regardless of their major
Integrate multiple forms of assessment to track student learning
Promote a Campus wide Commitment to Change
Mobilize all stakeholders, from students to administrators, to commit to improving the quality of undergraduate biology education
Support the development of a true community of scholars dedicated to advancing the life sciences and the science of teaching
Advocate for increased status, recognition, and rewards for innovation in teaching, student success, and other educational outcome
Engage the Biology Community in the Implementation of Change
Promote more concept oriented undergraduate biology courses, and help all students learn how to integrate facts into larger conceptual contexts
Provide all biology faculty with access to the teaching and learning research referenced throughout this report, and encourage its application when developing courses
Create active learning environments for all students, even those in first year biology courses
High Impact Practices Implementation
Capstone Courses and Projects