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Redlands Community College

Undergraduate Research at Redlands Community College enhances and expands teaching and learning excellence beyond the classroom and prepares our graduates to excel both at four-year universities and in the work-force. Undergraduate research at Redlands involves teaching students about the basics of research, including participation in hands-on inquiry-based learning and applied research activities.

Students gaining real-world research experiences participate as interns, scholarship recipients as well as classroom con­tributors.


Accord­ing to an internal evaluation of the undergraduate research programs approximately 100 students have participated in activities that include state-wide research days, nation-wide conferences, classroom applied research activities, and ser­vice learning research experiences. Engaged students radiate energy when conducting hands-on investigations of real-world problems in the undergraduate research program at Redlands.

Students have earned the op­portunity to present their projects at the Oklahoma State Research Day. This prestigious opportunity is generally open only to juniors and seniors at research institutions; however, Redlands freshmen and sophomore students have also received this honor six of the last seven years.

Research Projects

The scientific themes of Oklahoma's INBRE are multi-disciplinary, targeting the fields of Microbiology & Immunology, Cancer, and Developmental Biology. This thematic focus is closely linked with the strategic research plans of the two lead biomedical research-intensive institutions. Support for students is provided by summer internships, participation in the faculty research projects and enrollment in new educational programs in bioinformatics and genomics.


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Redlands Community College’s Darlington Agricultural Education and Applied Research Center was designated as a Center of Excellence by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education as part of the Brain Gain 2006 program.

RCC has used a portion of the funding to prepare agriculture students for lifelong learning through undergraduate research experiences. In the last six years about forty students have benefited from this program.

The Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program provides support to institutions to help students make transitions at a critical stage in their development as scientists. The program is aimed at helping students make the transition from 2-year junior or community colleges to full 4-year baccalaureate programs.

The program targets students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral research enterprise of the nation and/or populations disproportionately affected by health disparities (targeted groups).

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The increased popularity of grape growing and wine making in our state has provided economic development for many underserved agricultural areas. Redlands Community College offers Oklahoma's only two-year degrees in viticulture and enology.

Yearly RCC students have had the opportunity to work in the Redlands research vineyard.

Classes are offered in traditional classroom and online formats to accommodate student needs. From building the trellis system to testing grapes in the lab, students have the opportunity to be involved in a working vineyard.

Spotlight on Success

Bill Phillips, Ph.D.

An amazing asset to the Undergraduate Research programs at Redlands Community College, Dr. Phillips has served as a Research Scientist in the Viticulture and Enology program, a mentor for the Center of Excellence Scholars and Research Interns, and as a classroom instructor. 

Phillips joined the Redlands team after more than thirty years as a research animal scientist at the USDA-ARS Grazinglands Research Lab in El Reno, Oklahoma where he superivised 10 scientists and directed a diverse research program and managed a 6,800 acre research unit.

Candace Baker

Baker is a new alumnus of Redlands Community College.  Last fall, she earned the Best of Academy award at the Oklahoma Collegiate Academy of Science competition.

Her project was funded through the Oklahoma IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, a grant administered through NIH. The grant supported a summer research program to provide training and research experiences.

Reonna Slagell-Gossen

Professor Gossen has played a major role in supporting undergraduate research at Redlands Community College. 

Gossen is the Campus Coordinator for the NIH Bridges to Baccalaureate grant and the coordinator for the Community College Outreach Core of the Oklahoma INBRE grant in which she mentors several students a semester on applied research projects.

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

  • Develop lifelong science ­learning competencies

  • Introduce fewer concepts, but present them in greater depth. Less really is more


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

  • Ensure that undergraduate biology courses are active, outcome oriented, inquiry driven, and relevant

  • Facilitate student learning within a cooperative context

  • 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

  • Give students ongoing, frequent, and multiple forms of feedback on their progress

  • View the assessment of course success as similar to scientific research, centered on the students involved, and apply the assessment data to improve and enhance the learning environment


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 outcomes

  • Provide teaching support and training for all faculty, but especially postdoctoral fellows and early career faculty, who are in their formative years as teachers 

Engage the Biology Community in the Implementation of Change

  • 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

  • Encourage all biologists to move beyond the “depth versus breadth” debate. Less really is more

High Impact Practices Implementation

Collaborative Assignments and Projects

Undergraduate Research

Service Learning

Community-Based Learning,


Capstone Courses and Projects

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