research questions for college students

research questions for college students

Research Colleges: Questions to Ask College Students

Get the inside scoop from college students on your campus visit.

Campus visits are an essential part of researching colleges. But your tour guide can only tell you so much. If you want to find out more than what the brochure says, make sure to talk to some current students while you’re on campus. This is a great opportunity to learn more about what each school has to offer. Find out what questions to ask to get the straight dope when you’re searching for your college match.

Your primary concern when considering a college will be whether it has the program you’re interested in. But beyond that, there are several factors that can affect your academic experience at a school. While a tour guide can tell you the average class size or the faculty-to-student ratio, other students at the college may be able to give you more insight. In addition, higher-education journalist and author of “The College Solution” Lynn O’Shaughnessy recommends talking to a few professors if you get the chance. Here are some questions to ask if you want to know more about the academics at a particular school:

  • How accessible are the professors outside of class?
  • Are most classes taught by a professor or a teaching assistant (TA)?
  • How much time do you spend on homework for each class?
  • What’s the average class size for introductory classes?
  • What’s the average class size for upper-level classes?
  • Are there many opportunities for undergraduate research?
  • Is there a tutoring program and/or a writing center?
  • How helpful are the academic advisors?

Try to talk to a few different students at each school you tour to get a well-rounded idea of what to expect.

On a campus tour, your guide will likely tout major events on campus like an annual student organization fair or exciting sporting events. But what’s the campus like the rest of the year? A current student will be able to give you an idea of what you can expect day in and day out. You can ask questions like these in order to get an idea of what campus life is like:

  • Do most freshmen live in the dorms? What about upperclassmen?
  • What are the dorms like? Which is the best to live in?
  • Where do students live when they move off campus?
  • What percentage of students commute?
  • Do most students go home on the weekends?
  • Do most students join a student organization or group?
  • Are lots of students in sororities or fraternities?
  • Are there a lot of campus events going on or is campus relatively quiet?
  • How many students are around during the summer?
  • Are college sports a big deal to students here?
  • What are some of the best and worst amenities on campus?
  • What are some of the latest/biggest issues or controversies on campus?

It's important to find out what campus life is like the whole year-round.

For a general sense of what social life is like on campus, Martha C. Merrill, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Connecticut College, recommends asking what a typical weekend on campus is like. If you want to get a little more specific about the social atmosphere at a particular school, you can ask a student some of these questions:

  • What do students do for fun on campus?
  • What are some popular things to do off campus?
  • Do students often socialize during the week or only on weekends?
  • Is partying a major social component or something only a fraction of students do?
  • How is the dating scene? Do most students date casually or seriously?
  • How easy is it to make friends? Are people eager to meet others or do they keep to themselves?

Academics, campus life and social atmosphere are all important. But if you really want to attend a specific college, it’s important to get down to brass tacks. How will you afford it? How long will it take to get your degree? What do you need to bring? These questions are just as important to ask a student if you want to learn more. Here are a few more things you might want to ask about:

  • Does the school offer a lot of institutional scholarships or grants?
  • Do many students have work-study jobs? What kinds of positions do they have?
  • How long do most students take to earn their degree?
  • Is housing guaranteed for freshmen?
  • Do most students bring a car?
  • How do most students travel when they go home over breaks or holidays?

While it’s helpful to talk to current students when researching schools, keep in mind that everyone’s college experience is a bit different. Try to talk to a few different students at each school to get a more well-rounded idea of what to expect. And most importantly, remember to pay attention to your own gut feelings and inclinations when it comes to deciding where to apply.

Research Experience for Community College Students

The Research Experience for Community College Students (RECCS) is a summer research internship program for Colorado community college students. The goal of RECCS is to give community college students an authentic research experience that allows them to explore environmental or geosciences and gain the confidence to transition to a four-year program in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) disciplines.

Ten students receive a weekly stipend to conduct field- or lab-based independent research over a nine-week period in the summer (June 4 - Aug 3) while working with a team of scientists. Students learn basic research, writing and communication skills, and they present their research at a local student science symposium and at an oral session.

This opportunity is open to all community college students in Colorado – all four corners! Housing is provided for students living beyond the Denver Metro area.

View the digital story that explains the RECCS experience by a former student researcher

Week 1 (June 4-8): The internship starts out with a week of introductions and getting to know each other, the staff and the mentors. Students will learn about the local physical setting and some of the research being conducted nearby through an over-night trip to University of Colorado’s Mountain Research Station.

• Individual Research: Each student will be paired for the duration of the summer internship with a research team to work on an individual project. Students will be closely mentored by members of the host research group for their individual research projects.

Fequently Asked Questions Research Experience for Community College Students (RECCS) University of Colorado

Who is eligible to participate?

  • US Citizens or Permanent Residents of the US
  • Must attend a Colorado community college (can graduate in the spring semester and plan to attend a 4-year college)
  • Cannot have a BA or BS even in a completely unrelated discipline.
  • Minimum course requirements: completion of college algebra and two science classes
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.0

When is the application deadline and when will I know whether I’ve been accepted?

  • Applications are due by 5 PM February 28, 2018 – no exceptions
  • You will receive an email when we have received your complete application packet
  • March 15, 2018 – applicants will be notified of acceptance
  • All communications will be via email – check your emails regularly

What will I be asked for in the online application form?

For the online application, you will be asked for your contact information, academic information and general background questions. Watch a video for application advice. Once you begin the application you must answer all questions before closing the survey because your answers may not be saved if you plan to complete it at a later time. We suggest you write your responses to the following questions in a separate Word document, and then copy and paste them into the application when you are ready to complete the whole application in one sitting. It is important to be thoughtful in writing your responses to provide a window into yourself and your motivations for applying to this program.

  • List previous summer jobs, internships, community or school leadership activities, and/or research experience. Give a short description of your duties or what you did, as well as the skills you gained.
  • Tell us about yourself and how you became interested in science. (200 words or less)
  • What do you feel are your strengths that you will bring to this summer research program? (200 words or less)
  • Tell us about your education goals and any future career goals you might have. (200 words or less)
  • You will also be asked to choose from a list of possible research areas and explain why you are interested in pursuing research in your areas of interest.

Who should I ask to provide a letter of recommendation?

An instructor who is familiar with your academic background.

View a video from a local community college professor who offers advice on how to get a strong letter of recommendation.

The letter of recommendation must be on official letterhead and signed by recommender.

The letter must be sent to [email protected] or Jennifer Taylor, CIRES Education and Outreach, UCB 449, Boulder, CO 80309-0449

In additon, the online recommendation form must be filled out by your instructor.

How do I submit my transcript?

Please request that an official transcript from your current community college be emailed to [email protected] or sent via mail to Jennifer Taylor, University of Colorado, CIRES Education and Outreach, UCB 449, Boulder, CO 80309-0449.

Is this a paid internship?

  • You will receive $500 weekly for a total of $4500
  • You will be paid bi-weekly
  • Commuters will receive a weekly stipend of $50 to cover fuel costs

What are the expectations of the internship?

We seek students that are passionate about science, have intellectual curiosity, are hard working and responsible, and can work as part of a team. We expect you to conduct an independent research project, supervised by a mentor scientist - you will not simply be an assistant for a research group. We do not require that you have conducted research before – we will teach you the necessary skills. Those students that choose a field project must be physically fit and be flexible in their schedules, as field conditions can dictate a change in plans. We will expect you to work 40 hours per week with weekend work a possible option. You will participate in program evaluations throughout the internship. At the end of the program you will present your results at a poster session for student research interns in Boulder and give a short oral presentation at CIRES (you can view the presentations by last year’s interns).

What will I be doing as part of the RECCS internship?

You will be planning and leading your own small research project while mentored by a scientist and the RECCS project team. You will collect your own data, analyze it and present your results both in an oral presentation and in a poster format. Throughout the internship you will receive support and guidance for all steps, but you are in charge of your own project.

How will I be matched with a mentor?

As part of the application you will choose and rank your top 3 areas of interest and explain why you are interested in them. We will identify which scientists can serve as your mentor based on your interests and send them your application. The scientists will decide which students most closely match their research interests. Once the match has been made, the mentor will contact you and suggest several papers to read in preparation to work with them. To find out more about past mentors you can view their bios and research interests.

What types of research have interns done in the past?

Check out the short elevator speeches of past interns or their full presentations by clicking on the Interns links in the sidebar.

Learn what types of traits mentors are looking for in their interns from one of the RECCS mentors.

What type of academic support is available for the interns?

Once a week, all interns will meet for a required group check-in with the program manager and each other. Following the check-in, there will be a weekly training in Scientific Communication that will guide interns through the process of constructing a poster and an oral presentation. We will also provide training in Excel and basic statistics. Other skills training will include preparing a CV, applying to a four-year college and learning from professionals about their jobs.

What is the schedule over the summer?

Week 1 (June 4-8): The internship starts out with a week of introductions and getting to know each other, the staff and the mentors. Students will learn about the local physical setting and some of the research being conducted nearby through a 2-day overnight trip to University of Colorado’s Mountain Research Station.

Week 2-8 (June 11 – July 27):

Individual Research: Each student will be paired for the duration of the summer internship with a research team to work on an individual project. Students will be closely mentored by members of the host research group for their individual research projects.

Skills Workshop: One day per week the cohort will spend time together learning various research-related skills – communication, science writing, science presentations – as well as career skills like resume writing and interview techniques. They will also have time to read, write, analyze their data, and work on their individual projects.

Week 9 (July 30 - Aug 3): Students will prepare for and present results from their research project in a poster session for summer interns from a number of local summer internship programs. They will also present their research results in a short oral presentation at CIRES.

Is housing available?

Yes, housing in the CU off-campus apartments is available for free to those commuting more than 50 miles one-way. You will have your own room and share a bathroom and kitchen with one other intern.

How many interns are accepted each summer?

We accept 10 interns each summer for this competitive program. Complete the full application including well-written answers to the open ended questions (see video with tips). This is your chance to tell us about yourself and why you want to participate in RECCS. Don’t be shy! It is also very important to get a strong letter of recommendation from one of your instructors (see video with tips).

Hear from a former RECCS intern about advice and her experience in RECCS.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

Program Manager, Jennifer Taylor

Applications are due by Monday, February 28, 2018 - there will be no exceptions.

The RECCS Summer Research Program targets Colorado Community College students. The program runs from June 4 - August 3, 2018. We encourage applications from individuals who are members of a group that is underrepresented in Earth Science, including students who are first generation college student, female, African American, American Indian, Hispanic or veteran.

To be eligible to apply you must be:

  • A US Citizen or a Permanent Resident
  • Must attend a Colorado community college (can graduate in the spring semester and plan to attend a 4-year college)
  • Finished with a minimum of two science classes and college algebra
  • Willing to make a full-time commitment for 9 weeks (40 hours per week)

A complete application includes the following:

  • Completed online application form - Click here for online application form
  • Official transcript from current community college
  • RECCS Recommendaiton Packet from one instructor, which includes:

Online Recommendation Form

Letter of Recommendation (printed on institution letterhead with a handwritten signature)

Before starting the application read through the Frequently Asked Questions document for important information about the program and advice on completing this application.

A Recommendation Packet from a community college educator or administrator is required for each applicant to the Research Experience for Community College Students (RECCS) Program at the University of Colorado. Due date for packet is February 28, 2018.

A completed RECCS Recommendation Packet consists of the following two documents provided by the same recommender:

1) Online Recommendation Form, which is accessible and submitted electronically via the following link: Online Recommendation Form

2) Letter of Recommendation (on instituion letterhead with a handwritten or an electronic signature, not a typed signature)

The Letter of Recommendation provides a summary of the candidate’s potential to succeed in the RECCS research program. We are particularly interested in the topics listed below. RECCS is a competetive program, and we appreciate your effort in supplying this information about your student.

  • How long have you known the applicant and in what capacity?
  • The quality of the candidate’s academic or creative achievements, including areas not reflected on the official transcripts.
  • The applicant’s potential strengths in a collaborative research environment.
  • Those aspects of the applicant’s personality or character that would help them to succeed in this program.
  • The ability of the applicant to make use of this opportunity in preparation to attend a four-year institution.
  • The applicant’s level of interest in environmental or geoscience.
  • Anything else we should know?

The Letter of Recommendation will be considered complete provided it is on official letterhead with a handwritten or an electronic signature, not a typed signature then scanned and emailed as a pdf to [email protected], or mailed to Jennifer Taylor, CIRES Education and Outreach, UCB 449, Boulder, CO 80309-0449.

  • Thomas Nelson Community College Blog: Student Bound for Summer Internship in Colorado. A student in a Virginia community college, Rebecca was accepted to RECCS because she plans to pursue a degree in Geological Science at UCB. read more
  • Three Front Range Community College students were RECCS interns this summer. read more
  • Front Range Community College Blog: RECCS program offers firsthand research experience for one of their students read more​ ​
  • CU Boulder reports about interns' experiences read more
  • The Craig Daily Press highlights the experience one of their local students will have this summer read more
  • NSF funds community college program watch here
  • RECCS intern studies forest health watch here
  • Daily Camera Article: CU-Boulder offers taste of research science to community college students read more
  • 15 Useful Websites For College Students

    Recently college students have become more and more reliant on the web. However, because of the abundance of websites we have access to, we often find it hard to find the information we are looking for. But, if you look in the right places you can find very useful information on the web. Here are some useful sites for college students:

    This is the best website for students who are registering for classes. The site provides ratings for more than one million teachers and professors around the world. Over 6.8 million students ranked their professors with details.

    Most students can't afford to buy brand new textbooks for each class every semester. Text Swap is the perfect alternative! Text Swap is a free textbook exchange service for students who want to be able to trade their used textbooks online for other ones.

    Study Hacks is dedicated to "demystifying student success." This college blog is one of the best places on the internet to get study advice and their strategies actually work!

    Student Loan Calculator was made by the College Board to make it easier for college students to stay on top for their student loan payments.

    Most of us English 120 students are working on research papers and one of the things we're finding hard to do is find legitimate resources! But, fear not! RefDesk is an award-winning site which provides a great platform to find and check facts. It has an enormous collection of reference materials, searchable databases, and other great resources that you probably can't find anywhere else.

    This is another great website for research. This website allows students to cite reputable sources. pulls search results from over 100 reputable dictionaries and encyclopedias, including sources like the Oxford University press.

    Although ChaCha isn't a citable website, it is the perfect place to start research. This website has over 15,000 guides who help answer any questions students may have.

    Essay Punch provides an interactive online essay-writing tutorial. It helps students organize thoughts and improve their essay skills, as well as brainstorm and read sample essays.

    The Owl is named after the Purdue University's Online Writing Lab, which is another great resource for student writers who want to learn more about writing mechanics, formatting, outline development, and avoiding plagiarism.

    Wridea is another free online idea management service that hopes to help writers brainstorm, organize, and improve their ideas.

    Bib Me is a lifesaver! This site includes a bibliography generator that automatically fills in a works cited page using MLA, APA, and other formats.

    The Online Books page is a website made by the University of Pennsylvania, it has over 30,000 books that anyone can read for free online. Users can search books by their titles or their author.

    The Open Book Project was made specifically for the academic community. Students and teachers can find free textbooks and other open-source education materials.

    Last but not the least, how can we forget SparkNotes? Whether in terms of when you need to catch up on a reading you could complete, or would like to understand your readings in more detail, SparkNotes is the best place to go. This site offers summaries of several books as well as provides essay help, timelines, and much more.

    My School Ignored My Depression And Cries For Help, And I'm Not The Only One

    When I was in the 8th grade, I became incredibly depressed. Things in my life were changing and I was struggling to cope. My friends and I had a falling out that made me feel as if I was alone, and I frequently wished that I could disappear. It was during this time that I reached out to faculty members and showed many signs of depression, but my school didn't do anything to help me. Now, it is evident that I experienced something terrible, and I am not the only one.

    Middle school is a weird period of time for young adults. It is a foggy area between being mature and continuing to be a kid. It is also a time when you begin to find out who you are and what you want to be. When I was in middle school, I was like most other young adults. I wanted to have a lot of friends and fit in with everyone else. I wasn't popular by any means, but I also wasn't bullied very often. I was somewhere in the middle and I was okay with that.

    When 8th grade came around, I had a steady group of friends and was content with how my life was going. Then it all changed. My friends and I got into a huge fight that caused me to be isolated. I didn't talk to many people, and I spent most of my time alone. It was at this time that I really began feeling depressed. One day, I asked if I could go see the guidance counselor and began spilling my guts about the situation and how it was making me feel. It was the only time during the school day that I felt someone was listening. I was given surface level advice that I can't remember the slightest bit. The guidance counselor sent me on my way.

    This became a habit. Every day I would go visit the guidance counselor and discuss what I was feeling. (Note: This is in middle school where the guidance counselor's main job is to make sure no one is in an abusive household. It wasn't like they were busy helping people get into college and find scholarships.) Everyday, my session would get a little shorter. They were sending me out of the office quicker and quicker, preventing me from being able to discuss my depression. The teachers stopped letting me see the counselor and would only allow me to go to the guidance counselor's office during lunch. I began skipping lunch and not eating to go and talk to someone. I was getting more and more depressed.

    One day, the guidance counselor was absent. I was sent to the principal's office and broke down crying in her office. I told her everything I had been telling the guidance counselor for weeks. She said something along the lines of "everything will be fine" and sent me back to class. Eventually, the school year ended and they didn't have to pretend to care anymore.

    It wasn't until I told this story to my boyfriend that I realized what I experienced was messed up beyond belief. I was a kid when I was going through all of this and didn't think about what the school should have been doing to help me. Now, I realize that my school blatantly ignored my cry for help. Throughout the entirety of my visits to the guidance counselor, not once did they notify my parents about what I was experiencing. My mom was clueless that I was going to the guidance counselor's office daily and is now very upset that they didn't tell her. Parents entrust schools with their children with the understanding that faculty members are to take care of them when the parents do not have their children in custody.

    Perhaps, the worst part of this situation is that I am not the only one who has experienced this.

    On January 10th, Gabbie Green committed suicide while her parents were getting ready for church. She was being severely bullied by students AND faculty members at her Florida middle school. Her parents knew of the bullying but did not know how bad the problem was. Had faculty members treated the situation appropriately, Green would still be here.

    There are so many others. Any Google search for young adults committing suicide will yield results of individuals who were not given adequate help because school officials did not act accordingly.

    Now, do I have a solution that is going to prevent this from happening? No. However, there is something that can be done to decrease the number of people who experience what I have. Teachers need to be trained in how to recognize signs of depression and bullying. Schools need to develop plans for what is to be done if a student is going through this. Perhaps, teachers could place a box on their desk that would allow students to put notes in and request to speak with them about issues they are having. This could be an outlet for students to talk to someone that has the ability to connect them with resources that could help. Above anything else, parents need to be notified. There is no way for parents to help their children with a problem if they are unaware of it.

    Top Resources for College Student Research

    It seems that no matter how many student research papers you assign, each new assignment brings your students the challenge of finding the right sources in a timely manner.

    Facing an impending deadline can lead some students to try shortcuts that result in lackluster papers that don’t meet academic standards. Instructors can help students take control of the research and writing process by providing guidance along with the project instructions.

    In their book, Cengage Guide to Research, 3 rd Edition, Susan K. Miller-Cochran and Rochelle L. Rodrigo lead students through the process of completing a research paper.

    Recognizing that technology is a part of daily life, the authors show students how to apply the research skills they use every day (buying a car or choosing a cell phone plan, for example) to academic and professional settings. Annotated student samples, research scenarios, and Techno Tips illustrate the “how” and “why” of researching and engage students with key research technologies important to success.

    The authors broke the process into four components:

    • Preparing for research
    • Conducting research
    • Reporting on research
    • Formatting research

    When it comes to conducting research, the authors suggested that students reflect on what they already know about the topic and then identify the kind of information that they will need to find. Sources of information fall into two categories: primary and secondary research.

    • Primary research: going straight to the resource to answer a research questions
    • Secondary research: using resources created by someone else

    According to the authors, “To decide whether you will be conducting primary or secondary research, return to your rhetorical question. The type of information you need will be partially determined by your research question, your perception of your audience, and your purpose for writing.”

    Students are likely to use a Google search to find resources for their papers. Miller-Cochran and Rodrigo suggested that this practice be discouraged because it can result in a multitude of resources most of which do not meet academic standards.

    Instead, they suggested that students be led to use academic journal databases that can be accessed through campus library services such as Gale’s Academic OneFile.

    The authors stressed that students should understand the process by which resources are reviewed. Generally speaking, the resources found through a general Google search cannot be verified. Yet, resources found in an academic database are generally reviewed before publication. They make a definite distinction between library resource versus Internet resources.

    Some Internet resources need to be scrutinized especially carefully. A prime example is Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia whose entries any user can revise. While many users take responsibility for reviewing and monitoring content, Wikipedia is not foolproof as a resource.

    Resources that are appropriate for students to use when working on research papers include those that have been subject to rigorous review.

    These resources include:

    The Cengage Guide to Research approaches research in a unique way by helping students think about how to look for connections between the research they already do in their personal, academic, and professional lives. By breaking research down into a set of smaller strategies that fit together into a research process for students, The Cengage Guide to Research makes the task of academic research more manageable, relevant, and even enjoyable.

    What are your tips for encouraging students to use research databases when completing their projects? Share them in the comments.

    Reference: Miller-Cochran, Susan K., Rodrigo, Rochelle L. Cengage Guide to Research, 3 rd Edition. 2017. Boston, MA: Course Technology, Cengage Learning.

    Best Presentation Topics for School & College Students

    Here is the list of best presentation topics for school & college students. These presentation topics can help school students of almost all standards, 10th, 12th arts, commerce & science college students and courses like BBA, B Com, M Com, MBA, MCA etc. to get an idea about various topics which can be used for presentation or seminars.

    Best Presentation Topics for School & College Students

    Black Hole Facts

    Benefits of Reading

    Climate Change: Challenges & Solution

    Contamination of Water

    Censorship in the Media

    Depletion of Ozone layer in the atmosphere and its effects

    Driver-less Cars: Future of Vehicles

    Exploitation of natural and energy sources

    Economical Crisis: Reasons & solutions

    Environmental Movements in India

    Effects of Social Networking

    Evolution of Human

    False Memory syndrome

    Factors affecting teaching

    Same Sex Marriage: MyOpinion

    Global Warming: threat to the world?

    Global Warming and the green house effect

    Hyperloop: Future of Transportation?

    Interesting Facts about Planet Mars

    Impact of Fast Foods

    Impact of Video Games on Children

    Insect Eating Plants

    Measures for Minimizing Noise Pollution

    Natural farming: the best agricultural practice!

    Nuclear Power: Boon or Bane

    People and Environment Interaction

    Population: Boon or Bane

    Poverty: still a challenge!

    Seven Wonders of the world

    Side effects of Smoking

    Sex Education in Schools

    Terrorism: Tackling with Technology

    UFO (Unidentified Flying Object): Reality or Fantasy?

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