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Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program Offers New Opportunities

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Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

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The Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) at NMSU provides students with the opportunity to work with a faculty member in their field, and to further their experience with research. This is an important program for students looking to go beyond while they are in college.

Jim Kroger is a Professor of Psychology at NMSU, and a prominent figure with URAP. He has started NMSU’s URAP branch on campus, and he hopes for all departments on campus to eventually use the program and share their research with students.

In many departments there are opportunities to work on research projects. However, limited funding and student availability slows down the amount of students working on research projects.

“Some departments have grant money which allows them to pay students” said Kroger. “This gives new professors a chance to work with students right away if they want to.”

According to Kroger, it is easy to get involved with URAP. Any student can offer their help to professors, and then professors decide which students would best fit the project.

“One of the big parts of this is not preventing people from doing research from the beginning. A lot of them [students] are ready to do research as soon as they start college, and this lets them.” Kroger said.

URAP has a common goal to help the students of NMSU start their careers, and begin research while they are still in college. The program also offers students the opportunity to work in their desired field, and gain letters of recommendation from faculty members.

“My goal is to get departments to use this as a valuable resource for students to help them,” said Kroger. “I’m confident that it’s going to grow.”

The program is relatively new to NMSU’s campus, and only began this semester. However, Kroger has had the idea for a program like this for a long time. Kroger did his graduate work at UCLA in Los Angeles, and his postdoctoral work at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He said that both UCLA and Michigan have similar programs which have been very successful.

“I actually started on this about 9 years ago, and then recently I had a chance to meet with provost Dan Howard and he called me and let me present my program to the dean’s.” Kroger said. “This summer I was able to program up this webpage. It’s brand new.”

Though the program is in its beginning at NMSU, Kroger is excited about the possibilities that URAP can bring to NMSU.

Students who are looking join the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program can go to the program’s webpage and sign up. Once a student has completed the signup process, they can view available projects, and offer their help to professors.

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Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program Offers New Opportunities