B) How do CUREs satisfy GE requirements?

A CURE is a high-impact practice and represents a transformative experience for students because it:

  1. Leads students through an authentic experience that reflects the work of professional scholars and meaningfully contribute to society.
  2. Guides students through the creation of novel content, not merely the consumption of existing knowledge.
  3. Provides the opportunity to demonstrate competence and creativity to peers and the world.
  4. Fosters the development of widely applicable skills and metacognition.
  5. Engages students in working collaboratively with a diverse group of peers and professionals.
  6. Helps reduce the equity gap and open professional opportunities to all.

CUREs enable the implementation of research projects for an entire class. Additionally their features correspond to the expectations of high-impact research course at Ohio State articulated in the research and creative inquiry (RCI) inventory (Figure 1). CUREs are therefore well-suited to Theme courses with a research and creative inquiry component; they are also appropriate for other elements of the curriculum, including within the majors, that seek to bring scholarship to a greater number of undergraduate students.

Two elements (9-10) of the RCI inventory that are not included in Figure 1 deserve attention. They are both associated with the importance of an inclusive curriculum that explicitly seeks to address the equity gap. By opening research opportunities to all students as part of the regular curriculum for a degree, regardless of the individual circumstances of students, CUREs help level the playing field of high-impact practices. They give large numbers of students the opportunity to engage in research (Ahmad & Al-Thani, 2022; Gentile et al., 2017); something only a few students, and disproportionately not students from underrepresented minorities, otherwise benefit from through limited numbers of research internships (Bell et al., 2017; Desai et al., 2008; Gin et al., 2022; Haeger et al., 2015; Jayabalan et al., 2021; Jones & Lerner, 2019; Mahatmya et al., 2017; McLean et al., 2021; Shanahan, 2018; Stoeckman et al., 2019). By introducing a diverse body of students to research and its benefits, CUREs can spark interests in research careers, change students’ identity, and contribute to changing the demographic and identity make-up of the research community over the longer term (Bangera & Brownell, 2014; Newell & Ulrich, 2022; Villarejo et al., 2008; Wilczek et al., 2022). Research experiences have been identified as one of the critical predictors of the persistence of underrepresented students in the sciences (Schultz et al., 2011; Villarejo et al., 2008). CUREs themselves have been showed to lead to increased engagement in research, and persistence in STEM (Bascom-Slack et al., 2012; Harrison et al., 2011; Harvey et al., 2014). The integration of research into the regular course load of students and the concentration of the work associated with the research project into the class time (or in replacement of regular homework) helps overcome many obstacles encountered by research internships in diversifying the research community including awareness of research opportunities, awareness of benefits of research experiences, unconscious societal bias, financial constraints, and personal barriers (Longmire-Avital 2018; Bangera & Brownell, 2014; Shanahan, 2018; Villarejo et al., 2008). In fact, CUREs have sometimes been showed to positively impact student groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences specifically (Hanauer et al., 2022). CUREs have also been called the most complete intervention possible to address the hidden curriculum (Jayabalan et al., 2021). As such, they have the potential to participate in creating inclusive college classrooms, reduce the equity gap, and stem the leaks of underrepresented scholars (Handelsman et al., 2022).


CURE characteristics are well-aligned with the integrative practices of the inventory for research and creative inquiry of the new GE at Ohio State.
Figure 1. Relationship between the CURE characteristics from CUREnet and the integrative practices of the inventory for research and creative inquiry of the new GE at Ohio State. Numbers correspond to the list in section A.