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Abstract

Purpose: Infusion of a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) into an existing research design course in an applied science curriculum allowed medical laboratory science students (n=22) to each be a contributing team member in a hand’s-on research experience, where most of the work was completed during the class time on campus. This design allowed for equal access, an equitable experience, and inclusion of all students enrolled in the course. Methods: Students and instructors worked together to develop a research question. The group agreed that the research question would be to determine the number of environmental specimens that were positive for mycobacteria species in residential plumbing specimens from different faucets and showerheads within residences in local areas. Before the actual collection of specimens, students reviewed the literature and completed more traditional modules in research ethics and Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) training. Once that was completed, students designed and assembled the collection kits, collected and processed the specimens, and reported their results. Results: Students completed most tasks during the designated class time, and those tasks that had to be completed outside of class were not overwhelming for the students either in time or effort. The students’ reflections as the human subjects in this CURE indicated that 1) 90% of the students agreed they had a better understanding of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process, 2) 100% of the students agreed the collection process was easily completed, 3) 100% of the students agreed the specimen testing was easily completed and interpreted, and 4) 100% of the students agreed the required parameters of a CURE were met. Conclusion: A CURE can be infused successfully into an applied science course allowing every student to become a contributing member of the research team.

Author Bio(s)

Deborah A. Johnson, M.S., MT(ASCP), SM, is an Assistant Professor in the Medical Laboratory Science Program at Illinois State University. She has 30 years of experience as a certified Medical Technologist with the last three years working as an educator in the program at Illinois State University.

Beverly J. Barham, PhD, MPH, MT(ASCP) is a Professor in the Medical Laboratory Science Program at Illinois State University. She has over forty years of experience as a certified Medical Technologist with the last twenty of those years working as an educator in the program at Illinois State University.

Susan R. Franzen, MLIS, MS is an Assistant Professor in Milner Library at Illinois State University. She currently serves as library liaison to the Department of Health Sciences and Mennonite College of Nursing. Susan was formerly a composition instructor at Illinois State University as well as a public library director.

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