Promoting undergraduate interest, preparedness, and professional pursuit in the sciences: An outcomes evaluation of the SURE program at Emory University

CBE Life Sci Educ. 2010 Summer;9(2):119-32. doi: 10.1187/cbe.09-08-0057.


We report on an outcomes assessment of the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Using follow-up survey data and academic transcripts, we gauge SURE's impact on levels of interest in, preparedness for, and actual pursuit of graduate study and professional careers in the sciences for the program's first 15 summer cohorts (1990-2004). Our follow-up survey indicated significant increases in all research preparedness skills considered, notably in ability to give a poster research presentation, to discuss research at a graduate school interview, and to apply research ethics principles. About a third of SURE graduates went on to complete a graduate degree >90% considered SURE as important or very important in their academic development. Respondents reported postprogram increases in the level of interest in academic and research careers, and reported high levels of employment in science careers and job satisfaction. Regression analyses of Emory SURE participant transcripts revealed that participants take significantly more science courses as seniors and earn higher grades in those courses than nonparticipants. This trend held after correcting for indicators of prior interest (first-year course work, GPA, and math SAT scores), gender, and minority status. We also report on an external survey completed by SURE participants.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice*
  • Education, Graduate / statistics & numerical data
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Research / education
  • Research / statistics & numerical data
  • Science / education*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Teaching
  • Universities*
  • Workforce