One of the main concerns about undergraduate scholarship is that many people do not understand what type of work fits in this category. In addition, some people are not clear about the value of undergraduate scholarship - isn't this level of work for graduate students?
At SFA, we use the term Mentored Undergraduate Scholarship (or MUGS) to refer to the process of scholarly endeavors that incorporate undergraduates. MUGS includes a number of activities - including original research, creative works, and rigorous reviews of the literature.
The central premise such work is the formation of a collaborative enterprise between student and faculty member (most often one mentor and one student scholar, but sometimes a team consisting of either one or both or a group of student scholars) (Dotterer, 2002). It is research done with a mentoring model or jointly by students and faculty member.
What Constitutes Undergraduate Scholarship?
In order to have a successful undergraduate scholarly experience, three basic components must be present:
• Student - has an attitude that reflects being open-minded and excited about engaging in research or creative work.
• Scholarly Project - undergraduates can do research or creative work within any discipline.
• Faculty Mentor - willing to devote time to helping to develop an undergraduate's research skills by expanding his/her knowledge of the discipline