The Value of Undergraduate Research: A Pilot Study of Agribusiness Alumni Perceptions

The benefits of undergraduate research for students, including gains in analytical and critical thinking skills, written communication, and self-assurance, has been well-documented in the natural sciences. However, few studies exist that assess the benefits of undergraduate research in the social sciences and none of these studies reports on undergraduate research experiences in agricultural economics. This research reports on a pilot study designed to assess the value of undergraduate research experiences among agricultural economics students. Over 500 alumni who graduated from California Polytechnic State University over the last few decades responded to the 2013 survey. Results demonstrate the value of undergraduate research in agricultural economics to students’ career and personal development as well as the potential for changing perceptions of the benefits over time based on the differences we identified in alumni age group cohorts. A critical issue for agricultural economics departments is how to allocate resources in order to most cost-effectively provide such enrichment in the undergraduate curriculum.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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