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High Impact Practices (HIPs)

Undergraduate Research

explore UR



To create meaningful academic and real-world experiences for our students through undergraduate research.

Valid research experiences in academia are not always equated to original research; also critical to the field of research is the ability for scholars to validate original research. This too provides opportunities for all students at Pikes Peak Community College to gain valuable research experience. Undergraduate Research at Pikes Peak Community College seeks foster an environment where community partners, the administration, staff, faculty and most importantly students create a rich, high-impact academic experience that aids with the following:

  1. Students will increase their knowledge of academic resources utilized by the larger academic community.
  2. Students will learn research methods; increase their ability to both identify and utilize research methodology; understand what constitutes standards of research in their given field(s).
  3. Students will create networks of collaborators to include faculty mentors, fellow peer-researchers, and community partnerships.
  4. Students will be able to communicate orally and through presentation their research to a diverse audience; be able to work with faculty to publish their findings.

Undergraduate Research Guidelines:

  1. Identify a research project.
  2. Include a syllabus statement. See example below.
  3. Make sure you have at least one reflection assignment. This can be informal, just as long as you are doing it.
  4. Students share their findings, individually or in groups. This can be done through the PPCC EXPO, the Math/STEM Colloquium, or CSURF, or any discipline-specific publication you choose.
  5. We ask that you use the HIPs survey and rubric, and that you have a conversation with your supervisor about this work
  6. We have lots of good info about undergraduate research on the website, including the student-facing page Introduction to Research Process

8 Steps of Research

1. Scholarly Mindset

Curiosity is one of the most critical traits tor a scholar to have. We are naturally not curious about ever subject matter. How can you become curious about a subject matter in which you have no interest?

2. Identify and Develop Topic

In some cases, your instructor may give you "free reign" within the framework of a course to do your own research. This can be an overwhelming feeling; after all, what's critical is that you possess curiosity to learn more about the ideas in the course, how the ideas you are learning apply to your major, and finally, what the larger scholarly community has to say about your topic and question.

3. Find Background Information

Do not just define the topic and concept; look for how it relates to other key figures, concepts, time (when), and space (where). You are looking to build relationships and increase your foundation of knowledge.

4. Ask Questions and Develop Hypothesis

You've done the leg work, flushed out a topic, and have done tertiary research on the background of the key players and ideas on a field of study. You have enough foundation to ask a research question. A gook research question is like a compass, helping you to navigate the mountains of literature that all fields possess.

5. Use Databases

With a research question in hand, it's now time to find an answer. When conducting research, you are not looking for basic answers. You want scholarly answers, which are going to give you evidence and in-depth analysis. Authorship is key when conducting research in college. You are looking for expert, educated opinions held in the scholarly fields.

6. Evaluate Information

Scholarly sources are creditable; not all creditable sources are scholarly. You may use popular magazines, like Time Magazine, to find a topic. Time is a creditable source and has lots of great and informative articles. It doesn't not go through the same rigor or peer research review process as a journal, like Speculum. Newspapers can be great primary sources, but they are not considered scholarly sources.

7. Cite Source Material

Citation is an important part of research. When you cite, you are doing what's called due diligence, which means you are taking responsibility, legally, for giving the proper credit for a quote or an idea you are using in your research. Citation also helps your reader to follow your thought process and follow the evidence.

8. Share Research

Sharing your research is important, because not only are you getting the opportunity to show off what you've learned, but you are also taking courageous step to be a part of a scholarly community by participating in the scholarly disclosure. It can be nerve-wracking sharing your research, but it's an important experience.


Sample UR Syllabus Statement

"This section of [AAA 101] is a PPSC endorsed Undergraduate Research (UR) class, where part of the course will be spent on UR activities.  This activity will support course objectives, while promoting at least two of the following skills: inquiry, topic development, constructing a research question or a working hypothesis, collecting data via primary or secondary source material or experimentation, use deductive or inductive reasoning to analyze data, and reflection.  All UR classes must use either writing assignments, oral presentations, or publication in an academic or school journal, like Parley, in an effort to report findings to a larger scholarly community. "



Present and Publish Findings


Math/STEM Colloquium

Liberal Arts Humantiies Forum (LAHF)

The Paper


Colorado Springs Undergraduate Research Forum (CSURF)

  • Saturday April 22nd, 2023
    8am - 5 pm
  • Colorado College
    825 N cascade Avenue
  • Registration opens March 1st – closes April 4th


HIPs Faculty Specialists are peer experts who are ready to assist fellow faculty to implement or improve high impact practices.

Glenn Rohlfing

History Faculty



Amber Morean

Biology Faculty



Have general HIPs questions? Contact:

Pikes Peak State College Libraries
Information ∞ Inquiry ∞ Learning