Seaver College has been awarded a four-year grant by the W. M. Keck Foundation for the enrichment of undergraduate scholarship. The grant will facilitate an institutionalized curriculum proposed by a team of Pepperdine faculty and administrators called “Developing the Undergraduate Student as Scholar: An Institutional Approach to Early Student Engagement,” also known as the Student as Scholar Program (SASP).
Beginning in Fall 2011, the grant will provide dynamic opportunities for undergraduate students to participate and engage in interdisciplinary research that will be overseen by a distinguished team of faculty. The program will engage 760 students over four years in original research and scholarship beginning in their first term at Pepperdine. “We think undergraduate students are capable and, in fact, do not have to wait until they are juniors or seniors to engage in advanced research,” explains Lee Kats, project director and associate provost for research.
Pepperdine has a long history of undergraduate research and scholarship, focusing on interdisciplinary and curriculum-based research opportunities. Still, “it could mean a culture shift for Pepperdine,” explains Kats of the program’s impact and long-term effect on the University. “Our traditional courses are important for our curriculum, but this program will initiate the next level of getting our students involved in scholarship and research and development of original ideas.”