Lab Experience or Courses??

Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Fri Aug 29 14:16:45 EST 1997


At ECSU, all but our senior seminar (writing, presenting,
discussion, course) course have labs.  Here we all agree
that the laboratory experience is ESSENTIAL to getting
our students into research labs as technicians, into
research fellowships in grad schools, and providing the
"extra" that gets them into competitive medical and other
"professional" schools.

Indeed our students are sought out by business, industry,
and graduate programs at least state-wide because of their
reputation as "ready for work."  Our graduates are placed
at Yale, Duke, Cornell, Michigan, Texas A&M, NC State, etc.
And it is the research experience that makes the difference
in graduate admissions.

Our best and brightest are encouraged to develop a multiple-
semester independent research project with a faculty member,
to carry it out sufficiently to present it regional or
national meetings (some even international) and we help them
with the networking needed to open the doors to opportunities.

Others must be doing this too because some of our students have
even been asked by other students at conferences if there
were any opportunities to work in "their" lab (before
they even have a BS let alone their own lab!).

So as I see it the course-labs provide the experiences needed
for the average students and are the prerequisites for our best
and brightest to do the independent research that REALLY
gets the results we want for our students.

In my opinion, schools that do not provide lab experiences
in courses, but only "head" facts are CHEATING students out
of what is TRUE SCIENCE.  Of course some lab exercises are
worth just about nothing (many in published books with diagrams
already labeled, questions already answered, no experiments
to carry out, no "independent" work of any kind), so you do
have to make sure that the labs you offer are worth their
expense in time and trouble.

Hope this helps!


Ross Koning                 | koning at
Biology Department          |
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479

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