University of the Rockies Promotes Research Excellence
This spring, University of the Rockies will launch the first phase of a best-in-class research portal for its students and faculty.
Rockies Research Center, a web-based portal, will provide access to resources and to a community of student and faculty researchers. Through forums, message boards and online training platforms, students at University of the Rockies will have greater access to faculty and peer support through the research phase of their studies.
According to the Council of Graduate Schools completion and attrition demographic data, it's estimated that nearly 50 percent of doctoral students in the United States never complete their degree programs. These students often complete all of the required coursework, but show "all but dissertation" on their transcripts because they fail to finish the research and dissertation phase of their studies. This portal is designed to help counteract that statistic.
"Research is often the most valuable part of the doctoral degree," says Dr. Debora Scheffel, who was recently hired as dean of research for the University. "Through university-level research, we have the opportunity to ask and to answer relevant questions for the 21st Century."
Efforts to create the Rockies Research Center began over a year ago, based on faculty feedback on how to support research and scholarship within the University.
"We needed a centralized resource to support our students, both on-campus and online, as they enter the research and dissertation phases of their studies," explains Dr. Tina Parscal, provost of University of the Rockies. "This is especially critical as students in our new PhD program arrive at the research phase of their studies. Ultimately, we felt that the best way to support these students was to create a culture and a community around scholarship and performing original research."
The portal, which will launch in phases, will include toolkits for research writing skills, resources to guide both faculty and staff through the dissertation process, a virtual environment for online collaboration, online networks, web events and enrichment workshops for ongoing faculty professional development.
Rockies Research Center will be accessible to both on-campus and online students, allowing students and faculty from both modalities to connect over common research interests and challenges.
"We're creating a trusted learning community, beyond the physical walls of University of the Rockies," says Parscal. "And we've found a way to be nimble and flexible as we meet the needs of today's doctoral student."
Rockies Research Center will complement other student support efforts at University of the Rockies, to include the library, writing center and SmartLab, which is a compilation of web-based materials to help students refresh their math and statistics skills.
"Our students, and ultimately our communities, will benefit from the quality of research that is produced by the University," says Scheffel. "We are creating a platform for highly relevant research questions to be addressed."
About University of the Rockies
University of the Rockies is an advanced graduate institution for tomorrow's thought leaders. The University provides an intimate and dynamic learning environment, offering highly specialized master's and doctoral degree programs in the social and behavioral sciences, access to industry experts, campus clinical programs for practical experience, and research and publishing opportunities. University of the Rockies is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association (www.ncahlc.org). Small by design, University of the Rockies classes are presented in a progressive online format and at its Colorado Springs, Colorado, campus. For more information, please visit www.rockies.edu or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 866.621.0124 x2513.