Course-based undergraduate research experiences, or CUREs, have been shown to promote equitable participation in undergraduate research, an opportunity with potent benefits for first-generation and underrepresented minority students. Yet, CUREs are employed disproportionately within STEM fields, and among upperclassmen, despite evidence of their positive effects for lower-level, social science, and humanities students. The project described herein represents an attempt to democratize access to undergraduate research experiences through the implementation of a multi-section, cross-campus CURE in a general education course in criminal justice. Pre- and post-test surveys demonstrated significant increases in participants’ perceived research ability, confidence, interest, and knowledge, with gains stable across students by race, income, and class standing. We conclude by proposing a framework for implementing course-based research experiences within introductory courses in the social sciences, including introduction to criminal justice.
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