Measuring Student Development

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Science  20 May 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6032, pp. 895
DOI: 10.1126/science.1207680

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For the past two decades, funding organizations such as mine have supported initiatives at U.S. colleges and universities with the goal of transforming undergraduate science education. Now it is time to ask the tough questions: How effective have these efforts been? How can educators and funders build on the lessons learned? Undergraduate education is an absolutely critical enterprise. Regardless of the future profession that a student chooses, this is the time when undergraduates acquire the fundamental skills for making creative contributions to society, including the process of scientific thinking that will empower them to be more effective citizens.