Research program grants students hands-on-experience

Shannon Columb, Staff Writer

For the second time, representatives of the Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP) accepted honors for nation wide recognition of it’s work with diversity in education. RAP received the 2016 Diversity Program Achievement Award from the Wisconsin State Council on Affirmative Action in October.

This is not the first time the program has received recognition; in 2015, RAP was recognized for its contribution to serving under-served student populations by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.

The goal of RAP is to lessen the achievement gap between minority and majority students in terms of graduation rates.

“It is actually quite well-known that undergraduate research is [a tool] that can help the retention in graduation and students’ success in general,” Catherine Chan, director of Undergraduate Research said.

RAP is a fairly new program at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Ever since its launch in 2011, it has empowered an array of students.

The main focus of the program is to engage freshmen, sophomores, and transfers in research – which is typically reserved for juniors and seniors.

“With RAP, I was able to learn about research hands on and eventually work on my own projects as early as sophomore year,” former RAP student, Kate Yetter said.

The program allows students to work closely with mentors from all four undergraduate departments on various research projects

Students are paid to create surveys, collect and analyze data and review literature during the semester-long, paid opportunity.

RAP has become so popular that there is currently a waiting list for spring semester.

As Chan described, many students who participated in the program said it was very beneficial and ‘among one of the most influential experiences within the college career.’

For more information about RAP, visit