Foothill’s ISRI Program

This article is a plug for the Foothill ISRI – a newly established student-run program, with the support of many departments, campus organizations, and our own college President Thuy Nguyen: the Independent Student Research Initiative (or ISRI for short!)

View the Foothill ISRI’s website at foothillisri.com.

Through the ISRI, you’ll have the opportunity to receive Independent Study credit by engaging in a research project of your own design in a field of your choice, with the support and guidance of student mentors and Foothill faculty members. Participation as a researcher includes designing your research project, submitting a pitch, working with a mentor and faculty advisor as the study progresses, and the opportunity to submit your work for publication to The Script and Scientia. Acceptance into the ISRI program also guarantees publication through us. Hands-on work experience will set you apart as a job or transfer applicant, and advanced academic writing skills will be vital in your career after graduation and in upper-division university courses after transfer.

So what exactly is Independent Study? Foothill College offers students the opportunity to explore a field of interest through a hands-on project experience while working alongside a faculty advisor. According to the Independent Study contract, “[Independent Study] provides an opportunity for the student to expand their studies beyond the classroom by completing a project or an assignment arranged by agreement between the student and instructor. The student is required to contract with the instructor to determine the scope of assignment and the unit value assigned for successful completion.” Students can receive up to 6 credits per department in Independent Study credit. As a researcher, you can choose to participate for as little as one quarter up to the full school year, publishing periodic updates on your progress to meet Independent Study and ISRI program requirements. Research projects can be conducted individually or as a team. We’re currently partnered with faculty and deans from Psychology, Anthropology, Economics, Sociology, Fine Arts & Communication, and Kinesiology & Athletics, and we’re working on adding even more departments to our program.

The ISRI aims to foster a partnership between many of our campus’ programs and organizations. The Script, under our new Student Research & Projects section, will provide a platform for updates on student research and allow program members the chance to become published researchers. Foothill’s resident librarians have graciously offered their expertise in research methods and writing to help students narrow a research focus and find reputable sources for their information. The Honors Institute houses students who have presented research projects of their own at the yearly Bay Honors Consortium Honors Research Symposium, and many of these students are now available as mentors for new researchers. Foothill is now proud to host its own annual Research and Service Leadership Symposium, which program members are invited to present at to inspire and inform their fellow students of their experiences.

No matter what level you’re at in terms of research experience, we encourage you to become a part of our program. Already have a project idea, but need faculty advisement? The ISRI is establishing a list of faculty members who have agreed to help guide students in their research design and help them earn credit. Have a field of interest, but not sure what to study or how to narrow down your pitch? The research experts we’ve partnered with at the library along with student mentors are here to offer advice. Want to get involved in research, but have no clue where to start? We’re here for you too! At the core of our mission is inclusivity and support for any student wishing to enhance their college and career experience with their own research project.

If you want to get involved with the ISRI, become a researcher, program ambassador/staff member, or a valued mentor (or all of the above!), or if you have any questions, please contact isrifoothill@gmail.com!

If you’re ready to jump in, please fill out this Member Application so we can learn more about you and add you to the mailing list.

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, please check out our Program Outline & Applications page to learn more, and submit a Mentor Application here!

Note: This article was adapted from the Foothill ISRI website.

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