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Undergraduate research is a growing component of agricultural communications programs across the nation. Students draw upon their constructed experiences with research to assign the level of personal significance in their own lives and future career aspirations. This qualitative exploratory analysis investigated the experiences of four undergraduate students majoring in agricultural communications at a Mid-Western Land Grant University as they completed an on-campus undergraduate research class or experience. Participants identified research had a positive impact on the field of agricultural communications, but only the students who participated in a small, self-guided research class had a positive viewpoint toward research. All participants identified undergraduate research projects as beneficial and mentioned a desire to be recognized for their work by presenting at small-scale, on-campus research events. This study was guided by the experiential learning theory and recommends research mentors provide a positive emotional experience throughout the research process in order to allow students to construct positive associations and meanings to research.


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