Student Eligibility for ACURA:
- Students may only participate in one ACURA project per year or cycle
- Must be a student enrolled at and attending PSU Abington (UP students are not eligible)
- Must commit to working for one academic year (Fall-Spring) or 3 semesters (Spring-Fall-Spring)
- Must participate in the Spring ACURA Poster Fair after 2 or 3 semesters
How to Start an ACURA Project
Step 1: Describe Your Research Project to Students
Highlight your project and create interest among students, who can find this information on the ACURA webpage.
Step 2: Two-Semester or Three-Semester Projects?
You must decide if the project will be a two-semester course bearing three credits or a three-semester course bearing four credits. You need to register each student for an ACURA course for each semester of the project. Faculty will also determine if the course is a 200-level or 400-level course and will assign a grade at the end of each semester.
Graded Course (e.g., Soc 296, EE 496)
- Two-semester option: Fall (1 credit) + Spring (2 credits)
- Three-semester option: Spring (1 credit) + Fall (1 credit) + Spring (2 credits)
Step 3: Connect with Students
Students may contact faculty mentors if they are interested in projects they find on the ACURA webpage. You may also discuss your project in class, on the student email list, or attend the ACURA Information Session to recruit students. Students may also initiate a research or creative project and contact faculty to mentor their project.
Step 4: Discuss Expectations with Students
You will establish a one-to-one mentorship and hold weekly/bi-weekly meetings during the semester with the student or students. You should clearly discuss the syllabus and expectations.
Step 5: Register Students for an ACURA course
You will receive the student registration form from the ACURA coordinator.
Step 6: Prepare for the ACURA Fair
All ACURA students are expected to participate in the ACURA Fair. This includes attending the ACURA poster workshop, preparing the poster, presenting it at the fair, and preparing the recorded introduction for the ACURA Online Platform.
ACURA provides funding for faculty to support this work. The number of students you are working with determines the level of funding. Expenditures should be directly related to the research project.
- Chemicals and consumables for the sciences
- Transcription fees
- Fees for surveys and interviews
- Student travel to conferences
- Books, libraries, archives, databases, etc.
- Lab supplies, batteries, flash drives
Non-eligible items for purchase:
- Electronics like iPads, cell phones, computers
Submit a purchase request to the ACURA coordinator for prior approval before making any purchase. Faculty with purchasing cards may order independently after approval but MUST submit receipts as soon as they are available.
ACURA Research Project Form
Faculty should submit a brief (>100 words) description of the project. This should only describe the general nature of the project and it will be posted on the ACURA website and will help in recruiting students.
ACURA Student Register Form
Faculty members need to submit student details to the ACURA coordinator for EACH semester so that a student can be registered for a special topics course. Commonly, the fall semester is 1 credit, and the spring semester is 2 credits.
If a student begins a 3-semester project in the spring, then registration for spring is 1 credit.
ACURA Poster Fair Judging
- Posters are judged by Abington faculty representing each academic division.
- Posters are evaluated based on content, visuals, and oral presentation.
- Information literacy awards are judged by faculty from the Library.
- Winners are announced at the poster fair.
- Winners are invited to present at the fall colloquium.
Good to Know
Penn State will enforce a charge for any student who registers for more than 19 credits per semester. Students may choose to do a project without receiving course credit. This should be discussed with the student and the faculty mentor, and the faculty mentor can register the student with zero credits.
Faculty-mentored research-related activities that are not registered for credit but require student participation may be included, and students are given a presentation slot at the spring fair. Faculty mentors should register students for projects and indicate zero credits.
All ACURA students will be grouped in the "ACURA" student group and given the same rights and privileges as those students registered for credit, including the invitation to present at the poster fair.