Moreno Valley College, a two-year community college in Southern California, experiences an annual migration of cliff swallows. The presence of these birds inspired the development of the undergraduate research program, Flying with Swallows. The assessment of the project indicated significant increases in qualitative student outcomes such as inspiration or global awareness, and in the retention and success rates as compared to courses not participating in the project. The lessons learned from designing, developing, and administering the project for five years are provided as a model adaptable to other institutions, with the following elements: research topic, goals and objectives, faculty, intra- and extra-curricular activities, collaboration, administrative support, assessment, dissemination and sustainability.
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