Increasing the number of scientists and clinicians from underrepresented communities has been recognized as one means to help address the nation's cancer disparities. The Creating Scientists to Address Cancer Disparities (CSACD) program is an intensive 12-month laboratory-based bio-behavioral training program designed to facilitate underrepresented community college science majors'successful transfer to UCSD and then on to graduate school. Students participate in CSACD during their final year at community college. The program places basic and behavioral science majors side-by-side in the laboratory where they learn basic laboratory research methods appropriate for both disciplines to understand. The didactic training that accompanies the laboratory training focuses on providing participants with a solid understanding of cancer and bio-behavioral issues related to the development of cancer disparities. With this approach, the program leaders create a model for students of how multidisciplinary teams of bio-behavioral scientists can work together to address health disparities. CSACD includes an 8- week summer laboratory-based enrichment program with seminars and workshops on cancer and cancer disparities and professional development. This training is followed by a 10-month placement in the laboratory of a faculty mentor cancer researcher. On-going support and training are provided beginning with the summer program and throughout the 10 months of laboratory training via the use of an educational Wiki that provides students with an Internet-based, interactive social support network along with the online training. By the conclusion of the training program, most students will be nearing the point of their transfer to UCSD. Training program faculty will work with students and their faculty mentors to identify other sources of support and funding to continue the students'laboratory training, including UCSD's programs and NIH diversity supplements. While these UCSD science enrichment programs are open to all upperclassmen, the deadlines for applying to these programs make it impossible for transferring students to gain entry to them in the same year that they transfer. CSACD will make it possible for its transferring students to access these programs. This community college-focused CSACD program is grounded upon the literature and the team's prior mentoring experiences with incoming UCSD freshmen and community college graduates who had already transferred to UCSD. The CSACD program has five clearly defined aims. Multiple outcomes have been identified to measure whether the aims have been accomplished, using the same rigorous data collection and evaluation methods that were proven successful in earlier training programs.
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