This proposal is a competing continuation application for an existing Bridges to the Baccalaureate Degree (BS) Program (PAR-07-411) at New Mexico State University (NMSU), Las Cruces. The program proposes to serve American Indian (AI) students at three community colleges. These institutions enroll 5,414 AI students from the Din? (Navajo) Nation, the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and eight Pueblos in New Mexico. They include: One true tribal community college, Din? College at Shiprock, NM, one state-supported community college, University of New Mexico Gallup Branch at Gallup, NM;and one true locally-controlled community college, San Juan College at Farmington, NM. Funding for 5 years is requested for programmatic activities that attract, enrich, enhance preparedness, and advance AI students into baccalaureate degree programs aligned with the biomedical sciences. The annual goals of this application are: (i) An academic-year seminar/lecture/workshop series will be organized at the community colleges with 30 faculty presenters from NMSU. This will introduce >120 AI science majors to research career opportunities in biomedicine and biomedical-related research in progress at NMSU. (ii) From the student pool in goal (i), 30-35 AI students will visit the NMSU campus each spring for a two-day orientation program to prepare for forthcoming summer research experiences. (iii) From the student pool of goal (ii), 17 AI students will conduct fulltime research with a faculty mentor and participate in many structured enrichment workshops during nine summer weeks at the campus of NMSU. Workshops will include: enhancement of computer skills for conducting research;discussions of ethical conduct of research;comprehensive laboratory safety training;development of scientific writing and presentation skills;academic transfer advisement;and, financial planning for completion of the B.S. degree;(iv) Faculty seminar presenters will serve as summer research mentors and as academic advisors after students transfer to a BS program at NMSU. (v) This application proposes to transfer 70% of its summer research participants to BS institutions and to graduate 75% of the transferees with a BS degree. (vi) Opportunities are proposed for science instructors from the community colleges to conduct research during the summer months. This Bridge Program has advanced 70.4% (157 of 223 total) of its summer research participants into baccalaureate degree programs since 1992. Also, 67.4% of these transferred AI students have completed BS degrees within 10 semesters of transferring to a baccalaureate institution.
The purpose of this project is to increase the numbers of American Indian students from community colleges who pursue baccalaureate and graduate degrees in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. This group is under-represented at all levels in these disciplines and is disproportionately affected by health disparities. The project plan promotes inter- institutional partnerships among New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, and three regional community colleges (Din? College, Shiprock;San Juan College, Farmington;University of New Mexico, Gallup) which are tribally, state, and locally controlled institutions, respectively. Combined, these institutions enroll at least 5,414 American Indian students. The overall programmatic goal is to apply well-integrated developmental activities based on student research internships that will increase student preparation and skills to successfully pursue the baccalaureate and graduate degrees in biomedical and behavioral sciences.
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