The purpose of the Bridges to Success in the Sciences Program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) is to make it possible for underrepresented minority students to complete their science education at Tri-C, continue their science education at a four year college or university, complete their Bachelors degree and continue on to graduate school. The goal of the Tri-C Bridges Program is to develop a network of Bridges graduates who are Ph.D. scientists doing research in health disparity fields. These graduates serve as role models and mentors for their peers who are traveling the academic road, and for the next generation of underrepresented minority students. Students in the Tri-C Bridges Program have two mentors. One mentor is a Tri-C faculty person, who acts as a trouble-shooter for concerns which might hinder Bridges students'progress. The second mentor is a researcher on the faculty of one of our partnering four-year institutions. All research mentors have active, funded programs of research. During the academic year, Bridges students work ten hours a week in the labs of their research mentors. During summer, thanks to matching funds, most Bridges students work from thirty to forty hours per week in the same or similar labs. Students attend monthly workshops focused on academic advising, study skills and motivation. Faculty in the Bridges Program, both at Tri-C and at the four year institutions demonstrate their commitment through constant communication, encouragement and assistance at each step along the students'educational journey. Accountability and assessment are key components of the Bridges Program. Students are required not only to maintain, but to improve their GPA's. GPA's are monitored and midterm progress reports are mandatory. Immediate academic intervention in the form of individualized tutoring and study skills reminders are implemented when needed. Students are required to keep detailed accounts of their progress. They also write research papers, produce posters and power points and present their work at local, state-wide and national conferences. Students are required to complete and become certified in the Protection of Human Research Subjects through a course given at Case Western Reserve University. Comparisons between Tri-C Bridges and non-Bridges students as to GPA, hours attempted and hours completed continue to be significant indicators of the importance of the support of the Bridges Program for the academic success of minority students. Transfer rates and continued academic achievement after transfer to Bachelor degree programs are Bridges'most important measures of success. Partnering institutions are: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, Baldwin-Wallace College, The University of Akron and The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IMM-A (50))
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Hamlet, Michelle R
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Cuyahoga Community College
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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