Our commitment is to increase the number of underrepresented minority (URM) students obtaining undergraduate degrees in the sciences and subsequently undertaking careers or graduate education in the biomedical sciences. We will do this by continuing to develop and strengthen the partnership between Stony Brook University and the two largest community colleges in New York State: Nassau and Suffolk County Community Colleges. The goals of the program are to 1) provide URM students from our partner community colleges with a summer research experience where the students learn skills and techniques required to excel in a research laboratory setting;2) provide URM students from our partner community colleges with an academic year-long research experience conducted at either the student's home institution or at Stony Brook University;3) provide URM students from our partner community colleges with research mentors and research projects;4) train URM students to read scientific literature and present their own research verbally and in writing;5) provide opportunities for URM community college students to present their research at local and national meetings;6) attract URM community college students to STEM disciplines and scientific research through seminars and events;7) educate URM community college students about the transfer process, attending a four-year institution, research and scholarship opportunities, and the path to a STEM career;8) provide a smooth transition for URM students from our partner community colleges to Stony Brook University by conducting course evaluations and hosting an open house for transfer students into STEM majors;9) strengthen ties between the faculty at our partner community colleges with the faculty at Stony Brook University by developing new opportunities to collaborate in STEM research that includes URM students from the community colleges;and 10) retain URM students in STEM majors with academic advising, mentoring and tutoring from advanced undergraduate and graduate students in addition to Bridges faculty. In the past nineteen years, we have encouraged over four hundred URM students from our partner community colleges to pursue science and biomedical-related education and career paths.
It is imperative for our nation to correct the disparity that exists in our system of higher education that results in large percentages of groups of people not participating in science and biomedical studies and endeavors. To improve our world standing in science, engineering and math and to build a new generation of critical thinkers and problem-solvers, the US must invest in strategies that will ultimately strengthen our education system for the long term and in ways that are equitable and representative of the changing population. Our program provides opportunities and activities to students from underrepresented minority groups that will encourage their pursuit of science and biomedical-related education and career paths.
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