Since 1998, the STEPS program has been a collaboration among the following institutions: Metropolitan State College of Denver (Metro State);the Community College of Denver (CCD);and the Community College of Aurora (CCA). The project identifies and selects underrepresented minority students expressing interest in science at the participating community colleges (CCD and CCA) to be involved in extracurricular experiences and research that will lead them to: 1) pursue careers in biomedical research;and 2) matriculate to Metro State. This five-year grant is supervised by Dr. Rosemarie DePoy-Walker, with input and insights from an Advisory Committee, including faculty involved in the grant, deans from Metro State and CCD, Sponsored Program participation, and involvement by the Grants and Contracts Accounting Manager. Two significant project goals are to: 1) escalate the numbers of minority students entering the sciences, who might not have otherwise considered a biomedical research career;and, 2) increase minority student success as they pursue biomedical research careers. Through this institutional partnership, the STEPS program supports all students at the partner community colleges involved in specific gateway courses by the introduction of Supplemental Instruction, access to tutors, helping modify the curriculum at the community colleges to more closely match the lower division courses at Metro State and other 4-yr colleges and by providing opportunities for the community college faculty to engage in activities which will help them enhance their courses. Additionally, the STEPS program identifies and selects cohorts of underrepresented minority students at the participating community colleges who express an interest in science and whose instructors believe have potential. These students are exposed to extracurricular activities and experiences that hopefully will lead them to pursue careers in biomedical research. Participation in STEPS encourages the matriculation to the baccalaureate institution, Metro State, in many ways. Selected STEPS participants participate in a seminar, which serves to introduce these students to the special skills they will need to participate in undergraduate research. This seminar, entitled "Introduction to Biomedical Research" (IBR), provides: 1) an orientation to Metro State and the biotechnology laboratory facilities on the Lowry campus;2) educates students in library, computer, laboratory and biotechnology techniques;and 3) informs STEPS participants of career opportunities and the necessary educational pathways to achieve them. Through this collaborative design involving multiple higher education institutions, underrepresented minority students have an easier transition to baccalaureate programs and are supported and encouraged in their exploration of biomedical research careers. 7. Project Narrative: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded "Strides Toward Encouraging Professions in Science" (STEPS) program provides research training opportunities to qualified undergraduate students who are from health disparities populations and/or are underrepresented minority groups in basic science, biomedical, clinical, or behavioral health research career fields. STEPS provides research training for the purpose of a) encouraging undergraduate students who are from the targeted populations to pursue careers in basic science, biomedical, clinical and behavioral health research fields;b) broadening the research efforts and scientific training of undergraduate students from the targeted populations to encompass health issues;c) assisting undergraduate students who are from such populations to participate in collaborative research initiatives and receive research training and participate in original data collection at research institutions.