The Wayne State University (WSU) IMSD program is requesting support to maintain its successful graduate training program. The program will continue to train 10 graduate students per year and these students will be selected in their first and second year of graduate study. The graduate component will continue to focus on increasing graduation rates and time to graduation. We will continue to have a career development component and a new component to augment teaching skills. Faculty along with previously supported IMSD graduate students will work as a team to develop the content, and present the content to the learning communities that are associated with the first year science courses and laboratories developed for the undergraduate component. The engaged graduate students can learn effective curriculum development as well as teaching skills. Also we are requesting support to establish an undergraduate science research program based on the premise that effective science at the undergraduate level requires an individualized approach. This personalized approach is especially important for students from a diverse background, especially minority students. A structured hands-on interactive learning in a socially supportive environment is key to bending the cultural trajectory of minority students toward an academic career in scientific research. We have structured a program that will allow us to "personalize" both the academic and research experience of both our graduate and undergraduate students to achieve the goals of our program. The IMSD undergraduate program will have three basic integrated components: (1) academic enhancement;(2) undergraduate student research;and (3) career development. The academic enhancement component is designed to enable freshman science students to have an excellent academic beginning by focusing on mathematics competency and by personalizing the core science lectures and laboratories using specialized learning communities. The college experience will be further enhanced by peer mentoring. The undergraduate mentored research program will be integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. We have designed a phased approach where the first academic year gives students an introduction to research as well as learning basic laboratory skills. Starting the second semester of the first year they will enter a research laboratory and participate in a mentored research experience continuing throughout their college career. The faculty research mentors are selected from a wide array of faculty that have active research programs. These academic and research experiences along with professional development should lead to careers in academic and scientific research. It is anticipated that 8 new undergraduate students will participate in the program each year and continue until graduation. A larger number of students will be impacted by the "halo" effect. The program will be administered by the program director with the assistance of a program administrator and an Advisory Committee. An extensive evaluation plan and tracking component is integrated into the program.
The Wayne State University (WSU) IMSD program is designed to increase the number of ethnic minority (as defined by NIH) students pursuing degrees in biomedical and behavioral sciences. There is a severe shortage of ethnic minority scientists in the nation and IMSD Program at Wayne State University is working towards alleviating that problem.
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