Purchase College, State University of New York is partnering with six SUNY community Colleges (Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Nassau, Sullivan, and Westchester) to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups (primarily underrepresented minorities) who successfully complete baccalaureate degrees in biomedical and behavioral sciences. This new Bridges Program builds upon the success of the current program that has achieved a 90% transfer rate and an 89% bachelor degree completion in biomedical and behavioral sciences. This new partnership has significant changes that focus exclusively on first-year community college students, offering them a two-year program of integrated developmental activities including a new summer program that includes an expanded research component along with a two-week long series of workshops designed to increase student engagement and student capacity for learning. In addition, students will return to their institutions for their second-year and serve as tutors and mentors for other underrepresented students. Bridges students will also participate in a second intensive summer research experience at already designated sites including other SUNY campuses and Albert Einstein College of Medicine (see Letters of Support). In order to ensure leadership support for these new initiatives, the partnership will continue the meetings of Presidents and Chief Academic Officers of all partner institutions to enhance the infrastructure of communication between academic leadership and faculty around issues of student outcomes and program challenges. This will ensure support for the program and sustainablilty beyond the grant period. The external evaluator will conduct both formative and summative evaluation activities that are designed to inform programmatic decisions about """"""""what's working"""""""" and provide evidence about the impact of program initiatives on participants'skills and abilities. The partnership will maintain the 90% transfer rate, increase the current bachelor's degree completion rate to 90%, and ensure that 45% of these students go on to post-baccalaureate work.
Purchase College Bridges Program will increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who successfully complete baccalaureate degrees in biomedical and behavioral sciences. Developmental activities will enhance engagement of students in biomedical and behavioral sciences during their first year of study, provide two summers of research experience, smooth out the transition from the two-year to the four-year institution, and ensure completion of baccalaureate degrees in biomedical and behavioral science fields.