This continuing project will maintain and enhance the partnership between Montana State University- Bozeman and four tribal colleges in Montana: Little Big Horn College, Fort Peck Community College, Stone Child College and Chief Dull Knife College. The goal of this partnership is to build a seamless educational experience between these two-year tribal colleges and the MSU thereby increasing the number of underrepresented Native American tribal college students successfully transferring to MSU and pursuing academic studies in the biomedical and other health-related sciences. """"""""Bridging Tribal Colleges to MSU"""""""" (BRIDGES) will focus on achieving the following aims: (1) Annually at the tribal colleges, BRIDGES will sponsor 8 research seminars by MSU faculty and others in biomedical and behavioral sciences;(2) will annually host a three-day spring workshop at MSU to introduce 20 tribal college students to MSU;(3) will provide 11 students with meaningful, hands-on research experiences in biomedical and related laboratories at MSU during an 8-week program each summer;(4) will provide summer participants with math coursework to improve their academic competitiveness and confidence;(5) will provide tribal college faculty with opportunities for professional development, including support for travel to biomedical and related professional conferences, research supplies, and opportunities for collaborative research with MSU faculty;(6) will provide on-campus support after students bridge from one campus to the other, continuing to motivate and guide these students through their completion of a B.S. degree. These specific project aims are designed to create multiple opportunities for strengthening academic skills and improving confidence when transferring from two-year, tribal colleges to four-year MSU. By hosting tribal college students on the MSU campus during spring semester, the summer research experience, and by reciprocal visits by MSU faculty and others to the students'campuses and communities, the program will create a seamless sense of place and belonging to carry students throughout their undergraduate studies. Since BRIDGES'inception in 2001, 64% (28 out of 44) of its summer research students have progressed from their tribal colleges to B.S. degree programs. BRIDGES proposes to advance 75% of its summer participants to 4-year schools and to graduate 70% of the MSU transfer students with baccalaureate degrees. This student training project will increase the number of underrepresented Native American students successfully transferring and pursuing academic studies in the biomedical and other health-related sciences from two-year tribal colleges to Montana State University. It will strengthen the collaborations between MSU's health-related research programs and tribal colleges on Montana reservations where significant health disparities exist in areas such as the incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. As a result of the program, more American Indians will be trained to work in biomedically related fields to eliminate the health disparities among their peoples.

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))
Program Officer
Hamlet, Michelle R
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Montana State University - Bozeman
Other Health Professions
Other Domestic Higher Education
United States
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