The CSU San Marcos RISE Program will increase the pool of racial and ethnic minority students who go on to pursue research careers in the biomedical sciences. Our Primary Measurable Objective is to place 75% of our RISE Scholars into graduate school. We begin with a Pre- RISE Program with a single goal, to Increase the Pool of Underrepresented Undergraduate Science Majors Eligible for the RISE Program. We follow with our Undergraduate RISE Program, which has five goals: 1) Select RISE Scholars Who Show Promise for Success;2) Enhance Academic Performance;3) Enhance Communication Skills;4) Participate in Biomedical Research;and 5) Apply for Graduate School. Sixteen Undergraduate RISE Scholars (URS) will participate in the program -- 8 juniors and 8 seniors -- all chosen and retained using rigorous standards. URS will participate in a set of activities designed to make them competitive for admission to prestigious graduate schools. These activities include participation in a challenging curriculum supported by a range of academic support services, research training, research seminars, and supervised original research leading to scientific publications. Our students will develop strong skills in critical thinking, problem solving, writing and oral communication, leadership, and teamwork. Finally, URS will participate as a cohort in a set of activities designed to place them into graduate school and to track completion of their graduate degrees. The Graduate RISE Program has four goals: 1) Recruit and Select Graduate RISE Scholars;2) Participate in Graduate Biomedical Research;3) Retention of RISE Graduate Scholars;and 4) Apply for Graduate School. Six Graduate RISE Scholars (GRS) will participate each year. GRS will participate in a set of activities similar to those described for the URS and they will assume additional responsibilities as mentors and role models for the URS. Placement of URS and GRS into graduate school will be facilitated through our well established connections with several graduate institutions. We also will engage in Institutional Development activities in which we will advocate for campus adoption and funding of successful RISE activities. Our Evaluation Plan provides measurable objectives and assessment criteria for each project goal to monitor project success. Counting scholars who graduated between 2003 and 2009, 74% (URS and GRS) have gone on to graduate school. The national RISE Program's goal and the CSUSM strategic plan are in perfect alignment. The regional minority population growth, the campus commitment to diversity, the success of the current RISE Program, the supportive faculty, the extensive experience of the proposed program director, the existing MBRS SCORE faculty grants, MARC and Bridges Programs, and new science buildings equipped with modern scientific instruments and powerful instructional resources collectively make CSUSM an ideal location to operate a successful MBRS RISE Program.
The education and training of racial and ethnic minority students for professional research careers in the biomedical sciences through the MBRS RISE Program will serve to advance the goal of the NIH. The RISE initiative is designed to assist RISE Scholars earn the credential for admission to PhD programs around the country. These racial and ethnic community members are not represented in the professional research workforce of the nation and as a consequence we lose a significant talent that can make meaningful contributions to the health and quality of life of the country.
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