The California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) RISE Program is well-aligned with the national goal of RISE to increase diversity in the biomedical workforce. With more than 10 years of experience we've revised and updated our program to achieve a rigorous set of activities designed to develop thoughtful and creative scientists who not only have the tools and skills to be successful in doctoral studies, but also have the opportunity to become leaders in their respective fields. As a young and rapidly growing campus situated in north San Diego County, CSUSM is well-positioned to influence an increasing number of students from underrepresented minority (URM) groups, helping them find their way to research careers. The CSUSM RISE Program consists of four key components: 1) The Pre-Rise Program, which is designed to enhance awareness of careers in biomedical research and to increase the number of students eligible for, and interested in, the Undergraduate RISE Program. 2) The Undergraduate RISE Program, which includes a broad set of activities designed to increase the number of students from underrepresented minority groups who are competitive for admission to graduate school in the biomedical sciences. 3) The Graduate RISE Program, which parallels our Undergraduate RISE Program to prepare Master's Degree students for admission to doctoral programs in the biomedical sciences. 4) Institutional Impact identifies broader benefits of the RISE Program, and in particular how the program has impacted on the CSUSM campus with shifts in the campus culture and perspective, and the institutionalization of activities. Student development 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, students will participate as a cohort in a set of activities designed to prepare and place them into graduate school and to track completion of their graduate degrees. The CSUSM RISE Program has shown increasing success over the years. In recent years, 90% of CSUSM undergraduate RISE Scholars have gone to graduate programs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and 80% of graduate RISE Scholars have gone to PhD programs. Taken as a whole, the CSUSM RISE Program will prepare underrepresented minority students to be thoughtful scientists who have the knowledge, skills, research experience and personal character that prepare them for doctoral studies in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and that will allow them to become future leaders in science and academia.
The education and training of racial and ethnic minority students for careers in biomedical research through the MBRS RISE Program will serve to advance several goals of the NIH, including to diversify the research workforce. The RISE initiative is designed to help undergraduate students earn the credentials for admission to PhD programs and to become leaders in their respective fields. As research scientists, these students will have the opportunity to address issues of importance to health and well-being, including health disparities.
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