This program is developed under the paradigm of inclusive excellence, based on a talent development rather than a talent selection model, with activities and processes addressing the factors that promote the participation of a diverse Latino population in research careers. The overall goal of this Undergraduate Research Education and Training (URGREAT) Program is that: 55% of graduating participants will enter a PhD program in biomedical sciences. We have 2 specific aims, each with measurable objectives.
Specific aim 1 : To improve institutional research and educational capabilities in 4 STEM gatekeeper courses enhancing by 10% critical thinking and research skills, and retention of UNE students enrolled to broaden and enhance the pathway for student recruitment for URGREAT.
Specific aim 2 : To increase scientific proficiency, scientific identity, and academic and psychosocial skills to overcome barriers to success of URGREAT-MBRS-RISE students. The goal and specific aims will be achieved by the following activities: Activity 1: Curricular and infrastructure development where URGREAT-MBRS-RISE will influence the institutional research and associated educational capabilities at UNE by: (a) assisting in the transformation of 4 gatekeeper courses: General Biology I and II and General Chemistry I and II including understanding of macro-concepts, 2 inquiry- based teaching laboratory exercise modules (IBTLEM) based on ongoing research on-campus, and Peer-led learning teams (PLTL) linked to these courses, and (b) remodeling and expansion of the UrSuccess center. Activity 2: Two-level training for URGREAT-Participating Students, where apprentice and experienced undergraduate students participate in Research Related Training (PBRRT) experiences or in a research project with a mentor, and, simultaneously, in enrichment activities for career advice, professional development, critical thinking, psychosocial skills development (coping skills, scientific efficacy scientific identity and self-reflection) and improved performance in standardized tests, scientific products and GPA. Activity 3: Team teaching a Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course to address ethical and integrity issues affecting scientific research and offering every participant the opportunity to read, discuss, and analyze these issues in a formal course including case studies. The evaluation uses a mixed method approach, including quantitative and qualitative methods which allows us to collect information required to perform evaluation and assure dependable feedback, providing important cross-checks on the evaluation findings. As a result, the evaluation will be able to determine the value of the URGREAT Program in a comprehensive way and provide appropriate direction for its improvement. Diverse dissemination strategies including URGREAT's Web page and use of 2 "social media" as research/academic media and outreach activities at schools and with significant others will be carried out. The institution is committed to maintaining the teaching/learning strategies to be developed beyond this grant and retaining the UrSuccess Director and new faculty members'positions.
This application will fund the continuity of the URGREAT Program at UNE. The Program provides a comprehensive talent development approach that encompasses student's academic, attitudinal and research capabilities. The project also will improve institutional research and educational capabilities in 4 STEM gatekeeper courses including understanding of macro- concepts, 2 inquiry-based teaching laboratory exercise modules (IBTLEM) based on ongoing research on-campus, and Peer-led learning teams (PLTL) linked to these courses. A team teaching a Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course will address ethical and integrity issues affecting scientific research.
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