The overarching context for this RISE proposal is to maintain the momentum and build on CSULB's successful MSD, MBRS and RISE program history in the training and professional development of under represented minority students (URMS) for entry into biomedical research and biomedical careers in the 21st century global society. The four goals of the RISE Program at CSULB are to: 1) increase the number of URMS graduating in biomedically related fields;2) create an environment in which graduating RISE students will leave the RISE program fully steeped in the culture and ethical practice of biomedical research professionals;3) increase the number of URMS who enter doctoral programs in biomedically-related fields, and;4) create an environment through which both current and past RISE Starters and Fellows, Faculty Research Advisors, RISE Project Leadership, and participating scientific researchers in the greater Long Beach area will experience a sense of belonging to a professional biomedical stakeholder group. To accomplish the first three goals, the proposed RISE program will include 7 major types of activities that are collectively designed to attract URMS and provide a progressively rigorous educational environment to promote critical, analytical, quantitative, creative thinking and research skills that will prepare them to successfully compete in Ph.D. programs in the biomedical and behavioral fields: (1) outreach to recruit underrepresented minority students into the RISE program;(2) academic support through summer academic preparation and research workshops, tutoring and supplemental instruction (SI) during the academic year involving a hybrid mix of online and face-to-face instruction;(3) intensive laboratory research experiences under the mentorship of CSULB biomedical faculty research advisors;(4) hands-on career exploration by students throughout their undergraduate program that focuses on biomedical career opportunities and pathways;(5) a series of workshops designed to train participants as ethical scientists, develop key academic and workforce skills, and prepare participants to successfully enter graduate study upon graduation from CSULB;(6) intensive biomedical-related job shadow and research fellowship experiences on campus and at regional doctoral-granting institutions, and (7) on-going "Science &Community" colloquia to facilitate knowledge growth and exchange between students and faculty. The fourth and final goal will be accomplished by the development of a RISE Professional Learning Community (RISE-LC) comprised of a stakeholders group to improve internal communication, networking and engagement between the RISE students, their Faculty Research Advisors (FRAs) and other engaged parties. The RISE-LC will be the organizational umbrella encapsulating the entire RISE program. This structure will provide a way to strengthen the collegial kinship and bonds among the FRAs mentoring RISE Fellows in their laboratories and between the FRAs as a group and the RISE students - a key deficiency noted in some of the past evaluations of the existing RISE program. By promoting increased participation and dialogue between the stakeholders, the RISE-LC will help RISE students appreciate the relevance of coursework, understand the collaborative, integrative and multidisciplinary nature of modern biomedical research and comprehend the value of the research and learning opportunities presented through the RISE program in their career development. Perhaps most importantly, the immersive RISE-LC will create a fostering environment where students can specifically identify themselves as part of an integrated and unified team that is working collectively towards supporting their progress towards their individual biomedical educational and career pathways by promoting endeavor and personal responsibility as they migrate through the RISE experience from their freshman year through acceptance into a post-baccalaureate graduate program.
The proposed RISE program at CSULB is designed to strengthen the pipeline of future scientists - especially underrepresented minority students - who will become Ph.D. level biomedical researchers and policy leaders on global health-related issues in the next several decades. RISE students will move through their undergraduate experience focused on the learning of science content and processes while gaining experience using their critical thinking and problem-solving skills contextualized within global biomedical issues of the 21st Century. The relevance and significance of their chosen career pathway and the importance of research in solving global health related issues will be emphasized by having RISE students participating in multiple opportunities for job shadowing and research experiences in on-campus laboratories and in laboratories at regional doctoral-granting partner institutions.
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