The purpose of this partnership between Elgin Community College (ECC) and Roosevelt University (RU) is to jointly develop academic year programs at ECC and summer programs at RU to prepare students from underrepresented groups and health disparities populations to transfer seamlessly from ECC to baccalaureate programs in the sciences relevant to biomedical research. The overall objective is to create a pipeline from ECC to bachelor's degree programs and keep it filled with students well qualified to graduate from college and either work in a health sciences occupation or continue in graduate school. This will increase the diversity of professional personnel in biomedical science and health related fields and will lead to improved public health in underserved populations because students will be trained to stay engaged with their communities. Students will proceed in cohorts from an introductory summer program, through two years at ECC, a summer research experience at RU and transfer to the bachelor's institution, where they will be followed through graduation and beyond. After 5 years, at least 50 students will have completed the first summer program and at least 6 of these participants will have graduated from college. By the last year of external funding, the program will be institutionalized, in large part because the educational programs developed will become part of the regular curriculum. The Bridges Program Director and the campus program coordinators at each campus will work with a cadre of faculty and administrators to: 1) Expand and improve remedial course materials in science, math and English to prepare ECC students for courses that will be acceptable to baccalaureate degree granting institutions;2) Develop first and second year courses at ECC that utilize identified best practices in science and math pedagogy and curriculum;3) Provide peer and faculty tutoring to assist student learning;4) Develop two summer programs at RU, one to introduce entering ECC students to research methods in the sciences and the second to support second year ECC students with research experience in RU laboratories. These experiences will include utilization of leading edge technology;and 5) Invite family members to a number of different programs throughout the course of the students'education. Evaluation will be an integral part of the Bridges project and will include both process and summative components with qualitative and quantitative studies. The goals are to understand the challenges to the project's implementation, to improve the quality of the implementation over time and to assess the project's success in meeting its stated goals and objectives. A quantifiable objective will be a ten percent increase in the total number of students from the target population who successfully transfer to relevant four year degree programs. The public health relevance of the ECC-RU Bridges to the Baccalaureate program will be realized directly through the success of the program participants, promising science students who will start along the path to professional degrees in biomedical and health sciences. Through this program, students will learn about the health issues faced by their community and also learn from people """"""""just like them"""""""" who have succeeded in science and math. Over the five-year period and beyond, involvement in this program will prepare talented individuals for success in college, empower them to serve their community and complete the cycle of mentoring, and improve public health as they become researchers, physicians and other highly trained health specialists.

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
Zlotnik, Hinda
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Roosevelt University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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