Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (D/HH) persons constitute a linguistic and cultural minority group strikingly underrepresented among doctorally prepared biomedical and behavioral scientists in the U.S. The long-term goals of this project are to increase the number of D/HH students who go on to research careers in the behavioral and biomedical sciences. The objective of this project is to develop, implement, and evaluate a model program which integrates individual and institutional activities to improve D/HH students'preparation and skills as they advance academically toward completion of doctoral degrees in biomedical and behavioral sciences. This constitutes a partnership between the foremost Deaf higher educational institution in the U.S., the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) (a college within the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)), a variety of Masters level programs throughout other colleges of RIT, and the University of Rochester (UR) and its National Center for Deaf Health Research (NCDHR). This pairs D/HH students in a broad offering of Master's programs throughout RIT with faculty, students, and doctoral programs of the University of Rochester Medical Center, a research-intensive academic health center offering PhD programs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. This program has four specific aims. First, a program for Bridges Students who are D/HH will be developed at NTID to enrich the formal and informal curricula to include involvement of UR faculty from relevant doctoral programs. These include special seminar series and skill- building workshops (e.g. scientific writing, grant writing, responsible conduct of research, etc.), academic advisory, tutoring and mentoring, counseling services, graduate assistantships and a summer in-residence program. Second, the program will identify and recruit three students per year who are matriculating into Master's Degree programs at the NTID/RIT who are planning to continue on to Doctoral programs. The program will be advertised to Deaf students at NTID/RIT and nationally at other institutions with large enrollments of D/HH undergraduate students, in order to encourage them to apply for the NTID/RIT Master's programs. Third, a program to support Bridges students matriculating into UR Doctoral programs will be developed, including the use of peer and specialized mentoring services. Fourth, the program will be evaluated by assessment of core competencies acquired, by follow-up of Bridges and non-Bridges students at NTID/RIT to identify the number transferring to UR (or other institutions offering the Doctorate Degrees), and by tracking PhD completion and other career development outcomes in Bridges and non-Bridges students. At the completion of this period of funding, a model program will be in place so that NTID/RIT Master's students will increasingly decide to continue with and complete Doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences, to begin to address the critical shortage of faculty in the biomedical and behavioral sciences who are deaf.
Deaf and Hard of hearing (D/HH) students are a woefully underrepresented among doctoral prepared biomedical and behavioral scientists in the U.S. The long-term goal of this program is to increase the number of D/HH students who go on to research careers in the behavioral and biomedical sciences. This proposed program bridges the gaps - in communication, across languages and cultures, and from low expectations - that are the primary reasons there are so few doctoral prepared biomedical and behavioral scientists who are D/HH. The objective of this project is to develop, implement, and evaluate a model program, which integrates individual and institutional activities to improve D/HH students'preparation as they advance toward completion of doctoral degrees in biomedical and behavioral sciences.