The goal of Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program in the Biomedical Sciences at Florida A&M University (FAMU) is to cultivate a program that increases the numbers of underrepresented minority (URM);African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans;students from TCC to obtain a baccalaureate degree in the biomedical sciences. FAMU has strategically positioned itself as one of the few Historically Black Colleges and Universities to not only serve as a traditional feeder program but has become a relatively newcomer as a leader in graduating underrepresented minorities with baccalaureate degrees in the biomedical sciences (agriculture sciences and viticulture, biology and chemistry, environmental, chemical and biomedical engineering, environmental chemistry and health, and pharmaceutical sciences). TCC is fast approaching the status as a minority-majority institution of higher learning. It has an enrollment of 13,908 students and is culturally diversified with 47% minorities (36.1% black and 8.2% Hispanic) and 51.5% white. TCC has the highest percentage of African American students among the 28 members of the Florida College System and is ranked 6th nationally among 2-year institutions in number of associate degrees awarded to African Americans. The overall objective of FAMU-TCC Bridges Program is to establish a means for providing minority students, attending TCC, with the knowledge and appropriate skills necessary to attain an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree and to successfully compete with others to obtain an entry-level degree in the biomedical sciences at Florida A&M University. This objective will be met by: 1) Establishing an innovative recruitment strategy to attract 150 science majors at TCC to the various biomedical science disciplines and research experiences at FAMU. Through the proposed program, seminars, workshops, and lectures will take place on TCC campus throughout the academic year presented by FAMU biomedical science and research faculty;2) Establishing a FAMU-TCC Biomedical Sciences Forum where 40 TCC students from the pool of 150 underrepresented minorities(URM) will be invited for a one-day orientation during the spring semester to tour FAMU and its biomedical science programs as well as to gain information on the 10-weeks summer research internship program;3) Providing a 10-week summer research internship at FAMU for 10 Bridges students during the first year and a total of 30 for years 2-5. Students will be matched with research mentors and conduct a meaningful research project that will be complimented with several research enrichment activities to include lectures and practical experiences on research and bioethics, laboratory safety training, computer and data analysis, power point poster preparation and presentation skills, transition into your baccalaureate program (from academic advisement to identifying financial resources to pay for school) and biomedical science seminars;4) Providing an academic research internships program during the academic year for 7 Bridges students, who wish to further their research training interests in the natural or biomedical sciences;5) It is expected that 70% of the Bridges students will transfer from TCC to FAMU and that 70% will be successful in obtaining a baccalaureate degree in the biomedical sciences. By establishing academic support initiatives, including tutorial, mentoring, and advising activities Bridges students will enhance their retention rate to graduate while matriculating at FAMU;and 6) Providing a research opportunity for a TCC science faculty to conduct biomedical research for professional development and to gain additional knowledge for instructional improvement.

Public Health Relevance

The purpose of the proposed project is to increase the number and retention rate of underrepresented minorities (African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans) transferring from community college to University level. Specifically this program is designed to facilitate and ensure the success of advancing community college students to the Baccalaureate Program in Biomedical Sciences at Florida A&M University (FAMU). This program will support and develop a skillful pool of underrepresented minority students at Tallahassee Community College (TCC), who will obtain their bachelor's degree in the biomedical sciences at FAMU. The overall programmatic goal is to employ a well-integrated set of developmental activities and research experiences that will produce a talented and motivated group of minority undergraduate students, who are highly attractive for graduate studies in the biomedical sciences and who will be able to diversify the workforce to eliminate health disparities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (TWD)
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Hamlet, Michelle R
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Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Schools of Pharmacy
United States
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