Hispanic Health Opportunity Learning Alliance Abstract The purpose of the Hispanic Health Opportunity Learning Alliance (HOLA) is to ameliorate the lack of highly qualified first-generation-educated Latino graduates prepared to engage in graduate degrees in health disparities research in both biomedical and health science-related disciplines. Latinos have been and continue to be gravely underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social science disciplines. In 2009 Latinos made up fewer than 5% of all medical scientists, despite being 15.8% of the US population, the largest minority group. Although Latinos represent a growing proportion of college admissions, they continue to lag behind in enrollment and degree completion (Becerra 2010). Entry-level science courses (e.g. chemistry, biology) tend to eliminate Latinos students from advancement in science degrees. In response to this critical educational deficit, and with support from the NIMHD Science Education Initiative, the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training, will develop the Hispanic Health Opportunity Learning Alliance (HOLA). HOLA will provide health disparities research training and tutoring in science to Latino students in their sophomore and junior years, thus widening the pool of minority applicants for advanced degrees. Moreover, HOLA will be open to students across the natural and health sciences reaching out to pre-health majors who otherwise would not be eligible to participate in existing research opportunities. HOLA will provide 140 Latino undergraduate students and 30 minority graduate students with educational, mentoring, and career development opportunities designed to facilitate careers in health disparities research through the delivery of: 1) targeted undergraduate tutoring in diverse science courses for Latino pre-health and health science students;2) workshops in health disparities research methods;3) health disparities seminars highlighting population-specific issues;and, 4) an annual health disparities conference.
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