The Morgan State University (MSU) MARC U*STAR Program, which began in 1982, is committed to increasing the number of well-prepared and highly qualified under-represented minority students who can successfully compete for positions in graduate programs leading to the PhD degree in the behavioral or biomedical sciences. To date, the MSU program has contributed nurturing and academic advancement of approximately 18 undergraduate students who have received PhD degrees from other institutions. We have 6 MARC U*STAR graduates working towards completion of their PhD degree. The strategic plan for our new MARC U*STAR program will utilize a "wrap around" approach that encompasses activities before, during, and after completion of the program.
The aims are centered around three major strategies: 1) pre- MARC initiatives for increasing exposure to biomedical research and accessibility of the MARC U*STAR program and its offerings;2) support and enhancement of existing Program activities through enrichment and improvements in the curricula for the trainees;and 3) mentoring initiatives that begin while students are enrolled in the program and continue throughout their graduate career. Thus, the "wrap around" training approach encompasses activities before, during, and after completion of the MARC U*STAR program, and should continue to maximize the number of under-represented minorities from Morgan State University who advance successfully to PhD programs and research careers. The goals are: to establish a Pre-MARC Program component for freshmen and sophomore students that will result in an institutional-wide increase in the number and quality of rising sophomore science, math, and psychology majors at Morgan State University, who are better prepared and interested in science, particularly in the biomedical and behavioral research careers;improve and strengthen the "PhD preparedness" of our MARC program participants and to improve mentoring initiatives and activites of our program participants (mentors and mentee). It is anticipated the program outlined will revitalize the MSU MARC U*STAR program and lead to improvements in the quality and number of our graduate matriculating to doctoral gram and research careers.
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