The demographic figures of the student body at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) mirror the rapidly changing diversity of the community we serve in urban Los Angeles and Orange counties. The Hispanic/Latino population forms the largest ethnic underrepresented minority (URM) group at CSULB, which is designated a Hispanic Serving Institute. Students entering CSULB come from an academic, socioeconomic, health and domestic status that is vastly disparate from that of their non-URM counterparts. In a climate fraught with draconian cuts in budget at all levels, CSULB is charged with the responsibility of combating the educational and professional hurdles faced by this cross section of population and shaping tomorrow's leaders in many walks of life, including biomedical research. The MARC U*STAR Program, which has been in place for over 20 years in CSULB, has a tremendous impact on the academic and professional lives and career decisions of many students. The overall aim of the current competitive renewal is to continue to increase the number of URM students entering and earning doctorates in biomedical sciences. The program will recruit 8 URM students with potential and interest in pursuing research as a career, and provide individually designed academic and research training plan to each. We will provide a rich and intense curriculum, supplementary academic support and counseling, an enriching research experience, and professional and leadership development training in a nurturing environment over a period of two years. Further, we have established collaborations with Universities with outstanding graduate programs, which will provide additional short-term extramural research training for the Scholar. We will also increase the awareness of Scholars to minority health disparities issues, and engage them in topics on responsible conduct of research, and ethics and integrity in academia and research. The Program director has gathered a team of Faculty Mentors, senior administrators, an Advisory Committee and staff members, who are committed to the successful development of the Scholars. Taken together, the MARC program will support the Scholars and lay the essential groundwork required to face the rigors of graduate school education in a highly competitive atmosphere. In parallel, we will increase the awareness of faculty regarding the setbacks encountered by URM students. All components of the CSULB MARC U*STAR Program will be rigorously evaluated by an ongoing evaluation process, based on quantitative and qualitative assessment employing established rubric and tools to assess the success of the Program. The evaluator will provide valuable feedback to the Program Director and senior administration to sustain a robust Program. In summary, the CSULB MARC U*STAR Program will have a lasting impact on the career decisions of URM students by providing opportunities to attend graduate school in biomedical sciences and give back to the health and medical needs of the community.
The CSULB MARC U-STAR Program is designed to increase the number of underrepresented minority students entering and earning doctorate degrees in the biomedical sciences by providing enhanced academic and research training, professional and leadership development skills, leading to successful matriculation into doctoral programs.
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