The CSU San Marcos MARC-U*STAR Program will increase the pool of underrepresented racial and ethnic minority students who pursue research careers in the biomedical sciences. Our Primary Measurable Objective is to place 90% of our MARC Scholars (MS) into graduate school. Our Program and Training Plan has six goals. The goals include creation of a large pool of MARC Program eligible students through a set of Pre-MARC activities, Enhance Academic Performance, Enhance Scientific Communication Skills, Enhance Computational Skills, Participation in Biomedical Research, and Graduate School Application. Eight MS will participate in the program in years 1 and 2, 9 in year 3 and 10 in years 4 and 5. In the first year, 4 MS will be juniors selected from the Pre-MARC program, or juniors entering from community colleges - all chosen and retained using rigorous standards - and 4 will be continuing seniors. MS will participate in a set of activities designed to make them competitive for admission to first-class graduate schools. These activities include participation in a challenging curriculum supported by a range of academic support services, participation in a range of skills development workshops, research training, research seminars, supervised original research leading to scientific publications. Our students will develop strong skills in critical thinking, problem solving, writing and oral communication, leadership, and teamwork. Finally, MS will participate as a group in a 10-month set of activities designed to support completion of their graduate school application and to place them into graduate school. Our Evaluation Plan provides measurable objectives and assessment criteria for each project goal to assess project success. Counting MS graduates for 2005 to 2009 (current reporting period), (12/12) have gone on to graduate school (1 MS and 11 PhD) for a placement rate of 100%. The national MARC Program's goal and the CSUSM strategic plan are in perfect alignment. The regional minority population growth, the campus commitment to diversity, the success of the current MARC Program, the supportive faculty, the experience of the program director, the existing MBRS SCORE, RISE and Bridges activities, and new science buildings with modern scientific instruments and powerful instructional resources collectively make CSUSM an ideal location to operate a successful MARC Program.
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