Consistent with goals for Healthy People 2010, Mercy College's Career Opportunities in Research Program aims to increase the numbers of underrepresented minority undergraduates who enter doctoral programs by continuing a mutually beneficial and successful collaboration between a major research center, New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University (PI) and a small liberal arts college, Mercy College (MC), whose undergraduates are primarily Hispanic (33%) and African-American (29%). This collaboration relies heavily on the institutions' mutual commitment to training and community service and the goal to foster success in minority students' achievement at the high school, baccalaureate, graduate and post-doctoral levels.
Specific aims of the project would include: 1) identifying and recruiting cohorts of 5-10 MC undergraduate honor students who seek special research education at MC combined with collaborative research training at MC during their junior year and PI during the summer between junior and senior year as well as throughout senior year; thereby 2) enhancing MC students' qualifications to enter and complete doctoral programs in preparation for careers in mental health research; by 3) stressing during their COR training, which includes Education at MC (3 required courses) in conjunction with research training at MC (2 cooperative education courses) and PI (4 work study courses), the standard concepts and research skills that characterize modern investigators in mental health fields (e.g., scientific methodology, statistical analysis, and computer technology); 4) in addition to observing first-hand how mental health research is being conducted at PI, each COR Trainee will also emulate the research process from start to finish during his/her year long independent research project (i.e., Thesis Workshop) under the joint supervision of an individual Mercy Faculty Mentor and PI Mentor; and 5) each COR Trainee will concurrently receive expert advice and guidance concerning the selection and application process for graduate school admission. In part, this activity will be facilitated during a series of COR Meetings dedicated to Q/A sessions conducted by outside speakers with appropriate expertise, working in conjunction with MC's Career Development Center. Other institutional support includes special sessions for COR Trainees with staff from MC's Learning Center (e.g., to practice GRE exam, receive individualized tutoring) to special workshops by staff in MC's Computer Center for reinforcing the use of computers in research including literature searches on Medline or PsyclNFO, data analysis with SPSS and writing APA style reports. Lastly, COR trainees will be provided with research presentation and networking opportunities through their participation at national NIMH-COR Colloquiums, presentations at these and other scientific meetings, and opportunities for publication of their research results. ? ?