The premise of the proposed Training Program is that substantial progress in reducing the burden of cancer among Native Americans will require the leadership of Native American cancer researchers and health professionals. Thus the goal of the proposed Training Program is to increase the number of Native Americans pursuing cancer-related careers (Fig 1). During our first round of funding, we developed learner-based courses and curricula to provide culturally appropriate educational experiences for Native American students. The present proposal focuses on transitioning more Native American students into undergraduate work at Partnership institutions and preparing them to enter graduate programs in biomedical sciences through a research-based training program. Future programs will focus on transitioning these graduates into graduate programs and developing programs to facilitate their successful completion of graduate degrees. Our culturally relevant student-centered cancer research and clinical experiences are designed to provide motivation for Native American students to succeed in their educational development. Successful education-based course curricula developed in the previous funding period will provide the foundation for a research-based cancer training program. New activities are proposed for incoming tribal and community college students to ease the transition from Native American communities to the University environment, and to prepare upper division students to enter graduate programs. All students will have strong mentoring programs that incorporate individual professional development.
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