The CCSF SMCCD SFSU Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program is a partnership between City College of San Francisco (CCSF), the three San Mateo Community College District (SMCCD) schools (Skyline College, Ca?ada College and College of San Mateo) and San Francisco State University (SFSU). Our multi-component program seeks to increase the number of CCSF and SMCCD students from underrepresented groups (UR) [for our program, UR refers to Black/African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino and US Pacific Islander] who earn a baccalaureate degree in a biomedical science field and to provide these students with the academic preparation, skills and confidence to pursue an advanced degree in biomedical science. The primary objective of our program is to implement an integrated plan of individual and institutional activities that fulfill these goals. One set of activities is for a selected cohort of 30 students (program participants) and a second set is designed for broad institutional impact to benefit all UR science students at each of our CC partner schools. The eight activities for program participants are: 1) an Academic Success Workshop/RCR Training, 2) a Directed Research Skills Class, 3) Advising, Academic Counseling, and Mentoring, 4) Peer Tutoring and Study Groups, 5) Academic Year Independent Research, 6) a Summer Independent Research Internship, 7) a Doctoral Preparation Workshop and 8) a poster presentation at a national student research conference. The nine institutional impact activities are designed to 1) raise awareness and interest in biomedical science amongst UR students to increase the numbers pursuing these majors, 2) enhance UR students'math and science course performance, so they can succeed in biomedical science majors, and 3) provide more research experiences for UR students to actively engage science. Internal and external evaluation will provide feedback on the effectiveness of all program activities and guide modification. Since the inception of this program in 1993, 388 students have participated. 227 participants have transferred to a 4-year school and majored in a biomedical or behavioral science field. 156 students have received baccalaureate degrees and 75 of these students have sought at least one advanced degree, including 21 Ph.D. degrees, 1 DrPH, 1 PsyD, 18 Masters degrees, 17 MDs and 17 PharmD/ DDS/DO degrees. Thus far, 10 Ph.D.'s, 12 Masters, 15 M.D. degrees and 15 degrees in pharmacy, dentistry or osteopathy have been earned.
It is generally agreed that there is a national need for increasing the number of well-trained minority scientists in the fields of biomedical, clinical, behavioral and health services research. This is based on the belief that diversifying the scientific workforce will enable the nation to better improve human health and eliminate health disparities. This Bridges Program seeks to significantly raise the transfer and graduation rates of under- represented minority science students, thereby increasing the pool of biomedical science graduates as a first step toward diversifying the professionals investigating health disparities.
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