The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) has actively supported various outreach programs targeting underrepresented minority (URM) students within San Antonio and """"""""South Texas"""""""" since its inception more than 35 years ago. Its designation as a """"""""Hispanic-Serving/Minority-Serving Institution"""""""" as well as being the only health science center in the country with three Hispanic Centers of Excellence underscores its commitment to furthering the educational opportunities of URM students. This Proposal is designed to expand an already successful endeavor, the """"""""South Texas Doctoral Bridge Program,"""""""" through a cooperative effort between UTHSCSA, Southwest Texas State University (SWT), the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) and the University of Texas Pan American (UTPANAM). Its principal goal is to provide an opportunity to URM students, who are capable but often not adequately prepared, to increase their academic competitiveness for entry into doctoral programs. To this end, they will matriculate in a Master's degree program at one of the three partner institutions and while doing so, will be counseled, mentored and enriched as they successfully develop their skills as biomedical research scientists. Two Program participants will study at SWT and UIW, and one at UTPANAM. As M.S. students, they will a) enroll in graduate-level coursework, b) conduct state-of-the art research, c) learn to critically evaluate the scientific literature, d) work with faculty to improve upon their writing and oral presentation skills, e) spend their summers engaged in research at the UTHSCSA, f) develop an insight into graduate education at a Health Science Center, g) interact with UTHSCSA faculty via seminars, small group discussions and workshops, and h) be given the opportunity to take a GRE preparation course and to attend one local, state or national scientific meeting annually. Release time will be afforded faculty at UIW and UTPANAM to provide them a means to enhance their individual research programs. It is anticipated that the programs of the """"""""South Texas Doctoral Bridge Program"""""""" will present these young people the most promising means of achieving success in their future doctoral work and the goal of becoming a biomedical research scientist through an increase in their self confidence, academic preparedness and scientific maturity. ? ?
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