The North Carolina State University Bridge Program is directed toward increasing the number of minority researchers in the biomedical and life sciences. The program targets under- represented minority students in colleges and universities offering only Master of Sciences (M.S.) degree programs in biomedical-related sciences. The Bridge Program establishes a partnership between North Carolina State University and three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's): North Carolina Central University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, and Fayetteville State University; and one Native American institution; Pembroke State University. The program will provide support and facilitate the transition of M.S. degree students in the sciencesfrom these institutions to doctoral degree programs at North Carolina State University. Through its collaborative efforts with the participating institutions, the program seeks to improve the academic competitiveness of underrepresented minority students. This new partnership program focuses attention and adequate resources on the underrepresented minority graduate students enrolled in the M.S. program. Components of Bridge include a mentoring program, faculty research collaborations, enhancement of the curricula at the MS institutions, development of a specialized summer biotechnology training workshop for faculty and students at minority institutions, and the establishment of an admissions policy guaranteeing acceptance into the participating Ph.D. programs at North Carolina State University. The long-term objective of the Bridge program is to increase the number of doctoral trained minority researchers in the biomedical and life sciences. This program is part of our continuing effort to expand the current pool of underrepresented minorities in Ph.D. programs in these areas. Students pursuing M.S. degrees at the collaborative institutions will participate in a collaborative transitional program for doctoral studies in biomedical and life sciences at North Carolina State University.
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