The institutional setting for the Montana American Indian Initiative for Minority Student Development Program involves a consortium consisting of Montana State University (MSU)-Bozeman and seven Montana Tribal Colleges (TC). The overall objective of the Montana IMSD program is to address the serious under representation of American Indians in health science and biomedical research careers.
Specific aims are: 1) to increase the academic competitiveness of American Indian students in health science curricula; 2) to provide Indian students with an enrichment experience in a biomedical research environment thereby motivating them to pursue a career in a biomedical/health science field; 3) to expose Indian students to a broad spectrum of career opportunities in biomedical/health science fields; 4) to increase the rate of successful transfer of Indian students from TC to MSU and from MSU to graduate schools; 5) to increase recruitment, retention and graduation of American Indian students in health science curricula. The Montana IMSD program involves 10 faculty mentors assisting in the development of 14 undergraduate students and one graduate student seeking degrees in biomedical fields. Participating IMSD students will gain a comprehensive appreciation for various aspects of biomedical research with a special emphasis on the health relatedness of the 10 faculty mentors working directly with the students. Students will participate in several academic enhancement activities including a seminar each semester on Minority Health Issues with specific emphasis on issues related to American Indian health; a technical writing lab and a graduate record examination preparation program throughout the academic year; study skills development sessions; math and science tutorial program, and mentoring projects (the students will mentor tribal college health science students and high school students from reservation schools attending summer research programs at MSU and will continue online mentoring during the academic year). Participation in the IMSD program will provide Indian students with background experience and motivation to help achieve the overall goal of the Montana IMSD program to increase significantly the number of American Indian students in health and biomedical research fields.
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