In partnership with Laredo Community College (LCC), Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) proposes to establish a Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program to serve minority students from the South Texas border region. The project's primary goal is to increase the number of underrepresented minority students who successfully transition from LCC to TAMIU or other 4-year universities to obtain a baccalaureate degree in the biomedical sciences. To achieve this goal, specific aims have been developed to foster biomedical education and research to include: 1) Increasing the interest and awareness of Laredo Community College students in Biomedical research; 2) Increasing the transfer rate of Laredo Community College students to a four year institution to complete a degree program in science; 3) Enhancing the academic competitiveness of Laredo Community College students; and 4) Increasing the number of underrepresented minority students who pursue research careers in biomedical fields. The proposed aims will be accomplished through collaborative seminars, summer research experience, a spring semester course """"""""Science as a Way of Knowing"""""""", year long mentoring and training, and writing workshops. The existing collaborative efforts shared between LCC and TAMIU in the transfer/articulation agreement will facilitate the interaction of students and faculty. By enhancing the likelihood of LCC students successfully transferring to a four year institution, we will be bringing the intellectual talents of this underrepresented minority group to the biomedical research enterprise of the nation. The Texas-Mexico border is a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area and a state designated Medically Underserved Area with a population of approximately 176,576 inhabitants, of which 94.1% are Hispanic. Preparing a new generation of biomedical researchers who have a vested interest in this region's health issues, will contribute to the alleviation of this problem locally and nationwide. ? ? ?
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