The Southern Illinois Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program (SI Bridges) is a partnership among Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), John A. Logan College (JALC) and Shawnee Community College (SCC) that is designed to resolve some of the disparities in post- secondary education access and success, and particularly biomedical and behavioral research field, for underrepresented minority students, students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students (Bridges-eligible students). SIU, a four-year research and teaching institution, has a long track record of providing educational opportunities to diverse groups of students and supporting undergraduate research and training in BBS fields. All three institutions have inclusive excellence, access and success as core values and provide support services for the disadvantaged. The students served by the three partner institutions are largely poor and hail from counties with high poverty, higher than average minority populations and low baccalaureate degree attainment. SI Bridges will strengthen our on-going collaborations while providing institution-specific improvements that will lead to research-rich environments and a solid foundation for SI Bridges students to matriculate to SIU, graduate and enter careers or post-baccalaureate programs in BBS research. The program will serve four cohorts of eighteen to twenty (8-10 each from the two participating community colleges). SI Bridges students will partake in a two year program that has the following key components: Research training through seminars, innovative courses, and group and individual research experiences, Faculty-mentored original research in NIH- and NSF-supported laboratories at SIU, Research training for science faculty at JALC and SCC and assistance in infusing inquiry- based pedagogy and research concepts in introductory science courses, Strong multi-faceted mentoring, academic advising, tutoring and counseling. Professional development activities that include enhancement of communication and academic skills, success strategies, career planning, and exposure to BBS disciplines. This training and support will facilitate transition of SI Bridges students to SIU after completion of the Associate Degree, and will ensure completion of the baccalaureate degree in a BBS research fields.

Public Health Relevance

The Southern Illinois Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program (SI Bridges) is a partnership between Southern Illinois University Carbondale, a 4-year research institution, and two regional community colleges, John A. Logan College and Shawnee Community College. SI Bridges will provide talented underrepresented minority students, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students at each community college with consistent support and carefully mentored research training and experiences in biomedical and behavioral science- related disciplines, and will establish a strong connection for students between basic science research and improvements in human health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
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Hamlet, Michelle R
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Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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