The RISE program at Fresno State has the primary goal to enhance the interest and improve the skills of students and faculty members, and thus increase the competitiveness and develop a culture of sustained biomedical research on campus. Increasing the diversity of the biomedical/behavioral research workforce will have a positive impact on the health outcomes, particularly in the Central Valley, a region of California that has a few research universities and yet serve a large student population reluctant to leave the area to seek educational opportunities. The proposed RISE program has a designed pathway to increase the number of minority students pursuing biomedical careers by involving them in a number of curricular, research and co-curricular activities. Fresno State, both a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI), serves a significant geographic area and enrolls large numbers of underrepresented minority students. With strong enrollment, if URM students and an outstanding record of awarding large numbers of baccalaureate and master's degrees to minority students, we are in a position to make a positive impact on the mission of the NIH's RISE program. Fresno State has committed to preparing underrepresented students for Ph.D. programs and biomedical careers and has been competitive in developing a number of federally funded minority enhancement programs in the biomedical sciences. We have identified and addressed a number of barriers that are uniquely faced by undergraduate and graduate minority students, in commuting campuses such as Fresno State to meet their goals for a future in the biomedical sciences and designed our program accordingly to improve the outcome. With an individual development plan (IDP) for each RISE student consisting of clear and logically ordered activities are proposed to meet the specific needs of students at various stages of their careers for undergraduates (research-active upper division) or graduate (MS/MA) students. Each of the planned activities systematically addresses the need and improvements in (a) academic performance, (b) progress/achievement in educational programs, (c) development of required scientific skills to increase the ability to perform research and (d) tools for preparation and acceptance of Ph.D. or MD/Ph.D. programs. The Program Director has gathered a team of Faculty Mentors, senior administrators, an Advisory Committee and staff members, who are committed to the successful development of the program. Addressing our objectives will allow us to achieve our short- and long-range goals, which are: ? To ensure that 90% of the RISE students submit a graduate school application, with 75% (masters) students and 60% (undergraduate students) to be accepted into graduate Ph.D. programs in biomedical sciences in the first three years of graduation (short range). ? Over the next decade, we expect that 90% (masters) and 75% (undergraduates) of our RISE students will enroll in a Ph.D. program and pursue a career in biomedical research (long range). ? Over the next ten years create a culture in the University to expand and enhance the biomedical science curriculum developed by the RISE program by the institutionalization of these practices (long range). All components of the Fresno State RISE program will be rigorously evaluated by an ongoing assessment process, based on quantitative and qualitative assessment employing established rubrics to assess the success of the program. The Fresno State RISE program will support the URM students and lay the essential groundwork required to face the rigors of graduate school education in a highly competitive atmosphere. The Fresno State RISE program will have a lasting impact on the career decisions of URM students by providing opportunities to attend graduate school in the biomedical sciences and give back to the health and medical needs of the community. We expect that the number of accomplished minority students motivated to careers in biomedical research will substantially increase. The Fresno State RISE program will be part of a firm foundation as our students in the Central Valley to seek and earn the Ph.D. and establish careers as independent investigators and assume leadership positions in American science.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed Fresno State RISE program will develop a pathway for undergraduate and master's students to get accepted to and complete Ph.D. programs in biomedical or behavioral sciences. Fresno State serves a large population of URM students than any other campus in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) in California's Central Valley, one of the most rapidly growing yet underserved areas of California. SJV is a culturally and ethnically diverse region that trails the rest of California in most socioeconomic and environmental indicators. The motivated faculty members from multiple RISE eligible departments will develop a highly interactive program to promote underrepresented ethnic minorities to ease the transition of these students into Ph.D. programs. A range of curricular, research and co-curricular activities are planned to train and provide financial support for eight RISE students each year. Formative and summative evaluation of the program performance will be analyzed through a comprehensive evaluation plan.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
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NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
Program Officer
Brown, Anissa F
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California State University Fresno
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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