A new plan called Training Opportunity Program - 10 steps to success (U-STAR: TOP-10) is proposed. It is a project based on a leading by example approach that intends to create a Fraternity of Scholars led by the best 10 students in science. Due to the extremely high number of underrepresented students at CSDUH, it is realistic to assume that he best 10 students will be recruited as the U-STAR: TOP-10 cohort. At the same time, the specific plan for the U-STAR: TOP-10 students will have more structure. In particular, a list of the top ten steps needed to successfully access and complete a PhD program is proposed for the U-STAR: TOP- 10 cohort to follow closely. The plan has been designed based on the best practices and research on intervention found in the literature. This project has three measurable specific aims which specifically addresses the success the of the MARC students, the improvement of the institutional baseline of students in biomedical and behavioral fields going into Ph.D. programs, and the increase in the visibility of the program as a recruitment tool. The plan builds on the success of the current cycle and also includes a set of new enrichment activities in order to address new issues and challenges. The main goals are to obtain an 85% success rate for placement of U-STAR students in PhD programs and to raise the institutional baseline in this aspect by 20%.
Underrepresented health professionals are most likely to serve underrepresented communities therefore helping to alleviate the issue of health disparities (The California Wellness Foundation, 2006). This MARC U-STAR project is designed to address the issue of underrepresentation in biomedical related fields, which will lead to an increase in the quantity and quality of underrepresented health professionals and scientists. The ultimate result will be reflected in improved public health for disadvantaged communities.
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