Special School Programs

Understanding that our future students are today’s elementary, middle school, high school and college students, the UNT Health Science Center participates in programs aimed at helping young students see the exciting opportunities in medicine, health and science. For more information about these programs, contact the Office of Special School Programs at 817-735-0174.

Adopt-a-School Programs: In recognition of the need to stimulate interest in careers in the health professions and the biomedical sciences for students early in their education, the health science center “adopted” the health professions high school magnet in 1982. That first adoption has continued, and grown to include a total of seven schools in two strands of two school pyramids. In the principally Hispanic North Side High School pyramid, Manual Jara Elementary School and J.P. Elder Middle School have been adopted. In the principally African American strand of the Dunbar High School pyramid, Maude I. Logan Elementary, Dunbar Sixth Grade Center, Dunbar Middle School, and Dunbar High School have been adopted. Faculty, students and staff from the health
science center serve as mentors, present classroom demonstrations and lectures, and host students on visits to the center campus.
High school students rotate through the center’s clinics and laboratories during their junior year for six-week preceptorships, and
up to twenty students are accepted as START (see below) students each summer. As a result of our efforts, the Fort Worth
Independent School District recognized both the Dunbar High School and the J.P. Elder Middle School adoptions as “Outstanding
Partnerships” during academic year 1998/1999.

The center also participates in other school district-sponsored programs, including Vital Link, and the Summer Bridge Program,
both of which offer students opportunities to observe and participate in a variety of center occupations both during the
school year, and in the summer.

In addition to the K-12 activities initiated in association with the school district, health science center faculty serves as mentors
for the NAACP-sponsored ACT-SO student achievement program in the science disciplines.


Summer Multicultural Advanced Research Training (SMART): With a grant from the National Institutes of Health, up to twenty college sophomores and juniors from around the country are selected to spend ten weeks during the summer in the laboratories of center faculty. Students stay at the dormitories of Texas Christian University while working at the center. They conduct focused research projects, attend the biomedical sciences class, and prepare an oral and written presentation at the conclusion of their study. Their written presentation is in the form of an abstract, which is submitted each year to the National Minority Research Symposium. Students whose abstracts are selected attend this prestigious conference with up to $800 scholarship support from the symposium or from the health science center.


Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program: The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded the health science center a four year, $760,000 grant to institute a McNair program. It is noteworthy that this is the only free-standing health science center without an undergraduate campus to receive such an award. As a McNair recipient, the center will select up to twenty junior and senior undergraduates from seven partner institutions (Jackson State University, Southern University, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, University of Texas Brownsville, Wiley College, Jarvis Christian College and Texas Wesleyan University) to become McNair Scholars. These students will receive workshop training to enhance their study and learning skills, spend summers at the center in research laboratories, and participate in other activities designed to facilitate their entry into the doctoral program at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, or at other graduate institutions.

This page was last modified on June 10, 2015