UNT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER RECRUITS MINORITY STUDENTS THROUGH OUTREACH PROGRAMS

March 20, 2001

The Outreach Office of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences of the UNT Health Science Center operates several programs that aim to increase the numbers of under-represented and disadvantaged students entering graduate programs in the biomedical sciences.

  • Contact with students begins through Adopt-A-School partnerships with Fort Worth Independent School District elementary, middle, and high schools that serve predominantly Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods. Health science center faculty serve as research mentors, judge science fairs and speak at career day events.
  • Student Teacher Applied Research Training (START) provides practical experience for high school students and their science teachers during summer internships at the health science center.
  • Summer Minority Advanced Research Training (SMART) offers college sophomores the opportunity to conduct focused research at the health science center. They then present the results of their studies at the prestigious National Minority Research Symposium.
  • The UNT Health Science Center is one of only two free-standing graduate schools of the 159 institutions chosen to participate in the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program. The health science center has established a continuity of exposure to biomedical research by selecting its McNair scholars from the ranks of its SMART students and partner institutions.
  • In the Bridges to the Doctoral Degree program, the health science centers partners with predominantly minority universities to help develop under-represented and disadvantaged students who are entering doctoral programs. The program results in faculty exchange activities and an influx of students from the partner institutions into the doctoral program at the health science center. In addition, these partnerships have enabled other students from the partner institutions to pursue their graduate and professional education at the health science center in non-Bridge programs.
  • A partnership with Jarvis Christian College started in 1980 with a grant-supported effort to train faculty from historically black colleges for new areas of research in diseases that impact Blacks, specifically hypertension. The relationship with the college has expanded to include seminars, joint research grants and training support. Several Jarvis students have graduated from the health science center, and the college continues to be a partner in the McNair and SMART programs.
  • Sponsorship of Minority Graduate Student Organizations has grown with the support of the Outreach Office. The Black Graduate Students Association, the Society for the Advancement of Latin Scholars in America (SALSA), and the McNair/SMART Scholars Association provide support for entering students to enhance their sense of belonging and ownership of the institution. These students assist in recruiting new students into the health science center, serve on the selection committee for SMART/McNair Scholars and act as mentors for new students entering the institution.
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