The Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program introduces Native American students from New Mexico community colleges to research experiences and advances them into Baccalaureate of Science degree programs in biomedical sciences; 70% of summer research participants have advanced to baccalaureate degree programs. The National Institutes of Health have funded the program since October 1992. Currently participating community colleges include Diné College at Shiprock, and the University of New Mexico branch at Gallup.
Goals of the Bridges Program are:
- To introduce Native American students to biomedical science-related research projects, techniques, and methodologies in progress at NMSU by offering seminars, workshops, and lecture series at community colleges.
- To introduce students to active research-oriented faculty who will be prospective mentors for students during their participation in a nine-week summer research project at NMSU.
- To invite and host 20-25 community college students at NMSU main campus for a three-day orientation each spring.
- To select twelve qualified community college students to conduct full-time research during nine weeks each summer with a faculty mentor at the main campus of NMSU in Las Cruces.
- To encourage students to transfer to B.S. programs that are allied to the biomedical field so they can immediately participate in active, ongoing, successful research-oriented programs.
- To assist with student progression into post-baccalaureate graduate or professional schools.
- To provide professional development opportunities for community college science instructors in a research oriented laboratory at NMSU main campus during the summer.
Any Native American student currently enrolled full-time at a participating community college and interested in pursuing a career in one of the basic biomedical sciences should consider participating in the Bridges Program. Departments at NMSU with biomedical-related programs include: Animal and Range Sciences; Anthropology; Biology; Chemical and Materials Engineering; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Computer Science; Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science; Molecular Biology; Physics; Plant and Environmental Sciences, Psychology, and Sociology. Preferably, applicants should have completed at least one course in biology or chemistry, and algebra at the community college level. In addition, a letter of recommendation from your community college science instructor supporting your decision to work in a research laboratory at NMSU should be included with your application.