INSPIRE is a pipeline program that provides Hispanic high school students the opportunity to engage in hands-on biomedical original research with faculty advisors and graduate student mentors. Students learn laboratory techniques, bioethics, experimental design, and data entry and analysis at a graduate-level institution. The program was piloted in 2011, in response to the low percentage of Latino/as obtaining advanced degrees nationally (3%). The Program embraces a collaborative approach to academic success by bringing high schools, community colleges, four-year institutions, and graduate schools together to jointly address this national issue. The 4th cohort (2014) will have a total of 14 students enrolled.
INSPIRE’s goal is to better prepare students to enter into college and obtain an advanced degree in the biomedical and health professions. The long-term program goal is to act as a model for engaging students from under-represented populations in obtaining advanced degrees within the health professions.
· The program has had a 100% matriculation rate for participants entering two or four-year college programs upon high school graduation.
· Within the first year, participants have had an increase of 70% in their GPA for science courses.
· 100% of participants that retake the ACT average an improvement of nearly 2 points on their second attempt.
· High school level participants average an attendance rate of 98% (4% higher than state average).
· The overall GPA of the first cohort was 3.2.