Influence Student Potential and Increase Representation in Education (INSPIRE)

State
Illinois
Academic Level
Graduate
Issue Area
Access
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Pathway/Pipeline,
STEM

Overview

Influence Student Potential and Increase Representation in Education (INSPIRE)  goal is to better prepare students to enter 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 underrepresented populations in obtaining advanced degrees within the health professions.

Program Description

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 address this national issue jointly. The 4th cohort (2014) will have a total of 14 students enrolled.

Outcome

  • 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.