Roundtable Discussion Abstracts

Round Table Discussions are guided by a topic or case with a set of discussion triggers, while Problem-solving Sessions are an opportunity to present a problem/challenge/issue you have encountered in your ASPBP program, with a set of discussion triggers that can foster a collaborative effort to find a solution during the session. 

These sessions will be scheduled for 60 minutes. The presenter(s) will introduce the topic for approximately 10 minutes, while the rest of the time should be dedicated to informal discussion and/or problem solving. These sessions are not intended to have a formal presentation with a slide deck but could utilize a shared whiteboard or other collaborative tool. This is an opportunity for networking and engagement amongst the attendees.

Roundtable discussions will be presented during the Breakout Session blocks on Wednesday, October 4 from 2:00 - 3:00 PM EDT and Thursday, October 5 from 1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT. Roundtables are listed in alphabetical order by title. 

Presenters: Kyla Dewar - Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School
Luckson Omoaregba - Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Office of Belonging, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Joseph Diaz - Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Office of Belonging, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Shadowing is integral for improving pre-medical students’ confidence, self-efficacy, motivation, and understanding of the culture of medicine. It is also important for medical school applications. We believe shadowing experiences may in turn increase students who are underrepresented in medicine (UiMs) likelihood of pursuing a career in medicine. UiMs face particular barriers to shadowing, as most learners arrange shadowing experiences through personal connections, which are often limited. Our early work has shown that even when shadowing experiences are offered there are still barriers to overcome. We believe that a problem solving session would be immensely beneficial to improve shadowing opportunities.

ASBPB’s aim is to support the development and implementation of programs that help create an inclusive and equitable pathway to STEMM careers. We believe that creating more equitable and accessible shadowing programs are necessary to support a diverse group of students to succeed on their path to a career in Medicine.

Shadowing is integral for improving pre-medical students’ confidence, self-efficacy, motivation, and understanding of the culture of medicine. It is often an important part of an application to medical school. UiMs face particular barriers to shadowing, as most learners arrange shadowing experiences through personal connections which is harder to secure for UiM students. We believe facilitating shadowing provides an experience that will increase UiMs’ likelihood of successfully pursuing a career in medicine.

Our preliminary work has shown that even when shadowing opportunities are available there are still barriers to shadowing that pre-college and college students face. These included transport, conflicting demands on time, and ability to complete all the documentation. We believe that by discussing others successes and challenges we can learn from each other, anticipate other potential barriers and create more robust and successful shadowing programs.

For those students able to shadow in our programs they reported that it allowed them to picture a career as a physician and solidified their interest in pursuing a career in medicine. Beyond improving personal confidence and understanding of the practice of medicine, shadowing can be a necessary component of medical school application. It is thus vital for us to come together to solve the problems creating barriers to shadowing and create these important opportunities for UiM students on the path to medicine.

Key Words: High School Students, Pre-Med, Undergraduate Students

Presenters: Robert Trevino - Tour for Diversity in Medicine
Kameron Matthews - Tour for Diversity in Medicine

Trainees face many obstacles in applying to health professions. Reaching them for appropriate mentorship can be just as challenging. Organizations must be adaptive to student needs but this can present its own set of challenges. The Tour for Diversity is a nonprofit organization that has found ways to mentor students through in person sessions across the country, through partnership with student organizations & institutions, and pivoting to virtual programming due to the pandemic.

Mentors are part of the Tour for Diversity in Medicine, an organization that has participated in previous ASPBP events. The experiences of the mentors come from many different aspects of medicine and leadership.

Many organizations have challenges related to pathway programming but struggle with addressing those challenges. The roundtable will share best practices and allow for the audience to engage and share their experiences as well. The organization has seen growth in over a decade of existence. This has also included an expansion of the Pre-Health programs supported

The round table will provide a space to address best practices from a wide set of leaders with an interest in the pathway system. Their experiences span K-12, undergraduate, and medical student mentorship. All have been a part of organizations that needed to pivot approach due to challenges faced, whether it be traditional obstacles like time and budget or novel problems like COVID-19 pandemic.

Panelists will discuss their experiences in the pathways space, ranging from non profit organizations, such as Tour for Diversity in Medicine, to academic institutions. Experiences also include work within personal organizations as both student leaders and alumni leaders.

Key Words: Pre-Med, Undergraduate Students, Best Practices

Presenters: Madison Ellin - The Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine
Mollie Asiedu - Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Margaret Maimone - SUNY Upstate Medical University
Jonathan Wisco - The Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine
Marisol Lopez - The Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine

Several factors continue to impact the representation of URM students in medical schools such as financial barriers, insufficient generational physician mentors, lack of a sense of belonging, and academic struggles. Pathway programs have been established to increase the diversity of applicants who are seeking admission into medical school through providing a myriad of supports for applications, building academic skills, mentorship, creating sense of community, and engagement in experiential learning. The purpose of this roundtable is to learn about the strengths and challenges of current pathway programs to address the need for diversification of medical school matriculants.

This topic of discussion is in alignment with the mission of ASPBP to identify the best, evidence-based practices for ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion within the biomedical sciences space, specifically aimed at the matriculation of underrepresented students into medical school. Those in attendance at the ASPBP conference represent a shared passion for this mission and will serve as strong representatives at a round table focused on improving existing pathway programs while providing valuable information for institutions interested in creating similar resources for their students and community.

The percentage of underrepresented minority (URM) physicians does not match the national population demographics these positions serve. Evidence has shown that URM healthcare providers deliver culturally competent care, are more likely to work with URM populations, and are critical in addressing the prevalent health disparities affecting underserved populations across the nation. Creating supportive, inclusive, and diverse spaces for URM students to pursue careers in medicine is vital to the success of improving the diversity of the physician workforce long term.

Given the importance of recruiting and retaining underrepresented populations into medical careers, successful pathway programs can serve as a strong bridge point for students to achieve this goal. Pathway programs were created to address this need but each program offers a unique means of achieving this goal. This round table serves as a space where various professionals within the DEI space can come together to discuss their important perspectives on factors of a successful pathway program. In addition, participants will identify the challenges associated with operating these programs and contribute to a brainstorming session focused on realistic solutions.

Pathway programs, while addressing a critical need for diversifying the physician workforce, experience challenges that may limit their ability to provide a consistent, effective, bridge into medical school. 1) Although students are attending pathways, they ultimately choose to attend another institution for their professional education or follow other interests. 2) High cost or giving up paid employment has created gaps in the ability of URM students to participate, given the need to provide for their families. 3) Pathways are most successful when they can provide longitudinal support for URM students which can be cost intensive and strain sparse institutional resources.

Key Words: Post-Bacc, Pre-Med, Best Practices

Presenters: Emil Chuck - Health Professional Student Association

Beginning in 2024, AMCAS and ERAS applicants will have an opportunity to discuss "Other Impactful Experiences" that define their motivation to pursue medicine/residency. This is a great opportunity for alumni of pathway programs to reflect on the impact of their experiences. Because this is a new essay prompt, students may need guidance from program directors and admissions professionals to submit an effective and authentic response.

Alumni from pipeline programs have an opportunity to disclose impactful experiences that define their interest in pursuing a health professional/STEM career. The character limit for these essay prompts restricts what a candidate may want to disclose, and it is not clear how admissions professionals and committees will evaluate their essays. The proposed workshop will focus on how pathway program directors and faculty can help applicants write about possible answers to the prompt, including their own participation in a pathway program.

Beginning in 2024, AMCAS and ERAS applicants will have an opportunity to discuss "Other Impactful Experiences" that define their motivation to pursue medicine/residency. This is a great opportunity for alumni of pathway programs to reflect on the impact of their experiences. Because this is a new essay prompt, students may need guidance from program directors and admissions professionals to submit an effective and authentic response.

By crowdsourcing insights from conference participants, a guide for AMCAS/ERAS applicants can be drafted and ultimately distributed to alumni of pathway programs.

How are candidates encouraged to reflect on the impact a pathway program has had on their readiness for a health professional career?

Key Words: Post-Bacc, Pre-Med, Best Practices

Presenters: Kristofer Rau - Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Kyeorda Kemp - Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Jonathan Wisco - Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine

Establishing meaningful university-community partnerships with individuals or groups who have already built a foundation of trust and understanding within the demographics that they serve can provide diverse perspectives and insight into the intended audience's needs, preferences, and aspirations. Many of these community partners provide valuable logistical resources or physical support that may enhance the long-term success of our programs. However, effectively partnering with the community requires a genuine, thoughtful, and strategic approach. This roundtable will delve into the intricacies of working with partners in order to engage our target audiences and explore practical strategies for connecting with our intended audiences.

As part of ASPBP’s mission, members strive to provide mentorship and support to develop and implement pathway programs and bridges for students to succeed in STEMM careers. For these programs to succeed, however, we must not operate within silos and move away from traditional top-down approaches. We need to actively engage partners that are already doing the work of supporting the needs of the community and develop strong relationships with them in order for our programs to be successful in the long term.

Traditionally, programs have operated through a one-way model where institutions determine what students need or problems to be addressed in specific communities of learners. Community engagement allows for collaborative decision-making regarding identifying what the community feels is most important for their youth. However, this type of work takes time to establish trust. Connecting with partners working with our target audiences can help us build authentic relationships with communities, gather valuable insight, and establish trust. This discussion explores effective strategies for establishing sustainable partnerships with the community as a means to connect with the intended audience.

This collaborative round table discussion provides a unique opportunity for participants to share different approaches, success stories, and lessons learned in their efforts to partner with the community to connect with their intended audience. By sharing insights and discussing challenges, participants can collectively develop effective strategies for leveraging community involvement to strengthen pathway programs. The discussion aims to facilitate collaboration and inspire innovative approaches to building relationships within our communities and connecting with our audience.

While community engagement presents immense opportunities, it also faces challenges, including difficulties in establishing and sustaining engagement, decreasing university support, and managing potential conflicts of interest and diverse stakeholder expectations. There is also a need for innovative approaches to ensure inclusivity, avoid tokenism, and foster genuine community relationships. Furthermore, organizations often fail to identify their audience’s needs, and develop a logic model and sustainable plan to meet those needs. This roundtable discussion aims to address these challenges by sharing experiences, exploring practical solutions, and identifying methods of utilizing the community to promote the long-term success of our intended audience.

Key Words: Outreach, Best Practices

Presenters: Edgar Meyer - University of Mississippi Medical Center
Becky Ostendorf - The Princeton Review
Brian Hadden - The Princeton Review

Although many institutions have adopted holistic admission processes for applicants to health professional programs, grade point averages (GPA’s) and standardized test scores remain crucial metrics in determining applicants’ acceptance eligibility. However, many pathway and postbaccalaureate programs do not incorporate standardized test prep courses into their curricula, leaving the responsibility of improving standardized test scores with students. Nevertheless, program administrators and faculty who take steps to start standardized test prep courses can leverage programmatic biomedical science course content not only to prepare students for future health professional degree program courses’ content but also to prepare them for standardized test content.

This roundtable discussion session is relevant to the Association of STEMM Pathway and Bridge Programs (ASPBP) because it highlights initiation procedures for standardized test preparation courses within pathway and postbaccalaureate programs. Many struggling students needing to increase their standardized test scores and competitiveness for health professional degree program admission identify with underserved and underrepresented minority populations. Because test preparation courses potentially provide these student populations with needed resources that can increase their sense of belonging within program cohorts, this session aligns with the ASPBP’s mission to develop best practices needed to achieve inclusivity and equity across the education continuum.

Moreover, this session topic is important because it provides best practices for incorporating preparation courses for standardized tests such as the Dental Admission Test (DAT), Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) into postbaccalaureate program curricula, allowing programs to advertise test preparation as an added program benefit that many postbaccalaureate students seeking careers in medicine or dentistry will need in addition to biomedical science knowledge. This session also shares, from individuals who have successfully started program-based standardized test preparation courses, insights that can potentially make test preparation course initiation and implementation easier for individuals at other institutions.

Therefore, the rationale behind this session is to demystify steps necessary to initiate and integrate standardized test preparation courses into pathway and postbaccalaureate program curricula. Steps include developing partnerships with test preparation companies like The Princeton Review, signing contracts that engender discounts and other added benefits for programs and students, and establishing recommendations for course timelines that maximize students’ successful standardized test score achievements and subsequent matriculation into their desired health professional degree programs. This session will also encourage faculty and administrators’ sharing triumphs and challenges faced at their institutions in providing resources for students to improve standardized test scores.

Major challenges historically have included competing factors for time and money that students can devote to standardized test preparation while also being enrolled in degree or certificate postbaccalaureate or pathway programs. This session aims to address such challenges with proposed effective solutions while also fostering conversations about additional concerns or other unaddressed problems surrounding standardized test preparation, such as problem-solving strategies to address students’ unaffected or limited growth in test scores, despite interventional measures, and other measures of student success when standardized tests such as the GRE are no longer requirements for acceptance into certain graduate and allied health programs.

Key Words: Post-Bacc, Pre-Med, Best Practices

Presenters: Mia Uzcategui - Florida International University
Angeline Morales - Florida International University
Remsly Mesidor - Florida International University
Tracey Weiler - Florida International University

The Graduate Certificate Program (GCP) in Molecular and Biomedical Sciences at Florida International University, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine is a post-baccalaureate program serving to enhance students’ academic and professional qualifications on the path to a medical career. The program reinforces basic science concepts seen in first-year medical school. The curriculum strengthens understanding of clinical sciences through small cohorts, active and collaborative learning, frequent group activities, faculty and alumni mentorships, volunteer opportunities, and AMCAS advising in an effort to make students well-rounded applicants. This round table discussion will address best practices during orientation to ensure student academic success.

ASPBP is focused on determining best practices for STEMM pathway and bridge programs. An important element in these programs is to define the academic learning culture at the very beginning, and foster that culture throughout the program. Identification of best practices to foster an actively inclusive learning environment at program orientation is relevant for any post-bacc or graduate program interested in establishing an environment most conducive to student success. Developing these skills and strategies within pathway and bridge programs sets students up for success in their subsequent healthcare training program.

Typical undergraduate biomedical education is a non-cohort-based, competitive environment which doesn’t foster belonging, collaboration or development of the academic skills necessary to succeed in healthcare training programs. Studies show that students with a sense of belonging have improved learning and wellness. Fostering a culture of inclusion, collaboration, and open communication among faculty, staff, and students can enhance student satisfaction and trust in their faculty, thereby making them more open to accepting recommendations for revamping their academic study skills. Students with strong academic success strategies are more likely to perform well, improving matriculation rates to graduate healthcare training programs.

Students may feel unprepared for the rigors of a post-bacc/graduate program in comparison to their undergraduate experiences. Upon entering their graduate program, many students discover that the learning habits established during their undergraduate years are incompatible with success in the compressed time frame of a rigorous post-bacc program. The objectives of this roundtable are to discuss how to manage student expectations from day one and orient students toward best practices to optimize their academic success and wellness. We intend to share student perspectives on interventions intended to set students up for success in their pre-professional training program.

Most undergraduate students believe that they have developed sufficient academic strategies to succeed in their post-secondary career training programs. Upon entering post-bacc or professional education, students often feel overwhelmed and underprepared for the volume and level of content. Despite these feelings, these students are often resistant to recommendations for wholesale revision of their academic skills and strategies. Instead, they tweak their current methods to improve their academic performance. The purpose of our roundtable is to brainstorm strategies to foster a culture of belonging and collaboration that enhances the student receptiveness to academic skills content early in the program.

Key Words: Post-Bacc, Pre-Med, Pre-Matriculation

Presenters: Tyler Gibb - Western Michigan University
Kirsten Porter-Stransky - University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville
Edgar Meyer - University of Mississippi Medical Center

The current volatile landscape of the United States regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programming and topics has many administrators and educators at institutions of higher education concerned. This volatility is due to recent legislation passed in a number of different states impacting DEI and the uncertainty about the implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action in higher education admissions. Many educators and administrators within pathway and bridge programs are in search of solutions to achieve their respective DEI missions in legal and non-confrontational ways.

The mission of ASPBP is to “develop best practices needed to achieve inclusivity and equity across the continuum of education.” Various legislation emerging across the United States is impacting organizations’ abilities to teach DEI and include affirmative action in admissions policies. Therefore, this topic is central to much of the work that ASPBP members are doing to enhance the diversity, inclusivity, and equitable offerings of their respective programs.

With an increasingly polarized political climate, some states are passing legislation to regulate DEI efforts. This prevents many universities and organizations from using race or ethnicity as a factor in admissions as well as impacts DEI instruction in the classroom. Members of ASPBP must navigate these potential obstacles within their DEI work. This roundtable discussion offers an opportunity to discuss the implications of DEI legislation on pathway programs and admissions. It also offers an opportunity to consider how to find common ground with those of differing viewpoints on how to achieve diversity and inclusion within higher education and STEM.

This discussion will focus on how to continue creating pathways and bridges for those traditionally underrepresented in medicine and science within the evolving political landscapes across the United States. Speakers will include a pathway program faculty member and a post-baccalaureate program director, both of whom have experience serving underserved and underrepresented students. The discussion will also include an overview of key federal and state laws governing DEI-related issues. Participants can share struggles and successes of navigating DEI efforts with increased restrictions. Together, attendees will brainstorm strategies for continuing this important work and finding common ground with those of differing viewpoints.

Major challenges faced by institutions bereft of DEI programming include devising innovative ways to continue providing services to underserved and underrepresented students under the guise of neutral language without DEI connections. This practice detracts from the vision of DEI, pathway, and bridge programs and the mission of ASPBP. Professional societies and institutions of higher learning should not feel bullied into devising new language failing adequately to describe and address vulnerable populations in need of being served. ASPBP as an organization of DEI advocates can serve as a platform for the dissemination and sharing of ideas to mitigate this issue.

Key Words: Post-Bacc, Pre-Med, Other

Presenters: Michelle L. Demory - Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine
Tyrese Claridge-Rogers - Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine
Breanne Edgecombe - Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine
Joshua Costin - Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine

Research experience aids in developing critical thinking, hypothesis-driven inquiry, and written and oral communication. Given the importance of research to the overall development of students within bridge/pathway programs and their transition to health professions graduate schools, we believe research should be incorporated into these programs. However, should research be part of the curriculum, or should our programs include research as an extra-curricular experience? To address this, we wish to compare, contrast, and explore our experiences with other PPB leaders to discuss best practices for research experience, necessary resources, and the associated advantages and disadvantages.

The concept of incorporating pathway programs and bridges is designed to give students an opportunity to become competitive applicants for health professions programs by enhancing their academic background. However, by integrating research into these programs, students can broaden their potential for critical thinking and professional skills development. Not only does research expose students to a field of learning opportunities, but also it aids in their transition into professional health programs such as medical schools where the demand for research is increasing as it becomes more beneficial during the residency match process.

The main topics that we will address are to determine whether research should be an intra or extracurricular activity, whether the research experience needs to be the same for all students, and what should be the overarching goals of research in these programs. By shedding light on the importance and relevance of these topics, it will allow programs to set a foundation on how to establish the best practices to integrate research for their students.

Having an open forum that includes students and faculty alike will yield a broad array of responses that can be acted upon. This type of forum is pivotal to ensure the appropriate manner of incorporation of research into bridge/pathway programs. Allowing individuals from both sides of the table (students/faculty) a chance to offer their viewpoints, concerning issues, and solutions to such issues will give program administrators the tools they need to assure their research delivery is not only efficient, but fair for all.

The main challenge to incorporating research is ensuring it is offered in a way that is most beneficial to the student, regardless of their professional track. Factors that could influence efficaciousness include modality (in-person or virtual), type of research offered, whether research is required or an elective, and more. Most of the factors listed above may also raise the concern of whether the method of research incorporation is fair for all students. While the goal is to utilize research to advance a prospective professional student’s skill set and profile, it is vital to give everyone a balanced playing field.

Key Words: Post-Bacc, Pre-Med, Research

Presenters: Sabyasachi Moulik - Florida International University
Barbra Roller - Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

Several reports have indicated a sharp drop in graduate student enrollment since the COVID-19 pandemic. Post-baccalaureate programs are particularly affected. Factors that might be affecting student enrollment in post-baccalaureate programs are rising tuition costs, increase in need for financial assistance, lack of federal loans for certificate programs, rising interest rates, and the fear of global recession. Many students must seek employment to pay for these programs or to assist their families. FIU HWCOM’s Graduate Certificate in Molecular and Biomedical Sciences has faced similar challenges and is rapidly adapting to the post-pandemic reality.

These problems faced by post-baccalaureate programs and their solutions align with the mission and vision of ASPBP: the belief that strategies to increase the principles of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion should be rooted in evidence-driven practices and that cooperation and teamwork are crucial to solving complex problems. 

This round table discussion will enable participants to address the challenges that are impediments for student enrollment and success in post-baccalaureate programs.

The depleting student enrollment is negatively impacting many post-baccalaureate programs. Faculty salary and infrastructure in many post-baccalaureate programs depends on student enrollment. If this trend of decreasing student enrollment continues it might lead to increase in faculty attrition, and closure of post-baccalaureate programs. At FIU HWCOM, the Graduate Certificate in Molecular & Biomedical Sciences program aims to attract students who are good fit and enroll 60 students each academic year for the program to be financially viable. It is important that we discuss the challenges that we have had with enrollment, student success, student retention, and adapting to post-pandemic reality.

A round table discussion about challenges and successes of student enrollment in the post-pandemic environment will enable us to share best practices with each other. These discussions will help increase student enrollment in these programs and identify strategies to serve a wider and more diverse population of students. At FIU HWCOM we have redeveloped our website to include student testimonials, hold information sessions online, and have changed the admissions requirements to include international students. We have recently received permission to hold our classes in a synchronous-remote hybrid format, so that students may reside in a wider geographic area.

Declining student enrollment is a cause of major concern. There needs to be more focus on attracting students who are good fit for our programs, than exclusively on numbers. Emphasizing quantity over quality leads to students dropping out or needing high levels of academic support.

Strategies to improve student enrollment, and challenges of attracting and retaining students who are good fit will be addressed. We aim to discuss if there has been a post-pandemic decline in quality of students who are applying for post-baccalaureate programs. We will share resources and ideas that will help students succeed in our programs.

Key Words: Post-Bacc, Pre-Med, Pre-Matriculation

Presenters: Jeffrey Nosek - Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
Ravi Trivedi - Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

Medical students at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed) created a health science program for children and parents at the YWCA, a shelter for victims of domestic abuse, to improve health literacy and interest of participants while providing student educational growth opportunities. The program leaders share lessons learned in creating an educational outreach program for a marginalized population and invite the audience to consider how similar programs may be implemented at their medical schools and within their own communities.

The Health Science for All (HSFA) program at WMed is a novel educational outreach intervention to bring high-quality, interactive health science education to a marginalized population. With goals to increase understanding of health science, increase interest in health science careers, and develop participating medical students’ teaching skills all while serving a marginalized population encountering intimate partner violence (IPV), this program aligns directly with the ASPBP values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. We hope that this program serves as a model for those at other institutions to make a similar impact within their communities.

Educational disparity is a pervasive issue across the United States, with the quality of education that children receive varying dramatically by zip code. Disparities in quality of education have been linked to disparities in population health and discrepancies in healthcare provider representation from lower income areas. Accordingly, providing disadvantaged areas with supplemental educational programs is of the utmost importance to affect both societal and health outcomes for students.

The roundtable discussion will focus on how a similar program at other medical schools could be implemented and integrated within the medical school’s curriculum. Audience members will be asked to identify organizations within their community that serve a marginalized population that would benefit from a health science outreach program. Challenges to implementation will be discussed as well as potential solutions for each audience member’s unique program. Ideally, audience members will leave with an identified organization for partnership, a connection between the proposed program and current medical school curriculum, and a timeline for implementation.

Children in shelters represent a unique population who experience household dysfunction and have an increased risk of poor physical and mental health at an early age. Moreover, children of mothers exposed to IPV score lower on tests of mathematics, English, and nonverbal reasoning. Research has shown that while disadvantaged children are less likely to participate in extracurriculars for financial and practical reasons, these children often experience greater benefits from participation. There is a lack of programs such as HSFA and research on health science outreach programs serving marginalized populations within academic literature.

Key Words: K-8, Outreach, Innovation

Presenters: Amber Richardson - Center for Pathway Programs at Duke
Julia Derk - Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Collective for Psychiatric Neuroengineering
Melanie Perez-Romero - BOOST Program at Duke University School of Medicine

The Center for Pathway Programs facilitates academic and career development opportunities for students, trainees, and faculty by promoting persistence in pathway programs. We define pathway programs as any program designed to prepare someone for the next step in their academic or career journey. The Center aligns the efforts of various pathway programs to create an ecosystem in which participants easily identify and seamlessly transition between opportunities that advance their learning. At its core, The Center supports pathway programs so that together, we reduce barriers to access—and mitigate the impact of societal inequities—for underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students.

The Center created “YoJo: Your Journey,” a one-stop shop for pathway learners and administrators in response to the needs of our stakeholders, including ASPBP. Learners use YoJo to identify and apply for programs, and upon completion, YoJo recommends additional opportunities that advance learners to their next stage. Learners use YoJo to chart paths as early and far out as desired. Program administrators use YoJo to attract learners, track progress, and evaluate the efficacy of programs. YoJo’s data help administrators, The Center, and the larger pathway ecosystem understand where learners need the most support and which interventions are most effective.

At ASPBP 22, we conducted a poster presentation to share our value proposition as a hub within the pathway ecosystem that fosters intra-program learning and leverages collective resources. Our workshop included a SWOT analysis that gauged stakeholder willingness to replace siloed program operations with an ecosystemic approach. Attendees emphatically articulated that a) pathway programs are often underresourced and need help establishing and systematizing core functions like recruitment, candidate selection, participant tracking, and program evaluation, and b) programs welcome this kind of support and coordination. In short, program admins want relief from administrative burdens that divert from program innovation and enhancement.

YOJO offers a tangible solution to inefficiencies administrators encounter when running pathway programs and the obstacles learners face in accessing pathways to advancement. The Center’s implementation of stakeholder-led, ecosystemic approaches to supporting pathway programs yields community-minded methodologies, holistic considerations for learner support and program evaluation, and a powerful tool that combines it all. We’re eager to discuss:
-reduction of administrative burden inherent in managing resource-intensive program operations
-amplified workforce development potential via efficient systems and intentional community engagement
-integration of cascading mentoring and mentorship development
-innovative evaluation measures centering STEM identity and belonging as key indicators of success

To address the dearth of research on the effectiveness of pathway programs, The Center is coordinating pathway efforts primarily through YOJO as a tangible tool for pathway persistence and program support. As more programs adopt YOJO, our stakeholder network will have access to more data demonstrating the effect of interventions aimed at increasing pathway persistence. Furthermore, recognizing that holistic support—including that of families and mentors—is critical for persistence, we’re focusing on facilitating these relationships within and beyond YOJO, and seek to contribute to conversations and research on this topic, especially as related to pathway success for URMs.

Key Words: Outreach, Best Practices, Innovation