E-SPARE Program Description
The Department of Chemistry, Geology and Physics at Elizabeth City State University received a grant from the Minority Biomedical Research Support Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE)/National Institute for General Medical Sciences/National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the Elizabeth City State University Support Program for Academic and Research Enhancement (E-SPARE). The goal of the grant is increase the competitiveness of minority students for entry into Ph.D. programs in biomedical/behavioral sciences. Likewise, graduates of Ph.D. programs will use their expertise and credentials to make critical contributions and decisions on improving the quality of health care delivery to the disadvantaged minorities in the United States. The grant will fund the program from 2009 to 2013 and will support up to 56 participants. Eight students will participate in the first year, and 16 students will participate in subsequent years.
ECSU pursued the grant to motivate undergraduate students to seek advanced degrees and careers in the sciences. The E-SPARE Program is designed to help undergraduates develop competence within their science discipline. Students in the program develop resiliency to challenges in the laboratory, resiliency to challenges inside and outside the classroom, and develop related leadership skills. By participating in the program, students enhance their interest and engagement, their academic and research skills, and their competitiveness. As a result, the E-SPARE Program will increase the pool of minority students eminently qualified and available to enter Ph.D. programs in the biomedical sciences.
The E-SPARE Program provides a strong science curriculum enhanced by well designed co-curricular activities, including:
- research opportunities under the guidance of faculty
- participation in concurrent supplemental instruction to enhance achievement in the student's major
- workshops and motivational seminars as well as three academic and career advisement sessions
- networking with ECSU faculty from the ECSU School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, and networking with alumni and prominent visiting scientists
- participation in biomedical science seminar series, workshops and scientific research bowl competitions
- paper presentations at national science symposia
- publishing papers in biomedical science journals
- engaging in activities that make each participant very competitive for acceptance into strong doctoral degree programs in the U.S.