Health and educational disparities are national issues in the United States.
Health and educational disparities are national issues in the United States. career and are given the support they can reach their goals including obtaining a health professions degree; (2) underserved high school students are able to forecast their own success if given the right resources; and (3) community engagement would be key to the program’s success. With this perspective the authors describe the HSTA and its framework and viewpoint including the underlying theories and pedagogy from study in the fields of education and the behavioral/interpersonal sciences. They then offer evidence of the program’s success specifically for African American college students including graduates’ high college-going rate and overwhelming intention to choose a health professions major. Finally the authors describe the benefits of the HSTA’s community partnerships including providing mentors to college students adding legislative language providing tuition waivers and a budgetary collection item devoted to the program SN 38 and securing system funding from outside sources. Health disparities and educational disparities are national issues.1-5 They may be particularly troublesome in rural West Virginia a state that ranks among the worst in obesity-related illnesses6-8 and in educational attainment.9 10 To add to the complexity of dealing with these issues health care professionals from underserved backgrounds are more likely than others to provide health care to underserved populations.11-14 However the process of nurturing educationally disadvantaged SN 38 college students to be successful in college and in health professions school is costly 15 16 time consuming and energy intensive.17 Programs targeting college students in marks K-12 must wait 20-30 years for results. Furthermore programs focusing on students for the first time at the college level often miss college SN 38 students from underserved populations due to the barriers these students face before reaching college.18 19 In the early 1990s the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Project 3000 by 2000 spurred the West Virginia University or college School of Medicine to action. University leaders SN 38 started the Western Virginia Health Sciences & Technology Academy (HSTA) a pre-college system in 1994 to address the serious problems of an undereducated workforce and a large medically underserved populace SN 38 in Western Virginia. We began the program with three beliefs. First if underrepresented high school students have potential and the desire to pursue a health professions career and are given the support they can reach their goals including obtaining a health professions degree. Second underserved high school students are able to forecast their own success if given the right resources. Finally community engagement would be important to the system’s success. The partnership between the community and the HSTA offers allowed for the program’s sustainability and offers nurtured the college students’ success in turn conditioning the communities in which graduates live and work. With this perspective we offer findings from your 1st 14 years of the system. We focus on key aspects of the HSTA’s success in recruiting and preparing health professionals from underserved populations. About the HSTA Of all HSTA college students 32 are African American 63 financially disadvantaged and 73% SN 38 the 1st in their family members to attend college. We select college students from a pool of capable applicants recruited by community leaders. Those who communicate the strongest interest greatest potential and the most need for support are chosen. In 1994 the HSTA began with 44 college students from two Western Virginia counties. Right now the program serves approximately 800 underrepresented high school students (marks 9-12) each year from nearly half the counties in LKB1 the state. College students enter the HSTA in the ninth grade and matriculate if they maintain a 3.0 or better GPA attend 70% of the HSTA functions attend two summer time campus experiences (camps) complete 75 hours of community services and abide by all disciplinary guidelines. Successful graduates are eligible for tuition waivers to all state-supported colleges or universities health professions schools and many graduate schools. Each summer time college students have the opportunity to participate in one of four.