Partner Institutions-Lehman College and Hostos Community College. Our partner institutions closely reflect the citizenry of the Bronx, with ~80% Hispanic students. A major goal of the BETTR program with respect to development of educational expertise is to capitalize on and synergize with existing programs at partner institutions. This provides us with increased chances of success in the common long-term goal of increasing the numbers of underrepresented minorities in scientific careers at the level of the Ph.D.
Lehman College of the City University of New York
Lehman College (CUNY) is located on a campus that was the first home of the United Nations' General Assembly in 1945 and became CUNY’s four year liberal arts college in the Bronx in 1968. Lehman is one of the, if not the only, 4 year undergraduate STEM institutions in the Bronx, and is ranked among the nation's Top 100 colleges and universities for the number of minority students earning bachelor's or master's degrees in several different fields, including education, the health professions, accounting, social work, and computer science (http://diverseeducation.com/top100). A new Provost, Dr. Marabel-Sosa, is dedicated to STEM and undergraduate research. Lehman College has both an MS and a 5- year BA/MS program in biology, houses the Plant Science doctoral program and participates in all of the other biology subprograms for doctorates for the CUNY system, i.e., neuroscience, molecular and cellular development and ecology, evolution and behavior. More than 500 students are enrolled in the undergraduate biology program, with a total current enrollment of ~12,000 and an additional 11,000 in the adult degree programs. Last year's graduating class was > 1500 students. Students majoring in health and science disciplines have an 80% five-year graduation rate. The ethnic and racial composition of its 11,860 student enrollment (fall 2008) is 47.5% Hispanic, 28% African-American, 4.5% Asian, 16% white, and 4% all others; 9,569 are undergraduates (55% full-time) and 2,291 graduate students (10% full-time); most of the latter are adults working full-time in the Bronx. Lehman is federally-designated as a Minority- and Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. Einstein and Lehman have a history of interactions since 1995 that have focused on the health professions. One such program was titled "Engaging Latino Communities for Education" (ENLACE), which included Lehman and Hostos Community College together with Einstein and other institutions in the Bronx. This program received support from the Kellogg Foundation and was designed to improve the K-16 educational corridor in the Bronx for Latino students. A major collaborative effort between Einstein, Lehman, other Bronx institutions and area hospitals and health centers has led to the establishment of a Masters degree program in public health centered at Lehman College. Since funding of the Hispanic Center of Excellence, Lehman recruited in 2010 Dr. Vernon Jeffrey to serve a Pre-Health/Pre-Med Advisor, who has single-handedly revitalized their Advising Office. Dr. Jeffrey participates in Einstein's Bronx Science and Health Opportunities Partnership (BxSHOP).
The entire Lehman science program will receive a major boost from the building of the new science center on the Lehman campus. The Science Center will host modern facilities and enable science faculty and students to upgrade their research and learning environments. Lehman College will host the first Bronx Science Fair, which is a feeder fair for Intel, and has just conducted its first summer program in science for high-school young women, i.e. "Achieving Success".
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College
Hosto Community College (HCC) was established in 1968 in response to the demands of the Hispanic community and educational leaders. Hostos College began as a bi-lingual Spanish-English institution. Its founding constituted the first occasion in which a public, bilingual higher educational institution was deliberately sited in a neighborhood like the South Bronx, New York, one of the nation's poorest congressional districts. Hostos is a two-year, public, transitional bilingual institution, within the 16th Congressional District. The majority of Hostos students (64.8%) live in the Bronx, where the residents are largely poor Hispanics; only 38.4% have a high school diploma. Approximately 79.1% of the college student population belongs to underrepresented groups in sciences (56.9 % Hispanic, and 22.2% Black - Hostos Student Demographics Fall 2010 Data). HCC offers access to higher education leading to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility. In the spring of 2011 Hostos enrolled 6,978 students in 27 degree and certificate programs. Hostos has 169 full-time faculty, of whom ~49% are tenured. Thirteen full-time faculty are in the Natural Sciences Department; all thirteen have doctoral degrees, 8 are tenured and 5 are from underrepresented groups.
The Natural Sciences (NS) Department is our partner for the IRACDA program, and Dr. Nelson Nunez-Rodriguez is the Hostos Program Coordinator. The mission of Hostos’s Natural Sciences Department is to provide high-quality educational programs in science, engineering, and forensic science, as well as support courses for the Associate in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Allied Health and Liberal Arts programs. The Department is organized in two units: Biology and Physical Sciences. The Biology Unit offers Biology courses for Science, Allied Health and Non-Science majors. The Physical Sciences Unit offers Chemistry for Science and Allied Health students, Physics for Science and Engineering majors and Environmental Sciences for non-science majors. The department offers the Associate in Science (A.S.) degree for those students who want to pursue their studies in the biomedical field. In 2010, 190 students were enrolled in the Associate in Sciences program (3% of the student body), of whom 140 were from underrepresented groups. In 2009-2010, 93 students graduated with a degree of Associate in Sciences/Liberal Arts and Sciences (Natural Science Department) (Associate in Sciences).
Easy transportation between Einstein, Hostos and Lehman
All three institutions are within easy transportation from each other. Individuals at Einstein with cars can drive to either school within > 20 minutes. Lehman has ample street parking available; and at Hostos, parking is available at the Gateway Mall Parking Center. In addition, public transportation links the three institutions, involving two buses from Einstein to either Hostos or Lehman. Of importance, also, is that Hostos and Lehman are both on the number 4 line of the subway, within ~25 minutes of each other. Hence, all three institutions are well-positioned for interactions.