EXCTING NEWS !!! Teachers and Students for Community-Oriented Research and Education

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EXCTING NEWS !!! Teachers and Students for Community-Oriented Research and Education

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In the past 6 years, Drs. Cupertino and Ramaswamy have been submitting multiple grant applications with the ultimate goal to increase the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing careers in health sciences including public health and medicine.

We are excited to share the news that we received funding to work together implementing a Science Award Partnership for Education (SEPA) from the National Institute of Health entitled: Teachers and Students for Community-Oriented Research and Education (T-SCORE) This new SEPA award encompasses a partnership between KUMC Department of Preventive Medicine, JUNTOs Center for Advancing Latino Health, KUMC Office Cultural Enhancement and Ku Lawrence School of Education and School Districts (Wichita and Kansas City,Kansas)


Through T-SCORE, teachers and KUMC faculty will incorporate the new modules into the Health Science curriculum to build students’ understanding of scientific inquiry and interest in health disparity research.  The innovation of our proposed T-SCORE teaching fellow training is that teachers will work collaboratively and alongside KUMC health disparities researchers through a sustainable professional development infrastructure. Our T-SCORE innovation also stems from our focus on health disparities as the content that will enhance interest and buy-in of students and get teachers to be closer to community health issues. Local health disparities issues will also be more likely to resonate with student scholars, since the issues will focus on their own communities, giving them a sense of ownership and investment in finding solutions to local problems.We anticipate approximately 120 students per year will be positively impacted through the modules, for a total of 480 students by the end of the grant period.


Rather than a static or top-down mandate, the T-SCORE theoretical framework is based on an empowerment model that emphasizes empowering teachers and researchers to be change agents by providing them with resources, opportunities for curriculum development, and an authentic professional learning community. By creating a framework in which teachers and researchers collaborate for curriculum development, we draw on the concept of the professional learning community (PLC).  Engaged students will harness the power of inquiry-based preparatory health sciences programs to lead the workforce in health science research and health care in the future.   In sum, T-SCORE will serve to expand opportunities for students to acquire new knowledge, and it will also challenge their assumptions about research knowledge as irrelevant or out-of-reach. Students will begin to view the process as purposeful and consequential for the health of their communities.  Further, T-SCORE will enable students to see firsthand the workforce contributions they can make by choosing careers in public health research and preventive health care, along with the other more traditional medical and health science opportunities.


T-SCORE will ultimately impact the health of communities.  T-SCORE is designed to have a direct impact on the communities with trained T-SCORE teaching fellows leading the charge. T-SCORE addresses one of the most pressing issues facing health science education in the US: how can teachers engage a diverse group of students effectively so that they have a solid understanding of scientific practices, then be able to appreciate that what they are learning is relevant to their lives and their experiences?   T-SCORE will create opportunities and resources to build the bridge between health science research knowledge and students’ everyday experiences with health disparities issues by incorporating health science teachers into a collaborative learning experience along with KUMC faculty. Through this collaboration, T-SCORE teaching fellows will integrate health disparities modules into the Health Science Career Pathway curriculum, as required by NGSS.


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