With funding from a 5-year National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award (NIH SEPA), the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) has developed a new program, Teachers and Students for Community-Oriented Research and Education (T-SCORE). The T-SCORE Program is designed to sustain the efforts of existing K-12 health education pipeline programs at KUMC by providing professional development for teachers in the Kansas Career and Technical Education (CTE) Health Science Pathway and core teachers within health science academies/professional learning communities. In 2016, T-SCORE partnered with teachers from Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools to pilot our health science professional development program. In the future, T-SCORE will partner with Wichita Public Schools and other school districts the state of Kansas.
Teacher Professional Development Through a hands-on Summer Institute professional development experience (4 weeks, 85 hours), T-SCORE teachers will develop new health science units that will proide students with learnign experiences that grow their interest and knowledge about the health sciences. With support from community health researches and curriculum experts, T-SCORE teachers will build their pedagogical knowledge of scientific inquiry and project-based learning, learn about health science academic and career opportunities for students, and will observe of community-oriented research through the lens of local health disparities.
Implementation of T-SCORE Developed Units The overarching goal of this project is to increase the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing careers in the health sciences. To achieve this, teachers will deliver their T-SCORE developed units to students throughout the following academic year. Ongoing, year-long professional development activities and support will be provided to T-SCORE teachers in order to help facilitate the implementation of their units developed during the T-SCORE Summer Institute. Lessons in these units will ask scientific questions within the context of their students’ everyday lives and build their health science skills and knowledge of health career choices. Teachers will be able to connect students with the health realities of their communities and to provide them with tools to help improve health differences across counties and in their particular neighborhoods. Overall, T-SCORE will evaluate and describe what lessons and activities developed by our teaching fellows help increase students’ academic performance, promote their knowledge of health science careers, and motive students’ interests in pursuing health science careers. Therefore, the T-SCORE project will have a direct impact on students with trained T-SCORE teachers leading the charge.
Dissemination and Sustainability To ensure the sustainability of T-SCORE, we will share our development training materials, teacher-developed units, student projects, implementation guides, and lessons learned within the participating school districts and across the state and nationally. Our T-SCORE website, www.tscoreks.org, will help improve community understanding of student engagement in science and health disparities affecting minority communities. The website will serve as a hub of resources for teachers, students, and community partners who wish to collaborate or replicate aspects of our program. Additionally, health disparities researchers will be listed as a resource on the T-SCORE website, and will have the capability to actively communicate with teachers, provide feedback on projects, promote student opportunities, and share research experiences to apply to classroom activities.
Ultimately, T-SCORE establishes a learning community of teachers, students, and researchers committed to bringing community-based health issues into the classroom that is relevant and inspiring to their students as they prepare for careers in the health science professions. We believe empowered teachers, engages in a comprehensive professional development program (Summer Institute and year-long professional development), will have a positive impact on Health Science Path students’ self-efficacy, knowledge, and interest in health science careers. By focusing on teachers as the main agents of change, T-SCORE will have a more sustained impact on students who will enroll in college and career-related health-science programs after high school and beyond.
More information please visit: http://tscoreks.org/