This project will increase linguistic diversity within the healthcare workforce, leading to greater overall equity and access for minority populations. While investigating priority community health issues, future, nontraditional leaders in healthcare will learn content and research skills, and develop self-efficacy needed to be successful, productive healthcare providers and researchers, thus affecting a positive, systemic healthcare transformation through community investment.
The purpose of the proposed project, Community of Bilingual English-Spanish Speakers Exploring Issues in Science and Health (CBESS), is to increase linguistic diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-healthcare fields, including biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research careers. With support of the large group of Spanish-English bilingual (SEB), STEM-healthcare professionals that was formed during this proposal preparation, CBESS will contribute to the pipeline between K–12 and higher education/career.
CBESS will recruit Spanish-English bilingual (SEB) high-school students at the end of tenth grade and implement several language-supported STEM-healthcare interventions during the eleventh and twelfth grade (17 months): family-engaged career exploration; Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned, inquiry-based, youth-led summer research residential program; community outreach/dissemination, internships, and mentoring.
Applying methods that are known to be effective with the target population, CBESS will also train undergraduate, near-peer instructor-mentors—STEM-healthcare Leadership Trainees (LT)—in inquiry-based instruction and strategies for positioning K–12 bilingual students as “insiders” in STEM-healthcare, as well as in the responsible conduct of research and mentoring skills, followed by practical application with SR.
CBESS will develop and expand the nascent SEB STEM-healthcare community of practice (CoP) that was created during CBESS proposal preparation. Committed academic, clinical, research, and community partners will contribute to research and evaluation efforts, and support the pipeline between K–12 and higher education/career through Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), framing priority community health issues to be addressed by each cohort of SR from among issues identified by the SR during the application process. Finally, the CoP will target long-term institutional sustainability for linguistically diverse students in STEM-healthcare education and careers.