Main Street Project
The University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center (UT-H) is a partner in an inner-city educational program involving the Jefferson Davis Vertical Team. This team which is part of the Houston Independent School District includes Jefferson Davis High School a single middle school and seven elementary schools. Of the nearly 800 new students enrolled each year at the elementary level 83 percent are Hispanic 14 percent are African American and 2 percent are Asian. The partnership also involves Tenneco Inc. the University of Houston-Downtown (UH-D) the University of Houston Central Campus Communities in Schools the Metropolitan Organization and Project GRAD. Ever-present needs which prompted the Jeff Davis Vertical Team to seek support from UT-H are health care for students health-related career opportunities and long-term support for innovative educational programs. UT-H has committed as a long-term partner with the expectation of contributing to the development of a national model for inner-city public education reform that will have a positive impact on higher education and ultimately on the economic welfare of Texas and the nation. The collaborative with Jeff Davis is a key element in Project INTERCON. Because of the involvement of educational institutions from the North Main Street area (Jeff Davis Vertical Team) Downtown Main Street (UH-D) and South Main Street (UT-H) this collaborative endeavor is called the Main Street Project. The role of UT-H in the collaborative is multi-faceted. Through this application UT-H seeks annual support for science training of 22 Jeff Davis High School students who are Tenneco Presidential Scholars working toward health occupation careers and six science teachers selected from the Jeff Davis Vertical Team. The objectives are to provide a stimulating and technologically innovative hands-on research program so that students are motivated to pursue careers in biomedical and behavioral sciences and teaches are given opportunities to develop enduring partnerships with biomedical scientists and to learn about personnel and technological resources at UT-H that are available for use in their teaching programs. The training effort will be provided in the summer (six weeks for students; eight weeks for teachers) and will utilize in part personnel and components of existing minority training programs – the UT-H/Prairie View A&M University Collaborative Educational Venture the UT-H Summer Research Program and a Short-Term Training for Disadvantaged Students Program – to facilitate and enrich the research experience. Mentors were chosen from about 400 members of the UT Graduate School for Biomedical Sciences and have laboratories in the Medical School the Dental Branch School of Nursing School of Public Health and UT-Houston Mental Sciences Institute. The program which also has enrichment and evaluative components will be directed by the Medical School’s associate dean for special projects.