T-SCORE Teacher and Students for Community-Oriented Research and Education

Project Audience

Primary Target Audience: Career and Technical Education (CTE) health science teachers from the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, and Wichita Public Schools High school students enrolled in the Health Careers Pathways Program University of Kansas Medical Center researchers Audience Dissemination Plan: Our communication and dissemination plan includes three major target audiences: an internal audience working on continual program improvement a regional audience that has a vested interest in monitoring and emulating initiatives to improve student and teacher performance a national audience that might be interested in developing similar programs to enhance the early career pipeline for health disparities research.

Subjects Addressed

At the national level, career-focused education has increasingly been considered a promising strategy to expand the health sciences pipeline to underrepresented minority students (URM), T-SCORE will build upon the Career and Technical Education (CTE) national initiative which emphasizes “learning by doing” through application of technical and academic content in the real-world context. T-SCORE Health Science Curriculum and Students Activities. The Health Science II and III courses require students to complete a health career exploration project and two research projects. Students currently must demonstrate competencies in several areas: service orientation social skills, teamwork oral communication ethical responsibility resiliency and adaptability dependability written communication The modified curriculum for these students will be developed and refined during the T-SCORE Summer Institute, with teachers and KUMC researchers working side-by- side to develop a curriculum that reflects critical and current health issues and facilitates inquiry-based learning to satisfy the research project requirement in the Health Sciences III curriculum. The refined TSCORE curriculum will address the development of: research questions research design protocol development project implementation data collection data entry data analysis, preparation of written reports a poster presentation. The vast majority of research projects will involve needs assessment research in disadvantaged communities. A few projects might also involve pilot tests of health communication messages or technologies.

Dissemination Strategies

Planned Dissemination Activities Planned Dissemination Activities Planned Dissemination Activities Report/content Target audience/distribution method Target date Annual evaluation report Educational Advisory Committee (EAC), KUMC researchers, CTE high school teaching fellows, written report Annually Website blogging and project updates Wyandotte community parents, colleagues/blogs and documentary projects, state and nation Weekly Teacher and student projects Wyandotte and Wichita communities, scientific community/website, Community Health Research Day, regional meeting Annually Community Health Research Day Students, CTE high school teaching fellows, EAC, KUMC faculty Annually Student and teacher curriculum Scientific and education community/website Annually Formative evaluation Scientific and education community/scientific meetings & publications Years 2 & 3 Summative final evaluation Scientific and education community/scientific meetings & publications Year 5 T-SCORE teaching fellows will be provided with access to a T-SCORE website where they can network with other fellows, receive coaching from KUMC researchers, access health science resources, and request financial support for their newly developed curricula and extracurricular activities. We will rely on the TSCORE technological tools to disseminate professional development training materials, curricular modules, student projects, implementation guides, and lessons learned to teachers, researchers, school staff, students, and partners in target communities and districts across the state. We will ultimately evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the inquiry-based health disparities modules to increase student achievement in health science and interest in health science careers. Local and regional dissemination, particularly dissemination in the local community: Community Health Dissemination Conference: At the end of each year, students, teachers, faculty and educational advisory board will present their work at a special Community Health Research Day. It will be an annual conference to be held in July and will provide students with information regarding applications, admissions criteria, financial aid, and entry requirements for our health science profession programs as well as specific information about each of the programs. We will recruit 100 students and teachers from Kansas to attend to the conference. The conference will be held on our Wichita Campus to ensure that students from southwest Kansas can attend without financial concerns related to paying for lodging. The Wichita Campus is two hours away from Kansas City. Transportation from and to each campus will be available. We will assist students and teachers in submitting their posters for presentation at regional meetings, particularly targeting the annual meeting of the Kansas Public Health Association. At the end of each year, students, teachers, faculty and the Educational Advisory Committee will present their work at the Community Health Research Day.

Project Evaluation(s)

Evaluation Plan We will establish a comprehensive approach to program evaluation that allows us to examine short and long term measures of success, and inform ongoing improvements to the program. As short-term markers of progress toward our ultimate goal, we propose a comprehensive evaluation plan, based on specific milestones and measurable objectives. The overall evaluation process will be coordinated by the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium (KC-AERC). The goal of the KCAERC consortium is to improve student achievement by providing powerful tools for data-driven research and evaluation that will inform practice and policy for P20 education in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Dr. Leigh Anne Knight has carefully crafted the evaluation plan proposed in this application and will lead the involvement of KC-AERC throughout the five years. KCAERC includes researchers from multiple disciplines at four major research universities. As external evaluators, their efforts will be guided by the outcomes and evaluation plan illustrated in the logic model below. Additionally, our external evaluators will partner with the EAC for ongoing evaluation throughout the funding period. The Educational Advisory Committee’s specific role in evaluation will be to review the initial logic model proposed in our evaluation plan, along with the research education program. Four times each year, our evaluation team will present the EAC team with a report on the progress of each specific aim and milestones. A set of outcomes will always be measured, but the EAC, teachers and students will be given the opportunity to suggest new measures for evaluation, to be implemented each year. With the assistance of our contracted evaluator, we will develop an annual report each fall that summarizes both the qualitative and summative results of our evaluation from the previous summer and make this available to the entire community. Our curricular modules, descriptions of student projects, and our implementation guides will all be collated and posted on our website The evaluation plan includes a rigorous quasi-experimental design that includes a control groups and propensity score matching for both teachers and students


Our immediate objective is to implement, evaluate and disseminate the T-SCORE project, which will link teachers with the KUMC community of scientists, and help them bring cutting edge health science research into the underserved communities where they teach. Our hypothesis is that empowered teachers, engaged in a comprehensive professional development program (summer institute and year-long ongoing professional development) will have a positive impact on Health Science Career Pathway student’ self-efficacy, knowledge, and interest in health science careers. By focusing on teachers as the main agents of change, we will have a more sustained impact on students’ knowledge and career choices. Our project will begin at the same time that Kansas teachers are adjusting their practices to the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The new standards emphasize science and engineering practices in which students develop key ideas and models through investigation and apply them to make sense of the world. AIM 1. Collaborate with teachers to develop an innovative Health Science Career Pathway curriculum, to be implemented by empowered teaching fellows that are knowledgeable about scientific inquiry, engaged in health science research, and committed to bringing community-based health issues into the classroom. Each year we will recruit 8 TSCORE teaching fellows (4 teachers from 2 school districts, totaling 32 teaching fellows over 4 years of implementation) to participate in a hands-on 3-week Summer Institute co-led by education experts from Southeast Kansas Education Center and researchers from KUMC. Participating teachers will receive content and pedagogical support to develop an inquiry-based health disparities curriculum aligned with NGSS. AIM 2. Enable teachers to implement a high quality Health Sciences Pathway curriculum with students enrolled in the Health Sciences III courses, increasing inquiry-based learning and engagement of students in the health sciences. We will provide ongoing support for T-SCORE teaching fellows to implement the Health Science Career Pathway curriculum. Their student scholar teams will implement inquiry-based community health research projects as part of the Health Science III curriculum (estimated 15 T-SCORE students per teacher; 480 students by the end of the grant period) AIM 3. Disseminate professional development training materials, inquiry-based modules, student projects, implementation guides, and lessons learned both within the targeted schools and across the state and nationally.

Resources for Sharing

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 T-SCORE teaching fellows will be provided with access to a T-SCORE website where they can network with other fellows, receive coaching from KUMC researchers, access inquiry-based health science resources, and request financial support for their newly developed curricula and extracurricular activities.