Community colleges typically enroll higher proportions of students from historically marginalized groups than four-year institutions. Financial and social burdens can keep students from transferring from these two-year programs to four-year institutions.
This project will create a new program, Pathways to Marine Science, that targets the transition from community college to University of California, Davis for students majoring in marine science or related fields. The program will build community among transfer students, provide resources for navigating the marine science field and create mentored professional opportunities. The summer 2023 bridge program will pair six to eight students with faculty and graduate students and connect them to research at Bodega Marine Laboratory. It will include training for mentors in best practices, a professional development course for students, networking events and financial support for attending the 2023 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference.
The Pathways program aims to make the transition from community college accessible and sustainable using three evidence-based best practices: involving students in research internships and bridge programs; academic and social integration; and tiered mentoring involving faculty, staff and peers. Once provided with more resources and support for transitioning from community college to four-year institutions, students from historically-marginalized communities are more likely to persist with careers in marine science and research.