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BUILD EXITO was thrilled to provide our first cohort of Scholars with intensive research training and experience this past summer. The rising juniors participated in EXITO’s Summer Induction, a 4-week program designed to introduce the scholar to their Research Learning Community (RLC). During this time, they spent 16 hours per week of immersive research experience within the RLC itself, coupled with 4 hours per week of EXITO programming aimed at preparing the students for research, academic and career planning success in the junior year. The rising seniors took part in EXITO’s Summer Immersion Experience, a 10-week program designed to involve the Scholar in the RLC with 250 hours of immersive research in their RLC coupled with 5 hours per week of EXITO programming, building on the summer induction experience in tailoring of content to a more mature Scholar.
Overall, the learning objectives for these programs included providing Scholars with skills and strategies for academic success, assisting students in making productive contributions in the RLC, exposure to career paths, building Scholar relationships with mentors, peers, and mentees, and developing critical thinking, research focus, and communication skills. Sessions included topics like transitioning into the RLC, career planning, academic self-efficacy, relevant life skills, and much more. Additionally, the programming provided students with space to develop critical thinking, research focus, and communication skills via journal clubs conducted within the supportive environment of the scholar cohort.
Some of the highlights from the summer included our EXITO Summer Immersion Symposium, in which BUILD EXITO Seniors presented the work resulting from the first year of their academic placements. The symposium was a showcase of the poise, maturity, and accomplishments of EXITO Scholars. In addition, EXITO Juniors were welcomed into their research placements. The Summer Induction program organized entry into these placements by pairing the introduction of Scholars to their Research Learning Communities with enrichment programming designed to increase core research skills with journal clubs and professional development workshops.
As we continue to support students on their successful pathway to research, we recognize the importance of these types of opportunities. We know that their experience in the Research Learning Communities is greatly enhanced by the support of the summer programming and the community that we build in that space with Scholars and faculty. We are already looking towards next summer and planning out how we will use this valuable time with our Scholars!
The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.