Improving Health Professions Pathways and Best Practices

Increasing Opportunities for Health Professionals in California

The California State University (CSU) system enrolls baccalaureate and master's candidates more reflective of California's diversity than any other immediate source of potential students to the state's professional health programs. Because of this, the CSU is well poised to increase opportunities for California's citizens to join the ranks of the state's medical, nursing, and associated health professions.

A $235,922 planning grant, made possible by The California Endowment, enables the CSU to rapidly expand the number of highly qualified applicants from underrepresented groups that have both cultural and community ties in California. Additionally, the award allows the CSU to perform a critical reexamination of its advising, mentoring, and curricular pathway in these fields resulting in well-crafted strategies to increase CSU student entry into and success in the health professions.

Central aspects of the grant involve investigating and addressing perceived difficulties by students for successful transfer to health professional schools. Grant funding also facilitates comprehensive and data-derived analyses of factors contributing to the lack of recruitment and retention to health professional schools. In partnership with the Public Health Institute, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, California Academic Partnership Program, and the California Community College system, the CSU aims to increase dialogue and connections with both the community colleges and post-baccalaureate health professional schools through a series of meetings involving health professional advisors, key faculty, administrators, students, and alumnae.

In conjunction with the educational partners already identified, the CSU will convene representatives of the Public Health Institute, the California Health Professions Consortium, Regional Health Occupations Resource Center Directors, legislators, employers, and a number of community/patient advocacy groups to obtain their input regarding how best to increase the number and diversity of CSU entrants to medical, dental and pharmacy schools, as well as academic programs in California for nursing and allied health professions.