Funded Projects

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: MCH LEAP

Grant Title: Pathways for Students into Health Professions

Web Site: UCLA School of Public Health Project Exit Disclaimer

Project Director(s):

Alice A. Kuo, M.D., Ph.D.
Project Director
Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities
UCLA School of Public Health
10960 Wilshire Blvd. Ste 960
Los Angeles, CA  90024-3913
Phone: 310-825-5797


With this proposal, we will expand the UCLA Pathways for Students into Health Professions (PSHP) Program, which focuses on ensuring the success of minority undergraduate students at UCLA who wish to pursue careers in maternal and child health professions. The PSHP Program provides a unique and exciting curriculum for the PSHP students as well as the support and resources to optimize their ability to successfully enter graduate or professional schools. Because students from disadvantaged backgrounds often lack the support and resources to understand and navigate the world of higher education, the PSHP program provides a scaffold that allows these students to flourish and succeed.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Increase the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing undergraduate education related to maternal and child health. Obj. 1.1: Develop recruitment strategies among underrepresented minority undergraduates at UCLA. Obj. 1.2: Matriculate 12 minority students in each of Years 1 through 5. Goal 2: Provide mentoring support and resources needed to ensure that a majority of PSHP students graduate into MCH professional or graduate programs or positions. Obj. 2.1: Provide a seminar series for PSHP students focused on career exploration. Obj. 2.2: Provide students with mentoring in public health professions. Obj. 2.3: Provide supportive services needed for PSHP students to successfully transition from undergraduate studies to public health graduate or professional schools. Goal 3: Enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for public health practice and leadership for undergraduate minority students who are on a career track for entering MCH-related professions. Obj. 3.1: Ensure that 60 PSHP students and at least 200 non-PSHP students take the Foundations of Maternal and Child Health class by Year 5. Obj. 3.2: Provide internship experiences in community-oriented MCH programs. Obj. 3.3: Involve PSHP students in interdisciplinary training and practice opportunities, involving direct service and leadership roles. Goal 4: Increase collaborations and outreach with other entities that can strengthen our ability to support and mentor our PSHP students. Obj. 4.1 Strengthen the alliance between the PSHP program and the Academic Advancement Program (AAP) on campus. Obj. 4.2: Develop relationships with other pipeline training programs in Los Angeles. Obj. 4.3: Develop relationships and collaborations with other MCH Pipeline programs across the country. Obj. 4.4: Participate in national conferences for other undergraduate pipeline programs, including the MCH Pipeline Grantee meeting.


The UCLA Pathways for Students into Health Professions Program is focused on ensuring the success of minority undergraduate students at UCLA who wish to pursue careers in maternal and child health professions. We propose to support underrepresented minority undergraduate students through mentoring and preparation activities and to enhance the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for public health practice and leadership for undergraduate minority students who are on a career track for entering public health professions. We have developed a specialized curriculum from a combination of didactic courses, experiential community-based learning, and service-learning leadership experiences. We also provide significant mentoring from both academic and community faculty and student support for the process.


The PSHP Program is not only linked to but is a new program within the Child and Family Health Leadership Training Program (CFHP), an existing Public Health Long-Term Training Program. Both will share the same Community Advisory Board and faculty; administrative support; facilities and resources, and oversight within the School of Public Health. We believe that this integration with the CFHP program will ensure the success of the PSHP Program and create and develop the undergraduate piece of the pathway for future MCH leaders. We have also extended our formal memoranda of understanding between the CFHP, the MCH Nutrition Leadership Training Program and the USC LEND program to include the PSHP program. This will optimally leverage each of these uniquely targeted programs. Not only are the CFHP and PSHP programs formally linked, there has been quite a bit of cross-fertilization already between the two programs. Several of the CFHP trainees teach in the HPM 140 course as guest lecturers, and also serve as mentors to the undergraduate PSHP students. In addition, PSHP students are volunteering on some of the CFHP community and/or research projects. In our last grant period, we unified the two programs further and currently share an office in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, with the support of the Dean of the School of Public Health, Jody Heymann. PSHP will be the first undergraduate program of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health with such support from both the dean as well as two department chairs in Community Health Sciences and Health Policy and Management.


The evaluation plan for PSHP will use multiple methods to measure process and outcome indicators. Key procedural elements to be assessed include curriculum development and development of an effective student support process. Other measures include number of trainees recruited, admitted and graduated; number of students participating in the community experiences; and the volume of trainees who apply to one or more health profession graduate programs. On an annual basis (beginning at the end of Year 2), we will obtain feedback from PSHP graduates about their post-graduation educational and professional choices and outcomes. Within the program, we will use course and seminar evaluations of the trainees as well as an internal assessment of the success of our outreach activities, organizational development, and responsiveness of the Program activities to expressed community needs. Longitudinal measures include academic and community-based student activity as well as collaborations and services provided. PSHP will collect the first information available to UCLA on the educational outcomes and career paths of our students in the public health minor, based on the post graduate surveys. Responsiveness to defined needs will be measured by the number and scope of community technical assistance experiences undertaken and completed by PSHP trainees in partnership with UCLA faculty or staff. PSHP has a number of routine data collection procedures to monitor program process and outcomes in admissions, recruitment, outreach, and student progress toward individual, educational, and career objectives. The post-graduation trainee survey will be used to assess training program impact on professional development and to gather ratings by graduates on the ability of the PSHP to improve their competencies in targeted areas. Baseline data are collected at enrollment, and surveys of graduates will be conducted at graduation annually. Other surveys include post-tests and evaluations of each workshop offered, reviewed by PSHP staff for planning purposes, and evaluations of community field experiences.