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Funded Projects

MCAH LEAP Training Program

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: LEAP

Project Director(s):

Julianna Deardorff, PhD
University of California, Berkeley
2121 Berkeley Way West
Suite 6100
Berkeley, CA  94720
Phone: 510-642-7334


Achieving equitable health outcomes for maternal, child, and adolescent (MCAH) populations requires engagement and training of diverse undergraduate students to enter the MCAH workforce with

  1. preparation to address the complex needs of diverse populations,
  2. skills to adapt to a rapidly changing health systems environment, &
  3. training to lead transformative efforts that serve vulnerable populations.

The mission of the proposed MCAH LEAP Program at UC Berkeley is to develop the knowledge and skills of underrepresented undergraduates to serve as the next generation of leaders equipped to eliminate MCAH health inequities. All program activities are interdisciplinary and responsive to emerging issues in MCAH and Title V, and to the unique needs of the diverse communities of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, the US, and globally.

Goals and Objectives:

  1. Increase the number of undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds engaged in learning opportunities in MCAH to promote their development and interest in careers in MCAH.
  2. Create an undergraduate pipeline training program with a programmatic design that develops cultural responsiveness, encourages interdisciplinarity, and provides research and field experiences, to prepare students for graduate- level training and careers in MCAH.
  3. Foster development of leadership skills training in MCAH public health and MCAH-related health professions for underrepresented students at the undergraduate level in preparation for careers in MCAH.
  4. Provide advanced mentorship and internship opportunities to underrepresented undergraduate students through preceptorships with MCAH professionals, graduate students, and MCAH/Title V organizations in preparation for graduate/post-graduate education/training in MCAH.
  5. Increase access to MCAH undergraduate education and training through innovative and alternative methods, and ensure underrepresented students are prepared to advance the field of MCAH using innovative and alternative methods.


Between 2021-2026 we will train underrepresented undergraduates to accomplish our goals and objectives by:

  1. engaging 1500 Student Affiliates through MCAH events and training opportunities;
  2. providing 25 YES/LEAP Fellows with advanced research training;
  3. matriculating 50 underrepresented Advanced LEAP Scholars through a two-year program consisting of coursework, a research fellowship, summer internship, and mentoring, resulting in students graduating with a public health undergraduate degree with an MCAH concentration; and
  4. accepting 6 Advanced LEAP Scholars into a one- year accelerated MCAH master's in public health program at UCB.

Students will receive support to apply to graduate programs or enter the MCAH workforce directly.


Activities will be conducted in collaboration with academic centers, scholars programs, and student groups serving diverse and underrepresented students, including UCSF's academic medical school. Interdisciplinary community partners, local and state MCAH agencies, Title V programs, and training entities are also key partners.


Evaluation will include process and outcome measures in alignment with the project logic model, work plan, and evaluation plan. Data collection will occur throughout the project period with ongoing program monitoring and improvement.

Date Last Reviewed: