Two Department of Biology professors, Dr. Venu Cheriyath, director of the BioPride program and Dr. John P. Slovak, director of the Texas A&M University-Commerce JAMP program, have been awarded a supplemental fund from Texas Joint Medical Admission Program to offer the BioPride-JAMP Orientation program to 25 JAMP eligible pre-med freshmen students.
The first BioPride was held in 2014 with eight students and was expanded to 23 students in 2016. In a four-day intensive orientation, the BioPride-JAMP program focuses on the development of essential study and learning skills, as well as time management strategies necessary to succeed in freshman science courses.
BioPride-JAMP participants are also exposed to various success programs offered on campus. The unique format of BioPride-JAMP offers an opportunity for incoming freshmen to get to know their professors and fellow students before attending their first classes, which helps to facilitate the formation of a learning community with a clear understanding of what it takes to succeed in college.
“We are very pleased and thankful to Joint Medical Admission Program for awarding this grant,” said Dr. Cheriyath. “Considering BioPride is self-funded through registration fees and alumni donations, this fund will allow us to offer the BioPride program to at least 25 JAMP eligible students at a subsidized rate.”
“BioPride-JAMP participants are expected to perform better in their college classes, especially in introductory biology classes, “said Dr. Slovak. “This will enable them to complete JAMP course requirements and positively impact this program at A&M-Commerce.”
JAMP is a partnership among all eight Texas medical schools and 65 public and private four-year universities. Selection into JAMP not only provides support for students throughout their undergraduate schooling, but also guarantees admission into a Texas medical school as long as all requirements are met upon graduation.
“Prior years’ results show that BioPride participants have a retention rate of over 90 percent and higher GPAs compared to their peers,” said Dr. Cheriyath. “I hope to increase BioPride-JAMP enrollment this year to 40 students.”
Registration will begin the first week of April. For more information, visit BioPride Boot Camp.