Funded by a federal grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health (NIGMS-1R25GM107692-01), the University of Illinois at Chicago launched the Bridges to Baccalaureate program in 2013 to increase the number of underrepresented students who pursue degrees and research careers in the behavioral and biomedical sciences. The NIH grant partners UIC with the Community Colleges of Chicago and South Suburban College to bolster recruitment, training, mentorship, and degree completion in health-related fields for students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Starting in 2014, UIC’s Bridges to Baccalaureate program began recruiting students who qualify to transfer to UIC from the Community Colleges of Chicago. In 2015, the program also began recruiting students from South Suburban College. Student participants pursue their UIC degrees in one of three areas aligned with their research and career interests: liberal arts and sciences (in subject areas including biology, chemistry, math, psychology, or physics), nursing, or public health.