Statewide pipeline program supports community college students preparing for doctoral programs in healthcare.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—May 22, 2017—Underrepresented community college students now have access to role models, professional development workshops, and coaching as they pursue the path to doctoral programs in the health sciences. A $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation will support a pipeline of students, primarily from African American, Latino, and Native American communities, into healthcare professions through group coaching, workshops, and conversations with practicing professionals.
DeepTok was co-founded by Nancy Nkansah-Mahaney, PharmD, a Stanford medical student, and Associate Clinical Professor at UCSF School of Pharmacy. DeepTok expands access to healthcare professions requiring a doctorate by using technology to link underrepresented students to experts, educators, and coaches in healthcare fields, such as pharmacy, optometry, medicine, and physical therapy. These experts help community college students prepare for careers by giving real-world advice, sharing insights on entering their fields, and providing coaching and mentoring.
Underrepresented students face numerous barriers to pursuing advanced education in the health sciences, including a lack of role models, awareness of the college to career journey, a support system, and prior academic preparation. Community colleges serve as the primary gateway to a four-year college for Latino, African American, and Native American students, yet they often lack sufficient resources to support these students.
DeepTok will use funding from the Walmart Foundation to provide students in the program with interactive, online workshops, coaching, conversations with practicing professionals, and exposure to innovators and researchers in healthcare. The program helps students create a student Success Road Map to frame their academic-career journey, and then uses simple tools and one-to-one, online interactions to assist students as they progress toward their professional vision. Students build an academic network, develop their professional image, become more comfortable speaking with other professionals, and adopt a mindset for proactively keeping abreast of innovations in their field of interest.
When Paulina Hernandez enrolled in classes at Santa Rosa Junior College in 2012, she knew she wanted to pursue a degree in science, but didn’t know what career would fit her interest. “DeepTok helped guide me. They gave me tips on how to become a professional and allowed me to shadow a pharmacist for a day,” said Hernandez. “Hearing the mentors’ stories, it became clear to me that pharmacy was for me.”
Ms. Hernandez will attend UCSF in the fall, with the ultimate goal of receiving a Doctor of Pharmacy.
DeepTok is a fiscally sponsored project of the Foundation for California Community Colleges. “We are thrilled the Walmart Foundation is investing in solutions that break down barriers to student success and promote equity in education,” said Keetha Mills, president and CEO of the Foundation for California Community Colleges. The Foundation provides programs and services designed to benefit students, colleges, college foundations, and the system as a whole, helping to improve education opportunities throughout the state.
For more information on DeepTok, please visit www.deeptok.org.
The Foundation for California Community Colleges is the official nonprofit foundation to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and Chancellor's Office. The Foundation's mission is to benefit, support, and enhance the missions of the California Community Colleges system, the largest higher education system in the nation. Incorporated in 1998, the Foundation works with community colleges and partner organizations to manage donations, grants, programs, and services that drive excellence in education. Since inception, the Foundation has provided over $250 million in direct grants, support, and cost savings to California Community Colleges. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit corporation and receives no direct state or public support. | www.foundationccc.org
College Futures Foundation operates on the beliefs that a vibrant future for California’s economy and communities requires more bachelor’s degrees, and that every student should have the chance to succeed in college. College Futures works to remove systemic and institutional barriers to college success, enabling students to access the knowledge, financial aid, and other resources they need to earn college degrees and choose their own futures. The foundation aims to chart a new course for student populations who are lowincome and have had historically low college success rates by changing policies, practices, systems, and institutions in ways that better support students. | www.collegefutures.org.
The Teagle Foundation works to support and strengthen liberal arts education, which we see as fundamental to meaningful work, effective citizenship, and a fulfilling life. Our aim is to serve as a catalyst for the improvement of teaching and learning in the arts and sciences while addressing issues of financial sustainability and accountability in higher education. For more information | www.teaglefoundation.org.