cme header

Educational Outreach

(Take a trip to The Microbe Zoo)

1. Detroit Public Schools. The CME Education Outreach Program for 1998 - 1999 has had as its primary focus, the primarily underrepresented population of students at MSU from the Detroit Public Schools. This focus was established because it addressed the most critical needs for enhancing the skills and eventual success of Detroit youth. CME's Science in the City Program with the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) science teachers and students, 1991 - 1996, formed the basis for continuing work with graduates of these high schools who are currently enrolled as MSU undergraduates. The LINK program, funded through the university's Office of the Provost, 1996 - 1999, is a direct continuation of CME's NSF-funded Science in the City program with the Detroit Public Schools. Participation by science teachers and Department Heads was integral to the LINK program in the continuation of support to undergraduates, particularly in the first and second years. LINK visitations by undergraduates to their alma mater high schools and visitations by students of those high schools to the MSU campus, were both extensions of the Science in the City program, providing benefits to both high school and college students and forming integral components of the on campus LINK program. In combination, these activities were proposed as both recruitment and retention tools for DPS high schools.

During its course of funding, three LINK components evolved from the original high school to college transition support concept: i) advising component, ii) academic component, and iii) career preparatory component. The advising component represented the original effort to "link" students to the multitude of campus resources in the high school to college transition, based upon the Provost's observation that these resources are underutilized. High school teachers and CME Link staff were both involved in this linkage effort and in individual support to students, either on campus or in the City, again through teachers and, in some cases, through teachers together with parents/guardians. ii) an academic component, consisting of a two consecutive year course designed primarily for all at-risk students, open to all MSU students, the enrollment of which included at least 50% DPS graduates each term. The goal of the course was to supplement the on campus resources, which did not appear sufficient in some regards, and provide classroom-based reading comprehension techniques appropriate to college-level reading requirements; the success of this course, Keys to College Work, as named by DPS teachers in conjunction with College of Natural Science (CNS) advisors has led to the funding and piloting of a second course, supplemental to MSU's Integrative Studies series, in which similar techniques are taught by undergraduate tutors, under the guidance of graduate student teaching assistants. This pilot course is presently funded for two years by the Office of the Provost. The third component, Development of the Detroit Spartans, was initiated in for the summer of 1999, based on a pilot program with twelve students in the summer of 1998. More than 100 students from Detroit expressed interest. Support for this number was made possible by a gift of $10,000 from the Detroit Public Schools. Internship sites were established both in Lansing and in Detroit. An emphasis on internship training was initiated on-campus with students enrolled in the aforementioned pilot course, for which an on-line web portfolio was a final project. This process included completion of an application, resume preparation, and interviews by LINK student leaders and LINK staff. A second internship training emphasis occurred off-campus in a one-day workshop in the on-site Detroit community center. Workshop goals were the development of a basic set of job search and on-the-job skills for all interns: mentoring of children, working with adults and seniors, learning from professionals, developing inter-personal communication skills, developing leadership skills, applying computer skills, participating in project teamwork, and integrating academic skills. A two tier internship program was established successive summers: Tier I, community service internships and Tier II, corporate internships.

March 1 - March 30: Internship Information Distribution and Application/Resume Period. During the month of March, information concerning the internship program was distributed and student applications and resumes were received. Information was distributed through four primary modes of student communication: participation and sign-ups at the Career Services and Placement Jobs Fair; a class presentation during the NSC380 career development component; direct, with the assistance of the Office of the Registrar in providing email addressees of Detroit Public Schools' graduates, to the approximately 800 MSU students from Metropolitan Detroit; and student-to-student passing of information in the "student grapevine" effect. Approximately eighty students responded with completed application forms and resumes.

Week of April 5 - 10: Student-to-Student Internship Interviews. Two students who participated in the 1998 summer internship program assume leadership for the Student LINK Organization. During the first week of April, these students scheduled and conducted interviews with approximately 25 student applicants for the internship program. LINK staff both provided direction and assistance in the interviewing process, and one or more staff was in attendance during each interview. Achieving funding for a total of twenty-four interns is the goal for this summer's Detroit Spartans and Lansing Spartans programs.

April 20, 1999, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dearborn, MI: Detroit Spartans' Formal Launching. The Detroit Spartans internship program was formally launched April 20, 1999, at the monthly breakfast meeting of the Detroit Chapter of the Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE). Attendance at the breakfast included MSU student interns from last year and advisors to the Detroit Spartans: Mr. Ed Deeb, Distinguished MSU Alumnus and President of the Michigan Business and Professional Association; Ms. Lisa Snell, Regional Marketing Director, the Xerox Corporation; and MSU Trustee Emeritus, Dr. Aubrey Radcliff. An article, "Program Teaches Job Skills," about these two student leaders, appeared in The State News, MSU student newspaper.

April 1 - May 30: Internship Training Workshop Planning. Student preparation for internships included attendance of a career development workshop at the major Detroit community center site. Expertise was provided MSU's Student Services Program Director. Topics for all interns included: mentoring of children, working with adults and seniors, learning from professionals, developing inter-personal communication skills, developing leadership skills, applying computer skills, appreciating diversity in the work place, participating in project teamwork, and integrating academic skills. Employer expectations of professional comportment in dress, etiquette, and customer/client service, importance of punctuality and reliability, which according to Mayor Archer of Detroit, is a generalized problem throughout the city at many employment levels. These skills, basic to all jobs, were cited recently by Mayor Archer, quoting city employers, as being those lacking in applicants and requiring up to 30 interviews for finding an acceptable employee. According to our MSU Career Services and Placement, these same skills form the basis for the following: employee-employer rapport and trust, career advancement, longevity of employment, savings of employee recruitment costs, and ultimately, all-around job success for employee, employer, and hiring organization.

May 10 - August 10: Tier I Ten Week Community Service Internships. As a result of an informal survey of last year's interns and as a result of discussion with LINK student leaders, the fact that many Detroit students plan to be on campus this summer led to the development of the Lansing Spartans internship program. Two sites, comparable to the Dexter-Elmhurst Center in Detroit in their community service to youth as a primary program focus and, administratively, in their receptivity to participation by a group of MSU students, served as primary internship sites in Lansing: Camp Highfields (both residential probationary programming and Break Through programming for off-campus youth) and the Educational Child Care Center. As with the Detroit Spartans, specific student interests were considered on individual bases. The primary internship site in Detroit was the Dexter-Elmhurst Community Center. This Center, as agreed upon by Dexter-Elmhurst staff and the Detroit Family Independence Agency, served as a "home base" for all activities in Detroit. As with last year's program, approximately 140 children were served in a daily four hour program of activities that included a USDA-funded lunch period. Students leaders coordinated the groupings of children by ages, student leadership for these groups, field trips to the Detroit Zoo, the Toledo Museum, and a group of 30 children and parents to the MSU campus, together with a series of speakers at the community center. Students kept journals throughout the summer.

Teacher Coordinators Future Internship Sites Survey: Summer 1999. DPS Teacher Coordinators served in two roles during the internship period served by students, May 10 - August 10. Firstly, as coordinators of the twenty student interns in both Lansing and Detroit; and secondly, as coordinators for the summer of 2000 program planning. Three goals were set for site visits of ten Detroit Empowerment Zone-based community organizations: i) investigation of potential internship sites; ii) investigation of potential funding for such sites; iii) establishment of individual contacts with each organization for the purpose of ongoing planning and execution of specific MSU student internships for the summer of 2000. The internship staff survey team were: DPS science teachers; Parks, Recreation, Arts, and the Environment Empowerment Zone Board Committee Chair; and CME's Education Outreach Director. Empowerment Zone projects were a focus as a means of broadening the MSU influx of students into areas of pre-determined need across the inner city and as a means of providing a broader scope of experiences for students of differing interests or majors. Categories of the eighty funded Empowerment Zone projects across the sub-zones of Southwest, Central, and East Side area of Detroit, include: i) Economic, ii) Housing iii) Education, Training, and Transportation, iv) Human Services, and v) Parks, Recreation, and the Environment (PRAE); the PRAE group was selected as the first group of organizations to be surveyed, based upon likelihood of greatest interest on the part of student interns, and based upon cooperation lent by Empowerment Zone Coordinator and Board Committee. All of these projects would involve MSU students working, under adult supervision, with Detroit youth from elementary through high schools levels and with senior citizens. Students will serve in the following capacities: play leaders in 20 Day Camps across the city, conducted by Detroit Parks and Recreation Department; mentors to high school students in the Summer Youth Employment Academy with the Detroit Urban League; mentors to high school students in the Junior Cadet Academy, programs involving community policing and senior citizens' escort program under the Detroit Dept. of Community Policing; student assistants in the Mayor's Office of Volunteerism, with one potential focus upon student assistance in the Year 2000 Census effort in Detroit; and student assistants to WSU professors and Detroit Public Schools teachers in summer education programs.

Future of Detroit-MSU student internship program. It is expected that student participation in these Empowerment Zone projects will complement participation in programs beyond the Empowerment Zone boundaries. The Empowerment Zone projects will likewise complement student participation in internships at the Lansing sites which include the Educational Child Care Center and Camp Highfields. This array of projects will allow for participation by a larger student population across a broader area of the inner city in Detroit; it will allow for a greater continuity and coordination of academic pursuits in providing students with opportunities in consecutive summers to engage in internships either in Lansing or in Detroit. Each student, whatever the year of entry into the Detroit Spartans program, will be expected to comply with the following career development progression: on-campus and off-campus internship training designed for development of a basic set of job search and on-the-job skills targeted by employers; a Tier I community service-level internship; and iii), if pertinent to a student's career interest, a corporate-level internship.

As stated, an increasingly successful internship program is developing in Detroit and in Lansing. A value-added feature, for both potential future employee and employer, is stagewise career development program, namely, the preparation of students for the work place in two areas of expertise: an academic expertise that prepares a student for a particular career; and a professional development expertise that is applicable to every work situation and, is often addressed by employers, while often neglected in undergraduate career development. The program was initiated with CME's Science in the City and continued in the MSU LINK program. At present, a search for funding is ongoing to further develop and maintain this Detroit-MSU undergraduate internship program.

2. Programs with Minority Universities. We have continued our longstanding linkages with the Puerto Rican universities by conducting another Molecular Ecology workshop during spring break on their campuses and by recruiting one new Puerto Rican Ph.D. student to CME, bringing the current total to three Puerto Rican Ph.D. candidates in CME. We also have sustained our transition program with the Univ. of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), an 1890 HBCU. One UMES graduate student and three undergraduate students are enrolled at MSU for fall semester, 1999, to take advanced courses not available on their home campus. Three students from Alabama A&M are now graduate students in CME laboratories.

Go to Education WEB Sites to find a listing of other science education related Web sites.


MSU home CME home

::  What is the CME?  ::  Research Program  ::  Graduate Education  ::

::  CME Personnel  ::  CME Publications  ::  International Program  ::  Related Websites  ::

Please contact with any questions,
comments, or suggestions regarding this page.