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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Starting a new pipeline program for health sciences: do faculty and students value the same objectives?


In 2006, two urban universities started a new 6-week, residential program designed to provide a pipeline of qualified disadvantaged students to medical or dental school. Using both qualitative and quantitative techniques, this paper describes an iterative self-study process in which discrepancies in perceptions on program objectives held by students and faculty were detected. Analysis of interviews and a focus group with faculty resulted in eight program objectives. Faculty and students rank-ordered seven of these according to importance using pair-wise comparisons. Although they agreed that “skill building” was the most important program objective, students and faculty differed significantly on others. Some of these differences were attributed to inadequate communication about the program.

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