WHAT WE DO
The Center for Pathway Programs is an organizational structure that facilitates pathway and career development opportunities for students, trainees, and faculty at Duke and beyond. The Center aligns the efforts of distinctive and varied pathway programs, thereby creating an ecosystem for participants to seamlessly transition between opportunities and a platform for shared participation tracking and program evaluation. Launched in 2021, The Center is housed within the Duke Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.
WHY WE EXIST
Duke Health hosts more than 30 different Pathway programs that foster education and career development. However, these programs have historically existed in siloes with limited long-term tracking of participants and linkages from one program to the next. The Center addresses this by working with stakeholders to develop a cohesive approach and shared platform that coordinates efforts and provides seamless pathways for program participants.
WHAT WE CONTRIBUTE
One of the challenges with the Duke University School of Medicine—and nationally—has been the independent rather than interdependent functioning of programs, creating gaps in the pathway. In facilitating program alignment, the Center bolsters the ability for affiliated pathway programs to apply for and obtain funding through national sources which increasingly request evidence of connections between programs, longitudinal opportunities, and career outcomes.
The Center is working to provide a one-stop-shop for individuals seeking to further their learning and development in STEM fields. This effort will begin with programs at Duke, then expand to include programs from surrounding institutions and organizations in the region and beyond. The Center will develop shared systems for participant tracking and program evaluation as well as a universal participant application that simplifies pathway entry and promotes continuation through a dynamic matching algorithm. The Center also envisions enhancing participant support by providing resources like scholarship matching and test prep for affiliates.
There is a scarcity of mentors for pathway programs caused by both a lack of mentors and a lack of knowledge of how to engage in pathway programs. The Center intends to innovatively introduce cascading mentoring by developing mentoring expertise at different levels of education in pathway programs.
There is a dearth of data on the effectiveness of pathway programs and the Center aims to advance the rigor and diversity of research on pathway program effectiveness. The Center serves as a living learning lab where this innovative approach to coordination and cascading mentorship can be observed, documented, and studied to inform future solutions for increasing diversity in STEM and overall persistence in the field.
For more information, or to find out how you can support the Center’s efforts, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.