Targeted Infusion Project: Infusion of Toxicology into the Biology and Chemistry Programs at Fort Valley State University
The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. The project at Fort Valley State University (FVSU) seeks to diversify the Biology and Chemistry curriculum by establishing two new toxicology undergraduate courses and increasing summer undergraduate research training opportunities at FVSU. This project will: 1) promote student interest in toxicology to address the global need for qualified toxicologists; 2) foster critical thinking and enhance problem solving skills to better prepare students for future careers in toxicology; 3) increase the number of intellectually and technically equipped students applying to graduate programs in toxicology or related STEM fields; and 4) enhance diversity in toxicology and related STEM disciplines. FVSU grants over 40% of its baccalaureate degrees to underrepresented minorities in STEM disciplines; thus this project will have a direct effect on broadening the participation of underrepresented minorities in Toxicology careers and broaden the pool of qualified students applying to graduate and professional schools.
The aim of the proposed project is to improve and update the Biology and Chemistry curriculum through the infusion of toxicology instruction and undergraduate research. Activities proposed to achieve this goal include: 1) establishing curriculum for Principles of Toxicology (3 credit hours, Lecture Course) and Investigations of toxicology (2 credit hours, Laboratory Course); 2) establishing a core toxicology teaching laboratory suitable for implementing inquiry-based course instruction; 3) establishing undergraduate research opportunities in toxicology through institutional collaboration; and 4) enhancing FVSU faculty knowledge and research expertise in toxicology.