An additional 60 students from Pima County high schools will be able to enroll next spring in two dual-enrollment classes in molecular and cellular biology offered by the University of Arizona, thanks to new, need-based scholarships underwritten by the Marshall Foundation.
The dual-enrollment program in biology, in its fourth year and modeled after a similar program in the UA’s engineering college, had 174 students last year and awarded scholarships to 54.
"This will be the first year that we can really offer the college credit to any student who wants it," said Nadja Anderson, BIOTECH Project director at the UA and a member of the BIO5 Institute. "Through the generosity of the Marshall Foundation, we can really help Tucson students.
"At all schools, we have kids who can’t afford this program," Anderson said. "I don’t think we’ll have any problem distributing the scholarships."
To qualify, students must be eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, have academic standing of "A" or "B," and compose an essay of 200 to 400 words.
The dual-enrollment classes, MCB101 and MCB102, are designed to introduce high school students to the UA College of Science. A dozen Tucson-area high schools are offering MCB101 and MCB102 dual enrollment. The teachers of those classes have participated in training with the BIOTECH Project, developed by the UA to provide technical support for hands-on teaching of biotechnology.
MCB101 explores careers in biotechnology, history and applications of recombinant DNA technology and the human genome project, laboratory safety practices, and general biotechnology techniques. MCB102 allows students to perfect biotechnology techniques, learn to read research papers and conduct an independent research project to be presented at the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair.
Students in both courses are exposed to cutting-edge UA research, and many of them interact with UA research faculty and graduate students on their independent projects. They receive both high school and college credit upon satisfactory completion.
For more information about the dual-enrollment program, go to http://www.mcb.arizona.edu/mcb-101-and-102-hs-students.