Discusses the findings from an evaluation of the SMDEP, a free, six-week residential science enrichment program offered during the summer to rising college sophomores and juniors of minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged background who are interested in attending medical or dental school; and the outcomes of students who participated.

“SMDEP…is a free, six-week residential science enrichment program offered during the summer to rising college sophomores and juniors of minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged background who are interested in attending medical or dental school. The immediate goal of the program is to help these students become more competitive applicants to medical and dental schools, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of successful applicants from underrepresented groups and eventually diversifying the medical and dental labor force” (p.vii).

 

“In late 2012, RWJF commissioned an external evaluation of SMDEP. Conducted by Mathematica, the evaluation was designed to contribute to the existing research by providing rigorous evidence of program effectiveness under the current SMDEP model (implemented since 2006) and by helping to identify the critical components of the program in order to facilitate replication efforts.

 

To align with these two evaluation objectives, Mathematica’s mixed-methods evaluation included two components. The first was formative; [the authors] used qualitative methods to learn about the characteristics and key components of the program as implemented by different institutions. The second was summative; [the authors] used a quasi-experimental design through propensity score matching methods to assess the impact of SMDEP on key expected student outcomes…by comparing average outcomes for SMDEP participants to those of a group of similar students who did not participate in the program. In subgroup analyses, [the authors] modeled outcomes by institutional and individual characteristics of interest, such as the type of program offered (medical-only versus medical and dental), the academic and pedagogical approaches adopted, and participants’ gender, ethnicity, and home institution (two- versus four-year)” (p. vii-viii).

 

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)