Purpose: To describe an undergraduate pipeline training program (PTP) designed to guide underrepresented minorities (URM) trainees into MCH-related health professions, ultimately contributing to a diverse maternal and child health (MCH) workforce that can improve health outcomes for all women/mothers, children, and their families, including fathers and children with special healthcare needs. Description: Three cohorts with 35 total undergraduate trainees were recruited to participated in the 2 years USF MCH PTP program where they were mentored, trained, guided, and supported by program faculty/staff. Students were recruited early in their education track, and the program was individually tailored based on trainees’ educational discovery stages. Key program components included seminars, summer institutes, public health courses, mentorship, internship, experiential learning opportunities, and professional networking opportunities. Assessment: The majority of the undergraduate participants were diverse URMs including Hispanic/Latino (37.1%), Black/African American (31.4%), Asian (20%), and American Indian/Alaskan Native (5.7%) trainees. Out of all the cohorts, 51.4% were first-generation college students and 74.3% had economic hardships (i.e., PELL Grant, FAFSA). Resulting from the program, all cohorts increased in educational discovery stages, one-third enrolled in health-related graduate studies and half joined the MCH workforce. Conclusion: Recruitment in pipeline programs should be intentional and meet students where they are in their education discovery stage. The use of educational discovery stages within a pipeline program are useful in both tailoring curriculum to individuals’ needs and assessment of progression in career decision-making. Mentoring from program staff remains an important component for pipeline programs.
- Maternal and child health
- Underrepresented minorities