Scholars in Service Program
In partnership with the San Francisco Foundation, the Scholars in Service Program (SISP) was established in 1996 to recruit and retain underrepresented students of color in the undergraduate nursing program at Samuel Merritt University. We actively seek qualified African-American and Latina/o students who are committed to working in the medically underserved communities of the East Bay while enrolled in school and after graduation.
Scholarships are awarded each year to selected incoming African, African-American and Latina/o students in the BSN program. In the past, scholarships have ranged from $1,000 to $6,000. Scholarship recipients must demonstrate financial need, show leadership, and agree to work in a medically underserved community after graduation.
THE NEED FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS OF COLOR
Samuel Merritt University has an outstanding reputation among Bay Area universities and universities offering health science programs. We are known for our academic and clinical excellence and for our high pass rate on national licensure exams. The trend toward community-based health care has intensified the need for skilled, compassionate health care professionals who are culturally sensitive to urban populations like Oakland.
Unfortunately, the health care profession does not reflect the diversity of the state or the nation. For example, according to a Sullivan Commission Report on Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce done in 2002 nationwide only 5.5% of all graduating nurses were African American and 1.5% Hispanic \ Latino\a . At Samuel Merritt University, with our strong academic reputation and supportive learning environment, we are striving to reverse that trend through the Scholars in Service Program.
Scholarships are awarded each year to selected incoming African, African-American and Hispanic \ Latino\a students in the BSN program. In the past, scholarships have ranged from $1,000 to $6,000. Scholarship recipients must demonstrate financial need, be dedicated scholars, and agree to work in a medically underserved community after graduation.
To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must:
- Be of African-American or Hispanic \ Latino\a heritage
- Be accepted into the BSN program at Samuel Merritt University
- Have a current financial aid application on file with the Financial Aid Office
- Have achieved academic success at the college level
- Commit to impacting medically underserved communities after graduation
SUPPORT PROGRAMS TO HELP YOU SUCCEED
Students in the program are highly motivated and benefit from the programs we have in place to provide personal and academic support. The Associate Director of Diversity plays an important role in helping students adjust to the rigors of university life and serves as an advisor and personal advocate. These support programs include:
- Financial Aid Counseling
- Professional Mentorship
- Tutorial Services
- Learning Support Services
- Academic Enrichment Workshops
- Personal Counseling
- Peer Mentoring
We will have a full day of orientation for SISP scholars on the Saturday before your regular classes start to ensure that alumni, current and incoming SISP students meet each other before classes and clinical rotations begin. Our regular monthly meeting times are generally the first Tuesday and Wednesday (students select which day to attend based on their schedule) of the month from 12 to 1pm, where lunch will be served. May and December include celebrations of completion / graduation outside of regularly scheduled meeting times. Please remember the SISP Orientation is in addition to, not instead of, your regular New Student Onsite Orientation.
PARTNERS IN YOUR SUCCESS
While everyone at Samuel Merritt University is here to help you below is a list of some of the key people who are willing to be partners in your success:
Associate Director of Diversity and Director of the Scholars in Service Program
(510) 869-1572, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Director of Admission and Diversity Recruitment
(510) 869-8984, email@example.com
Assistant Professor and Director of Diversity for the School of Nursing
(510) 869-6511 x3194, firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Aid Counselor
(510) 869-6193, email@example.com
Chief Diversity Officer and Executive Director of Diversity
(510) 869-1544, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Academic Support & Disability Services
(510) 869-6616, email@example.com
As you pursue your degree in the health sciences, these organizations and their websites may prove to be valuable resources for your professional development.
- Ethnic Health Institute www.altabates.com/ehi/
- National Association of Hispanic Nurses http://www.thehispanicnurses.org/
- National Black Nurses Association http://www.nbna.org/
- California Nursing Students' Association http://www.cnsa.org/
- Mentoring in Medicine http://www.hghed.com/other_programs/category/mentoring_in_medicine
The Scholars in Service Program (SISP) is an essential program at Samuel Merritt University. The program provided for me a comfortable, warm and inviting environment where minorities could come together and support one another through this challenging time of nursing school. The SISP program became a support system for me, I developed relationships and friendships with people in other programs that I would not have if it weren't for this program. It is nice to see a friendly face walking the halls, especially when you are having a tough day or stressed out about all the things on your "to do list" for the day. Samuel Merritt University does a great job preparing us to be professional nurses and SISP does an excellent job of providing the support system to survive this grueling transition. This is essential to our survival as student nurses because one thing all students will learn, especially after pathophysiology is that we are all human and that stress is harmful to our health. SISP is like Ativan (anti-anxiety medication) it helps us to decrease our anxiety and stress level to allow us to function and think better as a student and thus a professional nurse. Without the support of SISP I don't think my experience at SMU would have been as positive as it was if it weren't for the people in this tight community.