Distance Learning Center (DLC) was incorporated in 1990 as a 501 C 3 non-profit corporation that focused on developing programs to assist in producing the next generation of minority researchers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine (STEMM). From the beginning, the DLC designated its target audience as being those minority groups who will become the emerging majority in the U.S. by 2050, but who at present are underrepresented in STEMM disciplines. These groups include: African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and Mainland Puerto Ricans.
Early on, the DLC offered a short-term based program in Philadelphia, PA that allowed high achieving local high school students to work in basic science laboratories during the summers. Having worked for years in medical school admissions, Dr. Moses Williams, founder and executive director of the DLC, quickly saw that this type of summer program was not necessarily working to help these high schools students, who expressed a desire for STEMM, to actually enter into a career in STEMM. In problem solving, we evaluated students’ level of foundation prior to matriculating into college, the type of majors college/university students were choosing, accessible resources, and college course load when taking classes to fulfill the pre-graduate or pre-medical school requirements. From this, the DLC evolved, implementing a unique training paradigm, based on an early start model, a longitudinal training continuum, and a multi-institutional mentorship approach now known as the DLC STEMM PREP Project. Going a step further, the DLC now offers additional support and resources for our student trainees that attend one of our recommended colleges/universities. The DLC also continues to host its national scientific meeting, the DLC Minority Trainee Research Forum.
The Distance Learning Center Mission
The Distance Learning Center (DLC) is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities (African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and Mainland Puerto Ricans) in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (STEMM), by developing innovative training concepts, implementing comprehensive programs, and fund raising to support programs for these underrepresented minority groups.
In working towards our mission, our goal is to create a national community of minority trainees across the educational pipeline and to identify minorities working in STEMM careers that may serve as a resource for our trainees.
STEMM PREP Project
DLC STEMM Prep Project is a vehicle for producing multiple generations of minority researchers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine (STEMM). Our STEMM Prep Project is a unique training paradigm, which utilizes an early start model for a national pool of minority high achievers, a longitudinal training continuum (10 years) and a multi-institutional mentorship approach.
Students begin our training program as early as the seventh grade and continue through college while rotating during summers through our collaborating institutions’ basic science, engineering and technology labs. DLC STEMM Prep Project offers year-round mentorship, counseling, and advising with our monthly teleconference meetings. As well we offer a mid school year 11th grade retreat focusing on choosing the right college and creating a positive peer network.
The STEMPREP Project has become one of the most successful training initiatives in U.S. history: 100% of our trainees attend college, 100% graduate from college, 92% complete the 10-year regimen and 83% of our college seniors matriculate into post-baccalaureate educational programs in STEMM.
DLC Minority Trainee Research Forum
DLC Minority Trainee Research Forum is an intimate scientific meeting for underrepresented minority biomedical trainees from academic, government, and industry laboratories. Presenters will represent the full pipeline of underrepresented minority biomedical researchers – postdoctoral fellows, Ph.D., M.D./D.O., M.D./Ph.D., D.O./Ph.D., college and high school trainees. Selection of speakers is based on a national competition of abstracts and abstract winners will receive a full travel fellowship (airfare, hotel, and meals) to deliver a 15-minute oral presentation. This conference will consist of career seminars and networking opportunities with your national peers.