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Programs > Diversity > Definitions

Health Careers Opportunity Program Definitions

Accreditation - Health professions schools and schools of allied health whose schools or programs are accredited by a recognized body or bodies approved for such purposes by the Secretary of Education, or which provide to the Secretary satisfactory assurance by such accrediting body or bodies that reasonable progress is being made toward accreditation.

Applicant Pool - A student population that has participated along an educational pipeline whereby the individuals have gained exposure to or experience in health careers, and posses the academic preparation, interest, competitiveness, social and personal skills to become a health professional.

Application Types - Comprehensive: (see Comprehensive HCOP Model Section for explanation)
Non-Comprehensive: Applications that do not meet the requirements for Comprehensive.
Supplemental: Currently-funded grant requesting  funds to conduct additional activities.  Application is made using the current grant number, and must detail the current HCOP program, new activities proposed, and anticipated outcomes.

Comprehensive Program - Programs containing a network of entities which are formally linked programmatically.  The network must include a minimum of four entities: a community-based entity, a school district, an undergraduate, and health and allied health professions school.

Cultural Competence - The level of knowledge based skills required to provide effective clinical care to patients from a particular ethnic or racial group. Use only this definition when applying for a grant, but to stimulate discussion and further refine the concept, see how other organizations define cultural competence.

Cultural Sensitivity - The ability to adjust one’s perceptions, behaviors, and practice styles to effectively meet the needs of different ethnic or racial groups.

Educational Level - Educational categories whereby students are at the elementary grade level, middle school level, high school level, undergraduate or graduate level.

Formally Linked - Written agreements “linking” partners of a comprehensive network that have common objectives.   Such agreements shall reflect the coordination of educational activities, support services, and consolidation of resources.

Graduate - A individual who has successfully completed all the educational requirements for a specified academic program of study or has met all the eligibility requirements for full certification/degree in a designated health profession.

Health or Educational Entity - An organization, agency or combination thereof which has the provision of health or educational programs as one of its major functions.

Health Research Training - Activities involving teaching students research principles, design and methodology to allow   them the opportunity to apply such knowledge and develop research skills through direct involvement in a research project.

Institution of Higher Education - An educational institution in any state or consortium of educational institutions that: 1) admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of such a certificate; 2) is legally authorized within such state to provide a program of education beyond secondary education; 3) provides an educational program for which it awards a Bachelor's degree or higher, or provides not less than a two-year program (or its equivalent) which is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree and/or certification; 4) is a public or other nonprofit institution; and 5) is accredited by a recognized body or bodies approved for such purpose by the Secretary of Education.

Middle School - Educational level referring to either grades six, seven and eight, or grades seven, eight and nine, depending on the individual school district. Synonymous with junior high school.

Medically Underserved Community - According to the Public Health Service Act, Section 799 B(6) and amended by P.L. 105-392, Section 108 (c) the term "medically underserved community" means an urban or rural area or population that:
(A) is eligible for designation under section 332 as a health professional shortage area;
(B) is eligible to be served by a migrant health center under section 330, a community health center under section 330, a grantee under section 330 (relating to homeless individuals), or a grantee under section 330 (relating to residents of public housing);
(C) has a shortage of personal health services, as determined under criteria issued by the Secretary under section 1861(a)(a)(2) of the Social Security Act (relating to rural health clinics); or
(D) is designated by a State Governor (in consultation with the medical community) as a shortage area or medically underserved community.
Medically underserved community includes service in the following work settings:
Community Health Centers
Migrant Health Centers
Health Care for the Homeless grantees
Public Housing Primary Care grantees
Rural Health Clinics, federally designated
National Health Service Corps sites
Indian Health Service sites
Federally Qualified Health Centers
Primary Medical Care Health Professional Shortage Areas
Dental HPSAs
Nurse Shortage Areas
State or Local Health Departments
Sites designated by a State Governor in consultation with the medical community (for example ambulatory practice sites)

Non-profit - As applied to any private entity, no part of the net earnings of such entity accrues or may lawfully accrue to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

Post-Baccalaureate HCOP Program -   HCOP Post-Baccalaureate Programs are conditional admissions programs .  The purpose of these programs is to provide an avenue for certain disadvantaged students to gain admission into  health and allied health professions schools.  To be eligible for an HCOP-funded Post Baccalaureate program, a student must have an undergraduate degree with a science focus, and have applied and been denied admission to a health professions school.  Each program must select a cohort of at least seven students for health professions schools and five for allied health programs, who--providing they meet the program’s requirements–will be guaranteed admission into the health professions school, or admission into another health professions or allied health professions school.  Grant funds will provide stipends to the cohort for both summer sessions and during the academic year (not to exceed 12 months).   Additionally, HCOP Post-Baccalaureate programs should include: an initial diagnostic summer session, post-baccalaureate level academic year, pre-matriculation summer session, academic counseling, tutoring , and psycho-social support.

Pre-matriculation Program - A six to eight week summer program especially designed to prepare HCOP matriculants for the rigors of the first year professional school and to ease their transit into the health professions curriculum.

Preference - The funding of a specific category or group of approved applications ahead of other categories or groups of applications.

Program Completer - Is an individual who has met the didactic and/or clinical requirements of a structured educational program which does not confer a degree.

Social Development/Enhancement - Non-academic activities such as counseling, interviewing skills, cross-cultural education, time management, and adjustment to educational and institutional environment designed to further students’ competitiveness for eventual admission into a health or allied health professions school.

Structured Program - Is a formal program of a specified length with a specially designed curriculum or set of activities in which designated trainees are required to participate (e.g., summer and/or academic year enrichment program which focus on such areas as mathematics, science, learning/communication skills, professional school entrance exams and the like).

Unstructured Program - Has very few formal requirements and not of any specified length or specially designed set of activities in which participants have the option to participate (e.g., recruitment activities such as health career lectures, dissemination of health careers information, and professional and personal counseling).

Centers of Excellence Definitions

Arrangements -Refers to partnerships of entities that are formally linked programmatically.  Each member of the partnership must sign a formal agreement (by someone at the university or entity with the authority to commit resources) detailing a plan that identifies each member’s role and commitment to the project.

Clinical and Counseling Psychology - This specialty is comprised by psychologists that are trained and experienced in the delivery of preventive, assessment, diagnostic, and intervention services relative to the psychological and physical health of consumers based on: 1) having completed scientific and professional training resulting in a doctoral degree in psychology; 2) having completed an internship and supervised experience in health care settings; and 3) having been licensed or certified in their state as psychologists at the independent practice level .

Clinical Social Work - This is a practice specialty of the social work profession.  Its purposes are to (1) diagnose and treat bio-psychological disability and impairment, including mental and emotional disorders and developmental disabilities; (2) achieve optimal prevention of bio-psychosocial dysfunction; and (3) support and enhance bio-psychosocial strengths and functioning.   Its practice includes interventions that are not limited to assessment and diagnosis, crisis intervention, psychosocial and psycho-educational interventions, and brief and long-term psychotherapies.  Individuals in this profession hold a graduate (Master’s or Doctoral) degree in social work and have the appropriate clinical experience to become licensed for practice in their state.

Compensation of Students - Compensation in the form of salary is allowable for students engaging in meaningful research which provides rigorous educational experiences in research methods under the supervision of a faculty member.  The student must be performing necessary work that contributes to the general knowledge of a minority health issue under investigation which involves a bona fide employer-employee relationship between the student and the institution for the work performed.  The student would be compensated at a level commensurate with that normally paid for such work.  (See "Compensation of Students", page 7-13 of the PHS Grants Policy Statement.)

Designated Health Professions School - Means a school of medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, or a graduate program in behavioral or mental health as defined in section 736(g) of the PHS Act as amended.

Effectiveness in Providing Financial Assistance - Will be evaluated by examining the data on scholarships and other financial aid provided by the applicant’s school to the targeted group in relation to the scholarships and financial aid provided to the total school population.

Effectiveness in Recruiting Students - Will be evaluated by examining the first-year and total enrollments of targeted students in relation to the first-year and total enrollments for the entire school.

Effectiveness in Retaining Students - Will be determined by retention rates for the targeted group; and the academic and non-academic support systems operative for the target group of students at the school.

Graduate Programs in Behavioral or Mental Health - Means a graduate program in clinical or counseling psychology, clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, or professional counseling (professional counseling is defined as mental health counseling, gerontological counseling, and rehabilitation counseling).

Hispanic Centers of Excellence - Any designated health professions school that gives priority to identifying and facilitating the educational preparation and entry of Hispanic students into the health professions. The school must agree to establish  arrangements with 1 or more public or nonprofit community based Hispanic serving organizations, or public or nonprofit private institutions of higher education, including schools of nursing, whose enrollment of students has traditionally included a significant number of Hispanic individuals. The school shall draw upon these arrangements in order to carry out its recruitment efforts.

Marriage and Family Therapy - Individuals in this specialty are mental health professionals trained in psychotherapy and family systems who diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples, and family systems.  Marriage and Family Therapists have graduate training (a Master’s or Doctoral degree) in marriage and family therapy and at least two years of clinical experience. Due to the dearth of URM students enrolled in graduate programs in marriage and family therapy, at this time these programs are encouraged to build the competitive applicant pool by linking with an eligible COE applicant.

Pathways to Health Professions

The ultimate goal of the program is to strengthen the national capacity to produce a healthcare workforce that includes clinicians, researchers and faculty members whose diversity is representative of the U.S. population.

Funding for this grant program will provide direct financial assistance to elementary, middle and high schools, community colleges, colleges and universities, public and private non-profit entities (such as community and faith-based organizations, and national, regional, or local organizations), tribes, tribal organizations, and health or education professional organizations to increase the interest and pursuit of health or allied careers among URM and disadvantaged students.

Medically Underserved Community

Native American Centers of Excellence - Any designated health professions school or consortium of such schools that gives priority to identifying and facilitating the educational preparation and entry of Native American students into the health professions.  The school must agree to establish arrangements with 1 or more public or nonprofit private institutions of higher education, including schools of nursing, whose enrollment of students has traditionally included a significant number of Native American individuals. The school shall draw upon these arrangements in order to carry out its recruitment efforts.

Native Americans - The term “Native Americans” means American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Aleuts, and Native Hawaiians.

Other Centers of Excellence - Any designated health professions school that meets the general conditions governing eligibility and has an enrollment of underrepresented minorities above the national average for such schools.

Underrepresented Minority - Means, with respect to a health profession, racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the health professions relative to the number of individuals who are members of the population involved. This definition would include:  Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaskan Native.


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