General Information about HSTA
HSTA is a community based 9th -12th grade math and science program which encourages aspirations, opens doors, and empowers minority and under-represented students in rural communities. The goal of HSTA is to increase the number of African-American and other under-represented high school students that pursue post-secondary education in the health sciences and to increase the number of health practitioners in the medically under-served communities of West Virginia. Students are accepted according to the eligibility requirements prioritized as: African-American, Financially Disadvantaged (qualifies for or receives free or reduced lunch), First Generation College Student (parents never completed 4 year college), and Rural. Students are recruited in the last semester of the eighth grade and must have a GPA of at least 2.50. Students must be a United States citizen and a West Virginia resident.
Currently HSTA has a student population of 800 high school students in 26 WV counties.
The 2008-2009 student population is: 34% African-American, 39% Free or Reduced Lunch Eligible, 58% First Generation College, and 49% Rural. A GPA of 3.00 is required after the ninth grade. Attendance of 70% of all club meetings is required and clubs meet a total of 24 hours per semester. By high school graduation students must have attended at least two HSTA summer camps and have completed 75 hours of community service. Students complete and present a yearly science project at the annual state Science Symposium.
HSTA is in 26 counties and has 78 clubs in 49 high schools.
The WV-INBRE program hopes to recruit from this pool of high-achieving HSTA graduates once they enter college. By attending HSTA club meeting and other events, the WV-INBRE/HSTA coordinator hopes to plant the seed of interest in biomedical research and educate these students about the opportunities of the program should they attend one of the partner institutions within the WV-INBRE network. By having undergraduates who have participated in the INBRE program speak at some HSTA events, the HSTA students can ask questions about the research and the experience.