From the Office of State Senator Royce West - District 23

For Immediate Release
February 28, 2001
For more information, call:
LaJuana Barton @ 512-463-0123

New Program Designed to Produce Doctors Reflecting the New Face of Texas

Following the success of the "Top Ten percent" law in increasing college participation at institutes of higher education in Texas, State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) and State Senator Teel Bivins (R-Amarillo) have filed legislation aimed at creating graduating classes in our state' s medical schools which are more representative of Texas.

To recruit and retain students, Texas' eight medical schools will be required to commit at least 10% of the first student "slots" to the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP). A JAMP pool of undergraduate students will be selected on a pro-rata basis from all of the 31 four-year state universities. This pool will be open to well-qualified, economically-disadvantaged undergraduates pursuing a medical education. These scholarship students will participate in cooperative mentoring and enrichment programs between medical schools and universities designed to improve their academic performance prior to medical school.

Former chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Higher Education and member of the Special Commission on 21st Century College and Universities, Senator West said, "I have first-hand knowledge of the changing demographics of Texas and the impact that this has had and is projected to have on higher education in Texas. I believe that the proposed legislation will provide windows of opportunity for economically-disadvantaged undergraduates who wish to serve the great State of Texas as physicians."

As chair of the Senate Education Committee Bivins calls the JAMP program the next logical step in legislative efforts to increase access and participation in higher ed. "My hope is that by doing three things--identifying qualified students from all across the state who want to be doctors, giving them financial and academic assistance and guaranteeing them a place in our med schools-- we can increase the number of physicians serving in medically under-served regions."

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