Distance Learning Center (DLC) Mission
Distance Learning Center (DLC) was incorporated in 1990 as a 501 C 3 non-profit corporation to spearhead the STEMPREP Project, a vehicle for producing the next generation of minority researchers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and Medicine. From the beginning, the DLC designated its target population as being those minority groups who will become the emerging majority in the U.S. by 2050, but who at present are underrepresented in STEM disciplines: African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and Mainland Puerto Ricans. The original mission of the DLC was to develop innovative training concepts, implement comprehensive programs, and to fund raise to support programs for these underrepresented minority groups. The backbone of the DLC has been its pool of volunteers who have given of their time to create a new training paradigm based on an early start model, a longitudinal training continuum and a multi-institutional mentorship approach.
For the last 19 years, the DLC has utilized this revolutionary training paradigm to generate a cadre of trainees eligible for post-baccalaureate programs at the nation’s elite graduate schools, medical schools and engineering schools. The DLC has created three intramural training programs under the STEMPREP Project to generate a pipeline of prepared trainees: the Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) was designed to produce candidates for M.D. programs and M.D./Ph.D. dual degree programs; the Basic Scientist Training Program (BSTP) was designed to produce candidates for Ph.D. programs in the biomedical sciences; the Technology, Engineering & Math Program (TEMP) was designed to produce candidates for Ph.D. programs in bio-informatics, Ph.D. programs in bio-engineering, and Ph.D. programs in bio-statistics. The DLC has also created and implemented an extramural annual scientific meeting, the Minority Trainee Research Forum (MTRF), to showcase the underrepresented minority talent in the national biomedical pipeline. After 18 years in Philadelphia, the DLC is now based in Dallas, with training sites in Dallas (7th & 8th graders), Philadelphia (9th & 10th graders), Bethesda/Baltimore (11th graders), Seattle (12th graders), Philadelphia/Toronto/Vancouver (college freshmen), Dallas/Tokyo/Rome (college sophomores & juniors) and Philadelphia/Rahway (college seniors).