Bridges to Baccalaureate

Bridges to Baccalaureate logoThe Bridging Arizona Native American Students to Bachelor’s Degrees (Bridges) is a partnership between Coconino Community College (CCC) and Northern Arizona University (NAU), and it is designed to develop a diverse pool of research-oriented undergraduates who bridge from CCC and complete bachelor's degrees in the biomedical or behavioral health fields at NAU. The Bridges program is particularly invested in increasing the number of Native American scientists from federally recognized tribes who will contribute to future community-led research efforts to address health disparities. This program is sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).


This program requires a two-year commitment from Coconino Community College students (Sophomore year at CCC, Summer Bridges program at NAU, and Junior year at NAU). Selected students will receive two years of fully paid tuition, stipends to offset living costs, and research mentorship at CCC and NAU.


Please don't hesitate to email Melinda McKinney. We are here to help walk you through the application and answer any questions you may have!



For more information and to apply visit the NAU Bridges to Baccalaureate site: .


Bridges Grant Contact

Melinda McKinney M.S.

Program Coordinator - CCC

Melinda McKinney is a biology faculty member at Coconino Community College. She is the advisor for Students Advancing STEM at CCC, and has a strong history of community work with programs such as the Flagstaff Festival of Science and STEM City. Melinda was raised in Hawaii and attended Leeward Community College where she participated in undergraduate research projects that sparked her passion for scientific research. She obtained her B.S. in Physics at the University of Hawaii and worked with NASA to develop a STEM-based curriculum using real-time GOES satellite data. Melinda received her M.S. from Northern Arizona University. During her studies, she was able to climb Giant Sequoias and Redwoods as part of her research on limitations to water transport in trees, and to look at the effects of drought and insects on the anatomy of piñon pines. She loves working with students as they explore their passions and build connections with their peers and their community. Please send her a quick email with questions.

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