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Scholars Program for Underserved Communities

The Underserved Communities Have a Medical Provider (U-CHaMP) program is established to provide students a chance to participate in a scholars program with an opportunity to earn a substantial scholarship toward a bachelor's degree. This is an immersive health profession education experience with the goal of improving diversity of the health care workforce and closing the health disparity gap in underserved communities.

Program Benefits and Eligibility

The maximum U-CHaMP scholarship is $10,000 for undergraduate students who choose to attain an undergraduate degree. All award amounts must be applied to tuition, fees, books and other related educational expenses during enrollment in an online undergraduate degree-advancement program.

Additional Benefits

  • Potential to complete a bachelor's degree without any debt.
  • Transformative experience in treating underserved populations and learning about health disparities.
  • Broaden your networking skills and contacts in the surrounding health care community.
  • Build your resume for future employment opportunities.


Currently, respiratory therapist is the health care profession with the highest vacancy rate in our region. For instance, in Kansas and Missouri, more than 20% of these positions remain unfilled.

Therefore, students are eligible if they are seeking an online bachelor's degree through KU's respiratory care degree-advancement program.

In addition, applicants must belong to one of the following categories:

  • First generation in your family to attend college.
  • Graduated from or attended a high school which had a low percentage of seniors receiving a high school diploma or low percentage of high school graduates who attend college the year after graduation.
  • Graduated from or attended a high school with low per capita funding.
  • Graduated from or attended a high school where many of the enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.

    How to Get Started

    Your first step should be to officially become an Aspiring U-CHaMP student member. This will improve your chances of success of receiving the U-CHaMP scholarship. Read on to learn how.

    Some possible pathways to become an Aspiring U-CHaMP student member:

    • High school student attends a community college to earn an associate degree in respiratory therapy, then applies to KU's online degree-completion program in respiratory care.
    • Community college student completes their associate degree in respiratory care, then applies to KU's online degree-completion program in respiratory care.
    • Adult learners seeking a bachelor's degree can apply for KU's online degree-completion program in respiratory care.

    Aspiring U-CHaMP Student Activities

    • Shadow experience with health care providers.
    • Special mentoring and advising services to assure readiness for applying to KU's online degree-completion program in respiratory care.
    • Opportunity to attend seminars and learn about more about health disparities.
    • Ability to complete an early application to KU's online degree-completion program in respiratory care.

    U-CHaMP Scholar Program Activities

    Selection and Application

    Entrance into the U-CHaMP program will require a high level of student commitment and engagement. The U-CHaMP program's staff, faculty, mentors and preceptors will support your academic experience through personal and professional resources.

    Selection Criteria

    • Acceptance into KU's online degree-completion program in respiratory care.
    • Meet one of the Eligibility requirements.
    • Passion caring for underserved populations.


    The application will be available on this page March 1, 2024.

    Curricular and Extracurricular Activities

    • Shadow experience in underserved community.
    • Mentoring from staff and faculty.
    • Clinical experience in an underserved community.
    • Seminars focusing on health disparities.
    • Literature review on health disparities.
    • Quality improvement or research project.

    Begin your journey to become a U-CHaMP Scholar today!

    Program Director

    Dave Burnett, Ph.D., RRT
    Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Workforce Initiatives
    913-588-9499 (TTY 711)

    Dave Burnett

    This project is 100% supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant 1 D18HP50057‐01‐00. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

    KU School of Health Professions

    University of Kansas Medical Center
    Respiratory Care and Diagnostic Science
    3901 Rainbow Boulevard
    Mailstop 1013
    Kansas City, KS 66160
    913-588-4630 • 711 TTY