Tag: personal statements
This semester McMurry has taken preparation for the health professions to a whole new level with a new Pre-Professions (PREP) seminar course. This elective course taught by Dr. Larry Sharp (see BIMS faculty or BIMS contact information for more on Dr. Sharp) is open to any student, and our hope is all those who plan on pursuing acceptance into a health professions program (medical, dental, physical therapy, pharmacy, etc.) will take the four semester sequence of seminars.
So, what’s been going on in the FIRST semester? PREP students have been busy with group projects outlining the different disciplines of interest. Sixteen (16) groups presented PowerPoint lectures illustrating each discipline’s answers to the following questions:
- What (Texas) schools offer your degree specialization?
- What prerequisites are required? (Common and school specific)
- What entrance exam is required? What are the minimums required for scores/GPA?
- What would be a typical “Day in the Life..” for a practitioner?
- What courses would be taken while in the professional school?
- Are internships required prior to application?
- Are there additional courses/fellowships required?
- What is the ratio of applicants versus offered seats?
Students in the PREP seminar class have also started working on their individual personal statements (not an easy task!). Our experience shows statements that express well one’s motivation and convey the strengths and personalities of the applicant often take months and months of drafts and re-writes. A separate blog on the way that has been approached is available at the SNCS website (http://blogs.mcm.edu/sncs/, “PREP Class Working on Personal Statements”).
The PREP seminar also features a full slate of guest speakers during its hour-long weekly meetings. So far this semester, students have heard from the following people:
- McMurry Faculty, Dr Joel Brant – Graduate School opportunities
- McMurry Faculty, Dr. Timothy Renfro – Medical Physics
- US Army Staff Sergeant, Sean Sullivan – Health Professional opportunities/scholarships
- Ross University, Associate Director of Admissions, Tiffany Ciolek
The slate of speakers will continue throughout the spring, as admissions advisors from Texas medical and dental and pharmacy schools come to Abilene to share their processes and expectations with future applicants.
In all these ways, McMurry is pro-actively preparing its students for that moment of truth when all their college experiences are distilled down into readiness for professional school application and matriculation. Preparing the next generation of health professionals is a meticulous and deliberate process improved by the attention of knowledgeable and caring faculty.
Starting next fall, McMurry students interested in receiving the coveted composite letter of evaluation from McMurry will be expected to enroll in a series of four pre-health professions seminars. These one-hour seminars for future doctors, dentists, veterinarians, physical therapists, and pharmacists will be taught by Dr. Larry Sharp.
Applicants to health professions schools may have submitted on their behalf letters of support from individuals or a composite letter submitted by the health committee from their college. The advantage of a composite letter is its provision of an unvarnished and comprehensive view of the student’s abilities and preparation, rather than the questionably honest perspective of the most favorable letter a student could solicit. A composite letter provides a fair and balanced view of student ability and performance. To insure our faculty have ample opportunity to see first-hand a student’s strengths and weaknesses, and to provide an environment where those positive attributes can be developed, we will encourage them to take the pre-health seminars.
The four pre-health seminars are intended to prepare students to be competitive applicants to professional schools. The first two semesters get students off on the right foot in writing personal statements, exploring the field more fully, meeting with and shadowing professionals in their chosen field, and preparing for their future entrance exams. In the second year, the returning students will serve as mentors for first-year students while taking their own preparation to the next level. More attention is paid to exposure to the field and growth as a leader. Students will participate in mock interviews, review for and take practice entrance exams, and receive other valuable experience to give them insight into health professions and the expectations of health programs needed to become a highly-sought applicant. Four semesters – two years – will be invested into the competitiveness of each student.