The new Center for Pre-Health Professions is being launched for students who are preparing to apply to a graduate health professions program to lead to a career in healthcare.
Dr. Cynthia Powell, executive director of the Center for Pre-Health Professions, said as the number of graduate programs for health professions has grown and the application process has become more demanding, professional schools are looking beyond GPAs and entrance exam scores when assessing applicants.
To meet these rising demands, a health humanities minor was added, as well as several pre-health professions seminar courses to provide opportunities for students to better prepare for their future careers.
This new program includes courses and advising. It will also continue activities like mission trips organized through the Halbert Institute of Missions, the Global Healthcare study abroad programs organized through the ACU Study Abroad Program, as well as the shadowing and observation program previously housed in the Body & Soul Program.
“The center brings together all of the academic preparation that has been in place for many years with the newer curriculum that specifically targets professional expectations in the areas of interpersonal and intrapersonal skills and thinking and reasoning abilities,” Powell said. “We believe that the new center will help students more easily access the menu of opportunities important for pre-health professions students at ACU and provide a framework that will allow us to continue to grow and expand.”
Pre-health professions include all students who are preparing to apply to a graduate health professions program to lead to a career in healthcare. That includes medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, physicians assistants, podiatry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, veterinary medicine, athletic training, dietetics, speech pathology and other health-aligned careers.
“I’m most excited to continue to work with our wonderful pre-health students to prepare them for careers in healthcare,” Powell said. “We hope that they leave ACU with a firm academic and spiritual foundation ready to serve others in the name of Christ through careers in healthcare.”
Maddy Cardinal, senior biology major on the pre-dental track, believes the new center will be very beneficial to pre-health students like her.
“The pre-health program here at ACU has been extremely helpful, and I am excited to see the new center be a navigation tool for students and provide research opportunities,” Cardinal said.