The Hispanic Center of Excellence launched a new initiative in 2014 based on an identified need of our undergraduate student population. In order to continue our support of undergraduate entry into medical school from our partner schools, we have built an online guided-study program for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). We are creating small groups (no more than 12) of students studying for their MCAT exams. Those seeking direct application to medical school should have at least a 3.5 OGPA and a 3.6 SGPA and be willing to commit 10 to 12 hours a week or more, to preparation for the MCAT exam. Those in pipeline programs, such as EMSAP or JAMP, or those who plan to apply to a post-bacc or master program, must have a 3.25 OGPA.
Most of the activities are asynchronous, but students will be expected to spend time in the learning management system at least 3 to 4 days of a 7-day week. We will be utilizing online resources, study guides, and some original content. We will expect students to obtain AAMC membership, purchase at least one additional practice exam, as well as a set of study guides. Dr. Toombs-Smith has recreating her Verbal Reasoning as an e-course and even published a book version. Several of our students raised their Verbal scores from 4-7 to 10-11 after Dr. Toombs-Smith's classes. We are excited to have her support for this endeavor.
Students will have regular contact from our team. We are including many checkpoints, activities, and interactive components to ensure that our students do not get lost along the way. These are not classes or courses with the exception of Dr. Toombs-Smith's contribution. We are providing a plan, support, and mentoring to the students. We will outline activities - video lessons, flashcards, practice questions, etc., for each day. The student will need to take the initiative to complete the activities and demonstrate that completion.
We will help our students to learn how and where to find MCAT preparation resources, how to evaluate those resources, how to utilize best, and how to find answers to their questions. We will help them to tailor their practice. Most importantly, we will mentor the students through three months of study, continue mentoring them through the MCAT exam, help them evaluate their results, and support them through the admissions process and beyond.
The May to July cohort has started and is a small group of invited students working to individually tailored study plans.
The Hispanic Center of Excellence sponsored on-campus programs at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas and at three partner university locations from 2011 through 2013 as funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration.
The Medical Careers Diversity Program (MCDP) was a five-week summer program which provides an intensive academically-enriched medical experience for undergraduate Hispanic students. Rising Juniors with a minimum of 3.0 GPA and Seniors with a minimum of 3.2 GPA interested in a career in medicine were eligible to apply. MCDP provided the below activities in addition to year-round mentoring and counseling from HCOE faculty, and peer and MCDP faculty shared academic support through virtual network, Ning.
Intensive 5-week MCAT review
Verbal Reasoning and Writing Skills
Personal statement workshops
Student wellness workshops
Scientific article dissection and critique
Community Service Learning
Social Media and Web 2.0 Applications
The Academic and Enrichment Program (AEP) was a four to five week summer program that provided basic science course reviews and additional academic enrichment activities that enhanced the student's competitiveness for a career in the health field. The HCOE partnered with three major academic institutions to provide the AEP program.
The University of Texas at Brownsville
Gustavo Stern, M.D.
Office of Premedical Education Programs
Set-B 2.306 Department of Biology
80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, TX 78520
The University of Texas - Pan American
Scott J.Gunn, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
1201 W. University Dr.
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999
The University of Texas at El Paso
Mary Wells, M.A.
Medical Professions Institute
500 W. University Ave.
El Paso, TX 79968
New Medical Careers Diversity Program celebrates graduates
The newly-funded UTMB Hispanic Center of Excellence completed its first undergraduate summer enrichment program, also known as the Medical Careers Diversity Program, on June 24 by honoring 50 college students from all over Texas who participated in the program.