The six-week summer academic enrichment program offers underrepresented freshman and sophomore college students intensive and personalized preparation for applying to medical, dental, nursing, public health, and allied health schools, as well as providing learning opportunities for students interested in careers in health professions.
This summer, UNMC will accept 40 medical, 20 dental, 10 nursing, 10 public health and 10 allied health students.
Cheryl Thompson, Ph.D., co-principal investigator on the grant (with UNMC College of Dentistry Dean Janet Guthmiller, D.D.S., Ph.D., and Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Dele Davies, M.D.), said that last year's session -- during which the program at UNMC expanded from a medical and dental program to include a wide range of other health professions -- was a success.
"It went very well," Dr. Thompson said. "The scholars appreciated that their peers came with a wide range of professional interests. Some scholars requested shadowing experiences outside their original interest area because of these interactions. Group interprofessional activities were richer because of the greater diversity in perspectives."
Dr. Guthmiller agreed.
"The expansion of this program to other health profession programs on our UNMC campus was a resounding success," she said. "The interactions and opportunities for the scholars to explore and learn about various health professions is wonderful preparation and recognition of the multidisciplinary nature of health care."
Many attendees were unaware of the wide range of professions available in the health sciences, said Lakaija Johnson, SHPEP program manager.
"Creating a supportive environment in which we could promote well-being and resilience was a focus of our site's programming," Johnson said. "We ensured that our staff and scholars were aware of the resources available in the UNMC Counseling and Student Development Center and encouraged them to utilize or advocate for similar resources on their home campuses."
In addition, she noted, the program hosted seven Native American scholars and established a pipeline for Native American high school students through the development of the SHPEP-WISH (Weeklong Institute for Students in High School) program, in collaboration with the Munroe-Meyer Institute.
Applications close Feb. 15. Further information about the SHPEP, including application information, can be found here.