Pre-Professional Health Programs
Pre-Professional Health Programs at PennWest Clarion are designed to foster motivated, caring and communicative students who intend to pursue careers within a variety of healthcare professions:
- Physician assistant
- Physical therapy
- Veterinary medicine
These pre-professional programs provide a rigorous course of study under the mentorship of the Pre-Professional Committee for the Healing Arts. The Pre-Professional Committee's mission is to best prepare our students from all undergraduate degree programs seeking to pursue admittance into professional schools after graduating from Clarion. The committee is composed of members from multiple academic departments (biology, chemistry, nursing, nutrition and fitness, and sociology) who have strong interests in career advising.
Since professional schools require completion of a variety of pre-requisite courses in the sciences to be considered for admission, many of our pre-professional students major in biology or chemistry, degree programs that offer a strong foundation in basic science. However, professional schools do not require a subject-specific bachelor's degree from applicants. Students from diverse majors such as athletic training, nursing, psychology, and sociology, may be successful applicants by excelling in both their major and in science courses.
Any non-science majors are encouraged to use their free electives for biology, chemistry, or other science-prerequisites not already included in their major requirements.
An increasingly complex and global medical profession demands healthcare professionals to have broad cultural knowledge and excellent communication skills. As such, we encourage our students to excel in their humanities courses. Students geared towards a career in healthcare should also seek out volunteer and shadowing opportunities as early as possible. Additionally, leadership skills can be enhanced through participation in campus clubs and organizations or within the community.
Preparation for professional school begins in the student's freshman year. We encourage our incoming first-year students to express their career aspirations to their academic advisor during orientation, as course selection requires careful planning in order to meet the requirements of their chosen professional schools.
Throughout the academic year, students are also encouraged to attend update meetings on the various professions, informal presentations by healthcare providers, and informational sessions on career preparation hosted by the Pre-Professional Committee for the Healing Arts. In order to remain up-to-date on developments in the field and various professional school requirements, committee members attend major national and regional conferences for pre-professional health advisors.
In addition to course advisement, committee members provide students with information on admission's tests, such as the Medical College Admission Test and the Graduate Record Exam, and prepare students for entrance interviews at professional health schools. Committee members regularly compose and provide letters of recommendation to professional health schools, which is one of the most important parts of the admission's package.