Summer Academic Enrichment Program

The Summer Academic Enrichment Program is an intensive, six-week inter-professional academic enrichment program designed to enhance the academic preparation of junior and senior undergraduate students, and post-baccalaureate students, actively pursuing enrollment in a health professions school. The curriculum is designed around an inter-professional framework that provides:

  • Three core courses
  • Discipline specific instruction time (dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy)
  • Learning skills and test-taking workshops
  • Seminars featuring topics on health disparities
  • Professionalism
  • Group and individual counseling
  • Social and networking events 

Participants are provided housing and a stipend to cover program expenses.

Program Highlights

Biological science development: All participants will attend courses in biochemistry, microbiology, and pharmacology. Students will gain a perspective of the rigor at which these courses are taught.  Students will be evaluated through tests, and submit self-evaluations.

Discipline specific concentration: Participants will have focused time in one of the discipline specific concentrations. Each respective school will provide additional coursework, discipline specific seminars, or clinical exposure during this time.

Learning skills and test-taking strategies: This component will assist participants in understanding how to take standardized tests and help them develop methods for self-study in preparing for the examination.

Mock interviews: Participants will participate in group-based mock interview sessions.  During these sessions, faculty from VCU health professions admissions offices will review successful interviewing strategies and pitfalls to avoid. Participants will also have the opportunity to schedule individual mock interviews with faculty and staff members of the respective schools.

Saturday Education and Learning Time (SEAL-TIME): Mandatory Saturday sessions are designed for participants to solidify and exhibit understanding of the core course topics, as well as practice peer-to-peer learning skills.

Sample Schedule
  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
8:30am Special Topic Class I Learning Skills Class I Special Topic 
10:30am Class II IPE Exploration Class II Public Speaking Class II SEAL Time
1:00pm Class III Discipline Immersion Class III Discipline Immersion Class III
3:00pm Mock Interviews Test Review Week in Review  
4:30pm Break Break  
5:00pm Study Time Study Time   Social Event

Application Details and Eligibility

Students will apply to one of four tracks — dentistry (RAMpS), medicine, pharmacy or physical therapy — and this will determine their discipline specific concentration if they are selected to participate in the program. Upon completion of the program, participants will have the tools that will help them to assess their strengths and weaknesses in regards to successful application and matriculation into a health professions school.

Requirements for admission to the program include:

  • Completed three years of college course work, including organic chemistry (note: organic chemistry not required for physical therapy track)
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Two letters of reference
  • Personal Statement
  • Transcript
  • Strong interest in attending health professions school at VCU

Preference is given to those of a disadvantaged (educational, social or economic) background.

Students must select one program track when completing the online application.

Application Available: November 1, 2013 – February 15, 2014

2014 Program Dates: May 21, 2014 - July 2, 2014