Featured Story: Student Success 2013

At CBU, we strive to give each and every student the best opportunity for success. Sometimes that means helping students get into professional or graduate school to further pursue their ambitions. Sometimes that means helping students determine a “Plan B” if their initial plan was not really suited to their talents and/or initial expectations. Other times, it means helping a student determine what are the possibilities out there that match up with their interests and talents.

Dominique Garcia-Robles, Chemistry 2011, and Stephanie Johnson, Biology 2009, at their white coat ceremony at the Southern College of Optometry.

Dominique Garcia-Robles, Chemistry 2011, and Stephanie Johnson, Biology 2009, at their white coat ceremony at the Southern College of Optometry.

In the last five years (classes of 2009 to 2013):

  • We had 27 of our graduates accepted into medical school (82%* acceptance rate)
  • We had 21 of our graduates accepted into pharmacy school (96% acceptance rate)
  • We had 12 of our graduates accepted into physical therapy school (92% acceptance rate)
  • We had 13 of our graduates accepted into nursing school (93% acceptance rate)
  • We had an additional 22 students accepted into various other health professional schools such as dentistry, veterinary, optometry, occupational therapy and chiropractic.
  • We also had 27 of our graduates accepted into graduate (M.S. or Ph.D.) programs in the sciences (100% acceptance rate).

* In reviewing these percentages, please note that we do not pre-screen our applicants to the various professional or graduate schools as some institutions do. Some of our students were initially rejected but were accepted in a following year. If a student was accepted in one area and rejected in another, we only count the acceptance and not the rejection since we concentrate on student success.

For comparison purposes with medical school acceptances at UT, East Tennessee, U of Arkansas and nationwide (data for 2012, source is data from aamc):

  • UT-Memphis accepted 165 out of 1,629 applications (10% acceptance rate).
  • East Tennessee Quillen accepted 72 out of 1,929 applications (4% acceptance rate)
  • University of Arkansas accepted 166 out of 2,148 applications (8% acceptance rate).
  • nationwide, 19,517 are accepted out of 636,309 applicants with each person giving 14 applications on average for an overall acceptance rate per person of 43%.

For pharmacy schools, the average acceptance rate for 2012 was about 16% for each school (6.4 applications per acceptance), but since students often apply to more than one school, we obtained information a couple years ago that 50.2% of all PharmCAS applicants received at least one acceptance.

CBU’s Steps for Success

To get into competitive professional (e.g., medical, pharmacy, dental) schools, there are five things that are important:

1. Grades At CBU, most of our science courses have labs associated with them, and the instructor for the lecture is usually the instructor for the lab. Our professors have at least 10 office hours each week to help students both with their coursework and with advising for their career plans.

2. Entrance tests (e.g., MCAT, PCAT, DAT) The excellent courses supported by well equipped labs prepare our students for these tests. In addition, the CBU Career Center offers practice tests to try to help prepare our students.

3. Experience in the field At CBU, we provide our students with many opportunities to gain experience in their chosen field. Our student groups, particularly the Biology group, Beta Beta Beta, and the Chemistry group, Student Members of the American Chemical Society, provide opportunities to see and interact with institutions and people in the local health community. In the freshmen Principles of Biology courses, we have a discussion section that spends some time talking about what it takes to get into various fields. In the junior year we have a Junior Seminar course that brings researchers onto campus to talk about their research. All of our majors have a senior capstone research or internship course. This experience is viewed very positively by the various health professional schools.

4. Recommendations from your professors and the supervisors of your work in the field At CBU, you are encouraged to really get to know your professors. If you take advantage of this, the professors will be able to write very specific letters of recommendation for you.

5. Interviews As part of the admissions process for professional schools, students are required to attend an interview. At CBU, we help students prepare for this opportunity by holding mock interviews staffed by our alumni and other health professionals.

To help and guide you in your preparation for pursuing any of the health careers, we have a Pre-Professional Heath Director, Dr. Stan Eisen. He has a very extensive set of web pages on the various health careers and what it takes to get into these professional schools.