The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Health Careers Resource Center (HCRC) helps pre-health majors choose a career path and prepare for their future.
“We keep students in the forefront of what is to come and make sure they know what to expect,” said Nadira Ford-Robbins, lead pre-health advisor.
The center, located in Allwine Hall 307, prepares students for medical school and works with the pre-medical committee–which sponsors students and guarantees them a mentor. They also advise students on summer programs and internships, such as the Summer Health Professionals Education Program (SHPEP) which provides research opportunities to underrepresented students.
“The HCRC serves as a one-stop shop for career exploration, coursework advising, making connections with regional health professional partners and maximizing student success in applying for additional training programs,” said Dr. Paul Davis, HCRC director.
Since the center’s establishment three years ago, UNO students’ acceptance rates into medical school have jumped.
“The acceptance rate used to be 20 to 30 percent, but now pre-med committee sponsored students’ acceptance rate is 65 to 70 percent,” said Amanda Wickert, pre-health advisor.
The national average is around 40 percent, Wickert said.
HCRC helps students decide what career path to follow. Pre-health students have over a dozen choices, from doctor to veterinarian to physical therapist.
“We help get them job experiences where they can get more exposure to the career they are interested in,” Wickert said. “We help them sift through their values…and what drives them.”
In addition, the center sets up admissions representative meetings. Colleges, such as UNMC, have recruitment meetings in the office.
“Instead of them having to set up their own meetings and go to the campus, we bring them here,” Wickert said. “It’s convenient for students.”
HCRC started in the Arts and Sciences building, but moved to its new room in Allwine Hall last May.
“The space is designed to reflect the waiting room of a healthcare office,” Ford-Robbins said. “Dr. Davis is really big on making sure students know what it feels like to be in an office or clinic.”
The center acts as a learning community for pre-health students.
“We have a hub, like the Goodrich scholars,” Ford-Robbins said. “They have access to the computers and printers, as well as a study room and mentorships.”
The office has walk-in hours, in addition to regular appointments.
“It’s nice to have an open-door policy time, when students can walk in and get their questions answered,” Wickert said. “They don’t have to figure it out on their own all of the time.”