Honors College Announces New Health Track Designed to Help Students Stand out

With ever-changing expectations of professional health programs, creating a competitive and unique application requires a demonstration of both knowledge and experience.

With ever-changing expectations of professional health programs, creating a competitive and unique application requires a demonstration of both knowledge and experience.

Students must constantly seek new ways to impress admissions boards and remain up to date on the newest qualifications.

In order to serve this need, Texas Tech University’s Honors College, in collaboration with the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center (HSC), recently announced its new Health and Humanities track that will help students stand out among their peers.

A track of the Honors Arts and Letters (HAL) major, this new pre-professional health curriculum design was created as part of a close cooperation between Texas Tech School of Medicine physician, Dr. Steven Berk and the Honors College faculty.

“The Honors College Health and Humanities track is designed to give each student the best possible background and educational experiences prior to enrolling in medical school,” Berk said.

The track will have a strong interdisciplinary approach to both science and humanities.

“While basic science is still a backbone of pre-med preparation, other courses, such as ethics, history of medicine, psychology and anthropology are also extremely valuable in preparing a student to be a well-rounded and compassionate physician,” Berk said. “Students in the Honors Health and Humanities track will be very well prepared for the rigorous and demanding curriculum of medical school.”

Steve Fritz, dean of the Honors College, said students will see an immediate benefit from this new, value-added program.

As part of this track, students will have the opportunity to participate in courses taught by HSC faculty, including a first-year medical school class and seminar taught by an HSC vice president.

In addition to early acceptance to medical school and direct access to state-of-the-art HSC labs, students who enroll will also gain volunteer experience in community clinics and hands-on undergraduate research experience with HSC faculty members.

Sierra Stull, A senior HAL major, said the this program has allowed her to prepare not only for a career in science, but for the world today.

“Although I am very committed to all things related to science, I also wanted a very enriching education during college,” Stull said. “This program allowed me to take the science classes I needed and wanted, but also added variety to my schedule each semester.”

Stull said the HAL program allows students to focus on the sciences, but also have the well-roundedness that so many medical schools look for these days.

 “You aren’t just learning biology and chemistry, but you’re learning art, history, language and culture,” Stull said. “It truly made my college experience unique, and I encourage pre-med students to take a look at this program.”

Former Honors College student and current medical student Charmaine Aguas said being part of the Honors College program provided her opportunities to broaden her learning as an undergraduate.

“Both campuses look forward to providing new opportunities for some of our most talented students,” Fritz said.

With strong knowledge of the Howard Hughes/Association of American Medical Colleges new guidelines for pre-medical preparation, the new Health and Humanities track will produce well-rounded and well-prepared graduates.

 “Faculty at the HSC are very enthusiastic about working with pre-med and pre-professional health students as teachers, counselors and role model practitioners,” Berk said. “Early on in a student’s training we will have the opportunity to demonstrate the importance of teamwork, accountability, work ethic and compassion.”

Students interested in learning more about this new program should contact the Honors College at (806)742-1828 or visit the website at www.honr.ttu.edu.