Published: Aug. 6, 2015

Early Assurance ‘pipeline’ ensures well-qualified premedical students

Contact(s): Geri Kelley College of Human Medicine office: (616) 233-1678 cell: (616) 350-7976

The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine has expanded its premedical education “pipeline” program in Northern Michigan adding two community colleges to its Early Assurance Program, or EAP.

Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City and Bay College in Escanaba will be participating in the EAP, where premedical students transferring to partnering universities will have a greater opportunity for admission to the medical school. They join 13 other Michigan public and private colleges and universities who are already in the program.

The Bay College agreement, which was announced earlier today, will give students the ability to transfer as undergraduate premedical students to partnering institutions including Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University or Northern Michigan University. The program will then offer these students a greater chance to attend the College of Human Medicine for their medical degrees.

Aron Sousa, senior associate dean for academic affairs for the medical school, was joined by Bay College Dean of Arts and Sciences Matthew Barron, along with other officials from the partnering schools to make the announcement.

In addition, on Wednesday, August 5, MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon and NMC President Timothy J. Nelson signed the Northwestern Michigan College agreement. This partnership grants NMC students the ability to transfer to MSU as undergraduate premedical students and then attend the medical college.

“Michigan State is committed to bringing well-qualified premedical students from Northwestern Michigan College to our university and the College of Human Medicine,” Simon said. “This is a long-term vision for enhancing health care in this community and beyond. Local students may wish to return home for MSU clinical education at Munson Medical Center, and possibly one day to practice in Traverse City.”

“Northwestern Michigan College is dedicated to providing our learners with pathways to success throughout their lives while also working to find new ways to meet the needs of the industries in our community, like Munson Medical Center,” said Nelson. “This agreement with Michigan State University achieves both of those goals while solidifying NMC as a choice partner in the changing landscape of higher education.”

Preference for EAP admission will be given to those former NMC and Bay College students who have applied to MSU and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • First generation college student
  • Graduate of a low-income high school as defined by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Eligible for, or a recipient of, an undergraduate PELL or institutional need-based grant
  • Graduate from an underserved (health professional shortage) urban or rural area
  • Demonstrates interest in a high-need medical specialty or practicing in a medically underserved community

Candidates for the EAP will receive academic advising directed toward admission to MSU and the College of Human Medicine. During their junior year at MSU, students who fit the mission of the EAP and the admissions criteria of the college may apply to the College of Human Medicine. Selected students will be assured of admission and begin a relationship with the medical school during their senior year of college.

Nationally, admission to medical school is highly competitive. MSU’s Early Assurance Program has helped build a pipeline between the state’s other colleges and universities. This year, the College of Human Medicine received 6,845 applicants for 190 seats available for first-year students starting this fall, including 18 students entering through EAP.