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2017 South Carolina AHEC Summer Academy


Summer Academy Dental Fellows making dental impressions 
with Dr. Joe Vuthiganon, Associate Professor, 
MUSC College of Dental Medicine
The South Carolina AHEC would like to thank all of the faculty, staff and students who made this year’s Summer Careers Academy possible. In collaboration with the MUSC Library and Colleges of Dental Medicine, Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions, the Academy hosted 26 undergraduate, pre-health students in a health professions education immersion experience at the beginning of June on the MUSC campus.

The Summer Academy helps prepare students for entry into health professions education programs within South Carolina. The program focuses on students from underrepresented and minority backgrounds and provides them with tools and information for academic success, plus access to admissions representatives, faculty and health professionals in their chosen fields. On average, 79 percent of Summer Academy Fellows graduate college with a health career major. Completers of the South Carolina AHEC Summer Academy demonstrate an undergraduate matriculation and graduation rate greater than the state average.

This year, Academy Fellows participated in a variety of workshops and experiences to increase their knowledge and understanding of topics related to the academic admissions process, health information literacy, and mental health. Mental Health America of South Carolina provided a mental health first aid certification training to promote increased awareness of mental health, the shortage in the state’s behavioral healthcare workforce, and challenges associated with provision of mental health care. Academy Fellows then participated in service learning experiences at mental health sites. The week culminated with the development and presentation of group projects designed to increase awareness and decreasing stigmas associated with mental illness.

Health career exploration activities are always the highlight of the week for participants. Interacting with faculty, staff, and students within classroom and lab settings and connecting with professionals in the workplace complete the comprehensive Academy experience that helps students along the path to a health career.

Tyler Nguyen of Clemson University shared, “I have so enjoyed this past week. The knowledge of dentistry and MUSC that I’ve gained has been invaluable.”

“It has been a wonderful experience that I never would have gotten to do otherwise,” remarked Cassidy Hess of Winthrop University.

Applications for the 2018 Summer Careers Academy will become available in January 2018. Visit the South Carolina AHEC website for additional Academy information.

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