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Washington State University
CAS Connect February 2014

Supporting future healthcare professionals

A message from the dean

Dean Daryll DeWald
Dean Daryll DeWald

The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to providing guidance and resources for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students interested in pursuing a wide variety of healthcare careers. In addition to providing a substantial portion of the required academic coursework and many preparatory majors, the college has accepted administrative responsibility for the center that supports WSU students outside of the classroom as they build their pre-professional portfolios.

The WSU Health Professions Student Center is open to all Pullman students interested in human or animal healthcare and provides resources for students completing the rigorous and highly competitive professional school application process. Currently, HPSC staff specialists support more than 1,400 WSU students aspiring to be doctors, nurses, veterinarians, pharmacists, physical therapists, dentists, optometrists, and other types of healthcare professionals.

In the coming year, the center will increase programming activities aimed at strengthening our students’ knowledge and practical experience: personal essay workshops, portfolio preparation, small-group interview practice, discussion panels, and guest lecturers, for example. The professional staff also will continue to provide guidance for WSU’s health-based student clubs (e.g., pre-dental, pre-pharmacy) and to participate in University-wide recruitment and retention events. The HPSC staff are well-versed in specific disciplines and will network with appropriate professional schools to keep abreast of school-specific requirements and industry-wide changes in admissions.

Our goal is to create a state-of-the-art center that will increase student success and continue the legacy of Herb Eastlick, a WSU professor of zoology renowned for advising, mentoring, and preparing more than 1,500 pre-health students over the course of three decades—and the namesake of Eastlick Hall on the Pullman campus.

Numerous degree programs can prepare our students for admission to professional healthcare schools as long as the core scientific requirements are met. One of the keys to success for the Health Professions Student Center will be its close collaboration with departments across the University. HPSC specialists will work hand-in-hand with students and their academic advisors to explore curricular options and identify a major that interests each student—and one in which the student can succeed both academically and professionally.

As with any complex and highly competitive process, there will always be students who, for one reason or another, do not move on to professional training. The HPSC will provide support to these students, too, to help them define pathways for personal success.

The investment in the WSU Health Professions Student Center is an investment in the future for all of us: our students are preparing to become the next generation of healthcare professionals and we are proud to a part of their success.