Theme 4

Investing in the Health Sciences

Act of Determination 5 -- Benchmarks and Best Practices for Enrollment Management in the Health Sciences

Even though approximately one-third of entering Baylor freshmen cite career plans in the medical field, a much smaller percentage of that cohort enters medical school. We must intervene early to help identify other areas in the health sciences in which this larger percentage of students can succeed. Accordingly, we affirm the initiative in the recently approved Arts & Sciences 10-Year Enrollment Management Plan that "by 2014 Arts & Sciences, in concert with Admissions Services, will shape the size and profile of the Arts & Sciences freshman class." Arts & Sciences has already begun this shaping process by establishing majors in pre-Biology and pre-Psychology and Neuroscience. The 10-Year Enrollment Management Plan also calls for limits on Medical Humanities majors by 2014. Moreover, the Office of Prehealth Studies has developed courses and programming such as the Science & Health Living and Learning Center to support the educational and professional development of our prehealth student population. While these are positive steps, we need to expand these kinds of efforts.

Another positive development is the Arts & Sciences initiative (expressed in the 10-Year Enrollment Management Plan, Appendix 1B) to assign one professional advisor to our students for their freshman and sophomore years. As this new advising model is implemented in Fall 2014, the professional advisors assigned to prehealth students will need a background in, or training in, advising in the health sciences. To this end, professional advisors working with this cohort will participate in a semi-annual workshop offered by the Office of Prehealth Studies.

Action Steps:
  • By Spring 2014 the Dean will appoint a standing Arts & Sciences Enrollment Council to offer guidance on using curriculum to shape the size and profile of the freshman class. Strong representation on this committee should come from the science departments and from the Prehealth Studies program.
  • By Spring 2015 the Dean will appoint a committee to create a proposal for a program of distinction, possibly named "Science Fellows," for science students. This program will be designed to enhance the academic experience of the brightest and best science students and to provide on their academic record a significant distinction similar to that of programs in the Honors College and the Hankamer School of Business. This program may be incorporated into the Science & Health Living and Learning Center.
  • The Office of Prehealth Studies will incorporate into the existing New Student Experience a new course to prepare prehealth students for the rigor of the science curriculum, thereby enabling them to clarify and refine their career and educational aspirations. The Office of Prehealth Studies will lead the initiative with the support of the appropriate departments to create the curriculum for this new course and present its finding to the Council of Chairs by Fall 2015.