UGA and CPH broaden access for students through innovative programs

During the week of July 9, the College of Public Health brought 22 rising high school seniors from across Georgia to campus for the Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute (PCSI) in Public Health. The program, funded in part through UGA’s New Approaches to Promote Diversity and Inclusion grants, serves as an introduction to what life is like for UGA’s public health students.

In fact, current public health students served as counselors and mentors to participants and led them through a variety of sessions that included public health classes, seminars and workshops on financial aid and admissions essay writing.

The goal, according to Brittani Harmon, coordinator of the institute and clinical assistant professor of health policy and management, is to give participants an experience “as close to freshman year as possible.” That experience included staying in dorms, eating at Bolton Dining Commons and learning about campus culture.

“This is a good primer for them to be able to practice their skills in a controlled environment,” she added. “They’re the next generation of go-getters.”

John Kang, one of those go-getters from Lawrenceville, learned much more than facts and figures at the institute. “After this week, I can say with confidence that my eyes have been opened to new perspectives and new career pathways. After seeing the range of majors and routes the student counselors have been through, I now understand the true nature of college and its purpose: to promote growth.”

The College’s PCSI program was just one of the 21 grant proposals funded through the program, which was announced by UGA President Jere W. Morehead in August 2017.

A total of $300,000 was awarded in January 2018 as part of the New Approaches program. The $10,000 to $25,000 grants are used for the development or adoption of new projects that support the recruitment, retention and success of underrepresented, underserved and first-generation students at UGA.

“The New Approaches grants are making an incredible impact on broadening the access, success and engagement of students from a range of backgrounds through innovative programs and initiatives,” said Michelle Cook, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and strategic university initiatives. “The effect is being felt across the state as young people are being exposed to the opportunities for exploration and growth through higher education.”

(L-R) High School seniors Braden Durham, Amshumanth Chakragiri, and Haritha Sigili laugh at an reminiscent therapy robot with Professor Jenay Beer in the Assistive Robotics and Technology Lab on the Health Sciences Campus.

Read the original news release at UGA Today.

– Krista Richmond

Posted on October 26, 2018.

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