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Post-baccalaureate program will help students prepare for medical school, health careers

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

OVERLAND PARK – The University of Kansas Edwards Campus (KUEC) is rising to meet the growing demand for health science professionals through a new post-baccalaureate certificate program. This program provides students with the science and research background necessary to move on to medical school, a career in biotechnology or another health-related field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for health science-related careers is expected to grow 11 percent nationally by 2022. In Kansas, employment in the “health care and social assistance” industry is expected to increase 12.4 percent.

“Professional health and biological science careers require individuals to have a significant amount of academic knowledge and proficiency to be successful,” said Brendan Mattingly, director of the molecular bioscience program at KUEC in Overland Park. “Our program provides individuals the basic foundations required for any individual, regardless of background, to begin to pursue these careers.”

Whereas other post-baccalaureate programs in the area focus mainly on medical school preparation, or are invitation-only, Mattingly says KUEC’s program stands out for its comprehensive nature and less exclusive entry requirements.

“Our program is a unique offering that is open to all students looking to pursue an advanced career in the biological sciences, whether it be academic research, industry research, medical school, dentistry, nursing, clinical laboratory science, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, or any other professional medical-related career,” Mattingly said.

A traditional post-baccalaureate certificate offers a targeted series of classes for students with a bachelor’s degree to strengthen their science foundations before moving on to medical school or a professional career in medicine, health and life sciences, or biotechnology. This new KU post-baccalaureate certificate, offered in partnership through the KU Medical Center, offers separate tracks for health science and research science, and it does not require a science-based degree to apply. Students only need to have completed the prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry, physics, English and math. This makes it a great option for individuals looking to change their educational or career path.

The program’s two study tracks both emphasize experiential learning and professional skills development through career shadowing, internships and research experiences. With full-time enrollment, students may complete the program in as little as one year.

KU Edwards Campus Vice Chancellor David Cook says the new program’s inclusiveness and wide-ranging applications help further the campus’ mission to serve diverse workforce needs in the Kansas City area.

“The new post-baccalaureate certificate allows students who want to continue their education or make a career change a new opportunity to receive quality education, helping them succeed in health sciences and biotechnology,” Cook said. “We’re glad to be able to offer this opportunity to develop much-needed new talent for Kansas City’s workforce.”

About The University of Kansas

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. Its mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world. The KU Edwards Campus at 127th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park brings the high-quality academic, professional and continuing education programs as well as research and public-service benefits of KU to the Greater Kansas City community in order to serve the workforce, economic and community development needs of the region.