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Improving success for pre-health students

July 29, 2022

Joe Fritsch, Ph.D.

Divisional Dean of Natural Science, Seaver College, Pepperdine University

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of EAB.

Pre-health students play a prominent role in the life of Seaver College, and this capstone was focused on an exploration of their curricular experiences. In a deep dive into the data, 606 students from over a five-year period were identified as potential pre-health students and of that cohort, 83 matriculated to medical school by fall 2021. We examined the demographics, scholastic metrics before and while at Pepperdine, academic performance in pre-health foundational courses, majors at graduation, and medical school admissions rates.

The study showed that students of color had lower percentages of A and B course grades and lower admissions rates to medical school. Drawing upon themes from this fellowship, the re-vitalization of the Students as Scholars program was proposed due to its demonstrated success in building connection and a sense of belonging for first-year students while also improving retention students in STEM at Seaver College and Pepperdine University.

I am deeply appreciative to Provost Jay Brewster for nominating me to participate in this fellowship and for guiding conversation during the session.

This project would not have been possible without the support of colleagues at Pepperdine including Senior Associate Dean Kendra Killpatrick and Youli Zheng, and from Allison Perez at EAB.

I appreciated the support and conversation with my capstone partner Winston Roberts (Seton Hall University) during the fellowship and on this capstone.

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Joe Fritsch and others participated in EAB’s Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship in spring 2022

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