Summer Immersion Program Connects Students with Health Care and Each Other

Published on 29 September 2021

University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis is committed to creating new ways for current and future students to discover their paths to successful careers in health care. This summer, 54 high school students from across the country gathered on the UHSP campus for the annual Health Care Summer Immersion Program, where they had the unique opportunity to participate in in a full week of academic enrichment activities designed to help them explore their interests in health care and build a foundation for success in college.

The program gives students the chance to learn about a variety of career pathways based on their individual interests, including pharmacy, medicine, nursing and more.

“Summer Immersion is a really good way for students to experience university life, while also having the chance to discover where their passions lie,” explained Jill Gebke, assistant vice president of admissions and chief enrollment officer. “Students take this experience back home with them and it excites them to work to pursue the health care career they are most enthusiastic about.”

During the Summer Immersion Program, students live on campus and participate in a variety of interactive activities, including college-level lectures and lab experiments

“We had a student participant tell us they didn’t know what they wanted to be when they came to summer immersion, but they left the program with a newly found love of pharmaceutical chemistry and an interest in pursuing drug design, drug development and research,’” Gebke continued. “Through this program, we can help students find the field where they want to be in their future health care careers.”

The Summer Immersion Program also serves as a way to showcase St. Louis and UHSP’s unique location within the city and the Washington University Medical Campus, one of the nation’s leading biomedical communities.

“We want to welcome these students to our home city,” Gebke said. “We do fun things like take a trip to the St. Louis Zoo to experience different hands-on activities or explore the Central West End neighborhood. We try to feature the local food and charm that enhances the experience of living on our campus.”

Gebke notes that the program also helps participants create new friendships and connections for the future.

“One of the main things that students take away is a sense of community,” Gebke expanded. “They get to unite with individuals like them, and I think that's the most powerful connection that they can make.”

Beginning in fall 2022, Summer Immersion Program participants who choose to attend UHSP as freshmen will have the opportunity to continue to grow their connections through the Summer Immersion Living Learning Community.

In the Living Learning Community, students will have the opportunity to live in the same spaces as other summer immersion program peers and gain access to communal learning opportunities outside the classroom.

“This program is really about building a springboard for students to learn and take advantage of networking opportunities to help them be successful as a student and professional,” Gebke explained. “These connections can last throughout their career and lead to new, exciting opportunities, and it will be exciting to see where these students go in the future.”

Applications for Summer 2022 will open Feb. 1. Learn more about the Summer Immersion Program at uhsp.edu/immersion.

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