West Virginia State University Upward
Bound Director Barbara Cary is trying to break a cycle. You see, a new
agreement with the Marshall University School of Pharmacy, serves as another
option for the high school kids they serve to see what’s possible with a
college degree. Cary said it’s about taking kids without many options and
moving them into the group with many options.
“We use a holistic approach with the
emphasis on education especially being the vehicle that would change the plight
of students who do not have the benefit of parents who have college educations,”
West Virginia State’s Math and Science
Upward Bound program is part of a new agreement with the MU School of Pharmacy.
The Upward Bound program works with high school students to expose them to
different college opportunities, while tracking and helping them progress
through high school.
Krystal Tolliver is the director for the
Math and Science program with Upward Bound at West Virginia State. She said it’s
about giving the students a chance to see what’s out there.
“A lot of times students who are
first-generation low income they don’t have that exposure, so with these
agreements it allows students to not only hear about it, but they have the
opportunity to go in and constantly able to actually see what’s going on and
visit these sites and see that it’s something that is realistic that they can
do,” Tolliver said.
Marshall University School of Medicine
Director of Diversity Shelvy Campbell said Marshall is creating pipelines with
programs like the Math and Science Upward Bound program that will hopefully
benefit the high school students in many ways.
“With this particular program we would
maybe help them with study skills for the p-cat, help them with the study
skills they will have to master in order to have a better chance to be accepted
to schools of pharmacy and medicine. Those are the types of things, campus
tour, maybe viewing the biotechnology center, so that they see other things
that are connected too,” Campbell said.
Campbell said the close proximity
between the Math and Science Programs parent school West Virginia State
University and Marshall University makes working with Marshall a natural
partnership. She said the exposure to the Pharmacy School and the School of
Medicine is something the kids wouldn’t receive at WV State.
“They’re right down the street, so what
better opportunity. The travel time is easy and for the students that are there
getting here is easy access and with that, by partnering with other
institutions you’re opening up even more opportunities for students to see all
the things that they’re able to do,” Campbell said.
Campbell said it’s important to also
continue to diversify both the school of medicine and the pharmacy school.
said Marshall will make efforts to provide the students with information on
what they need to accomplish in high school and undergraduate schooling to
succeed in programs like the School of Pharmacy at Marshall or other places.
“We want to contribute to the effort of
helping the nations plight of those that are underrepresented in medicine and
in pharmacy and with that as we prepare the students and we open up for them to
see what pharmacy school and medicine is like, even if they choose not to go to
Marshall and they go somewhere else, we’re still tracking those students and
we’ve contributed to what we’re suppose too,” Campbell said.
Dr. Kevin Yingling is the Dean of the
School of Pharmacy. He said it’s important to give the high school students an
opportunity to learn more about all kinds of potential future careers,
“One of the most exciting aspects of
this partnership is to open student’s eyes to opportunities in higher education
and while we do focus on the healthcare profession, it’s really an opportunity
to help them understand that they can overcome any obstacle that they may
perceive or may in reality have in their lives,” Yingling said.
Yingling said the partnership also has
the potential to attract future pharmacy students to Marshall.
“Instead of the concept of you build it
they will come, I think we have to make strong efforts to go to where those
students are in order to encourage them as to what the opportunities might be
and how they can overcome obstacles to their higher education,” Yingling said.
Both Campbell and Yingling said they’ll
continue to find ways to involve the Math and Science Upward Bound program in
the School of Pharmacy.