New direct admission programs provide students a peace of mind

CAHS launched direct admissions opportunities in two of their programs

Equipping students with opportunities to gain real world experience is an imperative part of the College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS)’ approach to education. Cincinnati is a prime location to be able to do so, thanks to its many premiere health facilities. Securing a clinical spot at a top-notch health facility, however, is a competitive process. To ease students’ stress, the college has launched direct admission opportunities in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) and Advanced Medical Imaging Technology (AMIT), allowing first-year students to save their spots in the clinical portions of each program upon entering their first year. 

“We reserve direct admission for our most highly qualified first-year candidates,” says Erin Rumpke, program director of the MLS campus program and assistant professor. “Importantly, direct admit students need to meet progression requirements, like maintaining their GPA and completing required coursework, throughout their time in the program leading to their clinical year.” 

MLS program students who don’t qualify for the direct admission designation will apply for the clinical portion during their junior year, whereas AMIT students will apply during their sophomore year. And although the college prioritizes University of Cincinnati student applications for open clinical spots, students from other colleges that do not offer a clinical opportunity, like Miami University, also often apply.  

“As you can imagine it can be a little daunting for a student to come in and not have that assurance, and for qualified applicants who we can assume will be successful when they get to college, it’s nice to have that assurance coming in as a first-year” Rumpke says. 

“Not everyone who’s in the AMIT major can get into the professional part of the curriculum, because we have a limited amount of spots and a lot of students coming from multiple different areas,” adds Barry Southers, associate professor and program director for Magnetic Resonance Imaging within AMIT. 

College of Allied Health Sciences student in lab.

Student working in the Medical Laboratory Science laboratory. Photo by Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand.

The MLS campus program introduced the direct admission concept in the fall of 2018. Using the MLS campus program’s success as a guide, the AMIT program decided to launch a similar direct admission program the following fall. Both programs are among a select few in the country to offer such a beneficial opportunity.

“For the students who get in ahead of time, it takes a big burden off, because they know as long as they meet GPA and other program requirements, they’re guaranteed a clinical spot,” Southers says. “It eliminates a lot of stress, headaches and extra work, because they’ve already done their work ahead of time.”

Not only are direct admission programs beneficial for students, they’re also attractive from a parent’s perspective. “If you have a student who is enrolling in a program with a secondary admission process, that can be intimidating for parents, who often ask, 'What will they do when they get to their senior year and they don’t have a clinical spot?'” Rumpke says. If this happens, it’s typically due to a GPA-related issue, which the student can work with their academic advisor to fix. If they’re still not able to raise their GPA, the student’s best option would be to switch majors, because “if they’re not tracking for admission, it’s probably not a good fit,” Rumpke says.

Of course, direct admission programs also serve as a useful a tool to recruit the most highly qualified students, but Rumpke emphasizes that students are main beneficiaries. 

“It’s really allowed students to start planning for their future in a definitive way,” Rumpke says. “We can say, 'I know you want to be an MLS, but here are some opportunities to engage with to see where you want to be within that field.' It’s been a really nice way for us to bring students a little closer into the fold and mentor them more intentionally."

Featured photo: Assistant professor, Whitney Bowen instructs a student at a clinical site. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

The University of Cincinnati is the region's destination for thinking, making, doing, discovery and delivery. Next Lives Here. 

Learn more about our Advanced Medical Imaging Technology and Medical Laboratory Science programs at the College of Allied Health Sciences.

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