With an initial $10 million investment from the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation, one graduating student each year from the CSSM will receive a full-tuition scholarship to earn his or her bachelor's and medical degrees at Case Western Reserve.
Pipeline for the Future
A new program helps medical-minded high schoolers achieve their bachelor's and medical degrees.
Some students go to college to discover their passions. Others are there to pursue passions they've always had. However the arrival, higher education is an essential step in the journey to professional careers.
Yet for some students—no matter how great their passion for learning—college is out of reach.
For students at the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine (CSSM), their passion is great. The innovative Cleveland Metropolitan School District public high school at the John Hay campus focuses on science and health-related education for students keen on preparing for careers in the medical or science sector.
While motivated and high achieving, these students at the CSSM are from traditionally underrepresented minority and low-income backgrounds who frequently don't get the opportunity to pursue a medical or even bachelor's degree.
Now, an innovative medical education pipeline program is partnering with the school to give more of these students a chance to pursue their passions. With an initial $10 million investment from the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation, one graduating student each year from the CSSM will receive a full-tuition scholarship to earn his or her bachelor's and medical degrees at Case Western Reserve.
The appeal of starting such a program in Cleveland was manifold for the foundation. The educational and collaborative opportunities available with Case Western Reserve, its School of Medicine and clinical affiliate University Hospitals Case Medical Center were strong selling points. The designation of many surrounding Cleveland neighborhoods as Health Professional Shortage Areas by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services further strengthened that appeal, and the existence of the unique public high school, which already had ties to the university, made it a natural choice.
"This program will create a new narrative of opportunity in Cleveland," says Brian McDonald, executive director of the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation, "one that starts in high school and inspires young students with an interest in science and medicine, extends through persistent engagement and support in undergraduate and medical school, and ends with new physicians going out into underserved populations to make a difference."
The program could serve as a model for pipeline programs nationwide. The 360-degree program sees high-school students through to medical-school graduation, with individual mentoring along the way.