Service-Learning Inspires Student to Pursue Medical Degree

Service-learning inspires student to pursue medical degree

Alicia grew up in Willow Springs, Missouri. She attended Missouri State University-West Plains and was the first person in her family to attend college.

During her second year at MSU-West Plains, Alicia learned about the transfer scholarship offered by MSU-Springfield. Between the scholarship and need-based aid she was able to enroll at the Springfield campus after she earned an Associate of Science in Health Professions.

After graduating, she transferred to Missouri State-Springfield and entered the health services program. She intended to return to Willow Springs and work in one of the medical clinics there.

During her junior year, Alicia participated in a program where Missouri State paid her to work at Jordan Valley Health Center – a federally qualified health center. She worked with patients and their families to help them feel comfortable as they waited for tests. She loved the interactions with the patients.

When she met with her Student Success Advisor that spring, she mentioned how much she enjoyed the patient interaction and said she was thinking about going to medical school, but she didn’t think she could afford it.

Her advisor told her about the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program, which awards scholarships to students to attend medical school. In return, students agree to work in an area where there are shortages of health care services. One challenge Alicia faced was that the health services program didn’t include courses that were required to apply to medical school. Her advisor told her about Missouri State’s post-baccalaureate pre-med program. The program offers the courses a student needs to apply to medical school. During the program, advisors also work with students to prepare them to successfully apply to medical school.

Alicia graduated with her health services degree. She completed the pre-med program and was accepted into medical school. After she completes medical school, she plans to return to Willow Springs to work.

Big ideas

Big ideas

  • Program pays students to work at nonprofit agencies.
  • Pre-med, post-baccalaureate program prepares students for medical school.