Adelphi, Upstate Medical ink joint-admissions pact

Upstate pipeline: Adelphi University will begin funneling undergraduate students into the Upstate Medical University's Doctor of Medicine program.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

Following a popular higher-education trend, Adelphi University has forged a joint-admissions alliance that will funnel graduates straight into medical school.

The Syracuse-based Upstate Medical University, to be precise, which on Tuesday joined the Garden City school to announce the Adelphi-Upstate Accelerated Scholars Program, which will feed qualified students directly into Upstate Medical’s fold beginning this fall.

The new collaboration adds Adelphi to Upstate Medical’s existing list of 10 statewide Accelerated Scholars schools. The partnership guarantees Adelphi students in various arts, science or fine-arts bachelor-degree programs acceptance into Upstate Medical’s Doctor of Medicine program, provided they meet a number of pre-college and undergraduate requirements.

Among them: a 90-plus grade average and healthcare-related extracurricular activities in high school, and a 3.5-plus GPA – and completion of several med-school prerequisites, such as biology and organic chemistry – at Adelphi.

The idea is to “open doors for other opportunities on the graduate level” for Adelphi undergrads – particularly those with medicine in their blood, according to Krystal Ripa, director of Special Admissions Programs at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Krystal Ripa: Opportunities abound.

“For students who know they want to go on to be physicians, this avoids the stress of applying to medical schools,” Ripa said Tuesday. “For us as a medical school, in addition to finding talent, we believe we can also develop talent among undergraduates.”

Those talent-mining efforts include summer programs that stress critical thinking and basic science – skills needed for successful medical training – and access for Accelerated Scholars participants to current Upstate Medical social media and email groups, providing the undergrads with invaluable foreknowledge of their future educations.

The new joint-admissions program is in line with evolving college admissions and tuition trends. Collaborations that unite separate, sometimes disparate schools are in vogue now, with higher-education costs spiraling and cost-efficient dual-degree efforts gaining popularity.

Albany’s Excelsior Scholarship Program, for instance, continues to cut tuition rates at CUNY and SUNY schools for in-state students (meeting certain fiscal criteria) and guarantee admission to four-year SUNY schools (following completion of an accredited two-year program).

Suffolk County Community College, meanwhile, offers a joint-admissions program that plugs students into Stony Brook University, Hofstra University, SUNY Old Westbury and Adelphi, among other regional institutions, while earlier this year, Nassau Community College and Farmingdale State College announced they were collaborating on a new associate degree/bachelor degree effort.

The Accelerated Scholars Program is also not Adelphi’s first foray into healthcare-centered “degree acceleration.” The university boasts more than a dozen existing pre-professional and joint-degree collaborations – ranging from medicine and dentistry to law and engineering – that pair Adelphi with New York Medical College, NYIT’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and other schools in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida.

But the guaranteed-admissions effort with Upstate Medical – which kicks off with its first undergraduate enrollees in the upcoming Fall 2019 semester – marks a major addition to the cause, according to Robert Schwartz, Adelphi University’s director of pre-professional and joint-degree programs.

“[It] provides an additional route to a successful career in the health sciences, in this case to an allopathic medical career,” Schwartz said. “Not only … a path to a highly regarded medical school, but because no MCAT exam is required, it allows (undergraduate) students to pursue various academic and artistic interests while taking those courses necessary for success in medical school.

“Obtaining a spot in a medical program is often a daunting experience,” Schwartz added. “Our pre-medical affiliations help ease that transition.”