Program Admissions Criteria
The core of our program is our Applied Advocacy Experience: Health Advocacy and Patient-Centered Care Clinical. All students interested in pursuing this course and/or a certificate course of study must meet or exceed our admissions criteria.
Students participating in the Applied Advocacy Experience work with clients – patients who have a life threatening or serious condition (or a family member facing such a condition). They are relying on our students to guide, support, and educate them. Our clients often face time-sensitive treatment decisions, financial pressures, and/or employment issues that impact income and access to benefits.
An application is required for both the course and certificate programs due to the client work, the subject matter, and space limitations. Each application includes answering a series of questions and submitting materials, including a resume and transcripts. We review every application and contact applicants who meet these criteria to set up an interview.We use the following criteria to evaluate applicants to our program and course:
- Sufficient Personal or Professional Clarity of Intent for Pursuing Course of Study
- Professional Education and Advocacy Training: Our program seeks to enhance professional career training (ie, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work, etc) by complementing it with the values and skills which comprise patient advocacy. Students return to their home disciplines and professional practice transformed by the experience of abiding individually (micro) with patients on their healthcare journey, as well as leveraging change for many at the level of systems, policy, and legislation (macro).
- Independent Patient Advocacy: Independent patient advocacy in its evolving form is a nascent profession and open debate exists in some health professions regarding the role of advocacy. Limited infrastructure and clarity exists regarding the role and professionalization of patient advocacy. Students must demonstrate clarity regarding their intent to study at the Center and their realistic understanding of the opportunities available to professionals with expertise in health advocacy.
- Demonstrated Concern for Health Consumer Well-Being and Ethical Practice – Our advocacy ethic prioritizes patients, collectively. There is a huge need for leadership, vision, and advocacy in our healthcare system.
- Maturity, Professionalism, and Commitment of Purpose – Students serve clients in crisis. They must demonstrate a readiness to meet and exceed the needs of clients, communicate well, and learn all they need to advocate with clients to the best of their ability.
- Articulated interest in Health Care Consumerism, Patient-Centered Approaches and Health Care Reform – At the heart of our mission is patient-driven improvements to health care delivery – students who share this passion are particularly qualified for our Advocacy Experience.
- Readiness for Critical Self-Reflection and Emotionally Taxing Work – Working with clients facing life-threatening illnesses tests emotional reserves and requires empathy, adaptability, and self-care. Students must demonstrate a willingness to grow emotionally and engage in self-reflection during the course of the experience.
- Interprofessionalism – As an interdisciplinary center, we ideally want a mix of students from various departments/professional backgrounds. Therefore, a student may meet every other admission criteria and be denied or delayed admittance due to our educational goal of maximizing the interprofessional experience.
- Complete Application – We ask students to provide materials including a resume, and transcript(s) and answer a series of questions to elicit attention to detail, maturity, professionalism, interest in working with patients in crisis and realistic approach to this work, applicable basic skill-sets to facilitate acquisition of specific advocacy skills, and passion for learning about the health care system through a patient-centered lens. An incomplete or sloppy application may suggest a lack of maturity or professionalism.