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Early College Program Gives Students Access to Academic Health and Medicine

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JeanPaul Habyalimana knows that he wants to study medicine more than anything.

Ever since sixth grade, the high school junior from Colchester has been interested in health and science—specifically neuroscience. Last summer, he completed UVM’s Health and Medicine pre-college course to explore his interests.

“I’ve always been interested in neuroscience, and I decided I should come to Summer Academy with a backup plan in case neuroscience is too overwhelming,” he says. “After UVM, I’ve found myself interested in neuroscience, neurosurgery, and radiology—any of those related to surgery.”

The Health and Medicine course is part of UVM’s Summer Academy, previously a residential and online four-week early college  program–but in July 2020 it will be offered 100% online. Online Summer Academy at UVM offers high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to explore areas of study and earn transferable college credit.

Early College Program and Dual Enrollment

Vermont students like Habyalimana can enroll in Summer Academy through Dual Enrollment, a statewide program for juniors and seniors to access up to two college courses with tuition fully reimbursed through a voucher system approved by their high schools.

The Health and Medicine curriculum introduces students to the world of modern medicine and bioscience through active learning in labs, lectures, demonstrations, and hospital visits. The course helps students discover their interests, learn about the latest advances in bioscience and molecular medicine, and develop an understanding of diverse medical and health science career paths that might be right for them.

Habyalimana hopes to attend medical school after college. He enrolled in Summer Academy to test his potential.

“The biggest reason I went to Summer Academy was that I knew college is something I want to do,” he says.  “I wanted to save money, take a college course, and decide whether medical school is possible.”

At the Summer Academy early college program, students interact with clinical and scientific faculty from the UVM Larner College of Medicine, known for being one of the most competitive and successful medical schools in the country.  At the medical school, students experience hands-on learning in academic facilities, including the Clinical Simulation Laboratory, where students perform virtual medical procedures.

“For anyone who wants to go to Summer Academy, I would tell them to have a growth mindset and want to get something out of it,” he says. “Just be open to the possibility of learning something new.”


Learn more about UVM Summer Academy online program for Summer 2020.