Submitted Fall, 2003
- Students will have the knowledge of chemical, biological, and physical science concepts necessary for entrance examinations such as the MCAT, DAT, OAT, etc. and for entrance into a health science field.
Standardized entrance exams continue to be an increasingly important component in student applications to medicine, optometry, and dentistry professional schools. The attached data compares UNK average test scores with the national averages for the MCAT, OAT, and DAT exams. The composite score of UNK students for the MCAT is approximately 2 points lower than the national average. This is the largest area of concern in the data analysis. The DAT average is more comparable to national average and is approximately only a half of a point lower. UNK students have shown the greatest amount of success on the OAT. The UNK average on this test is well above (~10 points) the national average.
On the MCAT and the DAT, students scored higher in the Biological Sciences (which includes organic chemistry questions on the MCAT) than they did in the other science portions of those tests. On the MCAT, the Physical Sciences section was the lowest. This section includes questions from both Physics and General Chemistry. For the DAT, General Chemistry was the lowest science score. Physics is not included in the DAT.
For the OAT, students scored the highest in the Organic Chemistry section. Students scored the lowest on the Physics section and this was the only section of the OAT in which UNK students scored below the national average.
The placement/acceptance statistics show that UNK students continue to very successful overall in gaining acceptance to professional schools and clinical programs. The ten year average for all UNK applicants in all Health Science Programs is ~70%. Every year, UNK is above the national average of accepted applicants for most programs. For example, most pharmacy programs will receive at least three applications for every position available. For the past ten years, UNK has had above a 65% acceptance rate to pharmacy schools.
Most programs to which our students apply calculate a separate science and math GPA that plays heavily in admission decisions. The professional schools that were surveyed also rated UNK students a 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 in terms of science and math preparation. Based on these pieces of information, the overall science and math preparation of UNK students appears to be sufficient for acceptance and entrance in a health science professional school.
The courses in which the content of these entrance exams is covered are outside of the Health Programs department, and therefore, it is not possible for this office to make curricular changes in order to improve these scores. However, the purpose of examining these scores is to provide this information to the academic departments at UNK for their review and discussion and to provide this information to the applicants. The students will be advised to better prepare themselves for these tests and will be given advice on the best ways to go about test preparation. The Health Programs Office also will continue to increase the number of test preparation materials available for student checkout. This information can also be used to advise student on selecting courses that will best prepare them for entrance exams.
Examination of UNK's acceptance statistics shows that UNK students continue to be very successful overall at gaining admission. Therefore, no changes are being recommended based on this information at this time.
- Students will demonstrate the verbal skills necessary to be successful in their field.
The Verbal Reasoning scores of UNK students on the MCAT are comparable to the national average as they are with a half of a point of the national average. On the DAT and OAT, UNK students consistently score higher than the national average on the Reading Comprehension section.
Based on the results of the data analysis above, no changes are being recommended at this time. The department will continue, however, to encourage students to practice test taking strategies and to prepare for those portions of the entrance exams.
Students will also be encouraged to take elective courses that will enhance their overall communication skills. This will benefit them in their interview and their overall application to professional school and will continue to benefit them once they enter their profession.
- Students will demonstrate professional conduct.
The Health Programs Office conducted a survey of professional schools and clinical programs to which our students are most frequently accepted during the spring of 1997. Eighteen out of thirty-nine programs responded. On the survey, schools were asked to rate UNK students in seven different areas on a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent). Following are the average ratings for each of the five areas:
- Overall educational preparation of UNK students upon entering the program: 4.22
- Educational preparation of UNK students in science and math: 4.00
- Overall success of UNK students once they begin the program: 4.00
- Acceptance rate of UNK students into the program: 3.83
- Graduation rate of UNK students from the program: 4.56
- Level of professional conduct demonstrated by UNK students: 4.00
- Work ethic exhibited by UNK students in your program: 4.11
UNK students rated a 4.00 and a 4.11 in the areas of professional conduct and work ethic. This a "very good" rating on this survey and thus shows that the majority of UNK students do exhibit these qualities and values as they enter their professional school or clinical program.
No programmatic changes are being considered at this time due to the high ratings received by UNK students. The information from the survey will be used to help advise students in ways that continue to meet the needs of the professional schools and clinical programs. This information, demonstrating the success of former UNK students, will also be used in the recruitment and retention of new students.
The department will continue to periodically conduct this survey in the future.