The University of Iowa recently received a $415,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers in health care.

The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a free, six-week summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions. SHPEP’s goal is to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students underrepresented in health care to prepare them for success in a broad array of health professions schools.

These students include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as African American/Black, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Hispanic/Latino, and who are from communities of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage. The Carver College of Medicine, College of Public Health, College of Dentistry, and College of Pharmacy are spearheading the program on the UI campus.

SHPEP offers students a variety of academic and career experiences:

  • Academic enrichment in the basic sciences and quantitative topics.
  • Learning and study skills development, including methods of individual and group learning.
  • Clinical exposure through small group rotations in health care settings, simulation experiences, and seminars.
  • Opportunities to learn about interprofessional education and how different professions collaborate as health care teams.
  • Career development sessions directed toward exploration of the health professions, the admissions process, and development of an individualized education plan.
  • A financial literacy and planning workshop that informs students of financial concepts and strategies.
  • A health policy seminar series to expose scholars to a larger view of health care, health systems, and the social determinants of health.

The deadline to apply is March 1, 2017. The program will run at the University of Iowa June 19 through July 28, 2017. For more information or to apply online, visit