Medicine-minded students at Shenendehowa High School can apply for a program that will allow one of them to be accepted to Siena College and Albany Medical College before most of their classmates know where they're going to pursue their bachelor's degrees.
The school district's new partnership with the two colleges may be the first of its kind in the nation, said Rebecca Carman, Shen's director of policy and community development.
Through "ShenNext Medicine: Selecting Tomorrow's Doctors Today," which the three educational institutions announced today, the top 10 percent of the sophomore class is invited to apply to Siena and Albany Med's eight-year combined physician program and one student each year will be accepted a year early.
Shen and Albany Med have been working on the partnership for about a year, Carman said.
The program also offers a $16,000-per-year scholarship to Siena for four years.
About 75 sophomores were invited to apply for the program, and the school has scheduled an informational meeting for tonight for those who are interested to find out more about it. Applicants then write an essay and three to five will be selected as finalists next month.
They will participate in a mentoring program with Siena College students in the combined medical program and get to take part in opportunities at the medical college. Their performance is evaluated by a panel of undergraduates in the medical program as well as the directors of the program at each college.
The selected student will be announced in January, during the students' junior year, at least a year before students typically get college acceptance letters.