Q: I think I want to major in something involving working directly with patients where I have to get a bachelor’s degree and maybe even go on to graduate school. Where do I begin course-wise?

Answer: Students pursuing any credit path to patient care (nursing, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nutrition, radiology, physical and occupational therapy, physician assistant, biomedical science, and others) need math.

The first step is to: TEST (or show scores within 2 years) in MATH, and as soon as possible, take any remedial- developmental- classes, if necessary, so you may enter the college level classes. (Usually the fall or spring semester is best for an entering student to take math).

Math opens the door to chemistry, biology, and physics.

Area nursing schools requiring College Algebra (Math 1414):
     El Centro (for an extra point), Mountain View College, TAMU Commerce
     TWU requires only Math 2342 if the DCCCD core is finished; if not, they require Math 1332 also.

Area nursing schools requiring statistics (Math 2342): El Centro (for an extra point), Baylor, UTA, TWU, TAMU Commerce

Medical, dental, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, and other programs require one or more college level math classes, generally from: Math 1414, 2342, 2413 (requires 3 prerequisites).

Chemistry is involved in our science-major general biology class (Biology 1406), so a foundation in chemistry is required for success. Our Introduction to Chemistry 1405 (non-science major) class can serve as a brush-up for (or initial exposure to) chemistry, and is a recommended pre-requisite for Biology 1406 as well as for General Chemistry 1411 (science-major). The annotation in the class schedule tells which sections of Chemistry 1405 are preparation for Chemistry 1411.

Science major Chemistry 1411 is required for medical school, dental school, pharmacy school, physician’s assistant, nutrition (some specialties), biomedical science, physical therapy, and others. Additional chemistry is required for all the programs listed.

Non-science major Chemistry 1405 and 1406 are acceptable for nursing schools such as Brookhaven, TWU, Baylor, and TAMU Commerce. UTA accepts 1406 or 1411 only. Chemistry 1405 is acceptable for occupational therapy, dental hygiene, and select allied health programs. {Sometimes another non-science Chemistry like 1407 is required along with 1405.}

Biology for science majors (Biology 1406) is the beginning class in order to enter anatomy and physiology, (Biology 2401 and 2402), as well as microbiology, Biology 2420. Generally, anatomy and physiology are needed for most health careers programs (not mandated for medical or dental school, though). Some nursing schools will accept Applied Anatomy and Physiology (SCIT 1407 and 1408), but this sequence is not taught on Richland’s campus, and many programs at El Centro have discontinued taking SCIT 1407/1408. So far, UTA, Baylor, and some of the 2-year nursing programs in our district will accept either pair of anatomy and physiology classes. TWU only accepts Biology 2401 and 2402. Fourteen hours of any biology classes for science majors are required at a very minimum for medical and dental schools.

Physics is required for programs such as medicine, dentistry, orthotics and prosthetics, veterinary medicine, physician assistant, pharmacy, and others. Usually Physics 1401 (and 1402, if needed) is acceptable, but the choice of the Physics 1401 (algebra/trig based) or Physics 2425 (calculus based) sequence depends upon the university major pursued.

Q: What are all the DCCCD two-year options as well as non-credit certificate programs for someone wanting to become employed in a health career as soon as possible?

Q: How do I find out more information about Richland’s non-credit health careers programs where I would get a certificate or pcense?

Q: I want to go to medical, dental school, pharmacy, or some other professional program. Will it be wise to take my science classes at a community college?

Answer: At our site are psts of approved classes for professional programs. Faculty and directors of admission at these programs reapze that students begin their university experience at community colleges for a variety of very good reasons. In addition, they recognize that the community college science faculty are credentialed and skilled in their areas of expertise. Most students who begin at community college will be following-up at a university. What professional programs seek are students who maintain continuity from one college or university experience to the next. For example, if a student takes science classes at a community college and does well, they expect the student to maintain that same level of achievement at the university.

Q: What if I haven’t done well in my science classes at a university? Is it all right to come to the community college to re-take them?

Answer: It is permissible to do this; however, this student would want to go back to the university and take additional science classes and continue to make excellent grades. This is necessary in order to have a very strong “portfopo” of both lower-and upper- level science coursework so they can enter their program of interest the first time around.

Q: I made a C or lower in one of my prerequisite classes? May I move on to the next-level class?

Answer: There is a great temptation to want to “move along the pipepne” so that one can enter the health program in the shortest amount of time possible, and this is understandable. The problem with getting a mediocre grade in a prerequisite class is that you probably have a mediocre understanding of the material! This causes you to run the risk of a poor grade in the next level. In addition, you will probably just end up re-taking the lower level class to try to raise the grade, so why not just do that in the first place thus laying the proper foundation for the second level class?

Q: I want to pursue something in the health field, but wonder how I will finance it?

Answer: Many options are available and are psted at our Health Resource Manual

In addition, don’t overlook the many scholarships in the DCCCD system. Even though the tuition at the community college is very reasonable, every bit of money that is found through scholarships saves precious money to be banked for later.

For students with excellent grades, universities also offer scholarships both through the admissions and financial aid offices as well as through various departmental scholarships. Sometimes it takes a semester to estabpsh a grade point at the university, and then one can apply for a departmental scholarship. In addition, summers offer opportunities for internships – some of them paid.