CENTRAL, S.C. – Southern Wesleyan University and Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) signed articulation agreements June 20, ensuring future opportunities for SWU students to advance in the medical field.
The agreements included a Guaranteed Admissions Interview agreement that will allow third year/junior students to have a guaranteed interview spot if they have a science and overall GPA of 3.5, and an acceptable score on the MCAT. Last year, VCOM had 12,000 applications and only offered interviews to 350 of those applicants.
Also signed was a Rocovich Scholars’ Early Admission Program agreement, which will allow some Southern Wesleyan students to apply to VCOM after their sophomore year. Students with a pre-requisite and overall GPA of 3.5 will be guaranteed an interview for this program. Students who are accepted into this program will not be required to take the MCAT if they maintain a GPA of 3.69 or above overall and in the science courses.
“We find that people from Christian based schools at least know what the Great Commission is about and understand that you need a missionary heart to be a successful doctor, so we desperately need schools like Southern Wesleyan to provide us with their best students. That guarantees our future success,” said Dr. John Rocovich, chairman and founder of VCOM. “The kind of students that will come to Southern Wesleyan are the kind of people we want to have, and we know long-term they’ll be successful.”
“It’s a great partnership,” said Dr. Todd Voss, SWU president. “When I met John and he gave me a tour of the facility and we talked about their mission, I thought it was a match made in heaven. It was an incredible opportunity for our students to continue with their perspective of servant leadership in the world of medicine.”
“Heart, missionary calling – those things resonate with our mission here at Southern Wesleyan,” said Dr. Randolph Johnson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Southern Wesleyan. “I feel like Via College of Osteopathic Medicine is poised to receive graduates from SWU who’ve got a heart, a mind, a spirit, and a Christian calling to treat patients holistically, not just to use pure medical technique.”
Biology Prof. Staci Johnson is excited that SWU is continuing its partnership with VCOM, and commented on the advantages of its students transferring from their program to medical school.
“One of the biggest hurdles for admission to medical school is to get an interview, and these programs guarantee our students that opportunity so they can really shine. They come in with that servant heart and they want to go to medical schools to serve their fellow man. I think that can come out more in an interview than perhaps it does on applications,” Johnson said, adding that Southern Wesleyan has a relatively large biology program for a Christian university.
The VCOM Carolinas campus is the newest of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine campuses. Three SWU alumni have graduated in the past three years: Eric Cromer, Tyler McGrady and Mark Sears.
Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused, faith-filled community that offers inventive learning experiences. The university endeavors to prepare its students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. At the same time, it’s Southern Wesleyan’s desire to practice contagious generosity within the surrounding community. For details about degree programs, go online to swu.edu.