Health Careers Opportunity Program

Carroll’s National Academy Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) is designed to recruit, retain, and prepare students from diversebackgrounds for primary care careers in medically underserved communities.

Students enrolled in the program are called HCOP Ambassadors. As part of the pipeline, HCOP works with the following population of HCOP Ambassadors:   

Pre-College Students  |  Undergraduate Students  |  Graduate Students

Pre-college Students

students from a HCOP cohort

HCOP Ambassadors

Participants are high school juniors and seniors interested in careers in physical therapy, physician assistant, occupational therapy, clinical exercise physiology, pharmacy, athletic training, public health, radiologic technology, diagnostic medical sonography or an undecided health career. 
 

Services 

Our pre-college, academic-year program includes cultural activities, panel presentations with diverse primary and mental health care professionals, and service projects in medically underserved community settings. 

Benefits of HCOP ambassadors:

  • One-on-one mentoring with an undergraduate student as mentor
  • Group sessions on a range of topics related to college readiness, healthcare education, career exploration, and goal setting
  • Connections to summer interships and pre-college programs such as CU Rising 

Undergraduate Students

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students from a HCOP cohort

HCOP Ambassadors

Carroll undergraduate students who are full time and intend to major or declare an emphasis in:

  • Public Health 
  • Radiologic Technology 
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography 
  • Pre-Physical Therapy 
  • Pre-Occupational Therapy 
  • Pre-Physician Assistant 
  • Pre-Pharmacy 
  • Pre-Athletic Training 
  • Pre-Exercise Physiology 
HCOP ambassadors are recruited only as incoming first-year students. Check this page routinely for application updates. 
 

Services 

Our undergraduate program is a year-long program that includes individualized support, group activites, online courses and experiential activities in the healthcare field to prepare and guide HCOP ambassadors in applying to graduate level health science programs and work in underserved communities with an integrative approach. 

Benefits of HCOP ambassadors:

  • As an incoming HCOP ambassador, participate in a week-long summer residential college program to support your transition from high school to Carroll called Bridge Program 
    • As well, participate a three-day Pre-Bridge program to explore and learn all HCOP approved career tracks
  • One-on-one personal, professional and academic guidance and support by professional staff
  • Group sessions on a range of topics related to academic success skills, professional development, healthcare education, career exploration, graduate admissions and goal setting
  •  Hands-on experiences in medically underserved communities and in primary care
  • Financial support provided to each HCOP ambassador 
    • Scholarship given for each year in the program starting at $5,000
    • Stipends available for approved educational experiences


Accomplishments from 2018-2022

Graduate Students

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students from a HCOP cohort

HCOP Ambassadors

Carroll graduate students study in the Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, Athletic Training, or Exercise Physiology graduate programs.

HCOP ambassadors are recruited as incoming 500-level graduate students. Check this page routinely for application updates. 

 

Services 

Our graduate program is a year-long program that includes individualized support, group sessions, and experiential activities in  underserved communities to prepare each HCOP ambassador to work in underserved communities and/or rural areas with an integrative and interprofessional approach.

Benefits of HCOP ambassadors:

  • As an incoming HCOP ambassador, participate in a summer bridge program that focuses on personal wellbeing 
  • One-on-one personal, professional and academic guidance and support by a professional staff and HCOP faculty mentor
  • Create a philosophy of healthcare statement
  • Group sessions on a range of topics related to professional development, healthcare education,and working with underserved communities/rural areas
  • Opportunity to participate in the AHEC Scholars program
  • Financial support provided to each HCOP ambassador 
    • Scholarship given for each year in the program for $7,500
    • Stipends available for clinical rotations and approved educational experiences
    • Funding for boarding exam preparation materials


Accomplishments from 2018-2022

Meet the Team

Jackie Velazquez headshot

Jackie Velazquez

Health Careers Opportunity Program Grant Project Manager jvelazq@carrollu.edu
Cheryl Guc

Cheryl Guc

HRSA Health Careers Opportunity Program Assistant cguc@carrollu.edu
Barbra Beck, Carroll University faculty

Barbra Beck-Clayton

HCOP Project Director bbeck@carrollu.edu
Jessica Brown, Carroll University faculty

Jessica Brown

HCOP Faculty Mentor jmbrown@carrollu.edu
vickie ericson photo

Vickie Erickson

HCOP Faculty Mentor vericson@carrollu.edu
Tom Pahnke, Carroll University faculty

Tom Pahnke

HCOP Faculty Mentor tpahnke@carrollu.edu
April Phillips, Carroll University

April Philips

HCOP Faculty Mentor aphillip@carrollu.edu
Aracelis Miranda Spindt, Carroll University faculty

Miranda Spindt

HCOP Faculty Mentor mspindt@carrollu.edu

HRSA Statement

Carroll HCOP logo

HRSA logo

The Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) is a project supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $2,893,722. (The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov). 

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