For Parents and Guardians

Rosa Chaviano-Moran, DMD, FICD, explains why SHPEP is more than just a program; it is a catalyst for change in the lives of aspiring health care professionals!

The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a 6-week summer enrichment program that will challenge your child and aid in their development as a learner and potential healthcare professional. Throughout the program, students will have the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals in fields such as dentistry, medicine, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, public health, and more. Additionally, they will participate in workshops and simulations that prepare them for college-level curriculum and enrollment into a graduate-level health professions program. Upon completion of the program, SHPEP scholars emerge determined and better prepared to tackle the challenges attributed to pursuing their desired health profession. Most importantly, SHPEP connects its scholars with a national network of program alumni at different stages of their careers who can become peers, mentors, and sponsors.

We understand that, as parents and guardians, you may have questions or concerns about your child’s participation in this program. Please know that we take the health and safety of our students very seriously, and we have put measures in place to create a secure atmosphere for all participants because the health and safety of our scholars are our top priorities. This program has the potential to be a life-changing experience for your child, and it will help prepare them for a successful future in health care.

Program Cost, Housing, and Logistics

Due to generous funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and in-kind investments from our participating institutions, there is no cost for participating in the program. Your child will actually receive a stipend totaling $1000 upon completion of the program!

If your child is accepted to the program, they will be provided with some level of travel assistance (e.g., mileage reimbursement, airfare, and transportation from the airport) to the program site where they have confirmed their acceptance. The level of travel assistance varies by site and will be communicated to the scholars by the program site. Please note that some program sites cover travel based on the level of financial need and distance traveled.

Upon arrival at the program site, your child will reside in the residence halls of the host institution. Understand that your child may share their living quarters with other scholars. This opportunity will allow your child to interact more closely with other scholars and thus create a stronger connection with their cohort.

Your child will be provided meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, throughout the length of their stay by the program site’s dining services. Please note that there will be a variety of options available in case your child has any dietary restrictions (i.e., vegetarian, lactose-intolerant, vegan, gluten-free, etc.). Scholars may need to cover some incidentals such as laundry, parking, etc., which will vary by site.

Decisions are released on March 15th! Learn more about the program’s application timeline.

The Application

All students who wish to participate in SHPEP must submit and complete an official application by the established annual deadline of February 5. To ensure your child stands out as an applicant, the SHPEP National Program Office recommends checking out some of our recorded information sessions.

Does my child qualify for the program?

To be eligible for SHPEP, your child must:

  • Be a high school graduate and currently enrolled as a freshman or sophomore in college.
  • Have a minimum overall college GPA of 2.5.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, or an individual granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • Not have previously participated in the program.

What materials will my child need to prepare to complete their application?

When completing their application, there are three major components that your child will need to prepare and submit to the National Program Office by the established deadline. These include:

  1. An essay prompt, also known as the Personal Statement.
  2. One official transcript from every U.S., U.S. Territorial, or Canadian post-secondary institution attended sent directly by the institution’s registrar’s office.
  3. One letter of recommendation from a qualified reference.

Please note that your child’s application materials must be postmarked/time stamped by the deadline, February 5th. In addition, once received by the National Program Office, it can take up to 10 business days to process your child’s application materials.

Be aware that the National Program Office must communicate directly with applicants and is unable to give you any updates regarding your child’s application. If they have questions regarding their application, they are welcome to contact us at

Learn more about the program’s eligibility requirements.

Program Overview and Objectives

SHPEP’s primary objective is to prepare students who identify as underrepresented in the health professions for a successful journey toward their desired careers. The program aims to foster an environment of growth by enhancing your child’s academic ability, resourcefulness, and ability to network with medical professionals. With the help of our comprehensive curriculum, your child will leave the program with the renewed confidence they need to succeed in their chosen career path.

As an SHPEP scholar, your child will be integrated into a cohort of 80 underrepresented students whose racial/ethnic backgrounds include, but are not limited to, African American/Black, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Hispanic/Latino. In addition, the SHPEP cohort is comprised of students emerging from communities of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage.

Your child will take part in academic enrichment sessions, panels specific to their chosen healthcare pathway, presentations on admissions test preparation, inter-professional teamwork, financial literacy, and professional development workshops throughout the program. In a holistic sense, your child will leave this program equipped with the skills needed to succeed in their chosen career path.

Furthermore, your child will have access to a nationwide network of program alumni who can help with professional school applications, standardized test preparation, ways to deepen their involvement with the program, and other issues as they arise.

Financial Literacy

SHPEP is aware of the many facets of being a student, including the challenges associated with money. Because of this, your kid will take part in financial literacy classes, where they will learn how to make and manage a budget, apply for loans, and file taxes. This program element was introduced to give students the information they need to make financially advantageous decisions as they proceed on their individual journeys.

Pathway Resources

Your child can choose from a variety of pathways in the program, including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physician assistant, public health, nursing, physical therapy, optometry, and more. Within each track, your child will receive pertinent information on pursuing activities, preparing for and taking standardized admissions exams, and crafting their application. This information is further supplemented via panels of guest speakers and lecturers who share their experiences and advice on succeeding as they pursue their desired career paths.

Depending on the track they selected, your child will participate in workshops to hone their methods for preparing for the corresponding standardized admissions exams. The program gives an overview of the subsequent tests:

In addition, your child will also receive guidance on crafting their application for admission into their desired program. SHPEP provides an overview of the following professional and graduate school applications: