Program Contact

Contact: Grace Avila (Project Manager) and Dr. Robert Spears (Lead Investigator)

Phone Number: 713-486-4431 and 714-486-4013


Program Information

Location: Location: Location: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) McGovern Medical School, School of Dentistry, and Cizik School of Nursing


Start/End Dates: June 6, 2022-July 15, 2022

Academic Credit: No


UTHealth is an academic health center that educates more than 5,000 professionals each year, and that delivers health care to patients with diverse cultures, beliefs and nationalities. UTHealth is committed to creating an environment that values inclusion, collaboration, partnerships and teamwork to accomplish its mission.

The UTHealth SHPEP is grounded in collaborative relationships between the UTHealth McGovern Medical School, School of Dentistry and Cizik School of Nursing, which are the three health professions of interest for our program.  The curriculum focuses on Basic SciencesAcademic Enrichment and Professional Development.

The Basic Sciences core curriculum is structured around courses relevant to health professionals, including Anatomy and Physiology, Statistics, Organic Chemistry as well as an additional appropriate entry level course for students interested in nursing.


COVID-19 Institution Policies:

Masks are required for all indoor activities at this site.

More information regarding the campus COVID-19 policies:

Clinical Skill Laboratories: Scholars work together and experience all of the professions. This involves working at the medical school with the human patient simulators. At the School of Dentistry laboratory experiences give the scholars hands-on experiences in dental procedures with suturing, cavity preparations and filling with composite materials, and digital dentistry experiences. The Cizik School of Nursing will engage the scholars in health care management, such as nutrition, taking blood pressures, and learning how to draw blood.

Career Development Workshops: An important part of the program is to work with scholars to prepare them for the admissions process. Admissions officers at each school will discuss the application process, interviewing skills, writing the personal statement, financial information, and the importance of community service, shadowing and research experiences.

Interwoven throughout the curriculum and student experiences is the central theme of wellness and nutrition. This theme also allows the program to highlight the interprofessional collaboration between healthcare providers needed to address this multi- faceted healthcare challenge.

Students will have the opportunity to explore their own wellness. Multiple activities are scheduled throughout the program to engage the scholars in wellness activities. Our Fitness Center staff will provide weekly wellness events that utilize yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, and other physical activities to challenge both mind and body.


Clinical Experience: All scholars will experience limited clinical exposure through a diverse range of settings including shadowing individual healthcare providers, small-group clinical rotations, simulation experiences in clinical skills labs and seminars with expert clinicians.


Stipend: Student stipends of $600 will be distributed in three installments during weeks 2, 4, and 6.

Meals: At least two meals per day, Monday-Sunday. Students may also have the opportunity to purchase Tetra cards (Rice U. meal cards) during the check-in process, to be used on the Rice campus only (eateries & the “convenience stores only.”)


Housing: Students will reside in Rice University dormitories, which are on the campus of Rice University and approximately three blocks from the McGovern Medical School.

Social Activities: SHPEP sponsored events include a welcome dinner at check-in, scholar talent show/dance party, and graduation ceremony with a reception. Scholar-organized events have included movie night in the dorms and cookouts on the Rice University campus. As a large, metropolitan city, Houston also offers multiple venues for activities accessible by walking or using the metro rail system, such as The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (free on Thursday evening), the Miller Outdoor Theatre (free), and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Also accessible by walking is Rice Village which has numerous shops and restaurants.