College of


Michigan State University signs agreement with Hope, Calvin and Aquinas Colleges for Early Assurance Program for premed students

October 25, 2010


Area's first private colleges to join growing statewide pipeline of med students for MSU

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine has announced agreements with Aquinas College, Calvin College and Hope College that will provide an enhanced opportunity for the private colleges’ premedical students to attend medical school. 

MSU College of Human Medicine Dean Marsha D. Rappley, M.D., welcomed the presidents of all three private colleges to the Secchia Center to finalize the Early Assurance Program for admissions, including  C. Edward Balog, Ph.D., president, Aquinas College; James E. Bultman, Ed.D., president, Hope College; and  Gaylen J. Byker, Ph.D., president, Calvin College. 

Preference for the Early Assurance Program will be given to deserving students and students interested in caring for underserved populations from the three institutions. 

"Our medical school is looking forward to increasing the number of students from West Michigan’s leading private institutions,” said Marsha D. Rappley, M.D., dean, MSU College of Human Medicine. “The students from these mission-oriented colleges share our core values. They bring the rigor of a superb liberal arts and science education along with a passion for serving others that is needed in the physicians of our future." 

For the 2010 entering class, the College of Human Medicine received more than 5,900 applicants for 200 seats available for first-year students. With today’s announcement, up to eight admission slots per year will be reserved for the combined three colleges.   

"I applaud MSU for offering this program which will have two prominent beneficiaries,” said C. Edward Balog, Ph.D., president, Aquinas College. “First, of course, the student will benefit.  But second, the community will benefit.  If students who have attended college in the Grand Rapids area also attend medical school in Grand Rapids, their familiarity with and commitment to the area may persuade them to locate their practice here.  This will be an important contribution to the quality of life of the community as well as an indicator of regional growth and development"

MSU currently has 27 students from Aquinas, Calvin and Hope Colleges in its four-year program, averaging seven new students per year from the West Michigan colleges. The intent of the Early Assurance Program is to significantly increase this number, giving more West Michigan students the opportunity to pursue their medical education at MSU.

"Calvin College will continue to make a substantial contribution to the physician work-force of the future and this partnership will only enhance Calvin's presence as a partner in the west Michigan health care community,” said Gaylen J. Byker, Ph.D., president, Calvin College. “We are honored and grateful to be a part of this wonderful opportunity to serve our students and community through the MSU-CHM programs. We also believe that MSU-CHM will benefit from an enhanced relationship with Calvin College, a recognized and respected private college in Grand Rapids.

Candidates for the Early Assurance Program will complete a program of enriching clinical and service experiences, as well as academic advising directed toward admission to MSU College of Human Medicine.  During their junior year, students who excel in their premedical programmay apply to the College of Human Medicine and selected students will be assured of admission and begin a relationship with MSU College of Human Medicine during their senior year of college. 

"Hope College is very pleased and grateful for the opportunity to partner with the MSU College of Human Medicine through the Early Assurance Program,” said James E. Bultman, Ed.D., president, Hope College. “Given Hope’s national reputation in the health sciences and the stature of MSU’s medical school, this partnership should prove beneficial for both institutions. We look forward with great expectation to a fulfilling relationship in the preparation of medical doctors for the health care profession. I am very excited for the Hope students who will participate in this program."

MSU College of Human Medicine’s partnership with the private colleges is part of a growing network of collaborations MSU has established with statewide institutions with a long-term vision for enhancing health care throughout Michigan.  Other colleges and universities participating in the Early Assurance Program are:  Saginaw Valley State University, Kettering University, The University of Michigan –Flint, Northern Michigan University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, and Grand Valley State University. The first six students in the Early Assurance Program from Grand Valley State University began classes in August at the College of Human Medicine.