Welcome to Pathways!
|Our goal is to
serve as a resource for you as you navigate the pathway through school and,
ultimately, to a health career. Each month, you'll receive career and
college planning tips, advice and resources to help you make your
health career dreams a reality.
News from NC-HCAP...
NC-HCAP now has a home on Facebook
. Stay connected to NC-HCAP and all the resources and activities we offer to help you make your health career dreams a reality.
The North Carolina Health Careers Access Program
(NC-HCAP) is located at
UNC-Chapel Hill. Additional campus-based centers are located at Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina Central University, and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Established in 1971 by Dr. Cecil G. Sheps, we work to increase the number of underrepresented minorities or
economically and/or educationally disadvantaged students who are
educated, trained and employed in the health professions.
more than 35 years, we have provided thousands of students with a
variety of programs and activities to raise their awareness of
opportunities available within the health professions and to increase
their competitiveness as health professional school applicants.
We're always here to assist you. Simply contact us at:
"You see things and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never
were, and I say 'Why not'?"
- George Bernard Shaw
There are many paths we can follow in this life. Hopefully the one you choose will lead to your goals
and dreams becoming a reality. There are no limits to what you can accomplish and there are TONS of possibilities
for what you can become in life. Don't be afraid to launch out and be daring enough to go
|Health Careers 101 |
Would you love the opportunity to help others smile a bit brighter and gain more self-confidence? Have you considered the field of dentistry?
Not only can you become a dentist, but there are also different specialty areas as well that are really important in helping people care for their teeth, gums, and jaws - on their way to keeping and maintaining a beautiful smile.
DentistExamines and treats problems of the teeth, gums, tongue, lips and jaw
Education: To become a dentist, you must complete at least three years of college work, but its preferable to obtain a bachelor's degree before applying to dental school.
Want to know more? There are different specialists, including: endodontist, oral surgeon, orthodontist, pediatric dentist, periodontist, prosthodontist.
Want other options? There are other professionals in dentistry besides the dentist. Consider becoming a dental assistant, dental hygienist or dental laboratory technician.
Hot Link: Visit www.ada.org org for more information.
Source: NC-HCAP Health Careers Information & Enrichment Workshop manual
Spotlight on Success
|Can't Stop Smiling
Passion plus planning lead to success
By Renee Sprink
As a youngster, Robert Selden occasionally spent time in his
father's dentist office, which sparked his curiosity about the field of
dentistry. And of course, delighted his father. Selden's dad had hoped that one
of his children would follow in his footsteps, but he learned early on not to
push them into the field. "He exposed us to it, but didn't push us into
it," recalls Selden.
It wasn't until he was a freshman in high school, however, that Selden
ultimately made the decision to pursue a career in dentistry. "When I was
in the ninth grade, I had an impacted tooth and needed braces. When I went to
the oral surgeon to have the impacted tooth exposed, the dentist asked if I
wanted to watch the procedure. Of course, I did! So they propped up a mirror
and I watched them expose that tooth. I was fascinated with the entire process,"
says Selden. That experience, a lengthy bout with braces and a strong
relationship with this orthodontist sealed his fate. He was bound for the
Selden graduated from high school in 1990 and enrolled at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Once on campus he began to carefully plot an
academic plan of action. He declared a major in chemistry and loaded his
academic plate with health science courses. He looked for mentors and advisors
who could assist and point him in the right direction; he sought out
networking opportunities with dental school officials and enrichment programs
to further prepare him. "I prepared so much as an undergraduate that
getting into dental school was a cinch," states Selden. "I did everything
everyone told me to do. They said 'do research.' So I did research. They said
'do SEP and do well.' I did that. 'Do MED and do well.' I did that too. How
could they turn down someone who did everything they were supposed to do? I was
able to take away some of the anxiety of applying to dental school by
preparing, and that's where the SEP program came in."
The summer following his sophomore year, Selden participated in NC-HCAP's
Science Enrichment Preparation (SEP) Program. He credits the program with his
preparedness as a dental school applicant and with his successful entry into
dental school. "It was there that I learned how to prepare for and take
the DAT (dental admission exam), how to improve my reading skills and how to
manage my time. Because of my SEP experience and the skills I learned during
the eight weeks of the program, I was confident about getting into dental
school," claims Selden. So confident in fact, that he applied to only one
school, the UNC School of Dentistry. His preparation paid off. After receiving
his bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1994, he began his professional education
that same fall. He graduated from dental school in 1998 and completed his
orthodontics residency, also at UNC, in 2001.
After completing his formal education (11 years worth), the first thing Selden
did was wonder what to do next. "Everything was always building toward
'what's next?'" recalls Selden. " I was finally at the end of my
training and I found myself with a choice to make: 'Do I go into academics or
into private practice?'" He decided to start his own practice. "I
took a part time job with a group practice in general dentistry in Charlotte.
That was to pay the bills. Then, I went about a mile out of their [the group
practice] restrictive covenant and set up my private practice," shares
Selden. No longer under contract with the group, Selden is now fully committed
to his own practice, Selden Orthodontics, which he proudly says is
It is difficult for Selden to hide his excitement and passion for dentistry.
"It's a health industry and a service industry. You really do impact the
quality of people's lives," he says. "One of my new patients was
missing a front tooth and her other teeth had moved, leaving them crooked. She
was in her 40s and wanted to do something to increase her self-esteem. After
months of trying, we got her teeth straightened and I was able to put a
'flipper' [an artificial tooth] in that space, giving her a nice, straight
smile," says Selden. "She broke down crying when she looked in the
mirror; a nice smile is all it took to increase her confidence. That is what
excited me about being an orthodontist: when people who were once ashamed of
their appearance now can't stop smiling at other! I'm changing them on the
outside, but ultimately changing them on the inside, too. That's what drives
Today, Selden is an adjunct professor at the UNC School of Dentistry,
fulfilling his goal to return to academia. He was also recently named the
president of the Old North State Dental Society. These days Selden is committed
to his practice and to increasing the number of minorities in both health care
professions and academia.
|Strategies for Success|
Five Helpful Tips for Studying
There are hundreds of ways to study, but finding the method that works best for you is the key to successful studying. Once you find that method, make a habit of studying. By developing good study habits, you put the wheels in motion to earn better grades and achieve academic success.
Here are some tips to help you on your way.
- Take good notes and attend all classes. Taking good notes during class will aid you during your study time. Use your notes as a reference and refer to your textbook.
- Create a schedule for studying. Making a schedule and outlining a specific time (same time each day) for your studies keeps you in the habit of studying. You should study for at least 45 minutes every day even if you don't have an assignment or a test for the next day.
- Find a good study partner. Studying with someone who will contribute to your learning is a plus. Pick a partner that is serious about studying and not one that is looking for a time to socialize. Compare notes and ask each other questions.
- Find a good study area. Finding a good study area is important. It should be an area that is clean, quiet, has good lighting and no distractions. This will allow you to concentrate solely on your studies.
- Make the most of your study time. Planning is an important part of your studying. Inform your friends and others in your house of your study times. This way you are less likely to be disturbed. Be mindful of your time, so you don't waste it.
College Planning and Preparation|
Access resources to plan, apply and pay for college at www.CFNC.org.
Browse college rankings, research and evaluate different colleges and
universities, and pick the best match to meet your needs at http://www.princetonreview.com.
High School Seniors, electronically submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
Carolina Covenant at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a
college financing commitment between the university and historically low-income
youth in North Carolina.
Find out more at http://www.unc.edu/carolinacovenant/.
For information about additional health professions enrichment programs, activities, and summer camps in your local area, contact the NC Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) in your area.
Explore a wide variety of health careers at www.aacp.org.
Meet Ms. Rivera
the pre-college outreach coordinator, Koyah Rivera is responsible for
planning, developing and implementing pre-college outreach
initiatives across North Carolina.
joining NC-HCAP, Rivera was employed as a college admissions
at Shaw University in Raleigh. She has served as a Language Arts
teacher for Wake County Public Schools and TV news producer/writer at
two NBC TV stations. She is also the founder/executive director/TV host
of Beyond Gifted, Inc., a non-profit organization which produces the
"Beyond Gifted" television program to assist K-12 students in
developing post-secondary plans to reach school and life success. She
received dual B.A. degrees in communications and English from the
University of North Carolina at Wilmington.