Now that the pomp and circumstance over graduating its charter class of medical students has passed, this fall brings a new endeavor to the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, one that epitomizes the type of collaboration on which the emergent school has built its short, yet highly respected reputation.
The latest collaboration, between the UCF College of Medicine and Valencia College, offers a combined 2+2 program allowing Valencia students to graduate with a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences degree from UCF—without ever leaving Osceola County. Florida’s 2+2 programs allow guaranteed admission to a university after graduating with an AA degree.
UCF launched its regional campus at Valencia-Osceola more than 10 years ago, but became a major presence earlier this year with the opening of a new joint-use, four-story, 150,000-square-foot building. Spurred in part by its expanded presence, students will now be taught biomedical sciences for the first time at a UCF regional campus.
Twenty-four students—those who have earned an AA from Valencia with specific prerequisites and UCF students who live closer to Valencia-Osceola than they do to UCF’s main campus—will be taught by faculty from the College of Medicine’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, who will commute to the Valencia-Osceola campus.
“The plan is that the students will be identical to the students on the main campus,” says Dr. Robert Borgon, a Burnett School assistant professor, on how the curriculum will mirror what is offered in Orlando.
Borgon, who has been with the Burnett School since its inception in 2007, is one of the faculty members in the new program and will teach multiple core classes and a lab component. He says as many as 12 professors will be traveling to the Osceola County campus, adding that number could double as enrollment grows.
Dr. Richard D. Peppler, associate dean for faculty and academic affairs and interim director of the Burnett School, says successful graduates of this program will be qualified to enter research and development positions or continue their education in graduate programs and four-year professional schools, such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary. The 2+2 program meets all admissions requirements for medical and health professional schools.