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Health Professions Recommendation Committee
Health Professions Recommendation Committee
The Health Professions Reccomendation Committee (Lisle campus only)

Committee letters of recommendation are preferred by most medical schools. Benedictine University uses a committee letter process to provide students and alumni with letters of recommendation for application to medical and other health profession schools. To carry out this work the committee meets with applicants to learn more about each applicant and put their individual letters of recommendation into a cohesive perspective.

A letter is prepared on the basis of input from both the student and the faculty members. This input includes an application, personal statement, interviews, and letters of recommendation from other sources. Upon the request of the student, this committee letter is sent to the professional schools of their choice. All students seeking admission to professional schools should plan to interview with the members of this committee during the year before applying for professional school; typically, this will be your junior year. If you are considering going through the Health Professions Recommendations Committee, please read the "Application Eligibility" section to make sure you qualify. All of the items listed contain valuable information. It is to your advantage to read through all of them!

REVISED COMMITTEE PROCESSES
EFFECTIVE FALL 2020

PLEASE REVIEW CAREFULLY AND THOROUGHLY

Application eligibility- traditional 4-year students

Benedictine students and alumni interested in a health professional school after graduation, and who meet the following criteria are eligible:

  • Completion of Intent to Participate form by the end of the third week of the Fall semester, submitted to the Director of the Pre-Health Professions Program.
  • Minimum cumulative GPA 3.3 from ALL post-secondary institutions
  • Minimum BCPM (Bio, Chem, Physics, Math) course GPA 3.1 from ALL post-secondary institutions
  • Minimum 30 credit hours of classes completed at Benedictine University by the end of the academic year in which a letter is sought
  • Minimum 12 credit hours  in BCPM courses completed at Benedictine by the end of the academic year in which a letter is sought, including at least one lab course.
  • Interest in one of the following professions:

    o    Medicine (MD and DO)
    o    Dentistry
    o    Podiatry
    o    Pharmacy
    o    Optometry
    o    Physician Assistant
    o    Veterinary
    o    Physical Therapy
    o    Occupational Therapy
    o    Chiropractic

Upon submission of the “Intent to Participate” form, a personal Dropbox folder is created for the student. The student will then be sent a personalized link to the folder, where he/she can upload completed files. However, he/she cannot see the contents of his/her folder; only the HPRC members can.

Application eligibility- transfer students

1. Eligibility
Undergraduate students who transferred to Benedictine, have less than 30 credit hours of Benedictine coursework, are interested in a health professional school after graduation, and who meet the following criteria are eligible:

  • Completion of Intent to participate form by the end of the third week of the Fall semester, submitted to the Director of the Pre-Health Professions Program.
  • Minimum cumulative GPA 3.3 from ALL post-secondary institutions.
  • Minimum BCPM (Bio, Chem, Physics, Math) GPA 3.1 from ALL post-secondary institutions
  • At least 30 credit hours of classes completed at Benedictine University by the end of the academic year in which a letter is sought
  • Minimum 12 credit hours in BCPM courses completed at Benedictine by the end of the academic year in which a letter is sought, including at least one lab course
  • Interest in one of the following professions:
    • Medicine (MD and DO)
    • Dentistry
    • Podiatry
    • Pharmacy
    • Optometry
    • Physician Assistant
    • Veterinary
    • Physical Therapy

Graduate students currently enrolled in a Master’s program at Benedictine who are interested in attending a health professional school after graduation are eligible provided they meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of Intent to Participate form by the end of the third week of the Fall semester, submitted to the Director of the Pre-Health Professions Program.
  • Minimum GPA 3.0 in the graduate program
  • At least 14 credit hours of classes completed in the graduate program at Benedictine University by the time the application is submitted
  • Interest in one of the following professions:
  • Medicine (MD and DO)
  • Dentistry
  • Podiatry
  • Pharmacy
  • Optometry
  • Physician Assistant
  • Veterinary
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Chiropractic

Upon submission of the “Intent to Participate ” form, a personal Dropbox folder is created for the student. The student will then be sent a personalized link to the folder, where he/she can upload completed files. However, he/she cannot see the contents of his/her folder; only the HPRC members can.

2. Individual letters of recommendation

For transfer students with < 30 credit hours of Benedictine coursework (in their first semester at Benedictine at the time of submitting the “Intent to Participate ” form) and graduate students, there is a slightly different iLOR requirement. 

  • At least one (1) letter from a science faculty member at Benedictine or at a prior institution and a letter from an additional resource that can speak to the student’s non-academic qualities should be submitted as part of the application process.
  • By the end of Spring semester of the year the student applies,  the student must ensure that at least two (2) letters from science faculty, including at least one Benedictine science faculty member, are included in his/her portfolio. These combined letters then must satisfy the requirements met by all Benedictine students (two from science faculty, one from an additional resource) 
Collection of application components

 

A completed application packet for the student includes the following, all located on the HPRC website:

There are two deadlines for submission of these documents through the provided Dropbox link:

Priority deadline: End of the eighth week of the Fall Semester (Friday, October 23, 2020 by 5:00 PM)
Final deadline: End of the first week of the Spring Semester (Friday, January 22, 2021 by 5:00 PM

 

  • The priority deadline will allow those students earlier access to interviews, thus maximizing their time to correct any deficiencies in their application. Students are encouraged to submit a draft of their application by this deadline.
  • The final deadline is strict! Any incomplete applications after that date will result in the student not being allowed to interview with the HPRC in the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Students who still have incomplete applications at the beginning of the spring semester will be contacted by the Chair, reminding them of the final deadline.

If a student needs to obtain a committee letter prior to the end of the fall semester he/she is applying, the student may petition the HPRC Chair and the Director of the Pre-Health Professions Program for an expedited application process. In this case, the complete application is due by the end of the fifth week of the fall semester.

 

Students are asked to obtain a minimum of three (3), but no more than six (6), individual letters of recommendation (iLORs). Those three letters must come from a combination of two (2) science faculty and one (1) additional resource (not necessarily faculty) that can speak to the student’s non-academic qualities. This could be a club adviser, a Scholar’s advisor, a research mentor, a clinician who supervised a shadowing experience, a supervisor for a volunteering experience, etc.
 

If additional letters are submitted, they may come from other faculty, physicians the student shadowed, volunteer coordinators, etc.

**It is expected that you will ask those whom you are requesting iLOR’s from in advance if it is okay that they provide a letter for you.  If it is discovered that you did not do this, the HPRC may penalize your recommendation by one level.

 

  • Current GPA and unofficial transcripts of applicants will be obtained from MyBenU by the Office Coordinator for Graduate and Pre-Professional Studies supporting the HPRC.  You do not have to do this yourself.

 

Committee Review process
  • All finalized applications will be available to all members of the HPRC. For each applicant, two (2) members of the committee will be assigned for primary review of the student’s application.
  • These primary reviewers will conduct a personal interview of the applicant during the Spring semester. Applicants should check their e-mail address provided to the committee for who they need to schedule interviews with and when.
  • All members of the HPRC will review each student’s application file and primary reviewers’ assessments, and they will provide their own insights and collective committee decision at the committee’s meetings.
  • The HPRC chair will prepare a summary of feedback to each applicant after the committee’s review of the applicant is complete. This will be done via the e-mail address provided by the applicant, with an invitation for an in-person meeting should one be desired by the applicant.
Committee letter writing

 

  • After the interviews are complete, the Director of Pre-Health Professions Program and two faculty interviewers will complete a preliminary review and recommendation. The other voting faculty members on the HPRC will read through the application and personal statement and complete a preliminary review and recommendation based on their reading.
  • The full HPRC will then be convened, where the committee will discuss their findings and assess the student for a recommendation level (Outstanding, Strongly Recommend, Recommend, Recommend with Reservation, Do Not Recommend).
  • Once the HPRC has made a recommendation, the Chair of the HPRC will contact the student for a short debrief, either via e-mail or in person, to go over the recommendation level and suggestions for improvement.
  • The student is then asked whether he/she wishes to receive a letter from the HPRC. If he/she confirms, then letter writing begins. The student will then be asked to identify where he/she would like the letter submitted and to submit a formal request to the HPRC Chair.
  • Students must give a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice for where and when the letter must be submitted by. Requests for letters on any shorter timeframe cannot be guaranteed.

Final approval of committee letters will occur once all of a student’s application packet and iLORs are submitted, ant the HPRC has met to discuss the recommendation.

 

Letters will be primarily written by the faculty who interviewed the student as part of the process, though the Director of the Pre-Health Professions Program and Chair will also participate. As letters are finished, they will go to the Director of Pre-Health Professions Program and Chair for review and editing. Once editing is complete, then the letter is shared with the rest of the HPRC for final approval.

 

Once final approval is confirmed, the letter is sent to the designated place(s) the student identified and the letter is then archived should the student need an updated letter. In most cases, the committee letter will be sent as a packet along with the iLORs the student included, unless the student requests otherwise.

 

The HPRC interview

Interviews will be scheduled in a minimum of two blocks: those that made the “Priority Deadline” and those who submitted after this, but by the “Final Deadline”.

Those that meet the “Priority Deadline” will be interviewed in the fall semester prior to Thanksgiving break, but all other students will be interviewed in the spring semester.

Depending on committee members’ preferences, some informal, preparatory interviews may start taking place in the fall semester for non-priority students, but the vast majority of interviews will take place in the spring semester.

Students will be asked to take part in three (3) interviews:

  • A one-on-one interview with the Director of Pre-Health Professions Program
  • Two interviews with two randomly-selected faculty members of the HPRC.
  • Faculty and the Director of Pre-Health Professions Program are free to chose the format for the interviews that they wish.
  • Although these interviews are meant to be mock interviews, the purpose of the interviews are to gather information about the student to help form a recommendation. Students’ interview performances will thus NOT be used in any way to influence their overall committee recommendations. However, students are expected to dress and act professionally in interviews with faculty as practice for formal professional school interviews.
  • Students should be aware that being a “no-show” to any interview with no attempt to contact the interviewer(s) may result in their recommendation level penalized one level.

 Proper Dress for an HPRC Interview:

PROFESSIONAL DRESS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!
MEN - Interview Suit or Sport Jacket with tie
WOMEN - Interview Suit - Proper length of skirt

ORAL HYGIENE
THINK!!! about what you eat before you go to the interview!
Put a mint in your mouth before your interview!

* Please also be aware of the amount of perfume or aftershave you put on.
Some people are more sensitive than others to stronger smells. *

Forms
Why Benedictine?

The Benedictine Benefit

Birck Hall of Science
Benedictine University has a tradition of excellence in science programs. The College of Science at Benedictine offers specialized advising for all students interested in a healthcare profession, regardless of their major. Our nationally-recognized faculty enjoy engaging students at all levels in investigative research in their laboratories, often presenting their work at national, professional conferences. Our students are active in the many student organizations on campus, athletics, and campus ministries, all of which contribute to a broadly fulfilling college experience.
HPRC Timeline

Friday, September 18, 2020:  “Intent to Participate” form due by 5:00 PM
**Dropbox link will be sent via e-mail the following week**


Friday, October 2, 2020:  “Expedited Fall” Application due by 5:00 PM
**This requires an appeal to the HPRC Chair and the Director of the Pre-Health Professions Program to be eligible**

Friday, October 23, 2020:  “Priority” Application due by 5:00 PM
**This is for those students who wish to interview with the HPRC in the fall semester**

Friday, January 22, 2021:  FINAL Application due by 5:00 PM
**This is the final deadline!  Any incomplete applications after this date will not be considered!**

For more information, or questions about the HPRC process, please contact:

Anthony DeLegge, Ph.D
Chair, Health Professions Recommendation Committee
Benedictine University
Phone: (630) 829-6556
E-mail: adelegge@ben.edu


     College of Science

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William R. Law, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Science

Tonia Rucker, Assistant to the Dean
Email: trucker@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6187
Fax: (630) 829-6186

Dean's Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Dean's Office Location:
Birck Hall Room 119