Health Careers Programs

Health Careers Program Students

Connecting Students to Health Careers

South Carolina AHEC Health Careers Programs (HCP) address the need to increase the number of young people, especially those from under-served populations, who aspire to become healthcare professionals by promoting academic preparation and motivation for high school and college students through year-long and summer programs.

High School Students

Our Health Careers Programs (HCP) for high school students strive to increase the number of students entering the health professions in South Carolina. Emphasis is placed on underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students in order to address disparities in the health professions workforce. The HCP is designed to develop academically proficient and self-confident future health care professionals.

The South Carolina AHEC Health Careers Academy is a health career exploration experience for high school students. Activities demonstrating the use of communications, math, and science make up the curriculum specifically designed for future health professions students of South Carolina.

Academy Fellows are selected to participate in four years of programming in sessions filled with activities that promote academic success, career development, and personal growth. One-on-one mentoring and parental involvement are major components of the Academy. Completion of the South Carolina AHEC Health Careers Academy prepares participants for the academic challenge of pre-health training programs.

The South Carolina AHEC Regional Centers also offer summer programs. Programs vary by region and may include academic enrichment workshops, college level course instruction, internships in healthcare offices or facilities, or health professions training. Contact your regional HCP Coordinator for more information.

South Carolina AHEC is offering free self-paced online modules open to high school students in the state to develop academically proficient and self-confident future health care professionals. The offerings are in three categories: career preparation, soft skills, and healthcare terms and trends. The objective of the modules is to assist students with their expansion of knowledge and to fine tune their skill set.

Students can register on the South Carolina AHEC Learning Portal to access the modules. Regional Health Careers Program coordinators are available to assist with registration and to answer questions.

View the Module Catalog

Register for Modules

College Students

Our programs for students in undergraduate institutions across the state provide curricular guidance and skills development to enhance the participant's ability to compete academically and to create strong applications for health careers training programs.

The South Carolina AHEC Summer Careers Academy is designed to increase the acceptance, retention, and graduation rates of under-represented minority and disadvantaged students to nursing, dental medicine, medicine, pharmacy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant training programs in South Carolina. The Academy is conducted in collaboration with the MUSC College of Nursing, College of Dental Medicine, College of Medicine, College of Health Professions, MUSC Library and the South Carolina College of Pharmacy.

View the Summer Academy Brochure

The application period is now closed. Applications will open in January 2022 for the 2022 Summer Careers Academy.

Bench to Bedside (B2B) supports South Carolina AHEC's effort to increase the number of applications and acceptance rates of undergraduate underrepresented minority students into healthcare professions training programs by providing a variety of educational, developmental, and mentoring activities to support long-term academic success.

Originally funded by The Duke Endowment, a statewide, interactive, intercollegiate student success seminar series is facilitated using video conferencing technology and extends throughout the academic year. The series is comprised of three components: professional and personal development, healthcare research topics, and Socratic inquiry and debate. Check SCHOOLS for scheduled seminars to be held on the following campuses (available times and venues will vary):

Campus Contact
Claflin University Pamela Shuler
Clemson University Kathleen Meyer
Jessica Owens
Coastal Carolina University Will Lyerly, PhD, FASCM
Fang Ju Lin, PhD
College of Charleston Karen Eippert
South Carolina State University James Stukes, PhD
The Citadel Kathy Zanin, PhD
Winthrop University Dwight Dimaculangan, PhD

B2B Participants can:

  • Ensure that academic choices include the courses required for admission and success in health career training programs.
  • Learn about immersion programs that can jump-start healthcare careers.
  • Collaborate with students from other colleges and universities.
  • Increase your competitive edge.
  • Participate in unique didactic and case-based programming via an on-campus teleconferencing network.
  • Make a difference!

B2B Courses

There are three B2B courses developed by South Carolina AHEC and Winthrop University that are available to students at Winthrop, Coastal Carolina, and South Carolina State Universities. Students at both universities meet for class via videoconference:

  • BIOL 121 (1 credit): Introduces students to various health professions and diseases that negatively impact South Carolinians, reviews admissions requirements and success in health career training programs, and provides insight into and activities that impact admission into the programs.
  • BIOL 122 (1 credit): Students will explore commonly preventable conditions that negatively impact the health of South Carolinians and enhance interviewing skills for health professions training programs.
  • BIOL 123 (2 credits): New in Spring 2017

To find out more about the courses and how to participate, contact your Winthrop and Coastal Carolina University campus contacts via the links above.

Bench to Bedside 2.0 (B2B 2.0) is an initiative of the South Carolina AHEC, in partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina and South Carolina State Technical College System and recently funded by a grant from The Duke Endowment. The program seeks to provide technical college faculty with the information needed to prepare students for health career education at the technical, baccalaureate, and graduate levels through a train-the-trainer model. South Carolina AHEC is seeking four to five South Carolina technical colleges to offer the B2B 2.0 course on their respective campuses.

Contact Paula Jones at for more information.

Gateway Award

Each year the South Carolina AHEC recognizes individuals who are committed to furthering the development of future health professionals and are distinguished in service to students in the health careers pipeline.

Year Gateway Award Recipient
2019 Angelica Christie, Ed.D.
2018 Jay Blankenship, MBA
2017 ZaQuavia Tyler


South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium educates, recruits and retains healthcare providers for the state.

South Carolina AHEC is a state agency that was originally established in 1972.


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