Marshall hosting annual summer health science institute for West Virginia ninth graders

Marshall has welcomed 65 rising ninth-grade students from around the entire state of West Virginia this week for its annual Health Science and Technology Academy (HSTA) Summer Institute, “Fun with Science.”

The institute began Sunday and will continue through Friday, July 13, on Marshall’s Huntington campus.

HSTA is a partnership among numerous units of West Virginia University, Marshall University, West Virginia State University, the West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnership, the West Virginia Area Health Education Centers and many Appalachian communities. The program brings racial and ethnic minority, rural and/or low-income students and their teachers to Marshall each summer for laboratory, classroom and enrichment activities. Then, during the public school year, the program provides the infrastructure and support for community-based science projects mentored by teachers, scientists, health professions students and community volunteers.

HSTA institutes are offered each summer at West Virginia State University and West Virginia University, in addition to Marshall’s College of Science.

All HSTA students are members of HSTA Clubs in 26 counties throughout the state. The students participate in HSTA Club learning experiences, after regular school hours, from ninth to 12th grades. Clubs are administered by local governing boards and are generally held at high schools around the state. All HSTA students must attend two summer institutes. Students coming to the summer institute at Marshall were recently selected as new HSTA students, who will all start their club meetings in the fall, when schools start. Consequently, this is the students’ first HSTA experience.

Once students have successfully completed their HSTA Club requirements from ninth to 12th grades, notices are sent to public universities across the state, notifying admission offices that they are qualifying HSTA Scholars and are eligible for the HSTA tuition waiver, as legislated. A student is provided with eight semesters of undergraduate tuition with the HSTA waiver. Marshall University also honors the graduate waiver for majors in health, science and technology; provides a partial waiver for medical school; and makes a waiver allowance in the School of Pharmacy.

“This summer, we are celebrating the 25th HSTA anniversary. The MU HSTA Summer Institute has proven to be a life-changing experience for nearly all students attending this summer camp, enriched by HSTA teachers from around the state, many Marshall faculty scientists, the MU School of Medicine, the School of Pharmacy and much more,” said Maurice Cooley, Marshall’s associate vice president for intercultural affairs and a HSTA summer institute planning director. “Our chief director, Dr. David Cartwright, along with his team, has nurtured a slate of intellectual offerings and enrichment experiences to include microbiology labs; learning coding technology for new computer games; interactive learning with medical, pharmacy and other STEM scholars; and many fun-filled social learning experiences.”

Cooley added that thus far, 100% of HSTA students have attended college and graduate with baccalaureate and advanced degrees at an extraordinarily high rate.

For further information, contact Cooley by e-mail at cooley@marshall.edu.

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Photo: Participants in the 2017 HSTA summer institute posed for a picture on Marshall’s Huntington campus.