The purpose HSAC (Health Sciences Advisory Committee) is to provide advocacy and evaluation for Kalamazoo College applicants to professional health programs. The HSAC committee consists of the Director of Careers in Health and Medicine and three faculty members from across campus. As an advocacy and evaluation committee, HSAC is able to provide a committee letters or a committee packet on a students behalf. While the HSAC process is not mandatory, medical and dental schools place significant weight on committee letters and we recommend going through HSAC. In some instances, generally the case for alumni, the applicant will need to determine if a committee letter or committee packet would better suite their needs.
Through the evaluation process, HSAC assesses an applicants candidacy for medical and dental school and provides a letter of evaluation to be included in their application packets. A Committee Letter can be thought of as an institutional letter of evaluation and is a summative/evaluative review of a Kalamazoo College undergraduate student’s experiences, including academic and extracurricular experiences. As a snapshot of the undergraduate experience, the Committee Letter places K students in context with other applicants from Kalamazoo College, past and present, and provide a brief narrative evaluation of your qualifications for medical school and the profession of medicine.
Overall, the Committee Letter Writer compiles information from the following sources to create the entire Committee Letter (any information provided in the sources listed below may be used in the Committee Letter):
- HSAC Registration Form (includes unofficial transcripts and test scores, if available)
- Self Reflection
- Expanded Resume
- Personal Statement
- SIP Abstract/Summary
- 3 Letters of Recommendation
- Committee Interview
Please note that the letter of evaluation is written only after the student attends the HSAC workshop series, completes all HSAC application requirements and/or assignments, and conducts an HSAC interview. Traditionally, alumni have requested a letter packet as the committee letter requires attendance at all workshops, in addition to the completion of all application requirements, and an HSAC interview.
The Committee Packet is an abbreviated form of the committee letter. It consists of a cover letter that will put your application into context with other past and present dental or medical school applicants from Kalamazoo College, but will not provide an evaluative narrative. Instead, the letters of evaluation received on your behalf will be appended to the cover letter and submitted in the case of alumni medical school applicants who choose this option, to AMCAS as a “Letter Packet or to AADSAS as a “Committee Letter/Report”. For alumni dental school applicants, AADSAS limits you to 4 letters and the composite letter counts as 3 of those four letters.
HSAC WORKSHOP SERIES
HSAC offers a series of workshops during the spring term for all students seeking to apply for a professional health program during the upcoming application cycle. Medical and dental school applicants seeking to obtain a Committee Letter must attend all workshops.
To be eligible to apply for a Composite Letter, applicants must complete four required workshops:
- HSAC Overview and Self-Reflection,
- Application Overview,
- Composing the Personal Statement, and
- Interviewing 101
The HSAC Overview and Self-Reflection workshop is meant to provide an overview of the HSAC process as well as provide time for applicants to self-reflect and determine readiness to apply for their chosen graduate and/or professional program. The Application Overview takes a deep dive into submitting your application for admissions through the designated centralized service. Composing the Personal Statement is designed to provide tips on finalizing your written statement while Interviewing 101 aims to help prepare you for the various types of interviews you may experience.