Tuskegee University’s Veterinary College Summer Enrichment Program Strengthens Students for Veterinary Curriculum

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (July 28, 2017) – The Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine (TUCVM) completed another successful Summer Enrichment and Reinforcement Program (SERP) this summer. The 2017 SERP welcomed 18 students from across the country to participate in the seven-week long program. SERP is a longstanding enhancement program that has benefitted students for over 30 years.  

SERP Participants pose with instructor
after golf lesson

Participants range from undergraduate students in their senior year to graduate students interested in applying for admittance into the veterinary program in the next application cycle or applicants recommended by the TUCVM admissions committee, to current veterinary students that need additional academic enrichment.

“SERP has been around for over three decades because it has proven to be a very useful program to help motivated students that may need that extra edge succeed in making it through the demanding veterinary curriculum,” said Dr. Roslyn Casimir-Whittington, interim associate dean for academic and student affairs and an assistant professor in the Department of Pathobiology. 

The objectives of SERP are to improve skills in critical thinking, processing of scientific concepts, and academic survival skills including effective communication, note-taking, time management, and test-taking.  Over the seven weeks, the students were introduced to all areas of the veterinary medical curriculum such as veterinary anatomy, pathology, parasitology, pharmacology, necropsy, large and small animal surgery, and public health. SERP students also present a clinical case at the end of the program which faculty are invited to view the presentations and give constructive feedback on the student's ability to present a clinical case.

     SERP Participants in Tai Chi class

In addition, the SERP expanded its offering to address a rising epidemic of suicide within the veterinary medical profession. This year wellness activities were incorporated to reinforce the importance of achieving work-life balance. Program participants engaged in several wellness activities such as mindfulness walking/coloring/meditation, playing golf, and attending Zumba and Tai Chi classes.

“Health and wellness have become a major focus in veterinary medical education and the veterinary profession and we are finding innovative ways to promote well-being in our student population” said Dr. Ruby L. Perry, dean of the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Program Coordinators remain confident that SERP develops skills that enhances the participant’s mastery of the veterinary medical courses essential to their success in the veterinary medical profession.

A closing ceremony and luncheon was held on July 18 in Patterson Hall at the College of Veterinary Medicine complex. Besides receiving certificates, a special treat was the reflections given by SERP participants expressing what the program had taught them over the seven weeks.

SERP Participants in classroom session

“During SERP, I learned how to handle a large workload without becoming too stressed. I also gained techniques in minimizing my test anxiety which will help me as I move forward in my education,” said Danielle Bass, 2017 SERP participant.

Kheri Spence, assistant director for student success/counselor, presided over the closing ceremony. Spence also serves as SERP’s co-coordinator and is developing a wellness program for veterinary medical students.

To learn more about the summer programs and the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, visit www.tuskegee.edu/vetmed.