Regional colleges partner with Cleveland Clinic to offer classes to high school students

Paige McNeal

Four regional colleges are partnering with the Cleveland Clinic to host high school students for classes at Kent State.

The program, Northeast Ohio Research Education Medicine Alliance, allows students of underrepresented-minority, low-income and first-generation college students to gain pre-college education in the bio-medical field. The involved colleges are Kent State University, Cleveland State University, Oberlin College and Cuyahoga Community College.

In order for students to become part of the NEOREMA program, they must complete an application administered by the Cleveland Clinic, in which they are required to submit high school transcripts, complete an essay, perform a research project and provide three recommendations.

Following receipt of the application, students are prospectively interviewed by a board of representatives from the colleges and the Cleveland Clinic.

Sandra Morgan, director of outreach programs for the College of Arts and Sciences, is Kent State’s liaison for the NEOREMA program. When considering applicants, Morgan said she looks for maturity and a high level of participation in high school extracurricular activities.

Kaila Yamamoto, a first-year NEOREMA participant, said she agrees with Morgan.

“I believe that the Cleveland Clinic wants to make sure that they are choosing students that are very driven, can follow directions and want to learn and succeed,” Yamamoto said. “So they put us through an interview, medical screening and biology and chemistry knowledge tests.”

High school counselors in the region promote NEOREMA to students who they believe are serious in pursuing a career in the medical or science field. Students may also learn of the program through students who have participated in the program before.

Ogechi Onyeukwu, a second-year NEOREMA participant, said she heard about the program through peers at Cleveland School of Science and Medicine. As a senior, Onyeukwu participates in the program to enhance her knowledge about the medical field.

“I learned mostly from microbiology,” Onyeukwu said. “It was so interesting and fun the way that we were taught in the lab about staph and strep. We also had a ‘writing for science’ course that was very helpful and showed the importance of writing skills in the medical and sciences field.”

At the end of the student’s weeklong stay on Kent State’s campus, they receive a program evaluation form, which encourages them to share what they have learned while attending NEOREMA. Students also have the option to sign up for more information in regard to attending Kent State for college.

“Our hope is for the students involved in the program to come to Kent for college,” Morgan said. “We hosted 17 students last year and of those 17, nine have said Kent State is their first choice.”

Contact Paige McNeal at [email protected].