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Health Sciences Experiential Components

The Health Sciences Experiential Program offers our students a wide range of experiences within the healthcare system and incorporates specific components of mentoring, shadowing, research, service learning, active classroom learning, and internship experiences into their curriculum to meet our college’s mission and vision.  By collaborating with peers, professors, staff, and healthcare practitioners within their experiences, students are able to gain the knowledge and practice they need for a future in the healthcare system. 



Mentoring within the Health Sciences program occurs in many different ways.  Faculty advisors work with students to choose a pathway to prepare for their future career needs.  The Health Sciences Student Organization has also developed a mentoring program.  Students in the upper classes act as role models to guide other students in their early decision making. Mentor programs may also be available through service learning projects, as well as during the senior capstone experiences. 


In the first two years of the Health Sciences Program through the Issues in Health Sciences courses, students will have the opportunity to observe and shadow healthcare professionals. These experiences allow the students to become aware of the different healthcare fields before they choose a professional pathway, to understand the day to day operations of their chosen pathway, and to inquire about issues facing today’s healthcare providers.  

Student Research

Students may participate in innovative research projects directed by faculty.  This type of experience prepares our students for graduate school in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, as well as careers in the medical fields. Students are able to present their findings during DUCURs (Drake University Conference on Undergraduate Research), as well as part of their senior year capstone experience. 

Service Learning

Throughout the Issues in Health Sciences courses and the senior experience, students may encounter service learning as part of their coursework. Service learning allows students to improve their individual skills and knowledge of the healthcare field, become socially aware of the issues within healthcare, and to serve the community.  Students partake in organized projects coordinated by the Director of Health Sciences Experiential Education.  Students may also encounter service learning during their senior capstone experiences or internship experiences.  

Active Learning

Within the Issues in Health Sciences courses, active classroom learning is utilized in order to allow students to work together to attain shared learning goals for a course project.  Students collaborate in groups to gain skills in teamwork, communication, trust, leadership, decision making, and conflict resolution.  This promotes interaction and holds the students accountable for each of their individual roles and contributions to the project.  


Internships are offered for health sciences students throughout the school year, as well as summer break. Des Moines, Iowa and the surrounding area offers students opportunities within the health sciences field.  In addition to area internships, students will have the opportunity to find internships abroad.  This is a great way for students to explore their chosen pathway, network with other professionals, build a resume, and gain experience.  Formal internships can be arranged in conjunction with the Director of Health Sciences Experiential Education and the Coordinator of Professional and Career Development in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. 

July 17, 2015
Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs and Director of Experiential Education Cheryl Clarke, PH’86, was recently selected as a Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
June 30, 2015