Students in this 2+1+4 program must successfully complete their first two years of undergraduate study at Essex County College with an associate degree in biology. Then, they must complete one year of undergraduate study at Caldwell University.
After that, the students will move on to the four-year medical degree program at St. George’s University in Grenada — although they will have the opportunity to spend their first year of medicine at Northumbria University in the U.K., which maintains a special partnership with St. George’s University.
Students who earn at least a 3.0 GPA and receive a TAG or Pell grant will earn free tuition at Caldwell. All students will be eligible for a $10,000 scholarship for their first year at St. George’s or Northumbria.
After the first year at either St. George’s or Northumbria, students will receive a bachelor’s degree from Caldwell.
There is no limit to the number of students who can be the program, but they must maintain a 3.4 grade point average while enrolled at Essex County College and at Caldwell — and they must also register a competitive score on the MCAT.
ECC officials said a student has to indicate interest soon after starting at Essex County College. They would then be screened before being provisionally accepted to Caldwell and SGU.
The idea for the program was conceived in February 2020, right before the start of the pandemic.
Essex County College, which already had a program with St. George’s, reached out to Caldwell, looking for a place students could do their third year of college work locally before heading out of the country. The schools then spent two years developing a curriculum for the program.
Caldwell President Matthew Whelan said he was thrilled to be able to offer students the opportunity to pursue medicine with exposure to medical professionals from around the world.
“This collaboration will provide our high-achieving students who are passionate about making a difference in health care, and who may face economic challenges, with the chance to earn both their undergraduate and medical degrees through a global lens.”
Dr. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University, said the program will help fill a desperate need for more doctors.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the depth of the U.S. doctor shortage,” he said. “Partnerships like this one will help close that gap by making the path to medicine more accessible for aspiring physicians.”