Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to have good grades to be accepted into the New Visions Health & Medical Sciences program?
Because it is a very rigorous program, New Visions seeks students with a strong academic record. While we consider factors in addition to grades for admission, students should have at least an 85% average with no grades below 80%. New Visions applicants must successfully complete and pass Regents Integrated Algebra; Geometry; Algebra 2/Trigonometry; three years of Regents science; three years of Regents English and Regents Social Studies; and all Regents exams associated with these courses; by the end of 11th grade.
How do I apply?
The selection process includes a paper application, an essay on a provided topic that relates to the focus of the Health & Medical Careers program, letters of recommendation from two academic teachers and your guidance counselor, and an interview with two professionals. We also evaluate your academic record, as described above. Additional information is on the New Visions Home Page. See your counselor in February or early March to receive a brochure and application, or pick one up from the New Visions students who will be visiting 11th grade classes during February and early March. Plan on attending our New Visions Health Medical & Careers Open House at Cayuga Medical Center on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 7-9 PM for more information about the program and the application process.
Where do typical New Visions students go to college after completing the program?
In recent years, New Visions students have been accepted at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca College, West Point, Princeton University, Hobart & William Smith Colleges/Blackwell Medical Scholars Program, Middlebury College, University of California at Berkeley, Brandeis University, LeMoyne College/St. Joseph’s College BS/RN Program, Carnegie Mellon University, Messiah College, Kalamazoo College, Northeastern University, Carleton College, Clarkson University, Hartwick College, SUNY Buffalo Nursing Program, Binghamton University and many other SUNY campuses, Mansfield University Nursing Program, Boston University, Ohio State University, Univerity of Pittsburgh, Wilkes University/Nesbitt School of Pharmacy, and many more.
May I come in to visit to see if I like the program?
We encourage you to attend our Open House first. After that, we would enjoy having you spend part of a Monday or Friday with us, as our schedule permits. Contact Mrs. Buchberg at (607) 277-4503 at least a week in advance to make arrangements. You will need written permission from your school administration and your parent/guardian. Due to patient confidentiality requirements, we regret that visitors cannot accompany New Visions students on rotations in the hospital or medical practices.
What rotations will I be able to do in New Visions?
At the heart of the program are the more than 30 different rotation experiences you will have in New Visions. We don’t have space here to list them all, but some of our favorites are: surgery, cardiology, oncology, maternity & pediatrics, ophthalmology, family practice, emergency, Bangs Ambulance, pharmacy, physical therapy and rehabilitation, ICU, Brookdale Assisted Living Facility, urgent care (Convenient Care Center), orthopedic medicine, nutrition………and many more! We even have a security rotation and we join the facilities crew for an inside look at places in the hospital no patient or visitor ever sees. (The view of Cayuga Lake from the roof of Cayuga Medical Center is amazing!) Each rotation brings a totally new and awesome experience!
How much homework is required in New Visions?
Keep in mind that New Visions counts as four separate honors-level classes (English, government, economics, medical science). The workload is substantial, but with wise planning each week, it is very manageable. We think there is about the same amount of homework overall as you’d have if you were taking four separate honors or AP classes back at your high school. You’ll definitely learn good time management skills for college in New Visions!
Often, English and economics, government and medical assignments are combined because of the tightly integrated nature of our curriculum. So – whereas you might be given four separate assignments if you were taking these courses individually – in New Visions, you’ll have just one assignment. Similarly, reading assignments usually cover more than one subject area, with only one book under discussion at a time.
The most time-consuming work is the “rotation packet” that we complete after each rotation experience. This includes doing preparatory reading, answering questions about the hospital department, keeping a daily journal, writing up a patient case study, and writing a short report on new developments in the field. Rotation packets are due on the Monday following the completion of a rotation. At the beginning of the year, we learn how to break down the rotation packet components into nightly chunks, so it doesn’t have to pile up for the weekend.
Several times each semester, each of us works with a partner to teach an anatomy & physiology unit to the class. This involves creating a multimedia PowerPoint presentation to review important concepts and terminology, as well as other learning activities to reinforce concepts. We receive the schedule at the beginning of the semester to allow for plenty of advance planning. Most of our assessments are not traditional tests. We are evaluated on our written work, class participation, project work and presentations, and evaluations from our rotation supervisors. We have a very useful class web page, where we can find all the materials we need for rotations and assignments. It includes RSS feeds to medical current events, online discussion boards and a chat room, too. So, it is very easy to keep track of weekly work.
What credits will I earn in New Visions?
All courses are taught at the honors and/or collegiate level. You will earn FOUR units toward high school graduation and SIX college credits:
- English 12 Honors (1 unit) – also 6 college credits from Tompkins Cortland Community College for English 101 and 102
- Economics Honors and Participation in Government Honors – (1/2 unit each)
- Advanced Studies in Medical Science (2 units) – includes anatomy & physiology, clinical hospital rotations, medical ethics and law
How much time will I spend in the classroom and how much on rotations?
Because of the hands-on nature of the program, classroom time is far less than you would have in a traditional senior year schedule at your high school.
New Visions students have full class on Mondays and Fridays from 10 AM – 2 PM. (And yes, we do have breaks and lunch!) We cover our academic subjects on those days.
Rotations are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 AM – 2 PM. For some rotations, you check in with Mrs. Buchberg at the New Visions classroom first, then proceed to your department in the hospital. For off-site rotations at doctors’ offices in the community, you go directly there after leaving your high school in the morning, and call in your attendance to Mrs. Buchberg.
Is it difficult to be away from your high school campus in your senior year?
Keep in mind that you won’t be totally “away.” Almost all of us take one or two classes at our high schools in the morning (Ithaca students can take one in the morning and one after New Visions in the afternoon). Nearly all of us return to our high schools after New Visions to participate in sports and activities. In the spring, when there is a flurry of special senior activities, Mrs. Buchberg works with us to make sure that we can attend anything that occurs during New Visions hours. We all get to see our friends back at our schools. And we have made wonderful new friends at New Visions.
So, we don’t feel that we are missing much. And…while our high school friends are sitting in classrooms for six or more hours a day, we are actively pursuing our interests in a fast-paced, professional environment and laying the groundwork for the future we want. It really is the best of both worlds!