2020-2021 Innovation of the Year Award Winner: Tulsa Community College

Health Sciences Smart Start Orientation

Smart Start is an orientation to health sciences programs that provides prospective students with a realistic overview of a program’s competitive admission standards and its rigorous academic and professional expectations. Prior to offering this orientation, students were often unprepared to successfully apply or did not pursue alternate programs if a spot in their first-choice program was not offered to them. Now, students meet with health sciences program directors and explore other programs which may better suit their skills and interests. Smart Start has helped students who may be discouraged by not getting into their first-choice program to find another path forward in a related field and has given students the tools to make their applications for these selective programs much stronger. Students respond that they have an overall positive experience with these mandatory orientations, that they enjoy interacting with program directors in breakout sessions, and that they have a clear understanding of what to expect in terms of the application and clinical and professional requirements.


  • Greg Anderson, Director, Academic Advising
  • Debbie Batson, Dean, Allied Health
  • Molly Farley, Associate Dean, Academic Advising
  • Jenny Fields, Dean, Nursing
  • Marilyn Goff, Coordinator, Academic Advising
  • Melanie Heffington, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator, Health Sciences
  • Greg Hope, Director, Academic Advising
  • Adrienne Morecraft, Education Specialist, Health Sciences
  • Chelsey Sykes, Career Development Specialist
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