Many Rogers State University students choose to continue their education after earning their bachelor's degree and a greater number of graduates are heading to medical school after leaving College Hill.
RSU has developed a reputation for preparing students for the medical field and many take advantage of the medical/molecular option of the bachelor's degree in biology which is designed to prepare students for medical school, veterinary school and graduate programs in the life sciences.
“Health care is an expanding field and there are many career opportunities for students interested in medicine,” said Dr. Larry Green, Interim Head of the RSU Biology Department. “We have a fairly rigorous academic program that is ideal preparation for medical school.”
Christopher J. Hagen is one example of RSU graduates succeeding in medical school. Hagen recently completed his third year as a medical student at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa.
“The first year of medical school is especially intense, but I felt prepared because of the education I received at RSU,” Hagen said.
Hagen was home-schooled and his family relocated from Texas to the Claremore area when he was 17. After finishing high school he did not immediately go to college because he said he was trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life.
He worked a series of construction jobs and completed several Christian mission trips in the U.S. and abroad. While on a mission trip to Haiti, Hagen said he became interested in pursuing a career in medicine because he wanted to gain skills with which to help people.
When he came back to the U.S., he trained to be a paramedic, earned an associate degree from Tulsa Community College and began work in emergency medicine. Eventually, he decided to pursue his bachelor's degree in hopes of attending medical school.
“I started at RSU because it was close to home and I wanted to see how I did in college. I loved it and it worked out well,” Hagen said.
He said RSU's small size and the personal relationships he developed with professors helped him succeed. Hagen, now age 30, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2004.
“I would recommend RSU to anyone thinking of going to medical school,” Hagen said, adding that his professors were excellent mentors and counselors during his medical school application process.