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MSSU MKEAP Program: What You Need To Know

Curtis Almeter

As rising freshmen explore Missouri Southern State University’s various programs and facilities, interviewees for the Missouri Southern State University-Kansas City University School of Osteopathic/Dental Medicine Early Acceptance Program (MKEAP) also visit the school in order to participate in an interview day that helps them to get to know more about the unique program and see the amenities MSSU and KCU-COM offer. The seven year program, founded in 2017, gives 15-25 college freshmen the opportunity to receive a conditional acceptance to KCU-COM’s Joplin campus to pursue medicine or dentistry.

Students who are part of the program are not required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and follow an accelerated curriculum which allows them to be adequately prepared for the rigorous courses taken in medical and dental school. Furthermore, all students accepted into the program receive a scholarship that fully covers undergraduate tuition.

As interviews take place, board members of MKEAP and current program students provide a warm and heartfelt welcome to prospective applicants. The interview day includes a tour of MSSU’s distinguished cadaver lab, the dormitories, and the health science buildings. It also includes a lunch and Q&A panel with current program students before interviewees and families transition to KCU-COM for a tour of the medical school and interviews.

Dr. Victoria Rhodes, the program director, comments that “MKEAP interviews are the first time students will meet their future cohort members. Many times, they start to bond with each other, share contact information, and learn about our program from current students. While I am sure the students are a bit stressed during the formal interview period of the day, I believe that our events, such as the student panel and campus tour, allow students to get a feel for our Lion Pride.” Furthermore, she says that “MKEAP [is] not just an academic program but a comprehensive preparation for the medical profession. My aim is to not only ensure our students are academically prepared, but also personally ready to excel in medical school.”

An interviewee visiting Missouri Southern from St. Louis, Missouri, comments that her “initial thoughts about the program were that it was a very welcoming environment. All the students and faculty were supportive and friendly, and truly cared about the wellbeing of students. The interviews felt more like conversations, with the interviewers just wanting to get to know you better as a person and understand your goals and plans for the future.”

As Missouri Southern bustles with exciting activities and tours for high school seniors considering the school at an undergraduate level, MKEAP interviews are a great way for prospective students to get to know Joplin and explore the various opportunities MSSU and the MKEAP program has to offer. Students seeking more information about MKEAP can visit the program website ( in order to learn more about the application process, see program requirements, and view a sample schedule. Students can also contact the program director of MKEAP, Dr. Victoria Rhodes, at [email protected] for further inquiries.

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