Webinar in Review: Adapting to the Evolution of MCAT® Summer Programs―Through COVID & Beyond

by Kim Canning, Director, Kaplan Partner Solutions | February 19, 2021

Enrollment in summer programs can be the key to helping students successfully prepare for the MCAT®. But in the age of COVID-19, educators have been forced to rethink how to plan and implement impactful summer programs so that students still receive the support and guidance they need on a virtual scale. 

During "Adapting to the Evolution of MCAT® Summer Programs―Through COVID & Beyond," our panel of experts discussed the challenges of developing virtual summer programs in 2020, and key takeaways for educators as they plan for a successful summer 2021 and beyond.

During "Adapting to the Evolution of MCAT® Summer Programs―Through COVID & Beyond," panelists explored topics such as:

  • Adopting a “continuous improvement” model for summer programs that can be adapted to virtual, in-person, or hybrid teaching
  • Lessons learned from virtual summer programs in 2020 
  • Addressing pain points educators are facing as they plan for summer 2021
  • How educators can improve the student experience by leveraging creative and strategic resources 
  • Exploring ways to engage with virtual students, build a sense of online community, and how to keep them focused on their goals.

Our panelists included:

Nanette Vega, EdD, Assistant Professor, Department for Medical Education, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Dr. Nanette Vega serves as Assistant Professor for Medical Education and Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She is the founder and lead strategist for Vega Consulting Edu, LLC. She has presented workshops at numerous conferences on diversity, equity and inclusion as well as pipeline program development. She has been recognized with several national and university awards, including the ACPA Diamond Honoree Class of 2021, Insight into Diversity-Diversity Visionary Award, and the University of Miami Student Affairs Laurel Award for Outstanding Work with students.

Shirley B. Smith, MA, Director, Office of Student Diversity and Enrichment, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine

Shirley B. Smith is the Director of the Office of Student Diversity and Enrichment at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine.  Ms. Smith has worked with individuals from diverse socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds throughout her career and is a champion for diversity and inclusion.  

Ms. Smith is passionate about improving the lives of individuals living in economically depressed and medically underserved communities. Ms. Smith has established partnerships with non-profit organizations, colleges/universities, local high schools, and clinical faculty to create programs with the focus on increasing medical students’ cultural and linguistic competency. She has an ability to connect and communicate effectively with individuals from the C-suite to the front desk born from her understanding of executive leadership principles and broad experience as a professional development coach, mental health counselor and professional advisor. Ms. Smith received her Master of Art in Counseling Psychology from Boston College in Massachusetts, and her Bachelor of Science from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York.

Kristin Murner, MBA, MSEd, Director, Instructional Design, Kaplan

Kristin has worked in traditional, distance/online, and for-profit education for over 20 years. She has taught undergraduate marketing on an Army base; chemistry, algebra and physics at a private K-12 school, and she has delivered and proctored more standardized tests than one should ever have to count. At Kaplan Test Prep, Kristin helps craft tools and policies that promote solid learning science across all of KTP’s business units. She holds a BS in health physics, an MBA in marketing, and an MSEd in instructional design and technology.

Kim Canning, Director, Kaplan Partner Solutions

Kim Canning is the Executive Director of the Kaplan Partner Solutions team. The KPS team is focused on working with Universities and Colleges to provide academic and support resources at an institutional level. Kim has worked at Kaplan for over twenty years and has spent the last seven building meaningful, institutional partnerships with schools as part of this team.

Moderated by:

Dennis Yim, Director, Live Online Courses, Kaplan

Dennis Yim is a veteran Kaplan instructor with nearly 15 years of teaching experience. He is a veritable highly-rated test prep coach who has helped over 10,000 students achieve their best scores on exams like the SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. He enjoys helping them on their journey from their first class to test day, with confidence, and reach their college and graduate school admission goals. With passion and dedication, Dennis provides all the support he can to his students.

In his current role as Director of Live Online courses, Dennis is charting the future of digital education while listening very closely to students along the way. As a product owner, he partners with various teams in order to continue improving student experience and outcomes.

Kim Canning is the Executive Director of the Kaplan Partner Solutions team. The KPS team is focused on working with Universities and Colleges to provide academic and support resources at an institutional level. Kim has worked at Kaplan for over twenty years and has spent the last seven building meaningful, institutional partnerships with schools as part of this team.

See more posts by Kim Canning, Director, Kaplan Partner Solutions