UNLV Opens New Pre-Professional Advising Center

Ashley Sylvester
Jan. 30, 2018

UNLV this semester opens its new Pre-Professional Advising Center for health professions and welcomes Director Ashley Sylvester to lead it.

The Pre-Professional Advising Center serves undergraduate students pursuing careers in health professions, such as pre-medical, pre-dental, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and pharmacy.

Sylvester has joined the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education as director of the new advising center.

“We are delighted to have her expertise and enthusiasm for helping pre-health professions students achieve their academic and career goals,” said Laurel Pritchard, Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.

Sylvester comes to UNLV with more than 10 years of experience in advising and admissions for undergraduate and professional programs at Nevada System of Higher Education institutions. Most recently, she served as director of Student Affairs and Educational Outreach for the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. In that role, Sylvester oversaw the Las Vegas Office of Admissions for the UNR School of Medicine, and worked with UNLV students through the application and admissions processes. Her experiences also include two years of partnership with Nevada Area Health Education Centers, a statewide initiative aimed at connecting academic health programs with rural and urban communities with shortages of health care professionals.

As director of the advising center, Sylvester also will promote healthcare-related careers among K-12 students in the community through a variety of outreach activities.

“With expansion of pre-health programs through UNLV Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine, and increasing interest in our other health-related programs, we want our students to have the best possible advising and guidance for these rigorous fields of study,” said Diane Chase, UNLV Executive Vice President and Provost. “Our aim is give students the best preparation for success that leads to fruitful careers and ultimately helps meet our community’s healthcare needs.”

Advising services at the new center will include:

  • Advice on prerequisite courses, community service, clinical experience and research experience essential for application to health-science professional schools;
  • Referrals to student support services as needed;
  • Preparation and guidance for professional school application and admissions;
  • Management of the accelerated Fast-Track Program with UNLV School of Dental Medicine and Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine;
  • Management of a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Pre-Professional Studies.

About 750 students are expected to use pre-health professional advising services in 2017-2018, and that number is expected to grow. Of the 60 students selected for the charter class of the UNLV School of Medicine, 51 are Nevada residents and 17 are UNLV graduates.