CSI/SIUH Pre-Health Mentoring Program



The College of Staten Island/ Department of Biology has formed a partnership with Staten Island University Hospital to establish a comprehensive college mentorship program and important resource for pre-med/pre-health students. The intended outcome is to increase the number of CSI students accepted to medical schools/professional schools in the health sciences in New York and throughout the country. 

The College of Staten Island—A Unique College in CUNY

The College of Staten Island (CSI) is a City University of New York (CUNY) senior College with over 13,000 students. CSI is the only College in CUNY that confers Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's and Clinical Doctoral degrees, and in collaboration with The CUNY Graduate Center, numerous Ph.D. degrees. The College is situated on a 204-acre site—the largest in the five boroughs, and recently incorporated an on-campus residential component. The College is a hub of intellectual and artistic activity, a community partner and source of economic impact and job creation for the greater Staten Island area.

Contact Information

Grozdena Yilmaz, MPAS, PA-C

Director of Pre-MD/Pre-PA Advisement

Building 6S-137
Email Grozdena Yilmaz, MPAS, PA-C


The College of Staten Island/CUNY provides a top-notch, affordable education leading to health-based careers on Staten Island, and throughout the five boroughs. The mentorship program will allow CSI to serve as a connecting bridge between prospective high school students, the College, healthcare providers and alumni in healthcare; aligning with the strategic direction of the College to strengthen the relationship with its alumni and the community in order to support and ensure success of the program.

Pre-Med Students Choosing Biology or Biochemistry as an Intended Major

The mentorship program will be offered by the Department of Biology.* 
Pre-medical students frequently select their major in Biology or Biochemistry as a stepping stone for professional schools in the health sciences. Biology is the preferred major for most pre-medical candidates, with more than 60% of pre-medical students completing Biology as a major according to a report from the American Academy of Medical Colleges.* 

* Majoring in Biology is not required—students may choose any major.
* (aamc.org, 2020)

“Nesting Doll” Model and Approach

The program is structured as a “Nesting Doll” model, in which micro components of the program nest inside the macro component, as a ten-in-one strata design. 

  • Mentorship will be implemented as the primary tool and resource to improve the knowledge, skills and competencies of mentees/future health care providers and to ultimately increase the number of medical providers in New York area suburbs and local communities.

The program will tap approximately 40 medical providers from Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH): 

  • To serve as mentors to Pre-Health CSI students; 
  • To establish an educational and academic path for prospective high school students, beginning with their:
    • Commitment to the College of Staten Island
    • Acceptanceinto the CSI/SIUH Mentorship Program
    • Leading to application and acceptance to a professionalschool in medicince or health sciences.
  • As a means of increasing student interest in careers in healthcare; 
  • To influence student mentee integration and future practice in the field. 
  • To identify and address obstacles, enabling mentees to reach their pre-professional preparation goals at an accelerated pace.

Additional Goals of the Program:

  • To raise awareness—To ensure the benefits of the program are understood by faculty and students within College academic and student service departments.
  • Recruitment—the program will serve as a recruitment tool for enticing new students commit to CSI. 
  • Student retention—the program will provide the necessary support and guidance for students majoring in the sciences or health sciences disciplines to ensure they are maintaining eligibility requirements, as well as accelerating their degree. 
  • Metacognitive development—mentees interact with CSI alumni and other medical providers who share skills, knowledge and success stories.   
  • Professional growth—to help the future provider understand what it means to be a healthcare professional and to develop a professional attitude and self-discipline.  
  • Guidance—to help our students establish future careers in medicine, who will be guided in the planning, development and growth of their education and subsequent careers within the field of medicine and healthcare. 
  • Leadership—considered one of the most important qualities in a healthcare provider and is not easily taught. Our students will learn how to establish leadership qualities as future providers.
  • To create a safe bridge between high school and professional school, as well as between academic theory and professional practice.  
  • Student Engagement/Encouragement—mentorship will provide a nurturing environment revolving around the student, allowing mentees to feel important and valued.

Tracking of Pre-Med/Pre-Health Candidates
Mentees will be tracked via survey and questionnaire, as well as via college/program retention rates, timely graduation, and applications/acceptances into professional schools. The program’s unique approach strives to be transformative as per the recruitment of medical doctors and other healthcare professionals, and may also serve as a model for recruitment of professionals in other health sectors.



Selection is based on scholastic achievement, aptitude, personal qualifications, and evidence that the student is motivated toward becoming a health care provider and curious about their chosen field of healthcare. The high school and college transcript, high school and college grade point average (GPA), writing skills, extracurricular activities, research experience, community service and character will all be utilized as criteria for admission to the program. Students who are being seriously considered for the program will be called for an interview. 

Applicants who have completed the following research workshops via the Department of Biology or Chemistry or minicourses with CSI will be given special consideration in the selection process:

  • Metagenomics: The Sequencing of DNA 
  • Cell Biology, Physiology and Advanced Imaging
  • Summer Pre-Health Immersion
  • Gateway to Science (Chemistry) 

Please use this application form:

Students must: 

  • Submit an essay of approximately 250 words explaining
    • why you have selected health care as your career and
    • some of the benefits you hope to gain from the mentorship program.  
  • Submit a short essay of 200 words or less about your career aspirations and goals. (Be specific, since this information will be used to match you with a mentor).
  • Hold membership in student clubs associated with their major at CSI. 
  • Submit your curriculum vitae (CV) outlining work experience, research experience, awards, certifications, volunteer work and training

Incoming Frosh with less than 30 credits 

  • High school GPA of 95.00 or 3.75 and higher
  • Complete one of the following: AP Biology with 4 or higher; (IB UEXCEL Biology with an A) or passed the CLEP exam or BIO anatomy summer workshop   
  • Complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteering (hospital, private medical office or community service) in high school or 30+ hours of clinical or academic research 

Current CSI and Transfer students 

  • GPA 3.25 or higher 
  • Completed 45–75 credits 
  • Completed a semester or research or healthcare, plus 40+ hours of research, and 40+ hours of volunteer (any special permission may be possible by committee approval) 
  • Interview by committee 

*Students who do not maintain eligibility in the mentorship program will be allowed to withdraw without penalty. 

Interested in this program? Please complete our inquiry card

Please contact Professor Grozdena Yilmaz, Pre-Med/Pre-Health program advisor for students majoring in Biology, or Holly Block, Assistant Director for Recruitment.